Ask Angie: Hi Angie. My husband is a severe alcoholic and has tried detox & rehabs several and I mean several times. He has been an alcoholic for 20+ years. We have known each other since we were teenagers and then started dating again about 8 years ago. He was in recovery when we started dating and I really didn’t know what an alcoholic was at that time. The longest he has ever been sober is 7 months and that was in 2001. Ever since then he has gotten worse the disease has really progressed over the years. During the last 4 years I think he has been sober for 3 months at the longest and in 2008 and now 2009 he has gone 3 weeks as the longest stint of sobriety. He is always emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive.
ANON (Those Who Love Dysfunctional People)
Have You Been Playing a Role in the Life of an Alcoholic or Addict?
Though it may be hard to admit it, do you think you could (intentionally or not) be playing a role in the life of an alcoholic or addict?
What is this role?
Ask Angie: I am finding it hard to trust my husband again. We’ve been married for 31 years. this Valentine’s day and in year 28 I found out he was heavily into drugs, which he now claims to be free of, but I still have a hard time believing him because of the extent he wants to hide his use. All the lies, deceit, and now the unwillingness to discuss it with me, leaves me with many unanswered questions.
I write this article at a point in my life when I have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic and a recovering narcotic addict. It is a timely message for me and one that needs to be written and well read by many people.
Ask Angie: Hello friend in Christ…just wanted to tell you my husband and I have been having issues for a while now. He is in recovery and I am not (although I am not an addict) I need Alanon in my life but find it hard to arrange a ride (no car) and sitter for my 6 yr. old. My husband lives three houses away from our home. I try not to hassle him about time with us but he seems to need time with the AA family more and we really need him to show us emotionally he cares to keep the family together too. I understand he has to stay sober to be a dad/husband of any kind, but to me there is a huge vacancy in our life. I love him with all my heart. We need counseling terribly and church makes me so happy. I’m without a vehicle so life is kind of challenging now.
Utter confusion, misery and pain,
Humiliation, remorseful, ashamed.
Dreading to face the light of each day,
Not wanting to hear what people would say.
Like, “Where is your power? Where is your pride?”
They don’t understand that deep down inside
I wish I knew the answers to give,
Or how to find the courage to live.
The best thing you can do when dealing with an alcoholic spouse is to detach from the abuse of the alcoholic. You can do this if you truly love your spouse and want to help them to possible sobriety. The more you focus all your energies on the alcoholic, the less likely he is to get sober. This article focuses on how you can detach and remain healthy mentally.
Don’t Make Alcoholism Your Problem
Recovery is much like tending our own garden. A garden needs water, fertilizer, sunshine, good soil and a lot of attention by the gardener. We, as Christians and recovering people need:
- the water of prayer, meditation, and communing with God
- the fertilizer of fellowship
- the “Sonshine” of resting in Him (letting go and letting God)
- the rich soil of God’s Word in which to firmly anchor our roots. Not only must we read the Word but we must *understand* it and *actively apply* it to our own lives. Roots must be anchored in the soil, they must take up the nourishment and then send it to the entire system of the plant so it may flourish.
- a lot of attention by us, as our own gardeners, to remove all weeds that appear.
It is not uncommon for those who start a new life in recovery to encounter resentment from their spouses, loved ones and/or friends. If this is the case, you will be put to the test by those who care for you most. This can be confusing because those who should be encouraging you in recovery are actually making it more difficult.
Your spouse may become resentful because you are spending more time at recovery meetings and less time with them. Stand strong and lovingly explain to your spouse that you need to take time for yourself in order to get your life back on track. Suggest that they come with you to open meetings where the loved ones are welcome so they can better understand your recovery process.
Are you witnessing a decline in your family’s lifestyle and overall happiness? Maybe you are the culprit.
As your tolerance level for your drug of choice or habit increases, more and more of the substance or act is needed to get the desired effect. Though your behavior is now having an obvious negative effect on you and those around you, they rationalize, excuse and minimize the problems just as you do.