New to the site and needing some advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
New to the site and needing some advice
36
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 3:03pm
Hi, my name is Lori and I am new to the site. I don't know where or how to begin but I am desperate for advice from women who have either gone before me or are there now. My husband of almost 25 years is an alcoholic. He has never missed a day of work in his life, he is a good father (aside from setting a terrible example with his drinking) and provider and has never abused me physically. We argue over his drinking and he becomes defensive but I don't know if I would consider it abuse... more hurtful than anything. I'm sure many women out there would love to be in my shoes and as I type this I think to myself "gee is it really that bad"? And then I think of how much I hate to look at him at the end of the night with his glassy eyes, mumbling and wreaking of beer. He totally denies that there is any problem yet he will cycle in his drinking... slowing down how much he drinks for a month or more, drinking only once a week... and as time passes it becomes more frequent until it ultimately is everyday (always only after work) and he is so disgustingly hammered that I can't be in the same room with him. And so this pattern goes...When he isn't drinking he is the man that I love with my whole heart. We have tried talking about his drinking and how much it bothers me (to the point that I have threatened leaving) and he denies that there is a problem and if there is that it's mine. I have one grown son and a daughter entering college and they too see the effects of his drinking, so I'm not some overly anal wife who just likes to complain. Being that my kids are older and are not around as they were growing up, it is just my husband and I most of the time. It is so hard to say it... I love him so much when he isn't drinking, when he is sober he is everything that I want for the rest of my life. But when he drinks, which is everyday, at the end of the night I just want to run away and the hate I feel for him is so intense. I don't know how you can feel that way about the same person. This has been an ongoing problem in my marriage for at least the last 20 years but my children have been the sweet distraction that I have needed to keep this marriage together. Now with it being just the two of us I am beside myself with what the hell it is that I am doing. It is taking it's toal me and I just feel so alone in it. I try not to share with friends and family the way I feel as it's pretty embarrassing and shameful to have an alcoholic husband when all the world sees is this great guy. Ugh, I just don't know. I was to weirded out to go to al-anon because I don't know what to expect or who I will see as I live in a small community and everyone knows everyone else's business. So... here I am. Looking for advice maybe from someone who has been there. Maybe I'm just looking for a way to not feel so alone in this. So if anyone can help... I am listening...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 5:02pm

Hi


Welcome! I am Beth, one of the cls here. I am a recovering alcoholic, but I can say with all honesty that you are not alone. This board is full of people who understand that and are or have been where you are.


I strongly urge you to 1) post as often as you want to or can; and 2) get some face to face help. There are a lot of options for that. Clergy people can be a source of help, there are therapists that specialize in families and alcoholism. There is also AlAnon. Okay, so I am partial to the latter because it is full of people who know what it feels like to be the spouse of the louse, so to speak.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 6:25pm
Welcome Lori. First of all, you are definitely not alone. If you have time to read through some of the posts over the last few weeks, you will see that many women who post here are in the same situation.
I do suggest Al-Anon - for you - not him. I grew up in an alcoholic home, so I also know what it is like. I am a strong believer in 12-step programs, and you will find unconditional love and support. You may want to seek counseling or talk to a pastor. Whatever it takes, this is YOUR time to take care of you!
Keep coming back!
Leslie
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 9:37pm

Thanks Beth. I have looked up the day and times of Al-anon meetings in my area on line. I have them written down. Now all I have to do is work up the courage to go and admit that my family isn't quite as perfect as it seems.

Thanks for your support,
Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 9:47pm

Thanks Leslie. Knowing that I'm not alone does make a difference. This has been a closeted problem for a lot of years, obviously one that I am not proud of. I will take into consideration your suggestions and I have a note on my desk with Al-anon meeting times and days in my area. It's just taking that step, publicly admitting that my family isn't quite as perfect as it seems.

Thanks for your support,
Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2001
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 9:59pm

HI Lori,

This is Paul. Thirty-nine and a half years sober and in recovery. At first your post scared me because I have a daughter Lauren who goes by Lori and though her husband drinks I don't know if it is in excess, although he has gained too much weight. But my Lori has four kids. All that I can say Lori, is Alanaon. A support group for spouses with alcoholic mates. I'm sure the good ladies here have told you the same thing. Sometimes county mental health departments have some services, also. Both resources can be found in your phone book, I'm sure. As for your husband there is nothing in the world like AA. I am living proof of that. Good fortune to you, Lori. I hope you both find some help and peace. Stay with us. The folks here are caring and interested. Thanks for sharing.

Stay safe,
Pray for peace,
Service in recovery,

Paul

Castaway


A Friend in Recovery


Paul

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 10:56pm

Paul, thank you for your support and its wonderful to know that AA can truly work, my hats off to you for a battle fought well. My husband hasn't recognized that he has a problem yet... which is the problem. Everyone seems very confident that Al-anon would be a beneficial place for me to start for myself, and I have made strides in getting meeting days and times in my area... but I am having trouble crossing that line... making my private problem public. I will work on that one. But thank you and the others who have come to my aid... I am grateful.

Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 11:07pm

Hi Lori,


Welcome to the board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
Thu, 08-30-2007 - 11:21pm

Thank you Brenda. With such a great out pouring of encouragement how can I miss? :) I have until next Wednesday to get my courage up.

Thank you,
Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2007
Fri, 08-31-2007 - 7:44am

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Lori-

That sounds like exactly what I said at the meeting I attended last night. At the first two meetings I didn't say a word. But last night a lot of the people were sharing around the theme of "shame." I could relate to that so much! My husband and I present the picture of the perfect family - loving marriage, nice home, beautiful children. I have had a really hard time admitting to anyone but my closest friends that there is a problem here.

I always hesitated about going to Al-Anon because I had this stupid idea that it would be a room full of bruised women, living on skid row with a violent drunken spouse. I thought they would sneer at me, whose life looks pretty rosy. Well, I was just making excuses because deep down I knew I would find women just like me. And I have. And, strange as it may sound, it is actually a huge relief to finally "admit that my family isn't quite as perfect as it seems."

Good luck to you!

-Sarah

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2007
Fri, 08-31-2007 - 9:40am

Sarah -

So my reservations about going to Al-anon aren't just this ridiculous thought in my head? It sounds like you are relatively new to the whole Al-anon thing too? I have never been a person who really cared what others have thought about me, but this has opened up a whole new side to me. My husband has his own business and he is very good at what he does and I don't want anyone to parallel his drinking with his work. He would never drink on the job and takes pride in what he does and he does it well. He isn't this horrible person. It's funny how I find myself defending him... well I guess there is a difference between defending him and defending his behavior. His behavior has no defense. And where Al-anon is concerned I keep hearing about the 12 step program... I thought that was for AA members. Does that apply in Al-anon too?

Again I can't thank you and the others enough for taking the time to come along side me... a stranger and help with information and encouragement...I have been alone on this one for a long time and it is so cathartic to just say what is on my mind and have someone who REALLY understands, not just a "yeah, wow, I don't know what to say".

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lori

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