posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 11:29 AM
I have a PhD in a fitting field and have worked a year in an alcohol treatment program mostly co-leading group process groups with an AA fellow. I was
trained in that program by the retired head of the US Navy center that treated Betty Ford.
I realize that this is an old post and I don't know where things are at currently.
AA is a very solid organization but the quality of the meetings and support varies with the group and the major leaders in it.
I strongly encourage folks who can profit from it at all to continue with it and apply themselves earnestly to it's expectations and requirements.
It's a powerful thing with the group insights and support. And, their buddy system is hard to beat. But I try to insure that the drinker has 4-8
buddies as it's easy to burn any one or two out. They need to be able to call them 24 hours a day whenever tempted.
Certainly you wife needs to give up drinking 100% from all you have said. It would be the loving thing for you to do so, too though that contention
would get arguments from many.
The business about pulling away and 'finding herself' etc. 'loving herself before she can love anyone else' . . . probably comes from a particular
person at AA. It has not been standard AA 'doctrine' from my awareness and I doubt it is now.
I don't know that it's necessary except that she now thinks it is. I doubt you will dissuade her from that and It likely would not be worth the
The probability is that if her drinking progressed--as it tends to with every renewed bout of it--the distancing would be horrid anyway.
There is some truth to the issue of needing to love one's self in order to be able to truly love others.
I'm a bit concerned that she have some suitable monitoring and guidance and counsel off on her 'discovery' adventure. But that's not something one
Certainly your daughter is better off with you.
It sounds like your wife needs some extensive therapy or at least a wise confident who's been there and overcome such things before.
I'm not a fan of medications in such a process. I think someone with a chemical addiction like alcohol is best learning to cope without any chemical
assist. Depression and the like can be well overcome with Cognitve Behavior Therapy.
This process basically teaches the individual to rewire their thinking. In Biblical terms it might be like the Scripture about "taking each thought
captive" and "as a person thinks [in his heart], so is he."
It's not an overnight learning but can be quicker or longer depending on motivation, diligence in application etc.
It IS a powerful and very effective methodology.
And, I wrote "rewire" their thinking deliberately. Neurons do get thickened with repeated use. And, she has a lot of dysfunctional thought processes
that need disconnected and rewired into constructive, overcoming, optimistic, disciplined, responsible, healthy fun sorts of connections.
Will U2U you and try and see where things are now.
But mostly, I hope you have had the grace to go with whatever constructive flow you can--and to take care of your daughter and yourself and say your
prayers for your wife. She has to do whatever she has to do. You can't do it for her.
I would suggest that you keep a journal--even if it's just one sentence per night.
You can write your thoughts, feelings etc. about whatever.
You could have a 2nd journal in which you wrote down ONLY THE POSITIVE, LOVING THINGS you feel and think about your wife--her traits, habits,
qualities etc. that you most like and enjoy. You might send some to her in a post card or note card. And when she returns, you'd have a beautiful
collection of endearing thoughts and feelings that could only be encouraging to her.
You would do well to insure that you have 2-3 closer male friends to be real with and emotionally bonded with as well. If that's not so practical or
workable, then perhaps you need your own counselor--at least monthly or every other week worth. Alanon can be a helpful group but so could a counselor
skilled and trained in alcohol treatment.
There are things you can learn to do better and some things you can learn to avoid.
Anyway--I hope that you are in a better space and that your wife has been overcoming since the post I'm replying to was posted.
God's best to both of you,