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Retired 2014: Now Spouse is My Qualifier

by Delores C Wright
(Orlando)

I am having a hard time trying to understand what caused my spouse to become an alcoholic or a functional alcoholic. He drinks from morning to late night. He verbally abuses me by calling me stupid, dump, lacks respect. While I am trying to talk he calls me dump. My survival kit is books I have purchased from Amazon that are adopted by Al-non. I now have a weekly counselor each week.


We have been married 45 years and I do not want to get a divorce, I am 70 years old, and he has been so verbally abusive until I moved out of the master bedroom, into another room.

Since I retired, I have been volunteering in schools, churches, and teacher stores. My spouse has been retired for about 19 years and he has had two part time jobs. Once he played golf, exercised, but now he suffers from untreated depression. He drives a 1993 car that is about to break down. I feel he is envious of me, I have a great deal of followers because I was a teacher and I reached out to all of my students' and their families. I loved teaching and I am still involved in some form!

Some times I think of dialing 911 and laying the receiver down to have someone listen!

I am going away for an extended stay to support my sister while she is having surgery for colon cancer, so I viewed this trip as GOD'S way of getting me out for a while.

Thanks for Listening!
Delores

Comments for Retired 2014: Now Spouse is My Qualifier

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CHOICES
by: Loyce!

No divorce? You then choose to continue being abused by a man who lacks respect and regard for you. You are venting but have already made your choice to remain married to an abuser.

Spouse is My Qualifier
by: Sherry/Wilmington, NC

My Dear Ma'am, there are 4 reasons to get a divorce and they all
begin with an "A":

Abuse: mental and physical

Abandonment

Adultery

Alcohol

everything else can be worked out!!!!

What doesn't kill you will make you stronger!!!!

A story of a Frog
by: A Friend in Oregon

Sweetie, my heat breaks for you. I have also faced severe substance abuse in my immediate family. I grew up as the eldest girl in a family of seven with a mother who worked long hours and relied on me to care for the house and children. I then cared for a husband who was new to the states and struggled to do things because of the cultural and language barrier. And finally I studied and worked in a 'helping' profession. So I am a full- blown rescuer/enabler/caregiver.

It has not been easy setting boundaries and learning to care for myself. Every time I do something for myself I hear a thought about how selfish, non-Christian, mean, judgmental, and non-caring I am. I am immediately consumed with guilt, shame and a bit of resentment. I hate confrontation so I mostly avoid it. This is a recipe for becoming others doormat; a place where they wipe their dirt.

It has taken me many years of CBT/DBT self-help learning to realize that others will treat me exactly the way I LET THEM treat me. I have had to see myself and my own thoughts and feelings as my enemy instead of blaming the abusers in my life.

I am a very private person and decided to order books and workbooks off Amazon about CBT/DBT until I discovered all the free stuff online and on YouTube. Now I just listen as I drive or do housework or gardening. And it reminds me how my thoughts lead to feelings and that leads to behavior.

Taking ownership of your problems and changing YOURSELF instead of trying to change others is really the only way to change unhealthy relationships. You really have no power over others. They alone must want to change.

I feel like I almost had to de-program my thoughts as they were unhealthy relics left over from a dysfunctional childhood. Changing my thoughts was NOT EASY because thoughts are so automatic and habitual that you really have to stop and think about HOW AND WHAT you think!

Imagine that you were sucked into an unhealthy cult and now must re-train your brain to see things differently. As you progress in learning DBT/CBT you will realize how you can really change your thoughts/perceptions of almost anything and lead a happier and healthier life.

When you open your thoughts to scrutiny you will often find that you've been doing things out of fear, duty and misplaced sense of self-judgment. Those behaviors are being fueled by stinky thinking. They are sometimes called errors in thinking. Once you get familiar with the most common forms of unhealthy thinking you will begin to see how much you have been telling yourself these falsehoods. And once you take hold of the reins you will begin to be the rider of your horse instead of your horse riding you.

Oh, I almost forgot about the FROG STORY... Everyone is familiar with the frog who sat on a Lilly pad in the center of a pot of slowly heating water. At first the warm water feels good and the frog feels safe on his perch. He tells himself he can jump to safety at any time so he stays... enjoying the spa-like warmth and steam around him. And before he knows it... the water has reached the boiling point and he is a goner.

Please don't be the frog sweetie. Take the time at your sisters to talk about YOU. Talk about your dreams for the future. Get online and read about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and work on recognizing the thoughts that have been holding you back.

I wish you a beautiful, joyful and healthy future. Peace & ❤️

Live your remaining life
by: Anonymous

In our country , there is no divorce. In yours there is. You dont have to suffer in these years of your life. The greatest love of all is love for oneself. So why suffer? Divorce him.

Very sorry
by: Donna Augusta, Mo

Hi! Delores,

I have seen the help of alcoholics and what it does to a family. My immediate family I have one brother 67 who is and has been alcoholic his whole life. His wife had Schizophrenia in her family and had those tendencies her whole life. She is 63 and with all of his alcohol and non nurturing ways she is full fledged schizophrenic now. Their 38 year old son was adopted but, has developed a legal drug problem he is now divorced with 2 some late teens one has become involved with drugs.

It is a hard life and a disease. I wish there were words. But, I believe you are doing the right thing. Stay involved with Alanon it does help.

Prayers,
Donna

Alcohol ruining retirement.
by: Elna Nugent, Massachusetts

Dear Delores: It sounds as if you are living with alcohol instead of a husband. This sounds like a nightmare. It is impossible to converse or live with someone drowning in liquor because that person is not really present.

I assume your husband did not go to AA regularly In the years of your marriage , but I wonder if he was okay to live with before alcohol took him over.

It seems as if you are doing all the right things to keep yourself sane, but your husband is lost. Does he have any family nearby.

You are both too young to give up. He needs serious help but a doctor may not be enough. He needs serious counseling.

God bless you .






Keep coming back
by: Nancy

Al-Anon is a good thing. I was active in Al-Anon for a long time. My sister was my Qualifier. I learned a lot from it. Sounds like a good idea to stay with your sister. You are taking care of yourself by having a life outside of our marriage and having your own room. I commend you and support you. Take care.

Never to late
by: Abby

Sounds like your husband needs to seek some help. You still have many good years ahead of you to enjoy life. If he doesn't want or feel the need to change his situation, then you should move on without him. Good luck, stay strong.

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