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should I get out?
March 22, 2006
2:15 pm
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This is a question for all of you who are married to someone who suffers from addiction. My fiance is an alcoholic. It's been better lately but we've been through 2 1/2 years of as-bad-as-it-gets. I guess I've become co-dependent(?), but we communicate very well and I didn't grow up in an alcoholic household. I really think it was just love that brought us together.

Anyway, I get really scared sometimes that I'm setting myself and my future children up for a difficult life. I guess I just want some feedback. If you had it to do over again, would you marry an alcoholic? Thanks so much!

March 22, 2006
2:23 pm
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jewel
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This is kind of a tough one. I am an alcoholic in recovery. I haven't had a drink for 2 weeks now which is great for me. I consider myself a great person and never hurt anyone really while drinking except myself. Looking back though, I was the same person but different if that makes any sense to you. I handled things differently, looked at life differently, and my mannerisms were nothing like they are today. Is your fiance want to get help? Not for you, but for himself. I feel that you have to really want sobriety for yourself. Not b/c someone wants you to quit. Me personally, I wouldn't be with an alcoholic unless he proved to me that he could quit and stay sober. I grew up with an alcoholic mom and my dad also drank and I will just say that things were not always pretty. Alcoholics can be unpredictable and you never know when they may fall off the wagon. However, alcoholics can be the greatest people and drinkng may just be one of their downfalls. Have you ever sat your fiance down and talked to him about this? Marriage is a huge step in your life. My mother always told me if you ever have a doubt, don't marry the guy. Go with what you feel inside. Good luck to you sweetie.

Jewel

March 22, 2006
2:25 pm
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jewel
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That's also great that you are looking into your future with him and not just living in the moment. I think a lot of people make the mistake of not doing this.

Jewel

March 22, 2006
2:26 pm
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kc30
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My ex is an alcoholic and no I wouldn't do it again.

I wouldn't change it because I have my beautiful children, but I wouldn't marry anyone with an addiction again. I wouldn't do it to me and I definitely wouldn't do it to my children.

That's just me 🙂

kc

March 22, 2006
2:31 pm
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To answer your question, yes he does want to be sober. He checked himself into a rehab center about 6 months ago and has been sober ever since. But he sometimes struggles with it, and has some pretty drastic personality changes when he's struggling.

And you're right. He is a wonderful person. The most kind-hearted person I've ever known...when he's not drinking. When he is drinking he can be very selfish. I wish I could see into the future. If he stays sober, I would be making a huge mistake by leaving. If he has a lifetime of off-and-on drinking, I think I would be better off.

March 22, 2006
2:32 pm
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nvr2late
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no, kc...that is ME too..
I would not do it to myself or my kids again!

my stbx is an alchoholic and who knows what else...
you do not just 'get used to it'

and your future kids should not know that as a life.

really think about what you are doing.

nvr

March 22, 2006
2:44 pm
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kc30
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my ex went from being a kind, spiritual and sweet man to a lying, cheating selfish bastard. It's been 2 years now with no sign of the wonderful man I married....do I stay around and wait to see if the good guy comes back?

He's been dry for most of the past two years, but dry doesn't mean recovering. I've never met anyone more devious or more selfish in my entire life. He's a stranger to all who ever knew him. I've never expereienced anything like it. It still gives me the creeps- how someone you love can become a stranger you detest.

I thought I knew what I was doing...marrying an alcoholic. I didn't have a clue, and now I'm stuck with this Jekyl/Hyde forever because of our children. At least he's been there for them...so far. I can only pray it continues for their sake.

That's just my experience.

kc

March 22, 2006
2:46 pm
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kc30
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ps- I decided not to wait and see if Mr Wonderful resurfaced because the lying jackass is always lurking- my divorce will be final within the month. Hardest decision I've ever made....

March 22, 2006
2:49 pm
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Even the thought of walking away from him is almost more than I can handle. I love him. How do I do it?

March 22, 2006
2:49 pm
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thumkin
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If you find the right answer to this question let me know. I love my b/f very much. He is an active alcoholic. There are times he is very drunk and becomes self-centered. He does not become violent, he does not lie (which is what amazes me most about him) but I was married to an alcoholic/drug addict when I was younger. I keep kicking myself for putting myself in this predicament, because I should have known better. But although he is so different than my ex I keep waiting for a sign. Waiting for the lies to begin, etc.etc. I guess I will just keep on waiting and keep things as they are until my children are grown and it is only myself I have to worry about.

March 22, 2006
2:51 pm
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kc,

where did you find the strength? I don't feel strong enough.

March 22, 2006
3:00 pm
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taj64
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I have 2 kids by my alcoholic husband. If it were not for them I would have gotten out of the relationship way before that. Once the kids came along it may it almost impossible to leave the unhealthy relationship. Because of staying too long in it, I believe that all my relationships after that were also unhealthy. I still do not know if I ever will be in one but I am for first time in my life trying to build a relationship with just me. I am making progress though slow. First and foremost above everything including children and a man, you should always love yourself first. A kind and good man cannot really give you what you need if he has a drinking problem for drinking always comes first. You're setting yourself up for a difficult life ahead if he continues to drink. I pray you do have strength. And you will have it no matter the outcome. Allow yourself the time to discover yourself and less on the relationship. I wish I had done that back then. All my worries were about him. I doubt he worried about me as much.

March 22, 2006
3:17 pm
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needhim
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You say he has been sober for 6 months. Has he been in a program? My friend is married to a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober now for something like 13 years and he is wonderful! I have been married to 2 alcoholic/drug addicts and it has been he**. Would I do it again? Definately not. My 1st husband and I have 2 beautiful children but I fear the legacy that he and I have built for them. With his drinking and drugging and my marrying another drug addict. I am completely ashamed of my life and look at the role models my children have and just want to puke. I want my children to be well adjusted, good people and they don't have the tools. All they have seen is yelling, fighting, drugs...
If you really love him I would take a few years before I did the marriage thing. See how it goes, see how he does with his sobriety because you definately do not want to bring children in to a world of dysfunction.

March 22, 2006
3:17 pm
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thedogsmom
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Hi not married yet,

You say you have had 2 1/2years of "as bad as it gets". Wouldn't or couldn't it get worse...if you marry and have all these high hopes about his newfound sobriety and then find out he can't stop drinking. It's not easy to quit an addiction. He might have all the desire but then when things get rough in his life...sneak a drink..he may hide it from you cause he promised you he wouldn't drink anymore and he won't want to dissapoint you or make you angry or cause friction that may make you leave him. So, then come the lies to hide his drinking which he can't tell you about because he is ashamed and wants to quit but can't.

Do you have to make the decision to marry now? What does marriage mean to you? Does it mean that you will LOVE and stand by his side NO MATTER
what. Do you believe in divorce? When do you feel divorce is appropriate? Would you feel okay to divorce if he continues to drink even though some believe alcoholism is a 'disease'. Or would you feel that you need to try harder to make the marriage work even when your needs aren't being met.

What is this guy like when he drinks. Is he verbally or physically abusive? Does he treat you with respect even while he is drunk? Does he embarras you when he is drinking? Does your family like him and know of his problem? Has he lost work, money, his house or job due to his drinking? He could..He could lose his job and would you be able or willing to support him a 2nd or 3rd time while he goes through drug rehab...AGAIN...
addicts are KNOWN to have relapses..
Drug rehabilitation is expensive. If you are married will it end up costing you your house or savings and he can't stay sober?

I always told myself I would NEVER marry an addict or alcoholic because I know that once they become "addicted" it may even be out of their control to stop..and I know that I can't make them stop just by wishing and hoping and dreaming and just WANTING them to stop...so I know that for me that would be one good reason to divorce.

I would not marry him now after only 6 months of sobriety. Is there a hurry to get married now for any reason. Do you already live with him?

You need to be thinking about whether you really want to even continue this relationship with a known alcoholic Before making any big decision about marriage.

Now how you find the strength to get out? that, my dear...is my ONLY problem.. smile..

March 22, 2006
3:31 pm
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Hi thedogsmom. Thanks for the insight.

When he drinks he disappears. He won't be around me because he's so ashamed of himself...from the second he takes the first sip. We've talked in-depth about it. He's not the least bit abusive...physically or otherwise. He just withdraws after he drinks because he's ashamed.

He's the type that can't stop until he blacks out and then passes out. So he would usually wake up somewhere with no idea how he got there. He has wrecked cars, passed out while driving, gotten arrested for public intoxication, etc. He has lost one job, but he has an amazing ability to make money wherever he goes!! (in sales) He's (stereotypically) very charismatic and likable. And making money was something he had to learn to do early, out of necessity, because he spends $300-400 a night when he drinks.

So the times that he drank were few and far-between...because everytime he did it was like a bomb went off in our lives. But after a few days, everything was back to normal...except that he would hang his head pretty low for a while. He finally wanted to stop the cycle and that's when he got help.

March 22, 2006
3:32 pm
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hi, I am an adult child of an alcoholic, and if my parents had not have split then my sis and I would be in a so much worse position, so it was good that my parents divorced. My dad stayed close though and is still close and recovered.

On the other hand, if you both can work at this together, get in a spiritual 12 step program through a church? then your marriage could also be a powerful way to help others in the future if you make it through. One thing I did not learn from my parents, is commitment. And it would have helped me growing up to see my mom help my dad a little bit more. I just remember her hating him, and turning us against him.

So in light of all of what I have shared, there are good and bad aspects to it all. And I suppose it depends on your tolerance level, what you both want from and for each other, and your life together.

March 22, 2006
6:58 pm
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Hi, I just returned from an Al-Anon meeting and saw your post and want to respond. I have no advice just sharing of experience, strength, and hope. I love my alcoholic husband. I have been married almost 5 years. Would I do it again? Yes! I found the Al-Anon program 4 years ago and it has helped me work on me. I am not perfect nor is any other human being. With love comes acceptance of the things you can change. Alcoholism is a family disease. All friends and family can be affected. Congratulations to your fiance in his newly found sobriety. Patience, tolerance, and love will help you learn to take care of yourself. There is no cure for alcoholism. Only abstinence helps. Is he is AA? Are you in Al-Anon? Maybe you could check out the program and see for yourself that their are tools to help you live with an alcoholic. No one has the right to advise anyone what to do. I trust that you will find your answers. Only you know if your relationship is worth committing in marriage. Best of Luck!

March 22, 2006
7:33 pm
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I married an alcoholic who would never - and still doesn't - admit that he is an alcoholic. We were married for 17 years, and have two wonderful kids.

Would I do it again....no. Would I bring children into this world with an alcoholic...no.

Think very hard about this. If the two of you can get into a program and get him sober for good, then you may have some kind of chance at a happy marriage. But if he is going to be on again, off again...marriage will only make it more difficult. The responsibilities of marriage - let alone having children - will intensify the situation you describe as "as bad as it gets". Get him into rehab and counseling, and do it before you make any decisions.

Be well.

March 22, 2006
9:19 pm
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gofigure
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Maybe part of the question to yourself should be "how much am I compromising myself for this man and this relationship?" It may be fine for a while, then fine enough for a while, then o.k. for a while and on down the line until it slowly comes to you what you have done to yourself, what you have allowed to be done to you, and what your children are learning in the process.

I have been married for almost 12 years and separated (in a fuzzy clouded sort of way) for 3 weeks.

Would I do it again?? Not now, not from here. I would rather be shredded into a million pieces than not have my daughters, but despite that (and in some ways because of that and what they have witnessed and seen as normal), despite how in love I was, how blessed I felt at our love, even with all that it's not worth what I did to myself.

March 23, 2006
8:08 pm
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March 24, 2006
3:57 pm
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thedogsmom
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not married yet,

He sounds like a really nice guy. Like my guy, smart, charming charismatic, liked by ALL. Truly a GOOD person and somebody worth saving. Somebody worth fighting for and making sacrifices for. But like
go figure pointed out "are you willing to make these sacrifices and comprimises and endure the heartache that may come along with loving an addict.? Even a former addict. I too congratulate him that he has been 6 months sober! Thats awesome and a good sign that he really is doing it for himself. Al-anon says alcoholics are never really cured and must never drink or do any form of drugs again that they are always addicts but some are in recovery. kind of like a horrible virus..just lurking there and could come back..in times of hardship.
As you see here, even those that have their happy endings with addicts who have remained sober for some time are speaking of the hardship and pain that comes along with loving an addict and also how it affects everyone involved.

You said yourself that his personality does change and he becomes selfish when he drinks. I know he has the potential to make great money and a good living for you and your family, however you said yourself that he already lost a job, wrecked cars (if he can't stop drinking, if he CAN't stop or starts again-would you trust him with your children?), gotten arrested... the expense of these things. taking time off from work-again for court dates..
suspensions from work.. cost of high insurance rates, new cars, dui's, not to mention the liability of hurting somebody else with drunk driving....
It is a family disease. You already know the pain of loving an addict it sounds like you have been through so much with him already and that you want the strength to get out of the relationship because it is a gamble you are not sure you could or would want to handle . You DO lose a great guy IF he is able to stay sober..BUT ..there is a big IF here.. and a big question here? The IF he stops you have NO control over. you cannot foresee the future.
so that means it WILL be a gamble that you decide to go into because of your love for the man behind the addiction. Are you a terrible co-dependent that would never leave because now you are married and have MORE time and money and children invested in the picture??
Anytime we give our hearts to another it is a 'gamble'.
Could you handle it IF the answer were that he just can't stop?
We can give advice as you have asked for our opinions but we cannot make that decision for you. Whatever you decide think of 'yourself' and 'your' future FIRST and FOREMOST because you have to live with YOU and YOUR actions and decisions.
Don't stay in the relationship FOR him or out of guilt or sorrow or even love. Love does NOT help addicts quit. and that's what you really want need here. Isn't it?
GOOD LUCK Whatever you decide.

March 25, 2006
7:37 am
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kc30
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not married

I have heard wonderful stories about couples who both work a program and find their forever "pink" cloud of recovery...never a relapse to be had.

I had hoped that my stbx and I would be among their numbers, but unfortunately, that wasnt' to be. He is also a binge drinker, although not as severe as your guy- not yet anyways. It's not even the actual drinking....it's the way he's changed since he relapsed (he was in AA and actively recovering when I met) It's like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde- it's really, really creepy to me. I often wonder if there's even more to it...mental illness or a personality disorder...I dont' know. All I know is he's terribly selfish and steeped in denial and deception....he's a toxin in my life- this the only man I have ever loved- the most wonderful man I ever knew- now a poison to me.

Even still, I have pangs of guilt about divorcing him...I understand that he is sick, but I can't "save" him...he needs to want to save himself, and I can't raise children with him the way he is now-- mood swings, grouchy, nasty, spiteful, lying, cheating, financial ruin...I don't know if he's still drinking, but I know he's not recovering. He may hit a meeting once a week, but nothing is changing...nothign has changed in 2 years. How long does one wait?

I didn't want this...it took a long time for me to get here...but I'm glad I did. I can't live my life waiting on another person...and even if he got well...I've seen how bad it was this time. Another relapse could be even worse...I just can't take the risk...if it were just me, I don't know. But we have 3 very small children, and I will not raise them in the midst of this dysfunction. At least I can do it right on my end, and the sickness won't actually live under our 4 walls.

It's a hard choice to make. My priest asked me if I knew what I was getting into, marrying an alcoholic. I smiled, oh so sure of myself, and said "Oh yes Father, I know!" HA! I didn't have a CLUE!

Good luck- every situation is different. My humble suggestion would be to immerse yourself in it...Al Anon, Coda, open AA meetings. Talk to people, understand the disease and understand the risk...then you can make an informed decision.

peace

kc

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