Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Background: Married at 15 to high school sweetheart who was 17. Two children and 16 years later, I couldn't take the drugs, drinking and affairs and left. Divorced. Six months later he was married, has been married 20 years. Very abusive relationship where he was the victim. Finally got kicked out, sobered up, we thought we'd give it one more try. His second divorce not final but in the process.

He had been sober several months but was drunk the day I was to pick him up in another state. If it had been anyone else, I would have kept driving. I picked him up, brought him home, he has refused to go to AA meetings or detox. The last several months have been a living He77. He has been working and paying off his car. Figured I owed the guy a car. He sent money to me while we were talking about getting back together and we spent it on appliances for the new house I bought (in my name only). He wasn't putting very much at all into the household expenses as he was paying off his car in big payments, per agreement with car lot.

When I was done, finished, all through - I gave him two weeks to get out. That would give him his car paid off and one full paycheck to move on, go back to his home state where his family is, etc. With 1 and 1/2 weeks go to, he decided he didn't want to leave and went to AA. Has been going to about 5 meetings a week. Did the detox all by himself, still dealing with the vitamin deficiencies of being a chronic alcoholic.

He's been sober 3 weeks. I'm still extremely angry. I was done, now everything is supposed to be back to "normal".

My ultimatum was that if he didn't stop drinking he'd have to leave. So now he's stopped drinking - and now what? I feel like I'm in limbo. I'm burned out emotionally, physically, and financially. He's able to add some to the household now but I'd rather just be alone and sell the house - get something cheaper. I managed for 20 years to raise both kids 99% all by myself and I'd like to just have some peace now and not suffer through any more detox or heebie jeebies. I do care what happens to him, he is the father of my children and Paw paw to our grandchildren. I love his family and they have always considered me their daughter - none of that will change.

I've started back to counseling to figure things out. In the meantime, Advice? Suggestions? Comments?
 

·
Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK
Joined
·
3,306 Posts
Congratulations to your EX. I hope he stays sober. As for you, may I recommend AlAnon. Don't worry about EX, he will learn in his program that he can't call the shots anymore. He has to do this for himself.

You two need some separation between you. The resentments go deep and take a whole lot of time to heal.

I am still in contact with my EX too, we have adult children together, and now a grandson. It's interesting. He can still push my buttons, especially if he gets me off away from my husband.

He's sober now too, and I am glad. My kids have prayed for their Dad for 35 years. I think he's going to make it.

He's even taking an interest in the new grandson, which pleases my daughter, of course. I was kind of jealous, I hate to admit. To see him playing with the baby==when all those years I longed for him to take an interest in our children. Sorry to digress.

I just know how tied up in knots you are. Stand up girl. You don't have to fight, you just have to tell it like it is for you and c a l m l y repeat yourself, as much as is necessary.

He can certainly make it on his own, and you are not responsible. It's important to take care of your own mental health. Alcoholics are master manipulators of our emotions.

Go to AlAnon--you'll be glad you did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,794 Posts
Consider telling him that you will reconsider having some kind of relationship when he has been sober for 6 months. Even if you said he should stop and you made a sort of promise between you, he has ALREADY broken that one so it would not be out of the question to ask him to be moved out on time. Stick to your guns.

Between now and then, he needs to be out of your life. I know that may sound harsh, but you have used your goodwill and emotional resources on him already. Tell him that it is NOT an option to have one more drink ever, or that is that. You need to be tough on him and not be an enabler. I'm sure you know all about that and I don't have to preach to the choir.

You need some emotional support yourself so he can get "clean" on his own.

Just something to consider. Also, as the poster above stated, go to Al-Anon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
If you are unsure why not suggest that he rent something nearby while you both work on the direction that your lives are taking. This way you can see if you like the "new" person he becomes and he can have the satisfaction that he did it. It is incredibly hard to get past the hurt of addiction but it is possible.

PS... his sponsor should be telling him that dating or getting into a relationship is discouraged for at least a year and especially while he is just starting to build his support system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Piney Woods: You have my deepest sympathy in dealing with an alcoholic. I have an uncle who is darn near close to genius and has wasted his life at the bottom of the bottle. He's now dragged my cousin who was succesfully recovering from 8 months of rehab from hardcore drugs and alcoholism down with him. Granted it was still his decision, but I think he honestly would of been succesful had it not been for my uncle. In my experience with alcoholics soberity is a way to make ammends for a limited time when the person they rely on for support gives them an ultimatum. They get their act together until the waters are calmer and then once they get back to feeling comofortable again, back at it they go.
I absolutely have no tollerance for him, or my cousin as I have seen what repeated second chances and (key word coming up) ENABLING them causes. My grandmother and my aunt are two of the biggest enablers I have ever seen and I cannot express the anger and sheer frustration their excuses for their sons' actions make me feel. I will not get into the personal nature of my experiences, but it has escalated to violence with my uncle, and still he is pardoned.
I have made it my mission to make sure that he, and might as well throw my cousin in there since they have packed together, that they never cross that threshold again, and I will be there to put an end to it and the law will make sure they are held responsible. You would do best to cut all ties and say good bye, you do not owe someone who chooses that "disease" your troubles, heartache and suffering. Be thankful for your family, and take it from someone who was dragged into that unspoken of closet where the skeletons live when they were 10 years old, do not subject them to anymore then what you have done. You did a good thing, but it's over, and you will see that once the waters calm themselves down again and you feel good about it another storm is brewing on the horizon. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,676 Posts
He would have to be in a recovery program and working it daily for a while before I would even consider being with him. Then the day he quit he would be gone for good. You cannot recover without a recovery program and the whole 9 yards and it sounds like he not ready. Those would be the boundaries and they would only be violated one time after that I would be done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
One thing I forgot to add. After 8 weeks or so ask his sponsor about you attending a meeting a week with him and stick with it. Some groups offer a family/spouses meeting. Do not be afraid to work with his sponsor and or family counceling. You will have all kinds of questions about his behavior and his sponsor can help both of you. Unfortunatly there is such a thing as a dry drunk. Its the drunken attitude without the drink. Only if you work along side him will you learn how to deal with this and steer him back toward the program so he can continue to learn new ways to deal with all of lifes problems.
 

·
CF, Classroom & Books Mod
Joined
·
9,934 Posts
Did he get sober for you, or for himself? The answer to this is important.

If he got sober for YOU, then as soon as he feels "safe" again, and sure of you, he'll probably go right back to drinking. Alcoholics need to get sober for themselves, it's the only way it works.

For yourself, you need to have more feeling for him than "he's the father of my children, the grandpa to my grandbabies" if the relationship will work long-term. If this is all you have, you're both setting yourselves up for more pain and disappointment in the future. If you can honestly look into your own heart and say "I love this man", then get thee to Al-Anon. Whether or not he stays sober, they'll help you deal with loving an alcoholic and learning how to set boundaries to protect yourself.

If you can't honestly say "I love this man", then you already know what you need to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,897 Posts
One counselor I saw (albeit for a different type of problem) suggested the 3-strike rule. If someone injures you 3 times (after being told the first 2 times that you would not accept being treated in this manner), then you could feel justified in not being available for more bad treatment. Granted this would not apply in the case of physical abuse, as you could be dead before Strike Two!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,510 Posts
Will you remember one thing, please? REGARDLESS of what you decide?

Never make it easier for him to drink than it is to be sober. For example, my MIL let my SIL live with her because she was having "problems" and needed somebody to help her. Eventually MIL got too old, and now not only does SIL have her own place, she is no longer having as many "problems", if you catch my drift.

She only got straight when she HAD to. When she was living at home, she got to abuse substances (which she REALLY wanted to do!) and in abusing substances, she guarenteed herself a roof over her head and food on the table. That wasn't a bad deal, from her paint of view. She got to party, and parying gave her a place to stay.

In other words, MIL enabled her to stay high. She would not have been nearly so stoned if she had had to cover her own rent.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,751 Posts
IMHO, Not as many as you have already given him. I agree it will not work unless he did it because HE wanted to, not because YOU wanted him to! It has to be their decision-no one else can beg, plead, ask, drag, kick, scream or LOVE them into being sober. Once an Alcoholic, always an alcoholic--it is something they have to fight for themselves, EVERYday, minute, second of their lives.. Queen Bee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,222 Posts
An alcoholic gets their chance AFTER they complete all 12 steps to the 12 step program. At that point, they should have full understanding of what they did to others and take full responsibility for it. They should also know who they really are and why they used alcohol.

I have no use for alcoholics or dry drunks. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the folks who've gone all the way through AA and come out the other side all grown up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Piney Woods~you have been given some very good advice in this thread. I'm married to a recovering addict. He's been clean for over 11 years now, we've been married a little over 9 years. It can be done but they have to want to do it for themselves.
Once an addict/alcoholic always an addict/alcholic. He is always going to have this issue in his life. Whether he is drinking or not. It's going to take a long long time before the thought of a drink never crosses his mind again. It may never happen.

You have to do what is best for you. If you love him and want to stand by him and support him, then I would highly suggest Al-Anon. It's a wonderful support group where you will learn how to deal with yourself and your feelings. It's not a group to learn to fix him. You will learn to fix yourself.

I'm going to keep you in my prayers. It's not an easy road to walk. Good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,856 Posts
Your focus needs to be on yourself. He will do whatever he does. You need to take care of yourself, not him. I second Al-anon.
 

·
Menagerie More~on
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Yeah, WHATEVER he chooses to do, get some support for yourself. Living with an alcoholic or addict will make anyone get a little crazy . . . they can take up so much of our focus and energy, and we need it for ourselves! I'm a grateful member of Alanon who could not stay around for the nosedive. I hope my DH gets the help he needs, but I learned I couldn't fix him no matter what I tried. I could however fix myself. DH is still out there making seriously bad choices, but I'm doing fine. It's wierd to think that I myself needed support and help (HE'S the one with the problem, right??) but I was pretty exhausted, I loved him deeply, but the stress was too much to handle on my own. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,808 Posts
you got to your break point, you drew a line in the sand so you answered your own question..... sober or leave.

he doesnt get a "second chance", hes had all the chances and patience you have to give.

if he stays sober, and many do, yippee, go be happy together.
if he starts again toss him out and mean it.

second chances to a drunk means a third and 4th chance.... and a 5th and 6th.....

if he falls off the wagon change the locks and set his stuff on the curb and dont feel guilty about it.... he isnt brain damaged or retarded, he knows what the booze does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,124 Posts
They get exactly as many as you're willing to give them. And the more chances they get, the less incentive they have to recognize that something is wrong. Strike early if you want hope for a long term result. My opinion speakign from experience.
 

·
stranger than fiction
Joined
·
3,093 Posts
Finally got kicked out, sobered up, we thought we'd give it one more try..... He had been sober several months but was drunk the day I was to pick him up in another state
You do understand that this will be your THIRD try? Did he make grand promises to stop drinking the second time you got back together? Do you think he is more likely to be sincere the third time?
if he stays sober, and many do, yippee, go be happy together.
if he starts again toss him out and mean it.

second chances to a drunk means a third and 4th chance.... and a 5th and 6th.....
I agree!

Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of alcoholics really do feel sincere that "this time" it will be better, but then the drinking takes hold again and they can pretend it's not a problem this time. They have selective memories as to how many times they've fallen off the wagon before, about how many promises they've broken.

Both of my sisters were married to, and divorced, alcoholics. I've seen a lot of crazy and scary stuff. When someone is an alcoholic, they will promise you the world and mean it.....until they drink again.

I would be suspicious is he is doing the detox or anything else on his own, without the benefit of a rehab clinic. It means he has the chance to "cheat" and no one is there to hold him accountable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,553 Posts
I think you regret not going with your instincts and not picking him up drunk -- you must have had many moment of "What was I thinking?" Perhaps it was from the 20 years of "what if's?" that you thought you might get some of the answers for or to? The answers are there, it's probably extremely difficult to realize that you weren't "missing" much.

From the rest of your post, it sounds to me (of course I could be wrong, again :)) that you've already madeup your mind that your life will be better without him in it. It also sounds like you give still have (rightfully so?) the resentment of raising your children 99%. I think what you need more then anything at this time is the reassurance that it's okay that you admit you've given it your best shot but it's not how you wish to spend the rest of your life.

If it takes you having to find him a place, physically moving his beyondings etc. to ease your mind about not simply kicking him to the curb, or whatever else it takes to reclaim your own life.

The fact of the matter is, even if a person was ideal for you prior to being an alcoholic, even if they stop drinking and never ever touch the stuff again, they simply are not that person you feel in love with, as good as hope is to help us make it though this life, sometimes it can bite us in the backside if we are not very careful.

Your heart and head are in the right place, you truly do not need my or anyone else's advise.

Hugs,
Marlene
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Good advice and suggestions. Thanks for the prayers also. People outside of a situation can usually see things clearer than someone right in the middle of it. You guys are great. Thanks for your input.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top