Where to start

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Where to start
6
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 4:59pm

Good afternoon ladies.  I have lurked on these boards for several years now, but never been brave enough to post, or it hasn't gotten bad enough for me to post, I'm just not sure.  But I'm here now with a few questions. 

A quick background, DH and I have been married for 7 1/2 years, we each have a child from before and we have two together.  My ODD lives with us, and is off to college next year.  His ODS lives with his ex and we see him a few times a year, and we have  3 1/2 and 5 1/2 year old girls together.  He had a drinking problem before we were married, but dating mostly long distance, I didn't see it as clearly as I should have.  I saw signs of it, but I suppose I mostly ignored them.  It wasn't too bad when we were first married, he has always been a binge drinker and in the early years I could handle it mostly.  He deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007, was there for 14 months, and since then it has slowly, or not so slowly spiraled out of control.  He still binges, but its more frequent.  He's been to jail for various infractions at least 7 times since we've been married, and twice in the last 2 weeks, 3 times in the last 6 months.  The first 2 were for drug possession, which I had no idea he had gotten into, and the last one this weekend, after a long week of us fighting last week, a DUI.  Every time he has been in trouble previous he has gotten out of with not much more than a slap on the wrist, but this one, I would like to say I think he has finally hit bottom, but I know that that is too much to hope for.  But I know he has come to realize that he just threw away most of the plans we had made for the next 6 months, which included a new job he was going to be taking specifically for the insurance so that i could finally leave my full time job (with the benefits) to work from home to be home with the kids more.  He currently owns his own business and its doing relatively well, but without insurance benefits it was getting much harder, and with this latest arrest, he will lose his business license a year from now when it is up for renewal, if they don't yank it before then. 

My biggest question right this moment, and I am sure I will have more later, is that this time he is so dejected at the moment, talking about how he knows how badly this time is, how once his driver's license is officially suspended in two weeks all he'll be able to do is sit home and play video games and nothing else, and that he knows he just needs to take his punishment, do his jail time and that's it.  And yes, I agree with most of that, I don't agree that all he can do is just sit around the house and play video games.  He still has a company to run, he has an employee that is still in an apprenticeship role that is more than willing to stick with him, he can have him, and has in the past, had him drive him to jobs and still work, we still have three kids to be parents to.  How long do I let him sulk and work through this?  Because frankly, wrong or right, I am pissed and frustrated, all my dreams have gone down the toilet too, but I am not about to sit around feeling sorry for myself, or for him for that matter, and let "us be poor" and my kids suffer because he hasn't grown up yet.  At what point, or is there a point, where I can just tell him to suck it up, deal with it, and get back out there doing the job you can do while you can do it??

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Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Sat, 01-12-2013 - 10:12am

Good for you, taking care of your wellbeing! That is EXACTLY where you need to focus. He is responsible for his recovery...you are responsible for yours. Yep, you have to recover from what he has done. We alcoholics just spew damage everywhere when we drink. 

What can we do to help you?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
In reply to: arryl
Tue, 01-08-2013 - 9:58am

We are doing okay.  DH took a 3 week "vacation" and went to stay with his dad and stepmom on their farm in Michigan over the holidays.  We went up and met him for a week of it to spend time with my family also.  He came back this weekend and is starting to ease back into "normal" life and work again.  He had one counseling appointment at the VA before he left and they were going to start the paperwork for a referral to a treatment program.  he has his next appointment on the 17th as well as a court date on Friday for his latest arrest.  Overall its been an emotional up and down for me, he seems to be coping better, but he also frequently will go for long periods without drinking.  But he at least seems to be making some better choices, making a conscious choice to be home as soon as his last service call is over so he isn't out any later than need be, trying to help out more around the house and do more with the kids.  He's done this all in the past at times, so I am still hesitant to take it as a real sign of progress yet.  I'm trying to concentrate more on my well being as the stress has taken a huge toll on me both physically and mentally.

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Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
In reply to: arryl
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 6:22pm

How are you doing?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-08-2002
In reply to: arryl
Sat, 12-15-2012 - 8:13pm
It makes absolute sense to me. I also want to encourage you to stick with alanon, no matter how well you think he is doing. We alcoholics can fall at any time, unless and until we do the work to not drink...so please remember, the best you can do for your family...this includes him as well as you and the kids...is to be completely proactive in creating a life that can run with or without him. No matter what. He can join in the family and live, love and be happy, or he can continue on his misery road. His choice. Your choice is to be a good mother and find your own happiness in this world. Alanon will help you to make those good choices that the loved ones of alcoholics find hard to do....and that goes back to your desire to see your loved one healthy and happy...not eaten up by alcohol and dying. Remember, that is the choice of the alcoholic...and no matter how much you want to see him better, he is the one that has to do the work. You did not cause it. You can not control it. You can not cure it. You can be a good mom and provide a home for your kids....and you can either work together toward that...or you can do it alone...again, that is his choice...your choice is to love the person while distancing yourself from the disease. This is for your sake as well as the sake of your children. You are not alone...for every alcoholic, there are at least 10 folks whose life he impacted...negatively. This does not say that it stays that way, but that is his call, not yours. Keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing. God bless....
Alcohol, Addictions & Recovery. It's a long way down, but only 12 steps UP
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
In reply to: arryl
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 2:25pm

Thanks.  I have been to alanon meetings in the past, specifically just before he came home from Iraq because I knew that time may be especially hard, I wasn't real comfortable at the meetings at the time, but I guess in some sense I was extremely embarrassed.  I do plan on starting to go again, but its been hard schedule wise since I work full time and am on my own with the kids most evenings.  I hoping to start back going to meetings near my current office on lunches, but until the first of the year, I only have 30 minute lunch breaks because of scheduling.

He has finally admitted he has a problem.  This is the first time in all the years he has admitted it, and not blamed someone or something else.  He has called the VA to set up counseling appointments through them.  He was diagnosed a few years ago with PTSD, but refused to do counseling at that time.  He has perked up a bit since Monday, he at least is putting forth effort to get things done for the business and help a bit more with the kids around the house, so that makes me feel a bit better.  But I know this one has hit him hard, and I know that that's what needs to happen in my head, I knew he needed to hit rock bottom himself and acknowledge that he had a problem and wanted to get help, but it just hurts to see him like he is, if that makes any sense at all. 

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-08-2002
In reply to: arryl
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 2:14pm

Hi Tracy... Glad to see you here.   I am sorry things are going bad for your family.  May I ask if your husband will admit to having a problem?  If so, see if he would be interested in going to an AA meeting.  That is what he might do, but for you, may I suggest an Alanon meeting?  At least 6 meetings so you might see the benefit for you.  It won't stop your husband from doing anything he wants to do, but it will help you maintain your emotional balance while you sort out what you want to do.  Please come here as well.  Let us know how you are doing... God bless......

Alcohol, Addictions & Recovery. It's a long way down, but only 12 steps UP