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 Post subject: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Seattle, Washington
Hello all,

I am new here and ready through every rule I could find before posting, so please don't jump on me if I'm doing this wrong! I'm genuinely trying, and happy to move this post if I picked the wrong board. :)

I started TSM about a month ago, after almost two years of troubling drinking patterns. At the time, I worked at a distillery, and found it to be a dangerous environment for me. People from neighboring distilleries would happily trade free bottles of liquor, or even higher proof spirits that are illegal to sell on the market, free of cost. On top of that, I could get a 750 bottle for less than $5 with my employee discount, with no limit to the number of bottles I could buy and no supervision from coworkers or managers. We also got industry discounts at local bars. It was next to impossible to even track how much alcohol I was drinking, much less moderate my consumption.

I realized I had a problem a year ago, when my spouse when I started getting into ugly fights at home. All the little things I had ever thought better of saying aloud would come flying out of my mouth when I'd been drinking. I was embarrassed and apologetic the next day, but of course the damage was done. It took a major toll on our relationship. I tried and failed to control my drinking several times before finally admitting to my husband that I had a problem. His response was, "I don't want to live in a dry house." I own full responsibility for my decisions here, but that response was profoundly discouraging to me and I talked myself into believing for awhile that, if he didn't see my drinking as a problem, maybe it wasn't that serious after all.

Finally, last Christmas we took a cross country road trip together. Since we were taking turns driving, I had to stay sober. By the second day I had an appalling headache that didn't respond to pain relievers. I never got to the point of cravings or shakes, but I felt like garbage the entire trip and couldn't shake the headache until a relative offered me a glass of wine. The headache was gone almost instantly. I knew then I had to do something to regain control over my system.

I was ecstatic when I found TSM because it looked like a method I could pursue on my own without social support, and it has been wonderful for me. I can set a drink down now and forget about it. I've had the same bottle of wine sitting open in my fridge for so long now that I'll probably end up throwing it out. I feel liberated, and so grateful. At the same time, though, the utter lack of social support is really troubling me. I almost wish that I had made a big dramatic scene and gone to traditional rehab. My employment situation became so uncomfortable as I lost interest in binge drinking that I decided to quit. I was totally alienated by my coworkers, and my boss stopped giving me opportunities to get extra hours at events, even though it's illegal for staff to drink at those events. I was aware that no one followed that law, but I didn't expect to be penalized for following it! It was a toxic environment for me anyway that caused me nothing but grief. I would rather flip burgers if necessary and keep my liver, not to mention my dignity!

My home life is much worse, though. My spouse has started to binge drink on the weekends in front of me, leaves empty bottles on the counter for me to deal with so I have to smell the booze, and invites friends over specifically to drink at our house. I wouldn't mind so much if he was following his normal drinking patterns, but it's like we've reversed roles. He used to be the reliable designated driver, the nice guy my friends were jealous of, and now he's drinking so much that he's gaining weight and dropping the ball on his responsibilities at home. I feel like I was possessed for the last two years, and the evil spirit has just hopped bodies! I know I've been absorbed in trying to get my own life under control, but I am positive that he wasn't drinking like this two months ago. I don't understand the reaction, especially considering that he can see how painless it's been for me to all but give up alcohol entirely. I'm down to about 6-8 units of alcohol per week, down from about 40 a week at my peak. I am so happy to be rid of that destructive compulsion, and even just to have room in my budget for discretionary spending. I see no downside to this...so why am I the only one excited about it? Are all the people in my life raging alcoholics or something? They're taking this like it's a personal attack!


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 Post subject: Re: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:04 am 
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 12:36 pm
Posts: 9
Hi Deleon88, I don't have any advice about your current situation but couldn't read without posting. I could relate to a lot of what you described about your drinking slowly becoming a problem, and your partner not being so supportive. My husband said the same thing, when I first started discussing strategies for trying to moderate how much I drank: "I don't want to have a dry house." He is not even much of a drinker himself, but he likes to entertain and he likes the occasional glass of scotch or whiskey. I think an additional factor is that -- he likes how I am when I've had a drink or two. More relaxed and fun. Not after the 5th drink, when I can sometimes turn into a real bitch, but he thinks I should just "drink less". So I think it's not the dry house that bothers him quite as much as the sober wife. :( Do you think that applies to your situation at all?

I could also relate to the work situation, as I work in a company that has staff traveling a lot to events and there is quite a lot of drinking at the events, dinners, and after-parties. It's not an alcohol-related industry but the company supplies quite a lot of the booze, and also lets people expense whatever they want. I had been worried that if I turned down alcohol people would start asking why. But it turned out people mostly don't notice or care. I've also talked up how much running I do, so if anyone ever asked why I wasn't drinking I could just say I have an early run planned for the next day and can't be dehydrated/hungover.

Have you tried seeing a counselor? It can be hit or miss, I think, but can help some just to have someone objective who can listen.

_________________
Pre-TSM 25+ /week
US Units
Week 1: 21/0 AF
Week 2: 26/1 AF
Week 3: 21/0 AF
Week 4: 5/5 AF
Week 5: in progress/2 AF


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 Post subject: Re: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:54 pm
Posts: 1204
Hi Deleon and welcome. I think the suggestion of a counselor is an excellent one it sounds like you need some support. I am very glad you quit your job it sounds like that was a good decision. Now you just have to figure out how to handle your husband. It is possible he is just adjusting to the new you and hopefully will go back to moderate drinking. If he doesn't then I guess you will have some hard decisions to make. Please keep posting I have found the support on this forum so important! I am very glad you had such great success with TSM. You deserve a lot of credit for taking control of your life and health. I am sorry the people around you cannot see that. Hugs from Newlife

_________________
Newlife
started 3/3/15
Pre-TSM 26 - 30 US Units/week

Month 1 16/wk av 4AF month
2 17/wk av 5 AF
3 18/wk av 6 AF
4 NT
5 NT
6 NT
7 17/wk av 4 AF
8 17/wk av 5 AF
9 13/wk av 5 AF
10 & 11 NT
Beginning tracking again Week 48
Wk 48 18/2 49 14.5/2


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 Post subject: Re: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 6:52 am
Posts: 1003
Location: England
Hi Deleon

I am so sorry, sad and frustrated for you.

You've recognised your problem, sorted it out and people around you are not seeing that. It also sounds like you have also gotten that impartial perspective on alcohol, seen it for what it is.

A counsellor may be a good place for you to get some unconditional support.

I am so glad you have gotten to a good place with TSM, but also agree it can be a very lonely journey. Keep up the good work.

_________________
Naltrexone Started 20th April 2011

Cravings eliminated Sept 2011
Now fully in control, alcohol no longer bothers me. Chose to go AF from 22nd July 2013.
TSM set me free


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 Post subject: Re: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Seattle, Washington
Quote:
I think an additional factor is that -- he likes how I am when I've had a drink or two. More relaxed and fun. Not after the 5th drink, when I can sometimes turn into a real bitch, but he thinks I should just "drink less". So I think it's not the dry house that bothers him quite as much as the sober wife. :( Do you think that applies to your situation at all?


Sandia, yes, I think some of these factors are at play in my relationship as well. He likes feeling like that socialite couple with the cocktail parties, having all the best of everything, etc. I enjoy those things as well, but I would never prioritize impressing casual acquaintances over the health and wellbeing of my life partner. It's making me reevaluate the relationship.


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 Post subject: Re: Disinterested spouse
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:15 pm
Posts: 529
Location: usa
yeah, some reevaluation might be in order. it's easy to want it all, but carrying on an "image" at the risk of others is pretty sketchy. I'm not trying to imply he's a monster, but it sounds like you're working really hard to make your life better. please take care of yourself first, as it sounds like you know what you need to do. there's a lot of support for you here.

_________________
Pre-TSM 30-50 drinks per week (US drinks, not units!)
started 4/16/15
months 1-6: avg 17/ 1 AF/wk
months 7-12: avg 13/2 AF/wk
months 13-18: avg 11/3 AF/wk


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