Not an alcoholic but - Page 8 - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #106 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 03:18 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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I think that's why you need to tell her gbrad.

Part of not drinking so much has to be being honest to yourself and those around you so they can look out and support your goals.

I also think your wife already has a suspicion.

You need to deal with it at some point--this isn't something you can hide and make it go away. I think you need a team of people on your side that can help you.
She *should* respect you if you bring it up in a way that you are asking for her support.

Of course that will only help if you are open to said support.
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post #107 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 03:35 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

Her not being much of a drinker is in your favor.

I opened up to my X about my habit, and stopped bringing home any. She then brought it home and would pressure me to drink with her. Of course that ended poorly as I then had an IDGAF attitude.

You have recognized a problem and admitted it, here. Her support could be invaluable and opening up about it could do wonders for your marriage too.
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post #108 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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She *should* respect you if you bring it up in a way that you are asking for her support.

Of course that will only help if you are open to said support.
The fact is that many years ago it was stated that alcoholism would be grounds for divorce. And while I have wanted the ability to have a "nice" divorce for some years now, that is not the way I would want it to happen. I see it as a last resort because I think she would take it too personally. I don't want her internalizing it (which knowing her, I'm positive she would), and that would not be healthy for her. And as a result it would not be leaving her in a healthy position to move on with her life. Which is what I want to do if we get a divorce. I want her to be in a poisition overall where she could be successful.
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post #109 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

I'm not guessing. This was a conversation that was had prior to marriage and afterwards. There is alcoholism in the family (both sides of it) and it has been stated on many occasions that alcoholism would be grounds for divorce. It is just not the thing I want to use to get us there. If I ever were to tell her, the only purpose it would have would be to start the process of divorce and for no other reason would I tell her.
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post #110 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 12:08 AM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

Why do you think she would take your alcoholism personally? That choice is on you and not on her.

I don't think you are ready emotionally for a divorce no matter how many years you've wanted one.
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post #111 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 12:17 AM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

If you feel guilty about hiding this from your wife (dishonesty), that can actually lead to more drinking, exacerbating both issues.
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post #112 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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Why do you think she would take your alcoholism personally? That choice is on you and not on her.

I don't think you are ready emotionally for a divorce no matter how many years you've wanted one.
I think she would take it personally based on her family and her past. I know her well enough to know that is not something I want her to experience. Not emotionally ready....I've been ready for a while. The mentality is not one that it is a romantic love filled marriage. It is different. It is about a practicality and protecting her. And yes that takes its toll on me, which is what leads to some of the drinking.

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If you feel guilty about hiding this from your wife (dishonesty), that can actually lead to more drinking, exacerbating both issues.
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I don't feel guilty for hiding it.
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post #113 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 10:34 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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I don't know. I know that completely cutting out alcohol is not something I want to do. I just want to be able to go back to being in control of it.
Imagine you adopt a small ape (bear with me here). At first the baby ape is just kind of fun. Makes a mess occasionally, but you can wrestle around with it and put it in it's cage before it wrecks your living room. Over time, the baby ape has grown into a gorilla. You can't wrestle the gorilla anymore. It's simply too powerful. Wishing the gorilla was a baby ape again so that you can get control of it simply doesn't work. If you let it out of its cage, it wins.

Once you get to a certain point, you really can't just roll back the clock to when it was manageable. You have to make a decision to either live with the gorilla in your living room until it wrecks everything around you, or get rid of it.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #114 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 10:37 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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I understand this was said many years ago but actually seeing your SO in the battle of alcoholism may be a different reality. Do you think you wife is incapable of sympathy or empathy for her own husband?

You need to tell her because you lack accountability otherwise and you will continue in this half-in, half out miserable life you have going on right now.

I also don't think you will get there by cutting down--not until you get some sort of actual structure in place where those closest to you know what is going on.

You only currently have accountability to yourself and you aren't doing a great job of it, you know?
This is worth thinking about Gbrad. The talks about divorcing over alcoholism may have been with the assumption that it's out of control. If you come to her and show her that you know you have a problem and you're going to do what it takes to fix it--do you think that would get a different response from her?

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #115 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 10:46 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

Gbrad, you should consider whether you are alcohol dependent or even an alcoholic. Some people have addictive personalities and have that 'need' for a substance. If everything in your life is ****, and you use alcohol to soothe yourself then you are alcohol dependent and treading in very dangerous waters.

Alcohol is a depressant (you might think it is your friend) and may give you momentary relief but then everything comes undone, marriage, work, family, etc. ( I know this because of my H and from other family members)
From what you write you are making one excuse after the other as to why you are not an alcoholic and why you will not give up the drink, because you cannot, it is your number one priority.
I would suggest, you put all problems aside and go get help with AA.

Do these excuses sound familiar to you

1 Excuse #1 – “I’m not hurting anyone but myself!”
2 Excuse #2 – “I just want a bit of relief.”
3 Excuse #3 – “If you had my problems, you would drink too.”
4 Excuse #4 – “This is who I am”
5 Excuse #5 – “I need to drink to be social.”
6 Excuse #6 – “I need to drink for work.”
7 Excuse #7 – “I’m not an alcoholic, I can stop whenever I want”
8 Excuse #8 – “At least I don’t drink like Mr X does, now THAT dude has a problem.”
9 Excuse #9 – “Everyone else drinks”
10 Excuse #10 – “Life is pointless and I’m going to die anyways, I might as well go out on my terms”

If this is what you tell yourself, then you have a problem with alcohol and need to get help, but only you an make that decision. You have probably blamed your work, your boss, your wife, your marriage, etc, but none of them are standing there forcing your to drink, that is just an excuse not to take responsibility for your own life.
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post #116 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-10-2015, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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Gbrad, you should consider whether you are alcohol dependent or even an alcoholic. Some people have addictive personalities and have that 'need' for a substance. If everything in your life is ****, and you use alcohol to soothe yourself then you are alcohol dependent and treading in very dangerous waters.

.
I agree in regards to the dependent vs. alcoholic aspect. I have thought about that and at this point I think it is still on the line not having crossed over to alcoholic. I know if I don't change soon it will cross over.
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post #117 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-11-2015, 01:08 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

gbrad, I recognize the feelings in your post. For me, I realized about a year ago that I had developed the craving: if I had one, I was going to want to have another one. This wasn't entirely new- I would experience it in the past, after I'd already had a few drinks. But it was now different in that it only took one drink to trigger the craving, and it was there almost every single time I had a first drink.

Perhaps like you, I didn't suffer any outward negative consequences. I didn't miss work and in fact excelled in my job. No DUIs. I didn't destroy my finances over drinking. I didn't lose any relationships. My husband also drank, as well as my friends and family, and no one ever suggested that I was out of line or that something was going awry. In fact, none of them can understand why I put the drink down, and they are not shy to tell me so!

However, I knew something was different and it scared me. I changed things up- changed the alcohol type that I bought, changed the amount, made up rules and was sort of/kind of able to keep them (like no drinking during the work-week...OK may Thurs was a good start of the weekend...and then on 'special' occasions like a hard work day, or a great work day, or to commiserate or celebrate with the husband for his work day...you probably know how this goes...) I was not drinking every day, but I was drinking at least a few times each week.

I have a lot of experience being on the other side of addiction. My ex-fiance fell into opiate addiction when we were together. I've been to probably 100s of AA/NA/Naranon meetings in my life, as he went in and out of sobriety over several years. It was among the most difficult and heartbreaking experiences of my life. For me, once I realized that the craving was there, reliably, regularly, even though I could still fight against it, I knew I was approaching a line. I am not going to cross that line. I will not put my family, especially my young son, through that.

It sounds like you, too, feel that you are approaching that line.

For me, I started to read. I thought that I was a "yet", to use AA-ish terminology (as in "not an alcoholic...YET"). I wasn't quite up for AA, even though I actually do believe in the overall philosophy.

I read several books, but the one that brought it all together and made it "Click" for me was Allen Carr's "How to Control Your Drinking." I am a book person and even though it's a bit showy of a book, it made perfect sense to me. It seems unbelievable, but by adapting Carr's outlook- which I truly do believe to be accurate- I just stopped drinking, easily. Very easily. I also picked up Jason Vale's book, who worked as a counselor in Carr's clinic. Vale is more up-to-date but they have the same outlook. His was a reinforcement with a few other considerations that just cemented my decision.

It's been about 7 months now. I feel incredible. I always heard people say that life is better sober, and I always attributed that to just not having hangovers or other drinking concerns. While it is true that those issues are no longer in play, I don't think that is actually why things are so much better. For me anyway, it has been like stepping out of black-and-white Kansas into Oz-In-Color. Life actually *feels* different. Sleep is like cashmere. It is just amazing. Alcohol is actually a poison, and when you stop giving yourself small, frequent doses, your mind and body come alive. That is the feeling.

People who think about stopping drinking are often terrified. They absolutely do NOT want to give up alcohol entirely. They cannot imagine an enjoyable life without it. Some of my friends and family actually recoiled when I told them that I was not drinking any more, "OMG, why?!?!?! Can I drink you around you? You're not going to ask ME to stop, are you??" LOL! For many, alcohol is the equivalent of a grown-up "kiddie blanket". It is a potentially harmful, even lethal, Dumbo's feather. It is one huge delusion.

You will enjoy life so much more thoroughly without it. The reality is that birthdays, weddings, celebrations, etc. are joyful, period. The reality is that they are enjoyable in spite of, and not due to, alcohol consumption. Being sober is like being on a super-power vitamin or a miracle drug, everything feels better, brighter, lighter. Alcohol doesn't even come into play, except that you're not drinking it any more. That's it, it is a fleeting thought and usually that thought is: I am so incredibly happy to be done with that stuff!! I have that thought dang near every time I am around people who are drinking, which is quite often. I have wine in my house for guests. I just came back from Europe, where nearly all my friends and colleagues were drinking French wine and Belgian Beer. I have hosted parties and poured wine, made drinks for others. Staying sober is easy when you realize that you give up NOTHING and gain EVERYTHING by choosing to leave alcohol aside.

As you are reading this, you may think that I am delusional. The drug itself will 'tell' you that what I am saying is not true and is actually impossible, or that I am a sad, pathetic sort who can't enjoy the obvious benefits of alcohol; that's what I used to feel, and some of my extended family is not shy in telling me that this is how they feel now towards me and my not drinking.

I assure you, though, I am not the one using a drug. Pure logic should tell you that the person who is clear-headed is going to have a better grasp of the truth. I am not posting to you to try to bring you down a road into misery- you can already see that you are on that very path. Otherwise you wouldn't be posting. I am posting to you to assure that you are quite on the RIGHT path by questioning your alcohol use. "Sobriety" sounds like it means something harsh, stern, not-fun. It is actually quite the opposite in real-life experience though. It is clear skies, it is having the ability to handle life's challenges, it is feeling physically and emotionally great as a baseline. It is a better experience in just about every way possible.

I got there via Carr and Vale, but there are many roads. AA has worked for hundreds of thousands of people. There are other programs like SMART and rational recovery, there is a HUGE community of sober bloggers, some starting at Day One and others who have been sober for years. There are pod-casts. The amount of support available is staggering. There are many, many people who are thriving and living very happy, satisfying lives without any alcohol. Alcohol is just not necessary for a very fulfilling life, and it will actually hinder you, as you are experiencing now.

I've followed this thread and it sounds like you are on the brink. I encourage you to keep going, keep thinking about it, do your research. I don't think I am an alcoholic in the true sense of the word, I am just a person who doesn't drink alcohol. The reason is because life is *way better* without it. You don't have to be an alcoholic to experience this and you can say this if your wife asks.

Your life is challenging right now, heavily influenced by your alcohol use. You can change that. You're on the right path. Keep going!!

"Happiness is only the cart; love is the horse."- George Vallliant, long-term director of the 75-year (and continuing) Harvard Grant Study, on the primary contributor to a happy life.
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post #118 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-11-2015, 01:52 PM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

I quit drinking totally about 8 years ago when I became a christian. It wasn't that I thought drinking was wrong, no way, Jesus' first miracle was the greatest beer run in human history. I just didn't feel comfortable in the atmosphere, surrounded by people who weren't in control of their actions and thoughts.

I drank coffee, and loved the atmosphere, even the women (I was single) were more attractive, friendly, respectable and respected me.

When I met my wife 3 years ago I started going out with her, she loved the bars scene, for the first 6 months before marriage I drank monster out at the bars, I still hated the bullsh!t drama atmosphere, but that's what my wife lived for.

3 months into marriage, I was drinking as much as she was going out to the bars, the drama was harder to avoid because so much more of it surrounded us, or our relationship. Nothing about our marriage was kept within our marriage.

6 months into the marriage I became depressed, cut back on drinking to just 2 beers when we went out, I would fade into the background and just observe my wife from a distance, when the be started I would leave.

1 year into the marriage I quit socializing with my wife, instead I focused on my son. I had my own life she had hers. When I didn't have my son, I drank alone.

I don't know what she was doing over the past year of our marriage.

I joined Tam last Nov, pretty much moved out Dec/Jan.
Filed D late Apr
I'm no longer clinically depressed, I'm pissed off at the b.s. I have to deal with now, but the end is near!

I drink a couple nights a week, 2-3 bottles of beer, never alone. The last time I got drunk was early may, the night before I met my lawyer.

I'm back to drinking coffee. Talking to real people, about real life issues.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, "KEURIG™."

Last edited by gouge_away; 06-11-2015 at 02:02 PM.
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post #119 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-12-2015, 12:03 AM
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

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I agree in regards to the dependent vs. alcoholic aspect. I have thought about that and at this point I think it is still on the line not having crossed over to alcoholic. I know if I don't change soon it will cross over.
The first part of getting over you addiction is acceptance. I can assure you that you will get nowhere without accepting that you are indeed an alcoholic. I ain’t preaching- it got so bad for me that I got dragged to rehab.

I know it’s difficult, but the only way forward in my opinion is to tell your wife about your addiction. You need her support, and you need to atleast try for it. You difficulty will be reduced immensely if you consult a physician. Try looking for a good rehab centre nearby. if you’re anywhere in Canada, take a look at the Canada Rehab Reviews site. They review good addiction treatment programs in Calgary and surrounding areas.

Remember- the first step is acceptance. You will never be cured of your addiction until you accept to yourself that you do have an addiction and that you want to get over it.
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post #120 of 129 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not an alcoholic but

Just to give an update. Things have been going better. In the marriage we have been spending a lot more time together and for the most part it has been good time spent. There are still plenty of things that bother me, but I also know I need to accept that most of those wont change much. As for the drinking, I have pushed myself to go multiple days at a time without drinking, so it is no longer an everyday thing.
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