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Unread 07-06-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
ailish
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Am I delighted to find this forum! I thought I was the only one up late on yet another lonely Saturday night. I hate the weekends now, even though I need the rest after working all week. Hubby has gone overseas to attend a wedding of a coworker and told me I wasn't allowed to go with him even though I was invited. The nerve! In addition he ignored the fact that one of his sons came home for the weekend; he hasn't been home in six months, so he is upset with his Dad. But he can drink guilt-free while abroad knowing that I'm here to take care of house and home. After 30 years, I think it is time to call it quits. Our sons have said enough is enough. They are tired of his anger, and controlling ways. We have lived in three different countries all because of alcoholism. Each time it was supposed to be better, which financially it was, but it also meant more money for booze. Now everything is my fault! Don't get me wrong - in the earlier years he was kind and considerate and could handle his drinking, but now it has become the new boss. I hate the sound of a beer can being popped. I hate the smell of whiskey. I hate the sudden outbursts about imaginary events from the past. I'm having a difficult time at Al Anon meetings, as everyone seems so willing to share, but I'm not there yet. I really don't know how anyone can continue to live with this dreadful disease and stay sane. My father was also a drinker, but he didn't drink in the house and stayed locally so at least my mother knew where he was. Sorry for the rant, thanks for listening. I never thought my spirits could feel so crushed.
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Unread 07-06-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
Nadia
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Hello ailish,

It sounds as if you've made up your mind. There is no reason for you to live like that, especially if your children are also tired of their father.

Does your husband WANT help or is he content with the way things are? Have you or anyone else ever talked with him about getting help. I'm guessing that all has happened, but I wanted to ask anyways.

You have a lot of life left to live. YOU do. Do what is right for you. If he is unwilling to get help, you must do what is in the best interest of yourself and your children. If it means leaving or kicking him out, so be it.

I never went to Alanon, so I have no advice to offer, except when you are ready to talk there, you'll talk there.

I went to one-on-one therapy and it helped me a great deal to cope with the anger, sadness and all the other emotions surrounding my decision to leave my husband at the time.

This section of the site is quite helpful, as is the education section.
http://www.alcoholanswers.org/friends-family/
http://www.alcoholanswers.org/alcoho...on/default.cfm

Don't apologize for the rant. You cannot keep these emotions bottled up inside.

Prayers.
Nadia
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Unread 07-06-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
Glennda
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Welcome ailish,

Nadia has given you some great suggestions. I don't have much to add...just a few opinions.

About the Alanon thing. It's not for everyone. If you've given it your all and tried to get with the program but find that it's not helping, then by all means try something else. Counseling is great if you can find one that you "gel well" with. Any kind of one-on-one therapy could be helpful for you right now.

I think you're getting ready to make some life-changing decisions and it's so important to have a "sane" sounding board to help you wade through the confusion. It sounds like you've had enough and so have your kids. Don't be afraid to do what's best FOR YOU.

Good luck. Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.

Take care,
Glennda
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Unread 07-06-2008, 08:51 PM   #4
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Hi Ailish,

I am so glad you found this forum. You have already received great advice and links. I am sure through Al-Alon you know this is such a progressive disease. He sounds like he has been advancing in his career, as well as his drinking. I know it must feel like you should be enjoying his success, together, instead of competing with alcohol. Nobody wins in that game as it is merciless competitor. Please hang in there though.

That is great that you have found a support system, do you think with time you will feel more comfortable opening up? Maybe as Nadia said one on one counseling will help you and perhaps to figure out a plan. Would he consider going as well?

I hope you will continue to post, rant away if need be! Sending good thoughts your way, take care - Carly


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Unread 07-09-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
ailish
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Thank you all for your helpful and inspiring messages. I have been to counseling and found it to be very helpful. I had never heard of emotional abuse before my first visit. Carly is so right about alcohol being a merciless competitor. There's no such thing as a logical argument, is there? The councillor did tell me that I could prepare a case that would get through the Supreme Court in five minutes, but with an alcoholic there's no winning an argument or coming to a logical conclusion, even when they're sober. What I find ironic is that when I met him first he had never been anywhere or done anything special. I opened up a whole new world for him, introduced him to new and interesting people, and even then, now that I reflect on it, his behavior when drinking irritated some people. We did so much together and tried so many new things and places, all with my help, but now that he has found this "independence" he imagines that he has been like this all his life. It is as if he has absorbed all my good qualities and traits, made them his own and has transferred his negative qualities to me. I used to be so trusting, but now I feel that I was just naive. Over the years he accused me of seeing other men - that was a joke, considering I was at home with the kids - and would eventually calm down after much reassuring that nothing was going on. Now I find out that he is receiving calls from a former female colleague all the time and when I think back, there was a time when she was always around with the drinking crowd and paying special attention to him. I've definitely been duped on this one. I think what angers and upsets me most is that I've been taken advantage of so blatently. Really I feel that he has transferred his demons to me. The thought of having to go through a divorce process is exhausting and expensive, and will just bring up more bad memories. Has anyone ever wished that things would just go away sometimes? He is still overseas until Saturday, so I am enjoying the peace for now, but it is hard to keep a lid on those crazy thoughts especially at night.In times like these I am so thankful to have a very busy job that keeps me focused. Thanks again for allowing me this space to post. Ailish
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Unread 07-09-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
Mary Ellen
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Ailish,

It's okay to be angry about all of this, but don't let it change who you are fundamentally. Don't allow his bad traits to become yours. You don't have control over him, but you DO have control over yourself. Keep seeing your counselor so that you can get your self esteem back.
My husband of 24 years is an alcoholic and yes, I do often wish this would all just go away. Sometimes I think this would be easier to deal with if he had a disease like cancer instead of alcoholism. I, too, have a great job that I love and that keeps me grounded, and, if we ever split, will keep my son and me afloat.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Mary Ellen
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Unread 07-09-2008, 05:26 PM   #7
Nadia
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Hello ailish.

What is holding you back from leaving him? Are your children still at home? You mentioned that you work all week. Can you live comfortably on your wages. Divorce does not have to be exhausting or expensive if no minor children are involved. As has been said, you can't control him, but you do have THE say in your life.

You don't deserve to live like that. You have a lot to offer and to receive something back is a joy that you shouldn't shut the door on.

I, too, wished it would all go away. I realized that it wouldn't and so I took action to take control of what I could. Not my ex-husband, but my own happiness.

You deserve better. Keep posting.

Prayers.
Nadia
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Unread 07-10-2008, 10:32 PM   #8
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Hi Ailish,

I wanted to check in with you, hope you are enjoying some peace of mind. You said something very interesting about how you opened up a whole new world for him and now he has his "independence". I just wonder if he really has independence or is alcohol his "courage in a bottle" so to speak, to face his job/social life. That really struck me as interesting.
Please do not let this ruin your self-esteem, people in the grips of alcoholism can be master manipulators. Maybe continued counseling will help you regain your positive attributes that you feel you have lost through all of this.

You do deserve a better life than this, but also know it is a process to even start imagining a life without being married. You may have to ask yourself what is your quality life like now.
My sincere wish is that he would accept help, people/ marriages/families do recover from this, so please do not give up hope, but by the same token, don't let him bring you down to the depths with him. Please take care, sending good thoughts your way, Carly
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Unread 07-11-2008, 02:05 AM   #9
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Hi Ailish

Carly brings up an important point that while having hope that there can be change, be aware that you may have to move on without him. Where is that line drawn? It's different for everyone and you need to decide in yourself where the line is.

He's a sick man and I have hope that he'll see that and accept/seek help. In the meantime, you need to help yourself. You're making some great strides with the counseling, Alanon and expressing yourself here.

Welcome to the site.

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Unread 07-11-2008, 01:28 PM   #10
ailish
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Thank you all for your wonderfully inspiring messages. They're really helping! These past few months I've been sending him messages about how unacceptable his behavior is and did issue an ultimatum that if he went overseas to the wedding by himself, he could not return. I've since heard that things did not go well over there - he was late getting to the wedding, there were delays at airports, but then he went to visit his parents, and now his father has been diagnosed with cancer and may elect not to have surgery. He didn't bother let us know; his sister sent an email to tell us, then he called the house early in the day knowing that I would be at work - he does have my work number, cell phone number, etc. - to tell one of our sons about his grandfather. He informed him that he already knew. It is one of life's great ironies, his father was a heavy abuser of alcohol and only quit about 14 years ago after giving his wife over 40 years of hell. He is now 82. My husband is his Dads "favorite son" so I'm sure he is feeling quite crushed at the moment, and probably thinks this sad event will get him off the hook at home for now, and keep him in the limelight. I had cancer almost two years ago, and he just told me that "cancer is very treatable and curable nowadays.' I did not get much support from him then, but got through with the help of my sister, friends and coworkers. I'm ok now, and my return visits to the oncologist are scheduled further and further apart. So tomorrow will be interesting when he returns! I'm so tempted to tell him that it is treatable and curable. We don't even know when his flight is due in. He left the house last week without even saying goodbye to anyone, and didn't even have luggage, or decent shoes. Probably bought something over there which will be twice as expensive given the weak dollar. Our other son returned to school in on Sunday, and he is really annoyed with his Dad, but is upset about his grandfather.

In answer to several questions, yes, I could support myself financially, I would have to trim things a little, there was too much excess at times anyhow, because the alcohol is controlling everything. Our sons are 23 and 21 and are both at college and should be finished within a year to eighteen months. Most of the tuition has been paid to date, and I (yes, me) cosigned for the remaining student loans. That's another big deal with hubbie - no debt of any kind. Believes in paying the lump sum for everything, then we would have to scrape by for a while, but of course always money for booze. Complains about money, but won't bother to look at the bills, just expects everything to work and be paid for.

What is preventing me from changing the locks on the door tomorrow? it is so hard to say. When he was caught drinking and driving a few years ago, (his third) he had to go to AA five nights per week, once a week to counseling, and once a week to the probation officer. These were his only options, or go to jail. He didn't drink for 12 months and he was great. But he gradually started again, and was angry with the whole process. I'm so programmed to make things right that I just thought I could fix this as well, but as a friend commented to me recently, I've only "absorbed his karma." He makes me doubt myself at times, and I was beginning to feel invisible. In fact I think he now sees me as his mother, not his wife. I honestly feel that he doesn't love me any more. Perhaps that is why he drinks. He is very traditional and probably feels that divorce is somewhat shameful to him and the family. I also think that he is proud of the fact that he can come and go as he wishes, and "the wife" will be in the background taking care of everything.

I realize that he is very, very sick at this stage, but he will not get help. I kept bringing up the alcohol issue, not nagging, just mentioning its effects. But it is my fault, his employer's fault, the area we live in, the boys, numerous excuses. I've been sending him emails to work, instead of talking to him because he always has a beer in his hand. I don't know if he reads them. He never responds. Walks straight in from work every day and starts with the beer. So I think tomorrow's welcome home message will have to be get help and I will support you, or go and live somewhere else. Thanks for e-listening!
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Unread 07-12-2008, 10:02 PM   #11
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Hi Ailish,

Well, today is Saturday, the day he returns, I wanted to check in with you. How are you holding up? Also, what a relief it is hear that your cancer has been treated. Wow, the more you share, it seems like you have dealing with an incredible amount of stress from his issues, and health issues of your own!

So we know he has been introduced to a 12 step program via the court. I did feel a glimmer of hope when you mentioned he was able to abstain for 12 months!
Odds are he has maybe one or 2 chances where DUIs are concerned, a dear friend's Ex is in jail now for refusing treatment. Of course that is not the solution, as there is little by way of treatment he will get in jail, he cannot contribute child support, but that is another issue. I think what I am saying- is - he has very few options left. Especially if you decide to give an ultimatum and take action.

With his Dad's diagnosis, he may get worse, as drinking may be his one and only coping mechanism, but most people do reach their bottom at some point. Just my opinion.
Ahh and the blame game- please do not fall for that one. You, his boss, have no more to do with his drinking than the man in the moon! So, please do not take responsibility for his drinking.

I hope that this weekend goes as well as can be expected. Please post if you need to vent and we are all pulling for you and your family. Take care and hang in there, Carly
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Unread 07-14-2008, 11:04 AM   #12
ailish
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He returned late on Saturday night, but didn't come home. Has checked into a hotel about 50 miles from here. Didn't contact us either. We just know his approximate location from banking activity. I haven't tried to contact him either, but will probably send an email to his office. He is probably in one of them "I'll show them" moods, and was either drinking all day yesterday, or is trying to cut back. I'm sure his is trying to get another overseas assignment now rather than deal directly with this. As usual, trying to keep us off balance. It is all so sad, and while I know I was right to draw the line, I feel that maybe I should have been less confrontational. Oh emotions! Why do we have to have them some days? Happy Monday to all!
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Unread 07-14-2008, 11:36 AM   #13
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Oh Ailish, I was just thinking about you! I am so glad you posted.
Well, it is done you drew the line, of course you feel emotional, you are not numbing all feelings like he is. I guess right now, it is a waiting game to see what he will do next.

He knows that help is out there, he knows you will support him if he chooses to get help. Please hang in there, I hope and pray he will decide to get help.

Take care - we will be here if you need us. : ) Carly
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Unread 07-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #14
ailish
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Hi Carly,
Thanks for your post. I did receive a single line email from him this am with a new email address for one of our sons. I had written earlier about our concern for his Dad, but he didn't respond. As you say, the waiting game, the bluffing, etc. has begun. But when I read some of the other posts here, it reminds me that I went through all that too, and I do feel better. ailish
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Unread 07-16-2008, 06:51 PM   #15
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Hi Ailish,

I am glad you feel better, I am sure you are in for a roller - coaster ride and not the fun kind either. I am wondering what his next move will be, or do you think he will wait it out, thinking you will give in?

My thoughts and prayers are with you, hang in there. : ) Carly
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Unread 07-16-2008, 07:47 PM   #16
ailish
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Thanks Carly. I know he is going to work every day, and a trusted colleague there tells me he seems ok. But I don't know where he spends his nights or what he is doing for clean clothes, etc. I think he is trying to obtain living space by going in on a house share, or some such thing. He is very strong willed when he wants to be, except for the alcohol, so I guess he will wait for me to make the first move. It is all so crazy. I'm sure he is upset about his Dad, but he won't reach out to his own family. We are here for him. He hasn't contacted his sons since he came back either. They seem to be handling it differently. So another day in limbo. This could go on a long time. Thanks for listening. ailish
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Unread 07-19-2008, 02:08 AM   #17
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Hi ailish,

Thanks for posting and letting us know how it is going. Limbo is the best way to describe it. I hope your sons are handling it the best they can. Do they go to Al-Anon?
I can imagine they are upset about their Grandfather, and no communication from Dad. This is so unfair to them, to everyone.

I hope you can find some peace this weekend, hang in there and take care. Carly
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Unread 07-25-2008, 03:45 AM   #18
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Hi ailish,

Just checking on you, I hope everything is going as well as can be? Please take care - Carly
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Unread 07-25-2008, 05:47 PM   #19
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Hi ailish,

I've been away from the site for awhile so I didn't see your postings until today. I just want you to know that I'm following along, hoping for the best possible outcome.

You sound incredibly strong and focused and I admire your steely determination. If you're anything like me, this waiting game is THE absolute hardest. Being in limbo is the most frustrating place to try and operate from. Luckily you have your career and family to keep you occupied. He has to come out of hiding sooner or later. And when he does, I'm confident you'll do the next right thing to steer him in the direction of recovery.

In the meantime, please keep posting and let us know how you're doing. You need to get the poison out and this is a great place to do that.

Take care,
Glennda
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Unread 07-30-2008, 07:27 PM   #20
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ailish, wondering how things are going. Have you heard anything more?

Prayers.
Nadia
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Unread 07-31-2008, 03:21 AM   #21
ailish
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Thanks to all for checking in with me. It is reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who thought she was going mad at one stage, and reading some of the other posts I see that this disease is so commom. It really is incredible that alcohol is so socially acceptable when the side-effects are so awful for so many. When one thinks of all the various "rewards" that include employers bringing employees out for a night's drinking, places where free drinks are offered, even the "unhappy hour" as I call it. I was recently at a well-known restaurant with some friends and we all had just one drink each along with our meal. As soon as the waitress realized that we wouldn't be ordering a second, she presented us with the check and started clearing the table. There is such profit in alcohol - a bottle of beer can be marked up as much as 1000%, and with liquor, well the sky's the limit.
There has been little or no contact since I last posted. I did call him on his cell phone a week or so after he returned to inquire about his Dad. The conversation was very brief, and when I suggested that perhaps we should meet somewhere, the response was "we'll see." He contacted one of the boys very briefly, and hasn't contacted the second one at all.
I'm very busy at work, so that helps. There is such a gentle peace now. I'm only beginning to realize how much controlling behavior there was. I don't have to rush home from work to make dinner, I don't have to worry about the Friday night drinking marathon and wondering if he's going to come home, and what state of mind he will be in on Saturday, which would ultimately set the tone for the weekend. I can cook food that I like eating, or not cook at all.
Do I miss him? Of course I do, but what I realize now is that I miss the husband I met all those years ago, not the one from the present century. I know it won't be easy if we stay separated, as it will mean being dropped from certain social circles which are comprised of couples only. But that is fine. I have some very good supporting friends around, and my job pays enough so that I can support myself. so for now, I'm just doing nothing. I'm sure many will agree that living with an alcoholic can make one very patient, so now this learned patience is paying off.
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Unread 07-31-2008, 04:52 PM   #22
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Hi ailish,

Wow...you sound great. I think this separation is proving to be a "good thing". And you are showing amazing patience...not one of my strong suits so I'm totally jealous of your expertise in that area.

It looks like however this turns out, you'll be fine. You've seen it all for what it is and come to that place of acceptance. I have total confidence that you'll land on your feet. While I'm sorry to hear that he's being stubborn and immature, he's at last giving you some time and distance to gather your thoughts, make a plan and live each day without the constant stress that his presence creates. You sound much more relaxed and at ease.

So keep us informed. I'm curious to see how he finally ends this stand-off. That should be interesting, huh?

Take Care,
Glennda
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Unread 08-07-2008, 05:34 PM   #23
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Hi Ailish,
Just wanted to check on you. It sounds like work is keeping you busy. I am glad you have the support of good friends, please lean on them when you feel yourself faltering. I hope your sons are doing well, I guess they are gearing back up for the new school year? Hang in there and post when you have a chance. Take care _ Carly
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Unread 08-10-2008, 02:51 PM   #24
Glennda
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Hi Ailish,

I'm just checking in to see how you're doing. Are you still in the middle of the Mexican Stand-off? Just wondering...check in when you can.

Take care,
Glennda
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Unread 08-11-2008, 12:59 AM   #25
ailish
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Glennda and CarlyO, Thanks for checking in. The standoff continues. It is now over a month since he left. I had to call him yesterday as a member of his family was calling him from overseas. I called him around 7:00 pm and he said he was going in for his first beer. When I asked if it was the first today or the first this week, he said today of course!
He is sharing an apt with someone who needs help with the rent, but has not signed a lease, just on a month to month arrangement. I asked if he would like to meet up to talk, and he said not at the moment. Overall the conversation was cordial, but he finished the call, not me.
Hard to know what will happen next. Apologies do not come easy to him, so I am going along one day at a time, but thinking that I'll probably be alone in the future. Am clearing out clutter and keeping busy at work. I may go overseas for a few days in Sept to see his Dad before he becomes very ill. The sons are doing ok, apart from the one in CA being worried about his girlfriend. To be 21 again!

In general though, I feel ok. So much BS had sneaked in over the years, that it is almost a surprise to have an alcohol-free evening, and not get the obnoxious smell every morning when I wake up, and then find the tv and the lights still on, beer cans all over the place. Maybe there will be a peaceful separation - our state laws mandate a separation of 12 months before divorce, although in some cases they would mandate counseling, especially in our case as we are married a long time. Who knows what the outcome will be? It is so good to have this site, as reading the other posts remind me that I was going through the same thing and thought it was normal. As I said earlier, I still love and miss the "old" husband, but not the one alcohol created. Went to church today, and prayed for all spouses/families who are afflicted and torn by this awful disease. Ailish
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Unread 08-11-2008, 10:15 AM   #26
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Hi Ailish

So glad you check in! It sounds to me like you are enjoying your quiet house right now and I think it's an important time for you. When people live in chaos for so long a quiet and peaceful house is a welcomed yet unfamiliar thing. Use it wisely.

You are very fortunate to have the financial means to keep going on your own. Try and concentrate all the good things you DO have and not the things you don't.

Keep checking in with us!

SLynn
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Unread 08-11-2008, 10:35 AM   #27
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Hi Ailish,
Thanks for checking in.It sounds like you are handling this very well. Like you said earlier you have learned to be patient, I just wonder how long he can go on like this? Hang in there and I am proud of you, I think you have a lot of strength to have handled all of this. Please keep us posted and I hope you have a great week, Take care, Carly
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