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How to deal with an alcoholic spouse
October 26, 2008
1:06 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Can we discuss ways to deal with and alcoholic spouse? I have been married 8 years and soon to be divorced due to the crazy behavior and arguments created by alcohol consumption in our household, I deteste her friend who drink with her, all they think about is alcohol and ways to create gatherings to drink. RG

October 26, 2008
1:11 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Can anyone tell me what normal drinking should be, is it normal for a woman of 45 years old to dring every night, is it normal to drink three glasses of wine or more, what is too much, 2,3,4,5,6, any one have any opinions?

October 26, 2008
1:13 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Sorry for the typos, I'll be more careful.

October 26, 2008
1:16 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Go ahead and ask me to describe the symtoms I have observed, I would like to know if I am the creazy one who is just imagining all this, she is very sneaky and admits very little about this problem, I have put the pieces together and come up with the conclusion that she has a massive drinking problem. RG

October 26, 2008
1:41 pm
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It No Longer Matters
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My understanding of alcoholism from having an alcoholic mother is that when you depend on the drink and cannot go without it...there is a problem. I am 40 and drink a glass of wine every night. I do not consider myself an alcoholic. I enjoy the ritual of drinking wine as much as I do the taste. A glass can last me an hour or more. For me it is the opening of the bottle, the pouring, the smell, then the taste. My mother drank Canadian Mist...I cannot abide the smell or taste. As a matter of fact I cannot stand "brown" liquors. Do the two of you have children? If not and you are divorced, then detach yourselff from her sickness. If you have children stay in there and fight for them with your last breath.
By the way...if I don't have wine in the house I substitute the ritual by making a pot of tea.

Bitsy

October 26, 2008
1:58 pm
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atalose
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In my opinion people whose use of alcohol has negative effects on any aspect of their lives, including health, relationships, work or school and money, are considered to have an alcohol problem.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2008
1:58 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I thank you for your answer, she has a son from a previous marriage, I deeply mourn the loss of my spouse, family, home, etc... she drinks more than three glasses of wine a night, sometimes more, I have seen her drink as much as five glasses, I am astonished at her tolerance. RG

October 26, 2008
2:01 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I feel like a failure, I want to keep my family together, she is not in all her senses, I know her for over nine years and I have seen her change over the last year and a half, her drinking has gotten worse. RG

October 26, 2008
2:14 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Shouldn't a man fight for his family, I feel she is so impaired and can not make a good decision, her reasons for divorcing are so weak, it reaks of alcohol or better yet, she just wants to drink and not have anyone object to it or her friends, the day I came between her and the alcohol was the day she ejected me from her life. RG

October 26, 2008
2:15 pm
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atalose
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Remo,

It’s so hard to understand and accept but her consumption of alcohol has nothing to do with you. You are not a failure. This is about her and her only, its sad how it does affect the rest of the family but her drinking in excess is no reflection of you.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2008
2:20 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I am faced with choosing, leting her go and watch her kill herself slowly or traying to help her to recovery, most people say, let her go! RG

October 26, 2008
2:23 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I could deal with her social drinking, I also drank with her, but when I noticed her excess and the friends she kept, I made a stand against it. I now haven't drank but in a few ocasions since we separated in May of this year and have seen a definite improvement in my health, I have a clear mind and can see that she doesn't, she show her impairment very clearly. RG

October 26, 2008
2:25 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I was blown away the other day when she opened up to me and said that she thought one of her friends was an alcoholic, (I have known that for a long time, she just realized that one of her friends is an alcoholic, at least she noticed her behavior, which I consider a huge step for her) RG

October 26, 2008
2:31 pm
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RemoGazzo
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My wife was very succesfull at her work, she had a very high paying job, this gave her inmense confidence, her company closed down last year and she stayed home, at that time she began drinking and watched alot of TV, I continued to work and came home late, 7pm or so, at that time she had already had several glasses of wine, we begun to have alot of fights and I always wandered why, why are we fighting? I asked myself, I didn't realized she would provoke them unintentionally, I have lost my wife over time to alcohol and her fucked up friends who keep her in this vice, I hate this shit! RG

October 26, 2008
2:38 pm
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RemoGazzo
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People talk about letting the alcoholic hit bottom, by the time she hits bottom she may be either dead or close to it, watchung my wife kill herself with alcohol is the most painful experience of my life, my father died three months ago and although the pain of loosing a parent is inmense, I must say that losing my spouse to an addiction such as alcohol is far worse, I llok at our photos and see her happy and connected and now she just walked away, left all our memories behind and started a new life, left our wedding album, her wedding dress, all our portraits, abandoned her financial responsibilities and just walked away, so very sad to see her like that. RG

October 26, 2008
2:42 pm
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atalose
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You can’t force her into recovery, you can’t force her to see something in herself she is not ready to face. I do understand why people are telling you to let her go, because there is nothing you can do to stop her drinking.

It sounds like she lost allot of her self esteem when she lost her job. Often it doesn’t matter if we know why they drink, if they don’t see or realize that alcohol is ruining there lives there is nothing we can do except get out of their way so they can hit rock bottom.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2008
2:43 pm
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RemoGazzo
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definitions of denial

*Pretending something does not exist when in reality it does

*Being willing to admit there is a problem, but unwilling to see the severity of it

*Seeing the problem as being caused by something or someone else. The behavior is not denied, but its cause is someone else's responsibility

*Offering excuses, alibis, justifications, and other explanations for behavior

*Dealing with the problem on a general level; avoiding personal and emotional awareness of the situations or conditions

*Changing the subject to avoid threatening topics

*Becoming angry and irritable when reference is made to the condition. This helps to avoid the issue

October 26, 2008
2:45 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I have attended alot of Al Anon meetings and I did get alot of help there. RG

October 26, 2008
2:50 pm
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atalose
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That’s good al-anon helped many of us. Denial helps them continue to drink, denial is used as a defense in order to continue to drink.

No it’s not easy watching a loved one self destruct with alcohol, it’s heart wrenching because we want so bad to stop this behavior, to stop them from self destructing and we can’t. That’s the hardest part of loving an alcoholic/addict we don’t have any power over someone else and the choices they make good or bad.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2008
3:06 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I appreciate your input, I hope we continue to communicate in this forum. RG

October 26, 2008
3:16 pm
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atalose
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I know for me when my emotions begin to consume me I attend more al-anon meetings, I reach out to my sponsor and I come here. Keep posting and yes, we certainly can continue to communicate on this form.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 26, 2008
3:25 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I would like to hear from recovering alcoholics about how they found sobriety, what caused them to make a change from their destructive behavior? RG

October 26, 2008
3:27 pm
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StronginHim77
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Hmmm...this is a hot topic. I would agree with Atalose's definition of Alcoholism: when it affects your health, relationships, work, school or finances. I would add a "footnote," regarding the impact of drinking on relationships: if the spouse/partner of someone who enjoys drinking on a daily basis objects strenuously/finds this offensive or disturbing, it might not be an indicator that the drinking spouse/partner is an alcoholic. It could be that the non-drinking spouse/partner has issues with alcohol use from their own past or upbringing.

I was married (briefly) to a highly controlling man who drank liberally with me while courting...even at our wedding reception. As soon as vows were exchanged, he developed a highly judgmental, critical attitude toward my evening nightcaps. They had NEVER bothered him before we were wed. Once we married, he, himself, totally stopped drinking and sat there, judgmentally counting every single drink I poured. As a consequence, I would get so angry at his efforts to monitor and control my personal choice to drink that I would deliberately drink MORE, just to tick him off.

We had other issues, as well, but I remember the drinking nonsense. I am not an alcoholic, although I enjoy my "Skinny White Russians" every evening with friends or family before bedtime. I never get drunk. Have never had a hangover. Never get "loaded." I think it is more a "ritual" in my case, than anything else, rather like what Bitsy shared.

However, if your wife is getting loaded, behaving inappropriately and/or dramatically increasing the levels of her alcohol consumption to the point of constant inebriation, I would say she has a problem. You cannot do anything about it. Express your concern (in a loving and nonjudgmental way), then make a decision to either (1) remain with her and keep your mouth shut on the subject, letting her work it out by herself; or (2) leave and find a partner/spouse who does NOT drink. Many, many people never drink at all. Perhaps you would be better suited to an abstainer?

Hope things work out for your. Do continue going to Al-Anon. That will help you to remain neutral, rather than trying to "fix" her or make her "see the errors of her ways," etc. That would be the wrong tack to take.

I am, however, very sorry to see your marriage falling apart and hope it can be mended.

- Ma Strong

October 26, 2008
3:36 pm
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RemoGazzo
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Thank you for your input, I used to drink a beer or two with her after I came home from work, I never knew how much she had before I came home, she would always say, I'll have another glass of wine if you have another beer, somehow I found it OK to have that next beer, I was in the game, she played me very well. I have no alcoholics in my family, her mother drinks nightly, my wife would complaint when she called and would slur her speech, her grand father on her mother's side was an alcoholic and so are her two uncles on her mother's side. my wife drinks over three glasses of wine every night or more, I have become against alcohol because if I am for it she doesn't stand a chance to ever recover. Am I wrong to feel this way? RG

October 26, 2008
3:44 pm
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RemoGazzo
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I became really alarmed when she told me that she can't fall asleep at night, so she takes a shot of Nyquil to knock herself out, I saw her once and just about fell on my ass, she collapsed in fron of me after coming home from drinking with her friends and taking Nyquil, she has no family down here, just alcoholic friends and other social drinkers who see nothing wrong with her drinking, she is always the center of attention and the life of the party, everybody loves her and love to be around her, I am sure her ego loves that too, buy I am affraid her son will pay the price, he is 13 and his father denies her problem and admits he drinks a bottle of wine a night as well, the kid doesn't stand a chance between his parents. I am not a prude, I can have a drink anytime and can stop at one, I guess I don't have that addictive personality as she does. (I welcome your views) RG

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