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Unread 10-29-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
mo5495
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Default will it work if he does not want it?

Last night my mother-in-law and I had a mini intervention with my AH. She told me to make an appointment with my counselor for him. He is supposed to go and tell the counselor "the truth" (yeah, right) and see if the counselor thinks AA is right for him. He still feels he is not an alcoholic and AA won't work for him.
I have told him that he needs help and if he doesn't get that help, it's over. He says he has been doing better, but doesn't realize how much he actually drinks. I am tired of counting the beers in the morning to see how many and checking the whiskey bottle to see how much is gone.
His mother thinks I need to give him another chance. After 16 years of this, I am not sure if I really want to do that. I am so negative about the situation because I've been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.

Will a counselor or AA work for him if he is not ready to quit? I am pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but just thought I'd get another opinion.
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Unread 10-29-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
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Mo5495,

I think we were twins in a previous life. You know your husband the best - you have been living with him the past 16 years - NOT your mother-in-law, so please try to cut her opinion out of the equasion. I think one of the questions you need to ask yourself is - do YOU think counseling will work for him if he doens't want to go?

It sounds to me that you want him to take some responsibilitly for his actions. My guess is if he picked up the phone and made the appointment for counseling, and then asked you to come along - you would be re-energized and be willing to give it a try.

Maybe you give him the name and number of a counselor on a piece of paper and then tell him either he makes an appointment/gets outside help, or you are leaving?

It is hard to tell you what to do - but please try not to let the MIL get into your head. I can understand she is probably frantic to save her son, and she probably knows that she desperately needs you to try and save him. If she pushes you enough - maybe you shoudl tell HER to call and make the appointment and go to counseling... It is funny how people are so good at giving advice and pressuring other people to do things, until you ask THEM to do it.

Hang in there!
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Unread 10-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
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Hi Mo,
I am wondering how he reacted to the meeting last night? He agreed to have an assessment? Overall, what was your gut feeling about it? Was he sincere or just trying to get the meeting over with?

1418 is right, your MIL can have an opinion, but that is all it is, imo- do not feel "guilted" into anything you do not want to do. I liked the idea of what she posted- let her make all of the arrangements, as I am sure you are weary of this roller-coaster.

If he has this assessment and they recommend some form of treatment - you ask will it work if he is in denial? It may not, but it may plant a seed for him, educate him, so that one day he truly may want to get help. But we have no idea when that day will come, so you may need to make plans for yourself.
Here are 2 of many scenarios I have seen first hand. I have known people who enter into treatment/counseling , etc... who attend against their will, but then something clicks, a moment of clarity, and they begin the journey of recovery.
I have also seen people go through the motions of getting help so they can stop the nagging ( as they see it ) and say "hey, I did what you asked me to do" but ultimately imo- if he does not want it for himself, then he will not give it 100% and that is what it takes. Recovery is work, it can be fun and rewarding - but you are right it takes commitment on his part.

Maybe one day he will get help for himself, but you need to do what is right for you! take care , Carly
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Unread 10-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
mo5495
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Angry more confused and angry

Well, no action has occurred since our talk on Tuesday. I called the counselor and left a message (he is out of town on family business for a couple of days). There was no attempt by him to even ask if I had tried to make the appointment for him. If it were me about to lose everything, I would be more proactive, but I am not the one with the disease. I am just so angry that he won't try harder. He has made no attempt at talking with our son, which he agreed to do. My son overheard that part of our conversation on Tuesday night, so I am sure he is waiting for dad to come talk to him. Am I being too critical, expecting immediate response from him? Should I give it more time? In the past, I have always been the one to apologize for nagging and just suck it up. I am tired of doing that. Can I set a timeframe for him to start taking responsibility? Would that even matter? I am just so confused. I cannot even begin to try to "support" him in his issues when he doesn't show the kind of response that I think he should. I don't think that is fair to him, but I can't even "care" anymore. I know he feels like a roommate instead of a husband, but I can't pretend that things are ok. That is what he is asking of me. Am I being unreasonable to expect quick action?
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Unread 10-30-2008, 04:23 PM   #5
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HI Mo-
I am sorry you cannot see the counselor sooner, I have some ideas - but want to be able to provide you with some links before I post about your son and what to tell him - Ideally wait until you can get guidance from a professional. How Old is he ?
A lot depends on his age, maturity etc.. if your husband has blamed you for his drinking in the past do you trust him to explain his drinking in a responsible manner?

As far as your husb. it has been 2 days, if you give him more time, maybe it would be helpful to keep a journal, write down your questions esp. for the counselor and in my opinion, if he wants nothing to do with the appointment next week, then you should go - for yourself and your child. You need as much support as you can get during this time .
I remember sadly, you recently lost your sister to this devasting disease, and while the situations may be different, you may already know that addiction can lead to the same places, it is a progressive disease if left untreated.

I will get back to you in a bit about information regarding suggestions about talking to children. Hang in there and take care - Carly
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Unread 10-30-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
mo5495
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My oldest son is a very mature 13. He has seen alot and had to deal with alot to make him that way. He is like his dad in a lot of ways (bottling emotions, etc.). I am afraid that he is the one to take this the hardest. My son and I have an open line of communication which is why he can talk to me about this. He and his dad not so much.
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Unread 10-31-2008, 12:23 AM   #7
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HI Mo,
Ok he is 12, though I realize if your husb has been misusing alcohol for many years then he has seen a lot, been through a lot, because of Dad's drinking.
That is great that you can communicate with your son ! imo - avoiding the issues could cause him more distress because children tend to blame themselves or indulge in "magical thinking," example... "if I do this or that, like make perfect grades, Daddy won't drink. " As if they somehow have magical control over it or they may even blame themselves or others.
I am sure Al Anon or even Alateen has info about this as well as your counselor, let them be your guide.

Before when I asked about your husb talking to your son, I was concerned that your son may be aware of him blaming you for his alcohol use. If so, then it may be best to allow a professional to explain it so that your son will not also buy into the blame game. That it is NOT your fault at all.
Learn as much as you can, Dad's drinking can have an impact on your son's development, coping skills, even how he veiws the world. You already mentioned that he bottles his emotions, is this typical pre-teen bx. or something deeper?
I hope your husb agrees to go to the appointment next week, like you said - so much is at stake, but if he is deep in his disease he can't see it.

Are you expecting too much, too soon, imo no - after 16 years of this, NO , Not at all. You deserve a life too, not one that revolves around his issues!
I am guessing all of this is overwhelming, so try your best to take care of yourself and get help/support, then take it each step at a time.I am sure someone else will be by to give other suggestions and share soon. Hang in there and take care Mo, please keep us posted if you can. Take care, Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.

Last edited by CarlyO; 10-31-2008 at 12:27 AM.. Reason: spelling, etc
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Unread 10-31-2008, 12:58 AM   #8
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Mo,
As a person who has been there . . . let me just start by saying your MIL is not his wife. She has no idea what you are dealing with and have been dealing with despite even what you may have shared with her- no one really does that has not been in your shoes. In my dealings with my now ex husband, I had some of those same sorts of experiences with family members- of his and my own even. It is tough. You in the end though must be true to yourself. As far as a time line, you may be ready to begin creating one. For yourself. How much more are you willing to take? I am not in your situation, but can tell you what I did in mine. I had reached my wits end (to say the least) but also did not want to end things without giving opportunity for him to get help. I made a plan- with the help of some professional input- and people like you will encounter on this web site. The plan included a time line. Part of the reason for that was that talking had not gotten me anywhere for years before without a difinitive plan for action. It was the first time that he took me seriously in many ways. Doing this also was healthy for me because I knew that one way or another there was an end in sight- either by him getting help or me choosing that my time as his enabler was over. I'm not saying it was easy, but I gave him a time line with a list of resources. In the end he was not on board. That does not mean that will be the same result for you. It could have gone the other way.
I want to reemphasize that this is in no way your fault- you need to consider your own limitations and at some point we have to draw a line in the sand.
I wish you all the very best. My heart truly goes out to you as I know the limbo that you feel right now. I never thought that I could be ok on the other side, and I am not saying every step has been easy (at times I worked three jobs and slept little- but the peace was worth it all)! As for me I thank God that I did not sacrifice myself and my child to alcohol and drugs every day!
My thoughts and prayers are with you . . . be strong . . . continue to seek out support . . .
Mer
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Unread 11-01-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
jerryg
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mo5495,

I've read this thread and the responses, all good.

I figure this might help a little.
Just a little insight...

http://www.alcoholanswers.org/resour...ads/086-92.pdf

http://psychology.about.com/od/behav...viorchange.htm

Jerry
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Unread 11-02-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
CarlyO
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Default Hi mo

Hi Mo,

Just wanted to check in with you and hope that all is going well with you. Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 11-02-2008, 04:09 PM   #11
CarlyO
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Default Welcome Luvmer

Hi Luvmer,

I wanted to welcome you to the forum and thank you for sharing what must have been a very difficult part of your life.

I am glad to read that you have made it through and have made a life on the other side of this. It sounds like you gave your A. every opportunity to support him if he wanted help. I hope that all is going well for you and your child, and thanks again for sharing.

If I might ask though, how do you handle it with your child - when they ask questions ? That is a tough one imo, and was wondering how you handle it?

Take care, Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 11-10-2008, 03:53 PM   #12
mo5495
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Well, he hasn't had anything to drink in 2 weeks now (that I know of, still don't trust that 100%). He went to the counselor on Friday. He said the counselor didn't say one way or the other if he needed to go to AA, that it was up to him. He still has not talked to our son. I just got into it with MIL about the situation. I think she has it set in her head that I just don't care and want it to end. Maybe she's right. I am just so tired of the whole situation. If he would just "Man Up" and do something on his own, without her or me pushing, I would probably feel differently. Right now though, I don't know if I can care anymore. I am not supportive like I should be, I am not the wife I should be, and I am not the mother I should be. He makes excuses for himself, MIL makes excuses for him... I just want to scream!!!
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Unread 11-11-2008, 04:38 PM   #13
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Mo,

Don't be so hard on yourself. He's not going to change to make you happy.
Are you able to attend Al Anon meetings, do you have a circle of supportive friends?
Don't wait for him to "man up" for you to be happy. Yes it would be good, but it is not likely to happen. Sad to say.
You have no reason to take what he says at face value. Don't argue with him but communicate that you don't believe or accept what he says. And don't snap at the bait when tries to defend himself, or get you to change your mind. It's a trap.
And do you really need to defend yourself to your mother in law? Don't get into it with her, she sounds as full of denial as he is.

Are you talking with anyone who is supportive, a counselor or therapist?
Yes it is rough. Take care of yourself as best you can.
Jerry
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 11-12-2008, 12:17 AM   #14
CarlyO
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Hi Mo,

Yikes, sounds like MIL is trying to get you to solve his problem and I can imagine it is no picnic having her in the mix. Is she educated about alcoholism, does she understand it at all? The reason I ask is that maybe if she were - she would KNOW that there is nothing under the sun you could do to make him stop or even make him want to get help. Would she be willing to go to Al Anon for her son?
I am just guessing, but the counselor may be posing questions to your husb and waiting to see if HE realizes he has a problem. If he sits there and says he does not have any issues, he can quit when he wants, then there is not much they can do, except try to get people to look at how alcohol use is impacting their family life, work, health etc... I hope he has a follow up appointment?
I know this is frustrating, you can provide ultimatums, say enough is enough, but what will be his wake up call is anybody's guess, no one knows what is a person's rock bottom.
As Jerry said please do not be so hard on yourself.
I am sure you are doing the best you can, and your feelings are valid, imo, you have had to deal with a rollercoaster ride of emotions - most people get to the point where they want OFF that ride, so it is no wonder you are closing down emotionally.
Like Jerry mentioned, having an outlet and supportive people is helpful, so lean on them : )
Hang in there and please take care of yourself, Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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