Living with alcohol dependent... Help please

Davyatsea

Member
Hi there. Wife was charged under Section 4(1) with court date soon. This was two weeks ago. She has posted on certain forums and nearly EVERYONE has advised her to give up alcohol. She has stated that she would rather give up driving than alcohol, which scares me as her husband, especially when we have two children with special needs and receive little to no family support.

She has numerous social occasions (pre-planned), which I can guarantee will involve alcohol, and has also been invited to works drinks next Friday. The location is where it all started two weeks ago leading up to her trying to drive home under the influence.

It's not for me to tell my wife, she cannot drink, especially as I enjoy a night out when I can (not very often, I hasten to add). However, I am concerned she hasn't hit her rock bottom, even with a conviction pending. She has been to a local alcohol addiction assessment and has been advised to contact AA. Again, I cannot force her to go. She previously had issues with food, resulting in a gastric bypass, so now its the alcohol, which she relies on, rather than something more positive.

Any advice would be really helpful please, as I'm sure my wife is not alone in how she is feeling.

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grice96

Well-known member
Mate I'm in recovery, you don't want help until you hit your own personal rock bottom. My rock bottom was crashing my car but for some people and serial offenders this is just a blip on the way to rock bottom.

I spent 3 months in rehab and every other man who was in there because their wife made them be there all drank again. You have to make the decision yourself to enter recovery, a rehab or attend the fellowship of AA. If someone forces your hand it doesn't stick. I started my own recovery and am just over a year and a month sober where as my dad was forced into AA by my mum and he relapses every few months.

This may seem like a horrible thing to face and I empathise with you completely, but your wife can't really be helped until she wants help herself.
 

Davyatsea

Member
Many thanks mate. It is so worrying and so powerless when I cannot step in. Last year, she lost her purse, mobile phone etc on a night out, then arrived home and demanded I pay her taxi fare. At a recent bbq we hosted at our home, I struggled to get her in safely from the garden. On a night out, she is always the most drunk. She admits this herself, but likes the way alcohol makes her feel.
 

grice96

Well-known member
I loved the way alcohol made me feel mate, only problem is no one else liked the way I drank. I was fine up to a point but I always went to far and as a result did stupid things, got into fights, lost phones and then crashed my car. Looking back on it now, all the warning signs were there but I was blind to them when I was still drinking.

I am not upset I crashed my car as it was my rock bottom to go to rehab. Had I not done that I may well still have been drinking today. I assure you mate your wife will find her rock bottom if her relationship with alcohol is how you describe it. If you need support I really recommend going to an Al-Anon meeting, it's for the family and loved ones of alcoholics/addicts and it will really help you put things into perspective.
 

Davyatsea

Member
Quick question.... I'm at work right now and due home in 2 hours time. How do I react if my wife is already drinking - or wants a drink with me when I arrive home. Before all this, I wouldn't bet an eyelid, and wouldn't say no to a glass of wine at the end of a busy week. My feelings have changed and she feels anger and resentment from me and that I cannot forgive her. That's where I'm not sure what to do for the best.
 

grice96

Well-known member
Davy you need to do what makes you comfortable, if you aren't comfortable in your own home environment where we are supposed to feel the most comfortable and safe then there's a big issue. You need to lay down some ground rules, if you can not facilitate your wife's drinking any longer than you have to tell her that, it doesn't have to be dramatic you can just say I think your drinking is dangerous and I don't want to enable that anymore.

Just don't call her an alcoholic, I used to hate it when people would say to me that I was an alcoholic before I could admit it and it really made me resent some people. Of course I don't resent them now that I'm in recovery but calling someone one when they aren't ready to hear it can cause a significant outburst.
 

Davyatsea

Member
Good thinking mate. I do feel comfortable at home. Problem is my wife keeps saying she doesn't always feel like coming home. If we both followed through that action, the kids would suffer.
 

Davyatsea

Member
Just got home and full bottle of wine drink already. Really not sure now. To be fair though, she was asked at assessment to keep a drink diary, and will be allocated a key worker.
 
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Honestman

Well-known member
Just to point out davyatsea if your wife is alcohol dependent she will probably need a alcohol program to come off the drink completely, otherwise she could be facing awful withdrawals, try swapping the alcohol she's drinking with alcohol free when she's not looking in the future,we're all behind mate....
 

grice96

Well-known member
Don't swap with alcohol free options, if she is a daily drinker the alcohol withdrawal could cause a seizure. I've had the DT's and they are not fun, wean off do not quit.
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
May I ask Grice were you more of a binge drinker than a regular drinker. i.e. you drank through the week or mainly on weekend for nights out?
 

grice96

Well-known member
I was a binge drinker mate, 2-3 nights a week. People think daily drinker = alcoholic but it's not as black and white about that. Drinking controlled my life, when I wasn't drinking I was planning drinking. For about 2 months before rehab I was on it 5 days a week but only for a short time.
 

Davyatsea

Member
Many thanks all. Not sure if I'm speaking too soon, but I think there is a turning point. After a frank discussion last night, today has gone a lot better. I took my daughter for swimming lesson. Wife promised me she wouldn't drink without me and fulfilled this. Shared ONE bottle of wine, and had option to drink other stuff or buy more wine as she had done before. She had decided herself, that a couple of glasses was enough and she didn't want or need any more. Ok, its not abstinence like a lot of people have suggested elsewhere, but firm control. My wife made this decision for herself, allowing us to chat about some of her self esteem issues. For me, this is a massive step forward and a positive step for her. I only hope this continues - not easy I know, but, I feel that together, she and I will get through this.
 

craig121

Well-known member
Hi Dave

There's a drug called Nalmefene it works by blocking the reward center of the brain, you are not supposed to stop drinking whilst on Nalmefene infact the opposites(which helps the acceptance) , eventually the brain gets bored of no rewards and think might as well have a fresh glass of tomato juice,

It's not as simple as I stated the drug requires clinic attendance and possible withdrawal drugs depending how Dependant your wife has become,
It's something you could discuss as some folks will refuse AA or other.

There are people whom continue to drink long term socially and still use Nalmefene to control! it's based on the Sinclair method and makes very interesting reading

If she's away to get banned it's going to be very difficult ever getting her licence back unless she follows a program of help with her GP approval
 
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Davyatsea

Member
Many thanks Craig. I'll have a look at the Sinclair method. My wife had a call today from a counsellor today to ask questions about her mood etc prior to the night in question. There are many circumstances stances which led to that night panning out the way it did and I am exploring all avenues - not just the reduction or cessation of drinking. I believe, and sincerely hope I am right that she can truly turn this round - in the way that's right for her.
 

C J 1980

Member
Evening

I'm new to this forum and I lost my licence earlier this year as I developed a really bad drink problem. I still carried on drinking for about seven weeks after my court appearance in which I really did drink myself into oblivion on a few occasions. I managed to do 150 hours community service in three weeks during this period. I generally only had a few beers in the evening but upon completing all my hours and getting rid of the probation people I went on a two week bender. I literally drank morning, noon and night to release alot of pent up emotion and I was going down hill fast both physically and mentally. The turning point for me came after waking up one morning and realising my life was going down the toilet and booze really was taking over my life completely. I went through two days of hell detoxing and recovering which wasn't pleasant.

I'm please to say I've been sober since April and life is still a struggle for me everyday. In some respects, the drink driving conviction maybe had to happen for me to sort myself out. I have to be honest and say there are times I am tempted to have a drink but I know in the back of my mind I would be just unlocking the door again and letting the monkey out that cannot control himself.

As another forum member has stated the person who has the drink problem has got to want the help and support. If they don't then there is bugger all anyone can do. I realised this months ago and I was fortunate to be able to speak to professionals who have guided me away from the madness I was living.

Your wife may come through it in her own time. If she chooses not to you must be prepared to make some heartbreaking sacrifices that may end your marriage but one important thing that I will end on is that you and the rest of the family deserve a good quality of life too and it sounds that your living your own nightmare at present.

C J 1980
 

Jazmin

Member
Having low self esteem is the problem which needs to be addressed and perhaps if you can afford to find a good councillor who your wife can feel comfortabe with that would be a good start...The alcohol makes her feel good and takes away all those self esteem issues but only while she's drinking! If she could regain her self esteem or infact be helped to feel more worthy through counselling and your help then she would have less need for alcohol..It will take time but theres always light at the end of the tunnel..

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