Are you affected by a loved one who is an addict?

Have you been affected by someone else’s drinking or them doing drugs? I have. We may be parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, or friends, of alcoholics or drug addicts. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

I have been wanting to start an Al-Anonish type topic here ever since I joined Sober Time and TS. This is not Al-Anon.
I do highly recommend Al-Anon especially if your life is becoming unmanageable because of a loved one that drinks or does drugs. It’s a twelve step program. Easy to find meetings on line Alanon.org

Please use this thread if you want to share your experiences or just vent if you are affected by a loved one who drinks or does drugs.
:pray:t2::heart:

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Eric! This is wonderful! My brother is currently in active use and this will be a great tool when I need to let stuff out. All I can do is pray he has an awakening.

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I guess I’ll start.
I got sober 649 days ago. And my wife still drinks.
I have 2 children who are in recovery and made my life completely unmanageable during their late teen and twenty years. The best thing I did for that was find an Al-Anon meeting. It took me awhile to find a group I fit in with. But when I did. Bam!! I wasn’t alone. So many parents battling with their addicted children. My kids are good now.

But my wife. She drinks wine all the time. And last weekend she went for the cocktails at dinner while my daughter was here with her husband. I knew exactly what was going to happen. And it did. 3 nights in a row passing out on the couch.
I couldn’t stop it.
How could I? You ever try talking to an alcoholic?
Well as I mention on the gratitude thread the other day.

Then that Ol useless unstoppable friend resentment comes in. Resentment has always been my biggest battle. I know it’s coming. I know it’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. But it’s a feeling. It comes. And it goes. And I’ve learned how to deal with resentment and not hold on to it for weeks.

Anyway. I’m powerless over my wife’s drinking. I’m powerless over my drinking. I’ve accepted that fact.
And I read yesterday:
I should pray for the one against whom I hold the resentment. I should put that person in God’s hands and let God show him or her the way to live.
From my daily Hazeldon Betty Ford reading.
And I’m going to try and remember when that no good shit heels of a friend resentment shows up? I’m going to pray for that person instead. And let God deal with it.
:pray:t2::heart:

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Great thread, Eric. I will be participating for sure!

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One thing I really struggled with last weekend was my wife’s stumbling after we had dinner. Do I let her fall again and twist an ankle or worse. It’s happened a few times. Or do I rescue her and make sure she doesn’t fall? I don’t want to be the rescuer. It’s way too exhausting. I’ve done that before. If I’m always there to rescue her when she’s drinking am I enabling the behavior? If I let her fall and hurt herself will that teach her a lesson? Sometimes it’s so hard. I do love my wife. It’s been 38 years. For better or worse. And even this fucking disease. If she had some other disease like MS I would take care of her.

Basically my wife is pretty harmless when she drinks wine all day afternoon evening. It’s social gatherings with friends and family. This stumbling drunk behavior does not happen all the time. I want to say it’s not always that bad. But I guess it’s all relative.

But I am concerned about our upcoming trip to Dallas. Seeing my son and DIL and step-mom-in-law. These types of get togethers can be not good. But today is the only day I will worry about now. No point in worrying about what might or might not happen. But I will not lie or make excuses.
ODAAT

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Easier said than done.
If I do lie or make excuses for her drunkenness, then I will talk to her after we get home and make a boundary that I will no longer lie or make excuses for anyone who is drunk.
Ya. That’s it. Good plan.
Don’t you be laughing at me God :rofl:

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I think my husband was my caretaker many times. Actually, I don’t think it, I know he was. In all honesty, it did enable me. I knew it then and I know it now. He knew how bad it got when I was about to be out of liquor, so there was always a new bottle or two waiting to be opened. I would start panicking if I had a half-full handle. He took care of me when I got sick, when I passed out, when I couldn’t get out of bed, when appointments had to be canceled… and I knew that I could drink all I wanted, and I’d have someone to take care of everything else. It was never like that while my kids were still home, but afterwards, I just quit caring about myself. I let him take charge, because just about everything interfered with my drinking.

I also need to say that there were times I really wanted to quit drinking, and I would ask my husband for help. Whether he couldn’t, didn’t want to, was afraid to, I don’t know. But he didn’t help. I think he had a love/hate relationship with my drinking. He had all the control, over me and our lives. In my past two months of sobriety, I don’t think that’s been easy for him to give up.

I’m not sure if my husband could have said anything to change my over-drinking. I believe that enabling is relative to each situation, and it’s ultimately up to the drinker to slow down or stop. I’m sorry for all I put my husband through, and I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this, too.

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I am sorry you are going through this, Eric, as I know you love your wife. And your kids love their mother. Must be challenging for all of you. Prayer idea, and especially when there is a resentment, seems counterintuitive, but it does help me. Hang in there, dear friend.

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Interesting topic…For years even during my own worst runs of drinking if I perceived someone else to be drinking too much I would just judge them and walk away. I always had a ‘Live and let die’ attitude…

I should have let people know how their addictions hurt me over the years but I always told myself that I have no room to talk given how much I partied. At the same time my own drinking was likely hurting others so it all seemed like a karma thing that I reaped what I sowed. I remember drinking with my dad and it seemed like the only thing we ever had in common for some years. I suppose at the time the self destructive nature of that was not apparent to me…It was like the only activity we had in common…

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Yeah i can totally understand this. My father recently did something stupid while only blowing a .04 that landed him in the top headlines of the TV news channels, social media and some out of state news networks etc… That landed a 72 yr old man in prison( we dont have county jails here) for a few days until bailed out during COVID. He claims hes only had 5 beers, but when he finally comes inside you would have thought he cleared a pack. Ive even went outside to count them and hes not lying at all it was only 5 . I guess this is a late stage of alcoholism. Im not familiar with alcohol like that as i only had a short career drinking before i moved on to harder drugs. So this kind of baffled me at first. Ive noticed since this lil jail incident that he has tried to cut it back to the weekends. Which has been nice i can actually talk to him when hes sober. When he drinks i can hardly talk ro him as its sad when this js your father and probably getting close to his last years on this earth. When it comes to the weekend its back to stumbling wonder how he even walked inside or made it that far. Its embarrassing to see yet so helpless as hes a grown man and im not gonna step into the middle of how he wants to enjoys his last days and retirement on this earth. All i can remember when i see him like that is him bitching me out when id basically be doing the same thing nodding out sleeping standing up in the kitchen at 2am. Ive watched him struggle on and off while i know hes stressed of his outcome of his fate for his charges …hes frustrated not understanding the way the system works and and very limited info from his lawyer has provided. With covid the system naturally slow and months between hearings its like im watching him torture himself slowly as this goes on. I try to stay busy working 6-7 days a week as i have been fortunate and blessed enough to have been busy this whole year more then i ever have. Basically distracted so i do not.have to watch him bothered and torturing himself with alcohol. Its definitely sad to see him struggle and have to deal with all this at the end of his life. It would have been nice to see him turn himself around before his days were up. With the stress of court and serious charges pending and alcohol i feel his overall health has drastically been declining. atleast he can know i did finally straighten my life up before he died and i have done well for myself since ive gotten clean. Although im sure hes probably not happy with himself and where his life is. I would hope he can rest easy knowing i did. Im sure years ago he probably didnt think it would ever happen. We just have always had that tough love kind of relationship where we dont express alot to each other together like that but i know its there.

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My boyfriend is an everyday alcoholic type, whereas I have historically been more of the binge alcoholic type. I try really hard to not resent him when I’m doing my best to get sober, but it really bothers me to see him drinking every night. I occasionally catch him slipping a little liquor into his morning coffee which just gets me worried that it’s more severe than I thought. He went off the deep end a bit when his dad died earlier this year. I guess since we don’t live together it doesn’t bother me as much as it would otherwise because I am usually home and getting in bed before I see him passing out on the couch with a beer in his hand, but generally if we are staying under the same roof for the night that is how the night ends. Sometimes with beer getting spilled on the couch or on his lap. But almost always he drinks until he goes to sleep. I do feel like he has chosen alcohol over me in several instances, which I feel like I am never vocal about… I know I should be. The most recent incident still bothers me. I had a boundary of no drinking at my house while my daughter’s boyfriend came over to pick her up. It was the first time I was to meet his mother, and I just didn’t want her getting the wrong idea of what things are like at my house. I asked my boyfriend politely to not drink when she got there… he smarted off at me telling me “it’s Friday” etc… then said he was going home because he wanted a beer. It is still something I need to talk to him about, because I just think it is important he knows that I don’t want to ever feel like he is choosing alcohol over me and why it made me feel that way.

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I am so glad you have started this thread.

I was affected heavily by my partner of 8 years gambling addiction. I was guilty of enabling him, handing him money back because I was afraid of him, and staying in the crappy relationship because I was so co-dependant.
On the flip side of that I was in a marriage later in my life with a man who enabled my drinking because he was scared for me, of me, to lose me. I recently made amends for the years of pain and anguish I caused him and all the chaos I brought to our lives. I never wanted to hurt him he just got sucked into the abyss of my addiction.
I hope lots of people flock to this thread for the support they need. I know there are lots of people out there trying to stay sober with partners still in active addiction.

:heart::pray::heart:

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My wife is asleep on the couch now. It’s pretty much the norm around here. I always feel at least it is just wine. Today anyway. I’ve really been doing good. No great. Getting over the resentment issue. It was always such a big weight on my neck. Like I wrote earlier. It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It’s hard. But I try and find the good. I get the place to myself. The tv. The bed. With all my pets. And I’m grateful for the sober time we do have together. But I do feel sad often. It sucks.

It’s really difficult to talk to an addict or alcoholic. You got to pick a good time. I always find expressing how I feel works best. It doesn’t fix the problem. But it gets my feelings out there.

Denial can very a very strong thing in addiction. I didn’t want to believe my kids were serious drug addicts. There were lots of signs. But I didn’t want my loved ones to be drug addicts. Eventually it gets worse and it hits you. It can hit you hard.
:pray:t2::heart:

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It’s definitely very difficult to talk to an alcoholic about drinking. It’s almost impossible. At least in my experience. I just go with how I feel. I helps me. My dad self medicated with drugs and booze because of back pain and surgeries in the 60’s. So I never really had a dad that played with me or anything like that growing up. But somewhere around his mid 50’s he just stopped, after being in a pain unit rehab place in Boston. I had already moved far away. I at least got to have a nice but long distance relationship with him at the end of his life. Until Alzheimer’s came along. :grimacing:

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@Dazercat Eric I want to kiss you I’m so touched you made this thread. You couldn’t have known. I’ve been thinking about making it myself for a long time. Well, a few months. Shame kept me from it. I am going to say it now even though I’m not sure how far I can go sharing experience and how much information I want to divulge. I went public here before on the forum and was shamed so I might withdraw if this happens again. My partner came out to me as a sex addict about 4 months ago. His acting out far exceeds masturbation and porn and that’s all I’m going to say about this. We have been together 14 years. Big big love story. His acting out and lying has spanned the last 4,5 years of that. This has blown up my life. He was everything to me.
I knew we were codependent before. I am now ever more grasping to what extent we were and are still, though clawing my way out of it tooth and nail. Always discovering more of what all was enabled and hidden by this toxic dynamic.

I didn’t continue going to s-anon because the group I went to, it felt the women were doing all the work while their partners didn’t commit to recovery. They weren’t getting any better and the ladies just stayed and “worked on themselves”. I couldn’t bear that. I feel over-responsible, all the fucking time. My partner in active addiction has benefitted from that like any good narcissistic addict bastard. I, without knowing what that meant, took all the blame and guilt for our relationship not feeling as it once did for a long long time. That did me a lot of harm. I want to feel less responsible for what he did. And I’m managing that slowly.
We live apart now. It’ll take time to understand all the aspects of this, and moreover develop healthier and more self-responsible, adult ways of being with each other.
I hate what he did to me. But I still love the man I know he can become and I see in him, underneath all his hurt and deep flaws from childhood trauma and all that, yes, you guessed it. He is just another hurt soul like all of us here. He’s very committed to recovery, does everything by the book, out-reach, connect, meetings service, and does intensive therapy, like me. so, I’m often even glad about his work on himself these days. Still there’s no knowing if I will get back with him. And I need this to be an open process. I’m not just biding my time until we can “go back to normal”. No sir, that ship has burned.
My life today looks very different from what it looked like 2 months ago, 3, 6, a year. I went through a period of very bad depression and regression recently. I thought of suicide. I ate nothing but chocolate and chicken meat I buy for my dogs for over a month. And I was a vegan for ten years before then! I had probably the worst anxiety of my life so far.
I have of late felt a bit more stable again. Progress not perfection. Life is good. Recovery is good. We are the lucky ones. I feel that way.

Thanks for reading and letting me share. Love to you all.

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Yeah and like you and me know as addicts you cant make someone stop. They have to want it for themselves. My father was the same way. We have never done anything hardly together from childhood til now. After work was his cool down and drinking period. He never went to any of my baseball games or allstar games nothing. Yeah as my parents age now it’s starting to get to that phase where health problems dimetia , Alzheimers and things are starting in both parents. Atleast im not a complete mess and alot more with it to be able to help them out now. Just before i got clean i was destined to be dead or in jail for a long time for stupid things. My mother said she kinda started to accept that as we have alot more heart to heart talks now that im clean. I also know me getting clean also opened a door that they both could do it too. My mother used to drink and binge every weekend. Now she might drink a handful of times a year. I could only imagine watching my spouse going down that rabbit hole. My last gf is now deceased from using and im kind of glad we seperated ways a few years before she passed. Making any kind of grieving go by much easier as we were no longer close. Atleast doing our part we can be there to take care of things responsibility if needed and care for them.

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Thanks for everyone’s overwhelming love and support for this topic.
@Complicatedmama @ShesGotMoxie @Donnie_Spiering @EarnIt @CapriciousCapricorn @determinedworkingmom @ChrisR @LeeHawk I hope it can continue and be of some help and not get lost in topic hell.

I have to admit a little of me feels I need to respond to everyone, but I don’t have the answers. I know you don’t expect me to. I just hope as a collective we can all vent, support, and tell each other what works for us. And of course know we are not alone in this. I just know what works for me.
Thank you to all that have shared so far.

“Nobody Drives You Crazy - You Do!”
Alphonse M. Tatarunis, Ed.D.
Stress management friend of mine. :heart:
http://www.nestressmanagement.com/book.htm

I find Al-Anon literature, especially my morning daily devotional helps me a lot. I’ve been reading some form or another for years. I’m back to Courage To Change. I think it is my favorite one. I never miss a reading it it.

My favorite reading that I’ve posted on TS in one thread or another is:


I keep it in my photos so I can pull it up when needed. And some days it’s really needed.

Like any 12 step program.
It works if you work it.
And we are worth it.

I will try to apply “Easy Does It.” To every incident that might increase the tension and cause an explosion.
One Day At A Time In Al-Anon.

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Gosh. I just click on my Al-Anon link I sent and just discovered The Dilemma Of The Alcoholic Marriage book.

Truthfully I’m afraid to download or buy it because my wife might see it :grimacing:. Fuuuuuck. :grimacing:

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Please don’t feel a need to respond to each share here, because no one expects that of you. Plus, we already stretch ourselves too thin some days. :heart: We none have all the answers, but you’ve created a space for us to learn from each other and from ourselves. Oftentimes, I deeply resonate with someone else’s share, but all I can do is feel love for them. I have no words to offer, but I am intensely aware of their struggles, and I focus on sending that love towards them. Sometimes that’s all we can do. Just love. :heart:

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Download it! :wink:

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