HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Addiction & Recovery (Group) » Help for a friend, please...

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 12:41 PM

Help for a friend, please? Wife of an alcoholic.

A respectful hello for allowing me to intrude on your space here. If you can give me any help, it would be most appreciated, as this situation is not good.

My best friend of 26 years is married to an alcoholic. They have been married for 15 years and have 2 young daughters. He is a functional alcoholic. Everybody around them, and I do mean everybody, has known her husband was an alcoholic since they started dating. They finally had a huge blowup this weekend and he "figured out" he is an alcoholic. My bff says she is surprised. *heavy sigh* The reasons for her denial are too long and too complicated to go into here, but obviously the denial is thick.

She has moved out of their bedroom and is unsure of how to proceed next. He said 3 days ago that he would start going to AA, but of course, that turned out to be an empty promise. He now says there "isn't any time" because he's working too much. Their marriage has been on the rocks for a long time. She openly hates him. Affairs have happened. It is a bad bad bad bad bad situation all around. She is scared to walk because of abandonment issues that again, are too long and too complicated to go into right now.

I advised my friend to pretty much put him in the car and drive him to an AA meeting and walk him in the building and then wait in the parking lot. Of course, my advice could be totally wrong, because I've never been married to an alcoholic. I also told her that she needs to get herself to an al anon meeting right away. She has a private therapist that she sees weekly.

I am at a loss here. I want to throw the woman a lifeline, anything. Books, websites...blogs? Anything. Her husband is all lovey dovey and all "ooh I love you I'm so sorry" honey right now. I don't think he's stopped drinking and said as much. She claims she doesn't know. *heavy sigh*

I am so frustrated. Please advise. I love this woman like she was my own sister.

18 replies, 2583 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help for a friend, please? Wife of an alcoholic. (Original post)
Butterbean Aug 2013 OP
Old Codger Aug 2013 #1
Butterbean Aug 2013 #3
Old Codger Aug 2013 #5
Butterbean Aug 2013 #6
NMDemDist2 Aug 2013 #10
Butterbean Aug 2013 #13
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2013 #2
Butterbean Aug 2013 #4
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2013 #7
nebenaube Aug 2013 #8
Butterbean Aug 2013 #9
nebenaube Aug 2013 #11
Butterbean Aug 2013 #12
NMDemDist2 Aug 2013 #14
Butterbean Aug 2013 #15
NMDemDist2 Aug 2013 #17
Butterbean Aug 2013 #18
Old Codger Aug 2013 #16

Response to Butterbean (Original post)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 01:17 PM

1. Well

 

Driving him to ameeting won't work unless he asks her to. She needs to take care of her own program whether it is ALANON or a therapist. He has to want to get sober or it won't hqppen, if he wants to get sober he will find time for AA if not he will find exuses...In the extreme case I would tell her to move out or have him move out and seriously consider filing for divorce in a move to possibly show him how serious she is..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Old Codger (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 01:30 PM

3. Urgh, thank you. This is why I asked here, because I knew I'd

probably said the wrong thing. I told her as much, too. I told her to go to an al anon meeting because they knew what they were talking about, unlike me. ><

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 02:12 PM

5. OK

 

This is coming from a recovering alcoholic, with 29 years sobriety and referring a lot to what I went through and how my wife handled it. She tried alanon and didnt particularly care for it so she went to open AA meetings and said that was much better because of the more positive attitude from AA members... Most times it takes drastic moves to start things moving at all...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Old Codger (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 02:14 PM

6. Okay, I'll pass that on to her as well. So family members are allowed at AA meetings?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 04:57 PM

10. anyone can attend an open AA meeting

but i do recommend she NOT attend the same meetings her husband does to start with. that may change down the road but...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 06:11 PM

13. Okee doke, thank you. I'll tell her. I doubt she'd attend the same meetings

as her spouse. She says she doesn't want to be around him at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Original post)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 01:26 PM

2. SHE would greatly benefit from Al-Anon

which would help her understand why trying to control an alcoholic's drinking or recovery never never never works.
So driving him to AA meetings is wayyyy off the mark.

Her therapist is a good step, but most therapists have no understanding of the family dynamics of alcoholism.

I heartily recommend a great book called "Co-dependent No More" by Melody Beattie, for the wife.
http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025

Her focus needs to be on HER, not on trying to manage HIS disease.

The very first thing I have heard over the years from family members when I have suggested Al-Anon to them is
" But what about HIS/HER drinking? What do I do about THAT?"
Which shows that it takes awhile until the family member can really "get" the idea they have no control over someone's drinking.
But they can learn to control their reaction to it in postive and healthy functional ways, and I do believe firmly that Al-Anon is a very important part of that learning.





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 01:36 PM

4. Thank you. I will tell her what you said, and find the locations and times of some

al anon meetings for her to attend (she's at work today). I did tell her when she was telling me about how her husband said she "needed to help" him that it wasn't her job and that it was his addiction, not hers.

I think her husband is blowing sunshine up her ass right now, quite frankly, and is not going to seek treatment at all. I don't think he's ready. I don't think he's stopped drinking like he's telling her he has, because he has zero withdrawal signs. The man was drinking 36 beers a day (a 6 pack before work, a case after work, and a 6 pack before bed). He should definitely be having some withdrawal if he's stopped cold turkey. She's a nurse and she knows this, but of course, her head is so far buried in the sand that it's just ridiculous.

This whole situation is so frustrating. He's been like this ever since I've known him, and the fact that EVERYBODY around her recognized his alcoholism but her is a testament to how heavily she was in denial.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 02:33 PM

7. Something I always told the family

when the alcoholic was not able/willing to get help...

Leave at the first sign of violence and never doubt it will be repeated, physical safety for self and children is rule #1.

2. Get help for yourself so you can learn how to remain sane while deciding what to do.
3. If the alcoholic is drinking as much as you say, he will need medical detox/inpatient treatment,
because withdrawal symptooms can be deadly.

4. If all else fails, get a good insurance policy on the guy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 02:35 PM

8. Sounds like there's no alcohol in that beer.

 

I drink too much... but eight beers/day would put me in the ER.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nebenaube (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 02:51 PM

9. This is self reporting from the alcoholic. This was what he says he drinks every day. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 05:21 PM

11. hmmm...

 

That's 54 8oz glasses of fluid. I call bullshit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nebenaube (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 06:09 PM

12. That's what we were all saying, that we couldn't handle

that much LIQUID, let alone alcohol. Apparently he's up all night peeing, according to my bff. I regularly see him pound back a case, and every time I see him he is getting drunk or is drunk. However, yeah, that's a crap ton of liquid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 06:21 PM

14. actually

that's about right for middle to beginning late stage alcoholism

he definitely needs medical detox for 3-7 days so he doesn't stroke out.

most people don't know that alcohol is about the only drug whose detox will kill you. seizures and strokes, gastric bleeding, esophageal bleeding, any and all can and will happen

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 16, 2013, 06:51 PM

15. Holy CRAP, really? So that much volume is possible? I warned her about

the physiological detox stuff already, especially the stroke part because he's already hypertensive. I really don't think he's stopped like she believes he has (he says this is "day 4" of not drinking), because he hasn't even broken a SWEAT. The man should have had DT's by now, shouldn't he have? I mean...is it possible to drink that much and like......not have withdrawal symptoms for this long?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Butterbean (Reply #15)

Sat Aug 17, 2013, 07:36 PM

17. unless he's taken a bunch of xanex or something

yeah, he should have sky high blood pressure, shaking sick and foggy

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 17, 2013, 08:00 PM

18. That's what I thought, thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nebenaube (Reply #8)

Reply to this thread