A Concerned Wife...

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A Concerned Wife...

Postby ConcernedWife411 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:30 am

My husband has been sober for a little over 3 months now. He had drank heavily for the past 13/14 years. I had never knew him sober except for about a month soon after we got together, he had tried to quit, but slowly went right back to his heavy drinking. He had never been a physically abusive drunk, although he would get verbally abusive sometimes. But for about a month before getting sober, we started having huge fights, and one night he got really physical with me. He went into rehab the very next week, he had known he had a drinking problem but wouldn't get help, but he knew after that, he HAD to or he would lose everything.

Ok, I thought I needed to tell a little bit of our story before getting to my questions.

When he went into rehab, he only stayed for 1 week (he said he didn't like the people in there, that they didn't care about getting sober, when he was really trying). His plan was to start going to aa meetings, and maybe therapy sessions or something like that. Well, he still has not been to either. I bought him a few books on recovery, as far as I know he has not read any, and I bought him a journal, and as far as I know he has not wrote in it. I am here for him, and we do talk every now and then about it. But every time I ask him how he is doing, he will just say that he has his good days and his bad days. He will not go into any details. I know, he is a very closed off and private person, so I don't know whether to just take him at his word and believe everything is fine, or if I should worry. Especially right now, we are having major financial problems, and I am terrified that it will cause him to relapse.

Ok, sorry, here is my questions...Should I worry that everything is "fine"? It just feels to me that his recovery is just going too "perfect" and that it will all just blow up soon. Should I try to sort of "push" him into going to aa meetings or go to some kind of therapy or something? I just feel guilty that everything is going so well, then I start worrying that maybe I am missing something....Please help!

Thanks....Sherry
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:48 am

Hi Sherry. My name is Paige and I am an alcoholic and I am also the mom of a child who suffers from this disease. It has been gut wrenching to watch her go in and out of treatments & jails over the years and when she is sober I walk on eggshells. I know we go by the 24 hour model, but when it comes to another drunk, I worry. I say I am fine and I usually mean it. I can tell you that even 5+ years later, my husband raises an eyebrow when I do not go to a meeting on my usual night!

Luckily, when AA began its journey back in the 1930's the wives of the men also began to meet in the kitchen. Their meetings have come to be known as Alanon and they are as strong and as steady as ever all these years later! We alcoholics seldom realize that our drinking and our tenuous sobriety continues to take a toll on the people we love. Whether our loved one is drinking or sober we can attend Alanon for our own sanity. They are people who have gone through just about everything when it comes to living with a problem drinker.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=13489
Check out their website. Give them a try. Call a local phone number for them or just show up at a meeting. They will know how to help you from there. You will find willing hands of support there.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:23 am

Unfortunately if he is an alcoholic, there is something going on between his ears. Only time will tell. We can only tell an alcoholic can't tell much. He needs to awaken. You may seek the help of Al-Anon folks for your journey.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:07 pm

Hi Sherry

I'm a sober alcoholic and recommend you call Alanon, talk with someone at their helpline and then go to a meeting for all the reasons Paige talked about in her post. Alanon members follow a program similar to AA's 12 Steps and can help you learn to cope with your living situation in ways that will relieve your anxieties and fears, one day at a time. Good luck.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby Brock » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:49 am

I think you came here looking for advice on how you might help your husband, and basically got advice on how you should help yourself. I do believe this is good advice partly because your attending such meetings might spur him into giving AA a try.

This part caught my attention because it sounds just like me – “I know he is a very closed off and private person,” for people like us I believe going to AA meetings is a bit of a daunting prospect. It may also be partly the reason he gave up the rehab, (I couldn’t make it there myself), you see in this type of environment people might sit around in a group of strangers and “share” feelings, and like him there are certain “feelings” I don’t even share with my wife, far less some strangers. Unfortunately when AA meetings are depicted on TV or film it is often the same, some people sitting in a circle, but this is not usually the case in real life. Most meetings especially in cities may attract over thirty people, often over fifty, and people like us can just go and sit and listen, no need to even say who we are. Yes some well meaning member will probably say hi I am so and so are you new here, but from my experience nobody is overly friendly in a pushy way.

Perhaps you could go to you tube and just search “AA speakers Chris R,” there are tons of other speakers as well; he is just one of those who shoots from the hip in a “manly” way. Perhaps tell your husband you were just looking around the net and found this, (a white lie for a good cause), who knows if he listens to some speakers he may be encouraged, I wish both of you the best of luck.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby Duke » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:39 am

I regret that all I can share on this topic is that there was absolutely nothing my wife could have said to me to cause me to find my way to the program any sooner than I did. I will say that without ever having attended an alanon meeting, she intuitively understood that it would be a very bad idea to enable my drinking or other self-centered behavior in any way. She never pulled her punches about my foolishness, but only offered when asked.

The truth is, if it isn't his idea to go, it probably won't stick anyway. So, love him, but don't enable him. If he starts acting out, let him know what the consequences will be and then follow through.

Good luck to you.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby ConcernedWife411 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:53 am

Thank you everybody. Yes, Brock, I was looking more for a way I could help my husband, but any and all advice is definitely welcome! I will look around on you tube, I had never thought of that! When I think of aa, I always think of closed off, private, and "anonymous"...it had never occurred to me that there might be people actually speaking out and making videos about it! I guess I have a lot more to learn :) (and yes, the only thing I "know" about aa meetings is what I have seen on tv/movies) I wish I knew of places to go around here, unfortunately we live in a small town and there are not many opportunities. I do know there are a few aa/na meetings, but none for family (Alanon) that I know of.

Thank you Duke. It is just so hard to sit back and do nothing...I feel like I should be doing more for him. I know that he has to do this "on his own", that all I can do is be there to support him and be there when he needs me...even he has said there is nothing more I can do. It's just hard.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby Brock » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:47 am

I am afraid I led you a little astray with the You Tube idea, you were not mistaken AA is more private than the impression I gave. The speaker tapes on you tube are audio only, there are other sites that have them like XA speakers, but for me you tube is the easiest to use. Sometimes AA functions are filmed but this is usually for conferences, where members are seen in large groups not up close and personal.

Living in a small town does mean that the meetings will likely have just a handful of members, I live on a fairly small island and it’s the same here. The likely thing that will put him off is that he may say that others from the town may recognize him; the best answer is that they are there for the same reason and will respect his anonymity, just as he will respect theirs.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby ConcernedWife411 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:09 pm

Thank you. I understand what you mean!
I have talked to him about going to the meetings, and the way he describes it, the biggest reason he doesn't want to go, is that listening to peoples stories, make him want to drink! I don't know if that is the main reason, or if that is just an excuse...
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:17 pm

is that listening to peoples stories, make him want to drink!


We call it the war stories. You may suggest that he look for literature based meetings, preferably meetings based on Big book. Thats where you will find people talking about solution where people share they tapped into the power the book talks about and how they are kicking butt.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby desypete » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:34 pm

ConcernedWife411 wrote:Thank you. I understand what you mean!
I have talked to him about going to the meetings, and the way he describes it, the biggest reason he doesn't want to go, is that listening to peoples stories, make him want to drink! I don't know if that is the main reason, or if that is just an excuse...


the only way i found to get sober was when my wife left me, and everthing else i had, had gone, in the early stages of my drinking, i had tried to give up on my own, many many times, i had promised my ex wife over and over again telling her how sorry i was and that it would never happen again, i would stay off the drink for a while until the dust settled and then just as my ex wife might get her hopes up that i was going to stay sober, bingo i end up doing it all over again and again.

these are the sort of storys your partner would hear in the meetings, and it will no doubt put fear into him as he has no where to hide if he is also like that, he will know he is in a room full of people who have been in the same position. also there is the simple matter that these people in aa dont drink any more and that is enough to put any alcoholic off if there not yet convinced.

i would suggest you try the sister fellowship of al anon as there you will find other partners who live with alcoholics, i am sure you will hear your own story from people who have lived and experienced just what your experiencing now. if you google al anon i am sure you can find out the details of where there meetings are or even drop someone an email there and see what happens ?
good luck to you
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby Brock » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:06 am

I suspect that it probably is an excuse; we alcoholics are very good at that, I once told my wife that all they do is pray to get out of going, when in truth they only said a short prayer at the start and end. As Duke said a few days ago, it is very difficult to encourage someone when their heart is not in it, and if he goes to please you he probably won’t stay long.

Others have spoken about choosing different types of meetings and once again Alanon, on this type of forum we sometimes don’t read the past posts, and they may not have seen where you spoke of the lack of choice in the small town. So where do you go from here, how I wish I had a perfect answer, but I don’t. I would continue as you have to offer your support not in a pushy way, should he drink again it may just be the wakeup call he needs to show we can’t handle this on our own. If he uses a computer you might consider telling him about this site, we do have members here who start off with saying they will not go to meetings, and we are generally OK with that, if you wait a few weeks your own posts here will be far back in the order and he won’t know you asked on his behalf. Sorry I can’t offer much else in the way of hope, but your reaching out to assist him is a great thing, and best of luck to you both.
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby frustratedwife74 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:58 am

I am a concerned & frustrated wife of almost 20 years, I am also a wife who is losing respect for her husband...

First, let me say when my husband and I got together I did not know he was an alcoholic. I knew his father struggled with being an alcoholic when my husband was a kid, and into his teenage years. So much so that he use to water down his father's vodka to prevent him from getting too drunk. Anyway, eventually his father stopped drinking and passed away a few years ago, he had been sober for well over 20 years!

As for my husband, I first realized he had a problem with his drinking after we were dating and living together for approximately 6 months. He would go to work throughout the week and drink on the weekends. It was like he was 2 separate people - the respected, well dressed and well groomed professional Monday - Thursday and the alcoholic Friday nights and Saturday nights. I never really understood the need to drink. My parents rarely is ever drank. I also never drank in high school, like many teens do, so this was all new to me. I assumed I could just help him, but I realized after being married approximately 5 years he needed more than just my help...

We were living in Indiana and had purchased a home with a finished basement, where we essentially had our living room. I noticed the couch we had down there was damp with a circular pattern one day. Mind you it was in the basement, and we had 2 dogs, so I assumed either one of our dogs peed on the couch or perhaps something was leaking from the ceiling. I looked up and didn't see any moisture on the ceiling, so I concluded one of our dogs peed on the couch, which was also strange to me considering they had a 'doggy' door where they had access to the outside at all times. Still, I chalked it up to a strange, one time, occurrence from one of my dogs. I cleaned it and went about my week. Then it happened a couple more times. I was about to throw out the couch and block the basement to prevent the dogs from going to there again, until one Saturday night I woke up in the middle of the night and ventured downstairs and was shocked to see my husband wearing what I can only describe as a 'diaper' made out of a trash bag!!!! Yes, that is right...he made a 'diaper' out of a trash bag because he had started drinking so much that he would pass out and PISS ALL OVER HIMSELF!!! I was so shocked and disgusted that at the time I did not know what to say to him or how to approach the subject with him that I just ignored it and did my best to forget it...not easy to do once you see something like that!

Anyway, after about another 2 years or so, I approached him and told him I know he has a problem and he needed to begin going to AA. He agreed and made a show of going a few times. So over the years he would start going, then stop, then start, then stop. He has currently stopped going. This brings me to my ultimate reason for joining this forum...I have begun noticing empty bottles of Nyquil and sleeping pill bottles. I thought it was strange since no one in the house had a cold recently. Then looking at our checking account I noticed about every 2 or 3 days there would be a charge from CVS pharmacy, so I went snooping. I found SEVERAL brands of sleeping pills in his briefcase, as well as 9 anti-depressant pills in the bottom of his briefcase, which I am not sure where he got them from, considering there was no bottle or label with them. I also saw 2 empty bottles of Nyquil and 2 more that had not been opened yet. I have begun keeping a diary of how many pills seem to be missing from his briefcase and how much Nyquil he is consuming nightly. Am I just overreacting or has this now become his substitute for drinking?

Any advice would be MUCH appreciated because we have a three year old and I am not going to subject him to a nasty divorce if I am overreacting, but I also do not want him exposed to this type of environment...I don't think it's healthy!

Thank you ~ Frustratedwife74
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Re: A Concerned Wife...

Postby PaigeB » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:51 pm

ConcernedWife411 wrote:Thank you. I understand what you mean!
I have talked to him about going to the meetings, and the way he describes it, the biggest reason he doesn't want to go, is that listening to peoples stories, make him want to drink! I don't know if that is the main reason, or if that is just an excuse...

Perhaps you two should get together! Just click on the name (in blue) and you'll be taken to their profile page where you can send a Private Message through this Forum or send an email!

We help each other and that helps all of us!

(I answered your other post Frustrated!)
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