If you live with an alcoholic and you don't drink, how do you treat them if you want them to quit drinking?
I wouldn't know personally but my aunt was married to a severe alcoholic, after thirty years of marriage she had enought and left him. I guess it opened his eyes, and he started going to AA and about two years later that got back together.
He is still sober some 10 years later.
ive lived with an addict for a long time. The only thing you can do to get them to quit is to make boundries and stick to them. For instance, you never buy them alchohol, and if they leave to go get some, you lock them out. If they call the police, you explain to the officer that they are an alchoholic, and your merely trying to help them. The addicts that dont try to get help when you ask, will refuse until you leave them no option.
You can also call the division of adult family services. They will be assigned a councellor, and if there are kids in the house, the councellor will suggest rehab, and not allow the adult to occupy the residence if they refuse to seek help.
You can drive them to an AA meeting and refuse to move the car unless they sit through the meeting.
They wont quit until they decide they cant live like there living any longer, so the only thing you can do is control your own world, and how involved they are in it. This works much better if your name is on the mortgage or lease.
They will fight you on everything, but dont take it to heart, because obviously if they do end up getting sober, they will see that you were doing everything out of love.
My boyfriend is in a rehab right now, and living with an addict is something i have alot of experience on. They lie, manipulate, sneak,,,god the list goes on, does it not?
hang in there, you cant expecrt anything to change if you dont change yourself, right? So start changing what you are willing to deal with, and what reinforcements you are willing to make according to your new found expectations.
Im telling you, you cant change someone else, we can all only change ourselves, so make some changes for you, and if they cant deal with it, just remind them that you arent willing to spend your life dealing with their problem.
Great advice the pink umbrella. You are so right. The alcoholic or addict will not quit until they are good and ready and maybe not at all for some, unfortunately. I can relate to this because of my alcoholism for so many years. My family put up with me and begged me to quit and I would say ya ya I will, but never did. I may have stopped for a week or so until everything calmed down and then right back at it again. Looking back at those days now makes me sick! It feels so great to be sober again. My life is the best in a long time and my wife is so happy. Kind of like being reborn again I think. As they say alcoholics and addicts are not failures if they are trying to get sober. They are only failures when they quit trying.
Thats what ive told spencer over and over again. We would wake up in the morning, and he would apologise for the day before, and i would say "that was yesterday...and so far, your doing good today"
I always tried to make him feel like a whole day sober was worth the effort. Every day is new. But addicts dont feel that way. He kinda always felt like he was drowning in his addiction.
I feel so bad when he feels like there is no hope. Thats why im glad hes in rehab. he wrote me a letter, an actual letter! Which is so unlike him. He sounded like his old self, funny!
Awesome! Thats great that spencer is coming around again with writing to you. The spouse I think should never give up on the alcoholic Unless there is danger or physical violance to the spouse. My wife hung in there because I think she knew that sooner or later I would see the light on my own and quit that horrible addiction. Keep the faith and everything will work out. Beings he is willing to go to rehab is great which tells me he truly cares and loves you and wants his old life back being sober. All positive. As everyday goes bye for me life jsut gets easier and believe or not for someone like me that drank every single day for years the urge and craving just vanished as if I never drank at all. I know that's hard to believe but true. I wrote about it in one of my hubs a live changing whisper.
TCL, You and I normally agree, but I strongly disagree with your last statement.
"Addicts/alcoholics are not failures if they get sober. They are only failures if they stop trying."
In AA you are never seen as a failure. You are welcomed back if you relapse once of 25 times.
The only requirement is a DESIRE to stop drinking.
I guess I just have a problem with value judgment words like failure.
It's akin to saying the alcoholic is bad or weak...
The issue here is that many people who are living with an alcoholic spouse or partner, tend to make it their problem in the process of coping with an alcoholic spouse or partner. The key is to keep your sanity intact. You need to remember at all points of time, that the alcoholism is THEIR problem and NOT yours. Do not get emotional about the situation. You need to keep your composure and calm. Treat them the way you normally would have. Do not pamper them, but refrain from nagging them either.
By the grace of God I don't have to do that
This is my first time posting on something like this. On June 30th of last year my wife and sister suggested I seek help for alcoholism, I did with their help. I spent 72 days at a detox/rehab facility. Upon returning home, I told my wife that if she chose to continue drinking, that that was her choice. I was just glad to have a place to return to and didn't want to make any waves. She did in fact continue to drink heavily. I did not. Now come to May of this year, she sets me up and files a phony story of beig afraid of me. One afternoon as my wife and I sat on our beautiful porch, here comes the deputy, gives me ten minutes to pack a bag and I am gone!! I'm 56 and have never ever experienced anything like that. Oh My God! And thank God.....I continue to be sober. On numerous occasions after I returned from treatment, she would then tell me....Oh, drinking wasn't your problem. WHAT?? Anyway, my life continues to be in total chaos, and sad to say, I still "think" I love her even though she has been so very incredibly mean to me. I was unemployed, my mom was dead within two weeks, and my main family support, (sister & brother in law moved to North Carolina. So maybe, just maybe.......had she quit drinking, we may have managed to continue with what she has refered to as her 'most perfect love.' Still don't know how to act....
Well, seems to me as though she manipulated your past drinking to her advantage. That sux. How could she do that to her most perfect love? Easy, because your a person in her life that she thinks she always has an "in" with. Bu this i mean, in 3 months when she needs someone, she knows youll come running if she calls, because you love her. It why we are able to dissapoint the ones closest to us, becuase they more than not love us too much to say no to us, no matter what weve done to them. if shes still drinking, shes the one that needs help now. And itrs not right of her to continue to drink around you. Its hard enough to deal with the pressure of being around people drinking occasionally, but to have to deal with it in your own home? Im not an alchoholic, but i can tell you this, i havnt so much as had a wine cooler since spencer has been gone, and wouldnt dare have a drink in front of him. He is more important to me than that. Because he will be comming home to me, I consider us both living sober. Thats how much i love him. Like i said, i didnt even fill the percocet perscription after i had the baby. Because to me, if hes an addict trying to live sober, and he has to struggle with it everyday for a long time, then it should be easy for me, right? Your lady manipulated your situation for her own benefit. Thats down right evil of her. How can she do that knowing it could have sent you right off the wagon. Selfish.....selfish.
Thanks so much for responding Pink Umbrella. Not to whine but, with all that's happened in the past three months, I feel like I'm actually talking about something that is a big deal to me and finally hearing a like-minded person. It's pretty crazy out there! Some have said that "she lost her drinkin' buddy." Probably true.....but why be so unbelievably mean to me? It's funny, when I first came home from rehab she said she had hardly drank at all. She claimed only a handful of times in the app. two months. Soon thereafter, she referred to the roughly 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm time when I went to AA meeting as her "Happy Hour." I don't know....I just know I'm sober and not having any problem staying that way. And yes I know that my (potential) next drink is only 36" away! Arm's length away.
Compliments to you for all you are doing for your man....as well as doing for yourself. And no doubt, if I had the percocets, they would be gone. However, if there were no refills, I would need no more. But I would have damn sure done what was there. Thanks again, Larry
I treated my wife with total respect. I did not push anything. Once in awhile I would suggest that she go to an AA meeting with me, if only to see and meet some of the regulars that I would occasionally talk about. She never chose to go with me. Somehow she managed not to go to my one year anniversary. That sucked! I would walk on eggshells after she bagan drinking every afternoon after work. She would pick fights. She would espouse insane thoughts, comments, reactions, etc. She would pass out virtually night. I would wake here, help her to bed. On a rare occasion, I gave up trying to get her up after numerous tries, and leave her to sleep on the couch. I would catch hell the next morning, as she would say, "you know how I hate to be left alone out there....". She cried.... I don't know, I guess I was a punching bag for her. I probably still do care, but maybe not so much. She had me ejected on May 13, 2010.
Just love him forever and make him clear what happen with alcohol. Don't forget the best part in bed and make him feel proud that he got such beautiful spouse. Good Luck.
With loving understanding and there is not much else to do
I recommend you contact
a very supportive group of all types of people with the understanding that the pain of loving an alcoholic or addict is actually much harder to apply coping behaviours that do not destroy you. It is formatted the exact same way as
Just these few will have enough information for you to come to terms what you are prepared and not prepared to live with.
I shot heroin and cocaine daily for 24 years. I wanted to stop so badly and could not. The reason? I refused to surrender that I had a problem, and was convincing myself through denial I still was in control. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results/ Drug and alcohol addiction is cunning baffling and powerful
In the end I had nothing or no one, hit my bottom and stayed there until I had to get busy living or get busy trying. Repairing my consequences and the pain I put loved ones through will never
Support=get into an alanon group tomorrow. Get support.
Whatever decisions you come up with are yours and not to be judged.
It is a painful process, the enabler becomes sicker than the user if also not treated
I suppose what I am trying to say is nothing, no one, scare or admitting/intervention ways to approach the user are useless. I have been through 12 rehabs, celebrity to tough love boot ca,p totalling in combination about and half years, meth, hospitals, detoxes, safe-houses on and on. Nothing cliched because I was not ready to quit, nothing could make me, but me. We love the user so much we do and accept a large amount. Maintain the understanding this is a disease, medically I won;t get into it.
Like any disease, if not treated, this may result in death long term
so have some fun here
Enen if you read nothing else, please know this;
YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND NO LONGER HAVE TO BE!
please reach out, that;s my cue,
The pink umbrella -- you show amazing insight and maturity about the subject. So cool that your boyfriend is getting help in rehab! I really love your "live one day at a time" philosophy. And the big difference between an alcoholic/addict in their disease vs. in recovery is HOPE!
Anyone living with an alcoholic should learn as much as they can about the disease. Attend Al-Anon meetings. But also attend open AA meetings -- that will open your eyes, bigtime.
Setting boundaries and sticking to them is the best way to get your resident alkie to take action. The more we try to protect, gloss over, underplay, pretend nothing's wrong, believe the alcoholic that "tomorrow will be better" (promises may be sincere but the ability to carry them out is impossible without intervention/help).
Sometimes the very best thing you can do is walk away.
Hard to do. But if you can't get their attention any other way....
I went to an alanon meeting and heard two women talking about how i was too young to be there (this was 3 years ago) I was 24, but thought wow, judgement at an alanon meeting, so i didnt go back. Im sure they were just two rotten eggs, but i think im doing ok with everything. I talk about it alot with my brother, i know how dangerouse it is to hold feelings in.
You need help for yourself - you are living with the effects of alcoholism, too, even if you don't have drinking problem.
pink umbrella, you let two "rotten eggs" chase you away from getting the help you need? There are sick people everywhere, and these women sound like two more examples of how messed up people get from living with the effects of alcoholism. Maybe they needed to hear your story again...
Don't let them stop you. Go find an Alanon meeting where you do feel like you can get some help, and where you don't feel judged. The groups and meetings are all as different as the people who attend them. It could take some time and effort to find one you really like, or where you hear what you need to hear.
You also need to know that no matter what you do, your alcoholic may not accept help. You may not be the one who will ultimately help them, and that can be hard to accept, but don't let that stop you from getting the help you need.
You can't save a drowning person if you are drowning too.
Detachment is the key.....but probably the most difficult for the non-alcoholic spouse. There is a book by Robin Norwood called "Women Who Love Too Much" that is very helpful in learning to accept the role the non-alcoholic plays in the relation and how to begin to take the steps necessary to free yourself from the destructive nature of these types of relationships. It could just as easily be called "Men Who Love Too Much".
Al-Anon meetings vary greatly. As RedElf said, they are made up of all kinds of people and you just have to find one that works for you. There are online Al-Anon meetings which I think can be helpful because of the added anonymity factor and convenience. They are at Stepchat.com.
Until the addict, in this case an alcoholic, wants to change, there is nothing that you or anyone else can do. You could nag, leave, give reading material, send the person to rehab but ultimately, all will fail until that person wants it for him/herself. Change in a person can only occur if that person wants it, not when others will it.
There is something that you could do for yourself. Attend AA meetings -- they have them for spouses of addicts. It is a great support system and you will learn that you are not the only one out there. It will teach you all about co-dependency and how you can change so you can be yourself - independent of anyone else.
That judgmental reaction makes my blood boil. Who is anyone to tell anyone else they are too old/young/educated/stupid/religious/atheist/blonde/Russian... too ANYTHING to belong in Al-Anon.
For the information of these two women, there is another program called Al-A-Teen. Of course that is intended for kids who are impacted by the drinking of a parent (or maybe a sibling).
It may take some time to find an Al-Anon group you like. But you might have better luck finding a Young People's meeting of AA/NA in your town. Where I live there is a huge, active young people's community. It amazes me how these beautiful late-teens and 20-somethings are embracing sobriety. You can learn a lot by going to their meetings and listening and getting friendly with them. Will also help your boyfriend if you've established a sober network when he gets back.
As for him having to live this struggle for the rest of his life -- yes and no. Yes, he will never be "cured" from being an addict. Staying clean and sober takes active work, every day.
It doesn't feel like a "struggle" after awhile. You're no longer fighting an irresistible craving. But the natural tendency is to slide back into using. So it's essential to learn and use the tools of sobriety so that doesn't happen.
I agree 100% with what RedElf said. The first thing to really accept (for you) is that whatever he does or doesn't do, it's his sobriety and his decision.
yes, well the one thing i have on my side is that my addiction to him, is also my decision. I may want to go back to him if we split up, but i will just have to remind myself of how strong i am. I figure, as long as he is using, and i stand by him, im just as wrong. He cannot feel that im ok with any drug/alchohol use whatsoever. If i stand by him while hes not sober, than im just feeding into his thoughts that he has it "under control" or that its "ok" and i wont do that, i did it for way too long.
I have ben around people falling into drug abuse and alcohol abuse starting with my real father, and im just tired of it. I have such high anxiety, its a wonder i never became an addict of some sort. Well, i guess i am if you count pepto bismol chewables (stress). But since ive had the strenght to stay away from any of that, i dont feel i deserve to be around it, so this time when he went to rehab, i made a decision, this is it. He falls back into this crap, and hes on his own for good. Now i love him in every way you can love a person, but i will let him go and ill make it look easy, because my strength comes from my love for myself, and my love for My son. I wont put my son in a grave because his father gave him a horrible example, that wont be me.
Thanks Clean Life.
AA meetings are generally the same world wide. However, some variances may occur. The meetings in my city are broken down into subcategories of addictions: narcotics, alcohol, food, sex and so on. Sometimes the meetings are held at the same location but in different rooms. By separating the groups based on addiction, the breakout groups can focus more on their specific needs.
As any social group, the mixture is important. If one group does not work, then try it again. I suggest three meetings before you decide that it doesn't work for you. If it doesn't work for you, find another group. Each group has a different feel to it simply because of the mixture/combination of the people attending.
As KCC stated, there are online meetings too. These might be convenient, but from some feedback from others, it is not as personal. For them, it is the personal touch that helps them -- the voices, the faces, the reactions, the body language. It all makes it "real".
Good luck, and remember, if you help yourself first, then you will be in the position to provide help when asked.
My friend lived with an alcoholic husband for years. She somehow learned to work around it and to find ways to sort of shelter the kids from what was going on. He was a nice guy. She hoped he'd get better. For a long time, I guess it was reasonably livable. Somewhere along the way he got worse and worse, and she just couldn't have whatever was going on go on any longer. She asked him to leave, because she knew he'd go live with his mother and father. The last time I talked to her she was still hoping he'd do something to get help, because she said if it weren't for how bad his drinking had gotten, she would never have separated from him. She was sad and would have gotten back together with him in a minute, but she said she just couldn't deal with it any longer. It wasn't even that she decided to separate in the hopes it would "shock him" into getting help. It was just that the decision was eventually made for her when things got so bad she couldn't live with it any longer.
I think, based on people I've known, what often happens is the non-drinker has no control or choice over whether the other person drinks or not. The non-drinker often hangs in for a good long time, trying to be supportive, and hoping things will get better. Then they seem to hope separating will make the person "shape up". I don't think things stay the same. Either the drinker gets better or gets worse. If s/he gets worse I think it's often only a matter of time before there's little choice but to separate (unless, maybe, the non-drinker can find ways to just accept it, and unless children are being affected by it). Really difficult situation, needless to say. I think the non-drinking partner definitely needs support and help, no matter how he handles it.
Every couple I know where one was alcholic or drug addict , and alcholic does not mean they got drunk or high occasionally occasionally it means they reached for the bottle when they woke up, all of them ended up separated or the clean partner joined them, and then they usually parted company anyway.
I strongly believe that if an addict, alcohol or any drug, does not get clean in a fairly short time of trying to get help, a year or so, then the best thing is not to waste your own life also and leave them.
On the plus side -- and it really is good -- YOU got sober and you still have your sobriety. You're able to maintain that in the face of betrayal and manipulation. Hooray!
My mother was the alcoholic. I tried everything I could think of to get her to stop drinking. Set her up with a Dr and had her put on the medication to take away the craving. Had her put on anti depressants, threw alcohol away, marked bottles, begged, pleaded, showed anger, showed love, distanced myself and my children, I even tried to have her committed and her drivers license taken away. She had wrecked her car 5 times in a year. Nothing ever worked. She didn't want to stop drinking.
According to her she only had one drink a day. She came from a long line of alcoholics and had watched her sister die of alcoholism and another sister barely make it out alive. She died last September from liver disease. Even in the end, through all the tests she still swore to the Dr she didn't drink and was angry with me for telling them she did. As I've been going through her things I found the pills she was given to remove the craving, she had taken 1 pill.
I went to an Al Anon meeting as well and did not like what they had to say. I went there hoping they could tell me how to fix her, instead they told me I had to fix myself. I left the meeting feeling hopeless, that was not the answer I was seeking. I know now they were right, I could not make her quit.
Kudos to you Larry and the others who have managed to stay sober. My mom couldn't do it and she has missed so much in the few months she has been gone. She died on a Thursday night and my brother's baby was born the next morning. My little nephew has mom's bright blue eyes, so we can see a part of her when we look at him. If you're ever tempted to pick up another drink, think of what you may miss out on.
There is no rhyme or reason for understanding addicts, I wished for the whole of my young life that my parents would divorce , my father the alcoholic, The family cost was extremely high.
I envied others who had normal parents, my points. One , My parents stayed together for about 50 years, my father quit only about 10 years before he died. They were happy, even if their kids wern't , go figure! Two , You have no control over what others do , you can't change what won't change . Three , Accept that or leave. People addicted to anything are pretty narcisistic. They will and can change , but ONLY, for them and when THEY are ready.
the pink umbrella is absolutely right - it is SO important to set boundaries and stick to them - being an enabler will never help the addict. If the addict is not willing to seek help for themselves, you may want to consider seeking help yourself - some non-institutional treatment centers (such as A Home Away Retreat - www.ahomeaway.org) welcome any guests that have any reason for unhappiness or stress in their lives. It has been said that addicted individuals have compulsively denied and displaced responsibility for their lives to avoid the anxiety of free choice. They become masters of rationalization, projection and avoidance. Going to a treatment center will help you gain the knowledge and tools to appropriately deal with an addict and manage your life and be happy. Would you ever consider this?
Not sure if anyone is still on this blog. I am living with an alcoholic husband. We have suffered through a DUI, went bankrupt, I am a child of an alcoholic father and leaving the nightmare all over again. I am so sad and angry all the time. The verbal abuse is getting worse. I have two beautiful young children and fear that this may affect them, as it did me. I want so badly for him to get help, I keep a electronic diary to keep me sane and for protection in the event that something happens to us. I don;t know where to go for help. I am sick of reading about Adult Children of Alcoholics, and co-dependency. I really don't know how to change the cycle. My biggest fear is that once I leave and he has rights to the children I will not be around to supervise to ensure all is good. Man, I am desperate.
I have been living with my 52yr old alcoholic, drug addict husband for the last five years, he drinks and smokes pot everyday and then last year I discovered he was injecting speed and had been doing so for the past 6 months. I found syringes hidden in the garage, I felt sick. We separated 6 weeks ago for the last time, we had previously separated twice before but nothing changed the anger, aggression verbal abuse and blame was horrendous and this was affecting us all. We have a 4 year old daughter together and I have 3 sons from a previous relationship. It really hurts, I still love him and miss him but he was not willing to change or get help for his addictions, he also started gambling. His addictions were always number one and still are he rarely sees his daughter, there is always an excuse for not seeing her and him breaking promises to her after telling her he will come and pick her up or see her. I was left with no other option then to ask him to leave. He was starting to yell at our daughter the way he yelled at me, I just couldn't deal with it anymore. It has been a very tough few weeks but our household is so peaceful and calm now. I was sad and angry all the time too but I couldn't change him he was the only one that could change but he chose not to after finally having everything he ever wanted but he chose his addictions over his marriage and his family.
If you are going to stay with your alcoholic husband... you have to be good to him. Tell him that he was much loved by his mother and you are going to be good to him, as well...
No Matter What.
You owe him kindness and patience,
if you are going to stay with him.
Tell him you have forgiven him for the things he said and did while under the influence.
And let him know exactly what they were...
-without anger and nagging.
Just inform him of what he did and how he was, (by letter if needed,)
and accept it all...
sometime they refuse to be treated because it becomes such a bad habit and very hard to break...they hurt a lot of people who love them from their hearts and give up on them....Over my life time l have seen people who's homes are broken as they chose to lead a wrong path that seem right for them.... l have seen people die over Alcohol abuse at such a young age. My own relative has ruined her liver over Alcohol abuse over a period of 20 years... she would not listen to anybody.. that she nearly died 3 times due to this fact.... where the liver, kidneys and other organs were failing her.. It was heart breaking that the doctors had no hope for her and we prayed for a mircle.. she had gallons of water drained from her lungs and also water build up on her stomach....The doctors said that other people who were alcohol free were on the top list for transplant..... She was very luck all this hard hit her that she survived and refuse to touch any Alcohol at all... It is very very hard to treat them..
depending on how long they have been drinking and the damage they are doing to themselves..... l wish no one to be on this path....
I am married for 7 months with a mexican girl. Shes an alcoholic. I have tried to help her in so many ways but still she turns in to more addiction. I tried to speak to her, counselling and even motivates her but i think im failing.
Sometimes i have this thought of leaving her and having a divorce..
But i dont knowmif this will help..i really cant control her..we have frequent fights..
She promised me several times that she will try and wait for her to change..but almost 1 year that she was telling me that..
There are times that she priorotized her rinking buddies than me and i feel so mad until now..
I reall dont know what can i do..do i really need to leave her in order for her to change and realize that i am doing everything i could for her to change..
She cant be happy anymore without drinking..and it reflects that she is not happy with me anymore that without alcohol she cant survive..
I told her to change her jobs because the nature of her jobs will make her more drinking buddies..but she doesnt want to..
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