Post # 61
You may truly beleive he is the right person, but he is not the right person right now.
I think you need to extract yourself from the situation, make it very clear that you still love him and will support him if he’s willing to get help, and call the wedding off for the forseeable future.
He has to stop drinking for him, otherwise it won’t stick. As someone who grew up with an alcoholic parent, who frequently forgot about them at dance class, made a scene at soccer games, and embarassed me in front of my friends, I can tell you that my mom would have never entered into that situation if she had known.
That said, my Dad has now been sober for 8 years, but it did take over 20 years before he realised he needed help. There is hope, but only if he’s willing.
Post # 62
I dated an alcoholic once, and dumped him. Addiction is very risky to take a gamble on. Personally, I wouldn’t marry him. A person can be a good person, but that doesn’t make them marriage material.
Post # 63
My mother is the child of an alcoholic father who died of drinking-related illness when she was 19, leaving my grandmother with five kids on her own.
My father hid his earlier problems with substances from my mother, she said she would never have married him if she’d known. By the time I was two she suspected something was wrong. She didn’t trust him to take care of me, he was taking money out of their savings to spend, and he insisted nothing was wrong. They got divorced a couple years later and he has been on and off the wagon since. She made me promise that I would never marry an addict. And that, should something happen with someone I was already in a relationship with, I would act quickly and decisively to get help.
Postpone the wedding, and say that your condition for staying is that he gets himself to an AA meeting. If he won’t admit he has a problem, and he won’t even begin to seek help, you aren’t going to get the life you want with the person he is right now.
I’m sorry bee. As a child who has watched her father slowly kill himself for 25 years because of problems with alcohol and drugs I would recommend very strongly against moving your life forward with someone in complete denial about his situation.
Post # 64
Also, I would recommend you speak to some people who have experienced marriage with an alcoholic. Al Anon would be helpful for this.
Post # 65
Like a PP, my father was an alcholic who was a very kind sweet person. He never abused my mother or me and my brother but my mother had to leave him because he had a severe problem. It was tough on all of us. My mother thought he would get better and he was a good man but he couldn’t. He ended up homeless and was found dead in a park by a jogger and he was not even 50. Unless your Fiance gets some serious help do not marry him. Post-pone the wedding if you’re not sure but do not marry him and hope things change. If he denies having a problem then you need to leave.
Post # 66
Reading through this thread made me so sad. I’m the child of an alcoholic and wouldn’t wish that on any child. I hope you think long and hard about your future and the repercussions of staying with this man. I know you love him and none of us here can make this decision for you, but you have A LOTTTTT to think about. Good luck, bee 💐❤️
Post # 67
My 2 cents…
Al-Anon is great. I would also get another therapist, and think long and hard about if you want this to be the rest of your life.
That aside, I’ll give you another personal experience. Something to think about. My mom was the daughter of an alcoholic. He wasn’t phsycially abusive to my grandmother or mother, but the emotional scars of growing up with an unstable, erratic, unsupportive father are with her to this day. My grandfather’s drinking destroyed his children’s childhoods, and they’ve all struggled a great deal in their adult lives.
Good luck, bee.
Post # 68
Its one thing to marry an addict in recovery but, quite another to marry someone who will not acknowledge they have a problem.
My birth father was a functioning alcoholic when my mom married him, she was young and just lost her parents.. She says she knew he had a problem but, didn’t have anyone else in her life and wanted to believe he would take steps to better himself. She left him 3 years later after my brother and I were born because it became very clear he wasn’t willing and she didn’t want us to be raised in an environment like that. His illness progressed and its caused my family a lot of pain and suffering.. My mom was lucky enough to find my stepfather and my brother and I were raised the way she wanted us to be but, its been tough to deal with to say the least.
Right now its just you.. And as hard as it may be to call off a wedding, its easier than getting a divorce. If you can’t break it off completely, at least post-pone and express your concerns to him as clearly as you did to us.
Post # 69
Hi bees. Thanks for all of your words of encouragement and support! It really means a lot to me, so thank you.
I started Al Anon and it’s been helpful. Not so much the steps part but just hearing from other people going through the same thing. Alcoholism in a partner can be such an isolating experience. So it’s helpful to know I am not alone in this.
I told Fiance that he either gets into treatment or I’m leaving him. He was very shaken by that and has taken steps for himself as well. He hasn’t started treatment yet. He has researched some options. One in particular that combines therapy with alcoholism treatment that isn’t AA and is more individualized. Unfortunately all of our friends are drinkers and it’s amazing how much peer pressure there is to drink. I told Fiance that there’s one couple in particular we should avoid because of how much they drink and live their lives around drinking.
Fiance also talked with a doctor about his drinking and had a liver enzyme test done. We should get the results back soon. The doctor prescribed three more liver tests and asked Fiance to not drink at all between them to get a more accurate picture of the issue.
Part of why I’m posting this update is I just quit my therapist this morning. I had been seeing him for three years so I thought that dignified a goodbye session (btw, I’ve tried to stop seeing him in the past for other reasons and he got very angry and told me I was making a mistake so I stayed). When I told him this would be my last session he seemed very upset with me and it was one of the most heated sessions I’ve ever had. I was trying to stay as calm as possible but he seemed so angry. My heart was pounding the entire time. I told him how dismissed I felt when talking about Fiance drinking problem. He got very defensive and told me how I was transferring my power by breaking up with my therapist instead of my Fiance. He also said that AL Anon doesn’t work and that I might have a honeymoon period and then it’ll crash and I’ll be worse off in the end. 🙁 He made me feel pretty crummy and said that I don’t have an internal structure to handle problems and that I “run away from problems” and that looking to a structured program like Al Anon for help is a big mistake.
By the end of the session he softened his tone and said I’m welcome back anytime. But my head is swimming from all of this. In three years of therapy he has never talked about my “problem” with handling problems in my life. I feel so angry that he never addressed that so we could work on that. When I told him that he said that’s not his style of therapy. That he only works on things that I bring up in therapy. But if I don’t recognize something in myself how am I supposed to bring it up?
Anyway, Think it’s for the best I’m of out that situation. Now I need to work on myself and get Fiance started on treatment. I don’t know what I’m seeking by posting this but I just wanted to share this with someone. I told my best friend about what’s going on but she’s out of the country right now so it’s hard to chat with her during this time.
Post # 70
anonmenon : Good steps, Bee. Your therapist sounds as if he needs a therapist more than you do. Did he say what his “style” of therapy is? Perhaps look for someone whose foundation is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and can help you set and reach personal goals while addressing any internal roadblocks you may have. (We all do.)
Whenever I’m not drinking for any reason I’ll often just order a tonic and lime when I’m out with friends who are or make myself a tasty mocktail at home. Just like I still made coffee many mornings when I didn’t drink it due to morning sickness while pregnant, there is something about rituals that are hard to break.
Post # 71
anonmenon : OMG sounds like you need new therapist to discuss your old therapist! Good for you for breaking it off with ther therapist tho! And for seeking out al anon, im confident it would be helpful for you.
How has your Fiance been coping with not drinking in between liver tests?
Post # 72
beethree : Funny you should mention cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ve been very curious about it for a while. And mentioned it to my therapist that that approach might work better for me. He told me CBT doesn’t work. Of course he would say that though. He’s more Freudian analytical. There’s a analysis couch in his office though I’ve never used it.
And, yes, I love the trick about drinking tonic (i do just seltzer with lime). I told Fiance about that and he’s going to try to do that. You’re right it’s all a ritual. That can be hard to break. We have had a few dry hang out sessions with friends and one of them asked if I was pregnant. Since she couldn’t fathom why someone wouldn’t drink otherwise.
ktsteimel : He’s been doing ok with it. We just stay home and don’t go out. We’ve been cooking at home more since being at a restaurant or hanging out with friends is just too tempting. I leave for a business trip for a whole week on Friday and Fiance is nervous about being left alone.
Post # 73
anonmenon : Do your own research. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and many skillful therapists combine different approaches depending upon the needs of their client. I’m sorry, but your therapist doesn’t sound as if he’s been helpful. (That’s me being generous.) It’s like dating–you keep trying until you find the right match.
Before you leave perhaps experiment with some mocktails and then challenge your Fiance to develop some own while you are gone? All the better if they require hand-squeezing, muddling, special ice cubes, etc. If he can pre-plan some distractions (binge-watching a series, cleaning out the garage, etc.) to help fill up the time while youare gone it may help as well. Does he have any supportive friends or family members who can stay with or otherwise check in on him?
Can you get your friends on board to support your choices? You don’t have to tell them everything, but even a heads up that your Fiance addressing some health issues and won’t be drinking as a result? If they can’t respect this perhaps a break from these friends is indeed in order.
Last, and despite the above, you are not his keeper. He is a grown man responsible for his own decisions. He knows what his choices are and what the consequences may be. You can love him and still do what’s best for you.
Post # 74
beethree : You are right. I’m not his keeper. I need to keep telling myself that. My gut reaction is to always help people and take them on like a responsibility.
He is going to stay with a friend couple this weekend at their new summer house. He’s helping them fix it up. I might mention something to the wife who I’m pretty close with. I’m just so nervous telling other people about this, but I think the more people I tell the less responsibility I’ll have on my shoulders. Fiance has the responsbility in his hands, but he needs support and that support can’t just be me.
Post # 75
Other PPs have great advice about your husbands drinking, so I just came on here to comment wtf about your therapist?! So glad you’re not seeing him anymore. You should never feel scared to leave a therapist and I would consider reporting him (is that a thing? I don’t know) if I were you. Holy cow. Maybe I’m just totally misinformed but that whole deal sounded super off to me. Also, considering almost everything else he said is nonsense, I would reaaalllly think hard about whether you do have this “problem” he snatched out of thin air for you. To me it sounds like he just made something up to convince you to stay.