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Has anyone ever taken an alcoholic back?

(23 Posts)
Smillar2020 Tue 28-Apr-20 14:06:36

My DH has an alcohol abuse problem. Been stashing empty cans and bottles everywhere in the house, car, garage etc for years on end. Always promised he would stop and “didn’t know why he did it”. Still holds down a job etc, never seems blind drunk but drinks in secret so I know there’s more to it as I’ll only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.

He’s currently seeing a counsellor (not living in my house now). I’m so torn as to what to do. I’m scared if I take him back he’ll go back to his old ways. I also think it seems awful to throw away our marriage and home we’ve built if he can sort himself out. I wouldn’t say he has actual issues, just behaving really irresponsibly and needs to grow up. Feeling so lost. Lockdown isn’t helping either...

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Tue 28-Apr-20 14:08:36

Don't do it. It won't end well.

Lucked Tue 28-Apr-20 14:09:18

How long has he been sober?, I think I would want to see a sustained change and proof they could ‘grow up by living independently healthily and responsibly, doing there own life admin etc

Smillar2020 Tue 28-Apr-20 14:33:24

This is all very recent, like two months ago. He’s been seeing a counsellor for six weeks, after I asked him to leave

OP’s posts: |
category12 Tue 28-Apr-20 14:35:43

Too soon. 6 weeks is nothing.

If he can sustain sobriety for a year or two, then consider it.

Bollocksitshappenedagain Tue 28-Apr-20 14:42:00

Bad idea - my ex could not drink for 6-12 months but always slipped back.

And that was 11 years on from the start of his 'sobriety'

managinged Tue 28-Apr-20 14:42:21

You would be a fool to take him back into the household. My nephew has gone as long as a few months staying sober , as long as his parents are watching him carefully and making him take Antabuse every day. Then, eventually, he starts drinking again. If your husband has been sober for for two months, that's hardly any time, still very early days.

Also, how do you know that he's been sober for two months? Has he simply told you that? He could be lying. Alcoholics are good at lying.

Smillar2020 Tue 28-Apr-20 14:49:40

I wasn’t planning on taking him back right now or anytime soon for that matter. I would have to see huge changes from multiple angles before I’d even consider it. Those things don’t happen overnight I know. And I don’t miss having him in the house right now. I’m just scared I’d regret it if I left him completely.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 28-Apr-20 14:51:47

Do not do this to yourself i.e taking him back. Doing so will merely put you in for more of what you have seen already from him. You need to get off the merry go around named denial.

Re your comment:-
" I also think it seems awful to throw away our marriage and home we’ve built if he can sort himself out. I wouldn’t say he has actual issues, just behaving really irresponsibly and needs to grow up."

Your first sentence here is really the sunken costs fallacy and that just enables people to keep on making poor relationship decisions. People get bogged down by focusing on their sunk costs.

There are two ways to understand this process, both involving avoidance. One is an avoidance of disappointment or loss when something doesn’t work out. When a relationship doesn’t succeed, especially after a long period, especially after many shared experiences and especially after developing a hope that the relationship would be a good one, it is a loss. It is a loss of what might have been and an acknowledgement that a part of one’s life has been devoted to this endeavour.

Another angle to evaluate is that focus on “sunk cost” creates a distraction from one’s inner truth. The sentence often goes like, “I’ve already invested to much, so I can’t notice my thoughts and feelings that are telling me to end or change this relationship.”
This is a type of insidious defense against noticing yourself. You enter into a neglectful relationship with yourself which divorces you from your inner thoughts and the quiet feelings that might guide you in your life. In other words, thinking about what already has been may prevent you from deciding what you want your life to be.

Re your second sentence, do you really think this is just a question of him being irresponsible and not wanting to grow up?. It may well be that you are in denial also along with completely underestimating how much his alcoholism has affected you as well. Its not called the "family disease" for nothing, its affected you too and you may well be his codependent wife. I would consider contacting Al-anon as they are very helpful to people affected by another person's drinking.

I would also urge you to read this article and consider your own roles further in his alcoholism too:-
www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/68440-alcoholism-tragic-three-act-play-there-least-4-characters-1-a.html

12345kbm Tue 28-Apr-20 14:52:42

I would read up on co dependence and contact Al Anon which is for the friends and family of alcoholics.

I recommend Co Dependent No More by Melody Beattie. There's also info on Youtube if you prefer watching talks.

pointythings Tue 28-Apr-20 18:03:59

Take note of everything 12345 and Attila have said. Get support for yourself.

My Dsis took her DP back on the understanding that he diligently did AA and never touched it again. It was a risk, it worked for her - he's 10 years sober. But he is the exception, not the rule.

Elieza Tue 28-Apr-20 18:45:30

Someone who has been an alcoholic for much of their adult life cannot stop in two months.
Two years perhaps.
I would not be rushing into anything. If you want him back he has to prove he has changed.
Personally I’d move on.
I’ve dated an alcoholic and it was a total waste of many good years of my life which I could have enjoyed had I not been with him marking time.

Whathewhatnow Tue 28-Apr-20 18:59:36

I think you are minimising his issues.

Hiding bottles etc is a cardinal, incontrovertible sign.

Thing is you cannot help if you love someone..alcoholics are not de facto bad people. They are sick people. It doesnt mean you should give your life over to being their nurse.

MitziK Tue 28-Apr-20 19:08:17

Don't do it. You will regret giving him that opportunity if you do.

HollowTalk Tue 28-Apr-20 19:12:03

Don't even think about it.

Do you have children together?

maa1992 Tue 28-Apr-20 19:13:43

My dad is an alcoholic, my mum stayed with him and he's been sober for 21 years. It doesn't always end bad, though unfortunately it more than often does.

Whathewhatnow Tue 28-Apr-20 19:23:23

The stats are not good unfortunately. About a 7 or 8 in 10 chance they will not recover

cansmellfreedom Tue 28-Apr-20 19:25:56

Let him heal first and let him be on his own .

Sicario Tue 28-Apr-20 19:31:49

Over my dead body would I take an alcoholic husband back. (I speak from bitter experience.) Alcoholics destroy everything, and everybody.

Rottnest Tue 28-Apr-20 20:47:37

I would tread very carefully, allow him to be sober, stay sober for a year or so before considering living with him again.

Having met many alcoholics , professionally, I can only say the success rate is not very high. Not sure of the latest stats, but it is a difficult journey to embark on.

PP 1234 and Atilla have given very good advice on how to proceed, please take their advice, and attend counselling, for yourself, without your husband.

Don't rush into things, take your time and look after yourself.
Best wishes.

Smillar2020 Tue 28-Apr-20 21:25:25

Thank you everyone ❤️

OP’s posts: |
BikeRunSki Tue 28-Apr-20 21:27:56

My dad did. I’m so glad. I was 4. DM has just had her 40 years sober anniversary.

Holothane Tue 28-Apr-20 21:29:26

Please don’t I wasted 16 years on my ex but was terrified to tell family in case they said, you’ve made your bed now lie on it. In the end I had to leave as he was making me ill, please look after yourself and only you. Hugs.

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