Husband making demands

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)

Husband making demands

Postby Star001 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:27 am

After years of struggling and trying to 'control' my uncontrollable problem with alcohol I decided to finally get sober and come to AA. I was introduced to AA about 3 years ago but continued to live in denial. My husband drinks but not like me, the more I drink the less he would, but when I tried quitting on my own he would get upset that I wouldn't have just one or two with him. For me there is no one or two. Ever.
I confessed to him the other day that I am completely powerless over alcohol and that I could feel it taking its toll on my body in more ways than one. I said I wanted to live sober from now on (or at least try to) and that I would like his support in doing this. I am not at a point where I can be around alcohol. Someday maybe I will get that strength and my obsession will leave. Today is not that day. After he got rid of all the alcohol in our house he then sent me a list of demands saying that it is my problem and if I'm going to take away something he loves (alcohol) he should benefit somehow. I tried to explain that the benefit is a sober happy wife because I know if I continue drinking it will kill me sooner than later. I was truly heartbroken that he didn't seem to think that was enough. I know I have a long battle in front of me but I don't know how to do it if he won't be supportive. We have 5 kids and a demanding schedule and I don't want a fight everytime I need to go to a meeting or work on myself, reflections, ect. I don't really know what I can do about this. Sure I can try to ignore him but I don't see how avoiding it will help. I should mention he grew up with an alcoholic parent who lost their battle and he is convinced he knows exactly how it works. In his opinion it just a choice I made to drink too much and I should make better ones.
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby Brock » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:50 am

It is a shame your husband has adopted this attitude, especially since it hit close to home for him in the past. Anything trying to explain why he might be doing this would be a guess, but many don't understand the phenomenon of craving, as you say one drink and off you go can't stop. On the other hand we have had some folks here say their better half were alcoholics as well, and didn't want to accept that, so they got annoyed when the person decided to stop.

Please understand that with the right guidance many of us do the step work in a few months, and the urge is gone completely, you should be fine with him drinking in the house after. Unfortunately many meetings these days would have you dragging out this process, if you can find literature based meetings, sometimes 'advertised' as big book meetings, there you should find people who know what it's about, and know that it can be done relatively quickly.

Lastly, we have a thread currently here, in which a lady like yourself having family and work commitments, was made to feel a bit as though she wasn't willing enough, by over exuberant members, (of which AA has many), insisting on X amount of meetings per week etc. There is something to be learnt from this, and upfront you might consider just how many per week you are able and willing to commit to, apart from the odd 'emergency' one when you are feeling really crappy. Set some boundaries, many are really itching to help in AA, but also many of them don't have the family responsibilities you have. And keep posting and reading here, all questions are welcomed because we enjoy answering, best of luck.
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby Noels » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:07 am

Hi Star :D you are going to have to do this for yourself hon regardless of what happens or may not happen between you and hubby. The night I had my last drink i realised that because I knew I couldn't carry on the way I was anymore. I was empty. And when I got to that realisation I became peaceful and found the strength to become sober. Somehow I knew that if I didn't become sober I wouldn't have a life in any case.
And the good part - our family life is better than ever. Somehow it just worked out.
Put yourself first this time and let the chips fall where it has to. YOU are worth it and worthy of sobriety.
Meetings - I managed well with a Monday night and Friday night meeting.
Good luck and welcome
Mwah xxx
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby Star001 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:18 am

Thank you for your thoughts and advice. I'm trying to hang in there and focus on me. Hopefully his anger will eventually dissolve. Sometimes I wonder if he is just mad that he has another alcoholic in his life. It's all speculation though.

I will definitely check out a big book meeting and hopefully that will help me understand the program more. I'm anxious to work the steps and get going on things as quickly as I can. I know I need the support of AA because like so many others I tried to quit but could only make it 30 days on my own, then I would be back to my old ways, life of the party until I pass out. I'm excited to finally be able to learn from people who understand the addiction and have managed to stay sober.

I am hoping to start with maybe 3 meetings a week at least and check out some of the online ones too. The blessing is I have a few friends who have offered help with my kids if I need so I can get to them.
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:29 am

I will definitely check out a big book meeting and hopefully that will help me understand the program more.


There are also some great workshops on YouTube. The most popular one is the Joe and Charlie workshops. If you are looking for some quick overview of the 12 steps you can listen to workshops by Chris R.
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: Husband making demands

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:17 pm

Hi Star

Getting rid of all the alcohol in the house, for now, is a very sane, rational and reasonable decision. Good for you! Going one day at a time forward in the program, I found that every day was a little better than the day before. Some day being around booze may or may not be a big deal for you, but as you say, today is not that day.

There's a film called "Chalk Talk On Alcoholism" which was made by a well-known AA member named Father Joe M. for use by the US military back in the 70's. It is still considered one of the best and most comprehensive educational films on alcoholism by professional health care workers and still shown around the world in several different languages. You may be able to download it for free on the internet, but it's also available for sale on DVD from several recovery sites. It may be really beneficial if you and your husband could watch Father Joe's film together as the information may open up an opportunity for you two to do some very productive dialogue on your drinking problem in particular and the disease of alcoholism in general. If your husband is willing to attend some Alanon meetings, that could also be a good thing for your relationship.

Chapters 8 & 9 in AA's Big Book are addressed to the spouse's and families of alcoholics and may give you some very good food for thought on the issues you're having with your husband. The BB was written in 1939 and the AA founders weren't even aware that women could be alcoholics at that point in time, so I hope you won't let their naive sexism put you off from reading it. Last survey AA did showed that 35% of AA's present membership are women. If you don't have your own copy of the BB yet, you can read it for free online. I generally use the Serenity Book Club's website because it's in html and their word search engine is a handy feature.

Keep coming back....
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby Star001 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:07 pm

Thank you! I will definitely check that out. Hopefully he comes around and will be open to watching it or more rational discussion.

I do have the book. I read it for the first time 3 years ago, but have just started getting back in to it so I will check those out.

Alanon is not something he is open to. He believes he knows enough about it and I'm the one who needs 'help' not him. Although I've heard from friends that Alanon changed their life so I will keep suggesting it as time goes by.

I appreciate the advice and support!
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:46 pm

It may take a while for him to come on board with this sobriety thing, but he will eventually....hopefully sooner rather than later. Fear of change, even good changes, is part of the human condition. Your husband probably just needs some time and space to feel his feelings, process what's happening and adjust accordingly. If you keep the plug in the jug no matter what, one day at a time, and keep going to meetings while you work on your stuff, eventually you being a sober spouse will become the new "normal" in your marriage. How about your five kids? What do they think of mommy getting sober? My 8 year old was so ecstatic, he went door-to-door telling all the neighbors that his mommy had joined AA and wasn't going to drink anymore..... :roll: :lol:
“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: Husband making demands

Postby Star001 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:54 pm

Thanks! Telling my kids was hard. They knew I drank but I hid pretty well how bad it was because I didn't want anyone to know. My husband is probably the only one who partially understood how much I drank because he saw the bottles, ect. To be honest knowing me half drunk was probably the normal so a lot of people didnt realize. They said they understood that sometimes I was a little different than normal but they really had know idea. The older three (11,10,8) asked if I was going to be ok and I told them I finally will be because I decided to quit drinking. I just explained that this would make me a better mom and a happier person. They gave me hugs and told me they loved me and asked a few questions who h I tried to answer the best I can.
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Re: Husband making demands

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:02 am

I think telling my son was the hardest part for me too. At the time I had no idea how much he knew about my drinking but his reaction to my quitting--ecstatic--seemed to indicate he knew a lot more than I thought he knew.... :lol: He really hated my drinking but he never said anything to me about it. We had some good talks about my faults & flaws as a person and a parent after I got sober. During the time I drank, i had been there for him mentally and as a physical presence so far as taking care of his basic needs--food, shelter, clothes, etc--and I loved him but I had never really been there for him emotionally. All that changed in sobriety, one day at a time, and those changes nourished and enriched our parent/child relationship and allowed me to become a good mother instead of just an authority figure. In a way, without him knowing or understanding anything about it, we kind of "grew up" together.

For me, getting sober, getting through the first few months of alcohol free living without running back to the bottle every time I hit an unexpected bump in the road or got my feelings hurt, was a huge challenge and I could not have done it without the AA fellowship, especially the unconditional love and support I received in my home group. So glad you decided to put the plug in the jug and join us in fellowship. The Road of Happy Destiny seems to require a lot of trudging in the beginning for everyone but the more we learn, grow, and become able to apply AA's principles in all our affairs, one day at a time, the smoother the journey becomes.

Keep coming back.....
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