Hang in there. Nobody is worth giving up your life for. At this point in your journey you really need to focus on healing and less on what your wife is doing. She had a part in this too. She stayed when she should have left years ago. I hold her responsible for that part.
Maybe she didn't leave b/c she felt guilty about it--leaving you and maybe the kids at times with someone irresponsible.
You will not lose everything--even if you lose your wife. 20 years of your drinking cannot be undone in 6 months, if ever.
Let her go and don't be an a*shole about it--if she still wants to date, she may feel she needs to find out if she can still love you, b/c she sure as heck didn't "love" the man you were while drinking. If you think of it as a fresh start and a chance to prove to YOURSELF that you are serious about your commitment to be sober and to be a better person, then you win whether she decides to stay married or not.
Hi. Just want to say that I did the same thing as your wife. My husband drank for the first 10 years of our marriage and gave up 3 years ago.
I found myself wishing he would start drinking again and not because I enjoyed being a matyr or because I needed to continue enabling his habits. It was a long nightmare that has caused serious damage to our marriage and children. I was horrified when I found myself wishing he would start drinking again but I realised it was because he was also a more relaxed person then as he had a release for his frustrations and irritations.
Just because he's abstaining from the alcohol now doesn't mean he has dealt with the issues that caused it in the first place. He is now an extremely moody and irritating person and we have separated for the time being.
We are starting counseling tomorrow and I also feel I don't want to get back together with him until we find out whether the counseling is working.
Your wife has suggested you start "dating". She probably needs to get to know the new you.
My wife also told me that I was more relaxed when I would drink a few glasses of wine. She doesn't drink but She would rather me drink a few to unwind. I could be more of an A-hole sober. I don't really know. I wasn't a mean drunk at all.
You've been drunk for 20 years man. Your coping skills and hers no longer work for both of you. I should know, I told my H it was the pot or me/our family. I could no longer stand it and was prepared to lose my 20 year R. He's been clean now for nearly 9 months. Even after he stopped smoking, things went from bad to worse and are only now seriously trying to reconcile.
My anger and resentment came before the ulimatum, your W's is coming after. Both of you need IC and MC stat. The work has only just begun. As sister359 says, you can't undo 20 years of damage in 6 months. Like many things it will take a lot of time and a lot of hard work. You can win her back....are you prepared to take up the challenge???
Please, please stay on the wagon. If you fall off, get up and get back on. I agree with others on this thread that your wife may be an enabler/co-dependent. If you are going to AA, suggest she goes to AlAnon. I hope you can both take this journey together.
My second husband (separated for several years, still married) is an alcoholic. While he was drinking, I learned to be independent in lots of ways (emotionally, financially) and I got used to doing my own thing. I always felt responsible for him (taking care of him, covering for him... all the things codependents do). After he got sober and I no longer felt the obligation to take care of him, I realized I no longer wanted to be with him.
Sadly, we change while the addict stays the same. And, once the drama ends and "real life" can finally begin, sometimes we realize we are stronger than we thought.
My husband never stayed sober more than 9 months at a time for the entire 14 years we were together. So, I did find it difficult to start over ... and over.. and over. So, I finally left.
I hope everything works out for you and that you STAY SOBER with or without her.
Hi There - I'm in a similar situation, and can only tell you, sometimes the spouse stays with us during our active illness for all kinds of reasosns, sense of responsibility, obilgation to care for us , etc. But when we're "stabilized" it is like they can finally breathe and need space to focus on taking care of themselves and seeing if they can come to terms with all their hurt and resentment. It is sad and painful, but we have to put ourselves in their shoes, take responsibility for the collateral damage our disease has caused them, have deep compassion for their pain and give them all the time and space in the world to process.
I am now sober 3+ months, coming back from a 2 year relapse that was hell on my husband. One month back from rehab, he separated from me two weeks ago, and it is HARD AS HELL not medicating the pain I feel over this every day, for screwing up the best thing in my life -- all I had worked hard for, to be in a health relationship with the man of my dreams AFTER 14 YEARS IN RECOVERY!
All I can advise is stick VERY CLOSE to the program, get to a meeting every single day (more than one if needed), work with a sponsor and call them every day, and develop a sober support network. Also, pray, if you can, for God to watch over your wife and heal her heart -- this is what I do: re: my husband, and try to focus on cleaning up my side of the street. It is really difficult and painful, but DO NOT let fear get the best of you -- this is your time to work on your beautiful second chance for a better life FOR YOU, with or without her. It will all get better, one way or another, as long as you stay sober and live the program! Hang in there and have faith that God will sort things out to the best interests of all involved.
I hope everything works out for you A2012-14 years is a LONG time. Perhaps, after a little time has passed and he can begin to see the "real" you, the "old" you that he loved before your relapse, he'll work it out with you.
Thanks, Peachy Cat - I did not mean to hijack dbjr's thread, but appreciate your kind words. I realize that if I am serious about re-committing to my recovery (and most defiitely am), then I cannot afford to live in fear and remorse. I have to respect my husband's space and process, work on my own emotional and spiritual health and independence, and trust that all will work out as it is supposed to.
I hope your life has gotten better for you since you chose your new path!