Poor wife still not able to seek help

Convicted Driver Insurance

Davyatsea

Active member
Apologies for the time of this thread - I'm writing this during the latter stages of night shift.

My wife was convicted back in September 2019, went through the process of being banned, receiving the awareness course and eventually getting back on the road some 11 months later. She has had several wobbles since then, admits at times there is an issue, but doesn't seem able to move forward in all honesty.

I tried several approaches to help her, but admittedly, may have come across overly hard at times when she has drunk on a school night, expecting to drive the following day. I've tried hiding her car keys, forcing the issue, but nothing is changing. She regularly drinks two bottles on certain nights, and expects to drive the following day, despite knowing she will still be over the limit. I have posted similarly before, and have appreciated the help given on my last posts.

Currently, she is struggling with family dynamics, in that her own family discount anything she says to them. Her mum is pretty much a confirmed narcissist and her dad and sister are in their own little words. Her own family do not know the extent of her alcohol abuse and did not support when she was arrested and later convicted. We have two children, both autistic, and my wife also received her own adult diagnosis of autism a year ago. She is also receiving specialist psychotherapy support on a weekly basis. Her work takes a lot out of her mentally, and she is not interested in pursuing any other outside interests. If I try and suggest anything to her, I am accused of nagging - and she will make her own choice.

This week, I know some bills have not been paid, but yet, she was able to use paypal to obtain two bottles of prosecco from Getir. Without being absolutely sure, I know she was drinking beyond 11pm, expecting to drive this morning around 8:30am. I will be asleep after night shift, so cannot control (nor do I wish to) how she gets to work. I do not want to say anything, as to be fair, I know I am tired from being up all night, but this is on my mind. I love her dearly and want to support, but this is impacting my mental health and I feel it is now putting our marriage at risk. I'm not saying for a minute, I want divorce now, but I am running out of options. I have also mentioned this before. She has said herself that it might be better if she was in a flat by herself, but I feel, it doesn't solve her problems - more running away from her supportive husband and loving children.

Apologies if I have gone on a bit, but I needed somewhere supportive for advice. I'm due to finish work in an hour or so, then home to bed. I admit though, that I am often nervous about coming home as I do not know what state she will be in. Only back end of last year, she had drunk prosecco one evening (at least three bottles), drove to work with the intention of sleeping in the car and waking up ready to start work the following day. She had left kids at home, and I had to go and find her - goodness knows how she got there without being caught, or worse still, injuring or killing herself or someone else! Thankfully she hasn't done that since, but still thinks she wont get caught driving the morning after.

If you have got this far, many thanks for reading. This has been on my mind all through my work shift.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Apologies for the time of this thread - I'm writing this during the latter stages of night shift.

My wife was convicted back in September 2019, went through the process of being banned, receiving the awareness course and eventually getting back on the road some 11 months later. She has had several wobbles since then, admits at times there is an issue, but doesn't seem able to move forward in all honesty.

I tried several approaches to help her, but admittedly, may have come across overly hard at times when she has drunk on a school night, expecting to drive the following day. I've tried hiding her car keys, forcing the issue, but nothing is changing. She regularly drinks two bottles on certain nights, and expects to drive the following day, despite knowing she will still be over the limit. I have posted similarly before, and have appreciated the help given on my last posts.

Currently, she is struggling with family dynamics, in that her own family discount anything she says to them. Her mum is pretty much a confirmed narcissist and her dad and sister are in their own little words. Her own family do not know the extent of her alcohol abuse and did not support when she was arrested and later convicted. We have two children, both autistic, and my wife also received her own adult diagnosis of autism a year ago. She is also receiving specialist psychotherapy support on a weekly basis. Her work takes a lot out of her mentally, and she is not interested in pursuing any other outside interests. If I try and suggest anything to her, I am accused of nagging - and she will make her own choice.

This week, I know some bills have not been paid, but yet, she was able to use paypal to obtain two bottles of prosecco from Getir. Without being absolutely sure, I know she was drinking beyond 11pm, expecting to drive this morning around 8:30am. I will be asleep after night shift, so cannot control (nor do I wish to) how she gets to work. I do not want to say anything, as to be fair, I know I am tired from being up all night, but this is on my mind. I love her dearly and want to support, but this is impacting my mental health and I feel it is now putting our marriage at risk. I'm not saying for a minute, I want divorce now, but I am running out of options. I have also mentioned this before. She has said herself that it might be better if she was in a flat by herself, but I feel, it doesn't solve her problems - more running away from her supportive husband and loving children.

Apologies if I have gone on a bit, but I needed somewhere supportive for advice. I'm due to finish work in an hour or so, then home to bed. I admit though, that I am often nervous about coming home as I do not know what state she will be in. Only back end of last year, she had drunk prosecco one evening (at least three bottles), drove to work with the intention of sleeping in the car and waking up ready to start work the following day. She had left kids at home, and I had to go and find her - goodness knows how she got there without being caught, or worse still, injuring or killing herself or someone else! Thankfully she hasn't done that since, but still thinks she wont get caught driving the morning after.

If you have got this far, many thanks for reading. This has been on my mind all through my work shift.
I have read some heart felt postings since i joined the forum a couple of years ago after loosing my licence and this certainly stands out. I to have an autistic son who is very demanding and can understand the feeling of needing a drink to relax. I feel for you dave i really do but the fact remains your wife is putting herself and the kids at great risk and it needs to be addressed in some way. I will be very interested to see what some of the other members reply or suggest take care les.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
Apologies for the time of this thread - I'm writing this during the latter stages of night shift.

My wife was convicted back in September 2019, went through the process of being banned, receiving the awareness course and eventually getting back on the road some 11 months later. She has had several wobbles since then, admits at times there is an issue, but doesn't seem able to move forward in all honesty.

I tried several approaches to help her, but admittedly, may have come across overly hard at times when she has drunk on a school night, expecting to drive the following day. I've tried hiding her car keys, forcing the issue, but nothing is changing. She regularly drinks two bottles on certain nights, and expects to drive the following day, despite knowing she will still be over the limit. I have posted similarly before, and have appreciated the help given on my last posts.

Currently, she is struggling with family dynamics, in that her own family discount anything she says to them. Her mum is pretty much a confirmed narcissist and her dad and sister are in their own little words. Her own family do not know the extent of her alcohol abuse and did not support when she was arrested and later convicted. We have two children, both autistic, and my wife also received her own adult diagnosis of autism a year ago. She is also receiving specialist psychotherapy support on a weekly basis. Her work takes a lot out of her mentally, and she is not interested in pursuing any other outside interests. If I try and suggest anything to her, I am accused of nagging - and she will make her own choice.

This week, I know some bills have not been paid, but yet, she was able to use paypal to obtain two bottles of prosecco from Getir. Without being absolutely sure, I know she was drinking beyond 11pm, expecting to drive this morning around 8:30am. I will be asleep after night shift, so cannot control (nor do I wish to) how she gets to work. I do not want to say anything, as to be fair, I know I am tired from being up all night, but this is on my mind. I love her dearly and want to support, but this is impacting my mental health and I feel it is now putting our marriage at risk. I'm not saying for a minute, I want divorce now, but I am running out of options. I have also mentioned this before. She has said herself that it might be better if she was in a flat by herself, but I feel, it doesn't solve her problems - more running away from her supportive husband and loving children.

Apologies if I have gone on a bit, but I needed somewhere supportive for advice. I'm due to finish work in an hour or so, then home to bed. I admit though, that I am often nervous about coming home as I do not know what state she will be in. Only back end of last year, she had drunk prosecco one evening (at least three bottles), drove to work with the intention of sleeping in the car and waking up ready to start work the following day. She had left kids at home, and I had to go and find her - goodness knows how she got there without being caught, or worse still, injuring or killing herself or someone else! Thankfully she hasn't done that since, but still thinks she wont get caught driving the morning after.

If you have got this far, many thanks for reading. This has been on my mind all through my work shift.
You are clearly in some despair about this, but I think you are now in a position where you need to think beyond the needs of your wife and put the needs of your children and members of the public before hers.

You NEED to ensure she does not drive the morning after drinking to this extent. You could initially buy a home breathalyser machine (I got one off eBay,) and make her blow into this each morning to prove she is below the limit. If you cannot do that, I would suggest getting a safe and locking all the car keys in that with only you knowing the combination for opening it.

Too weird and out there? Well consider the potential effects of her crashing while drunk? I won't detail them as I'm sure you can think of them on your own.

Regarding her drinking habits, I only joined AA after a 7 year binge and losing my licence twice. Luckily the only person I hurt was myself, but it could have been so much worse with reading of 124 and 96.

I'm afraid you can't force sobriety on her. She has to want it herself, and I don't know her well enough to say whether she is yet at that stage, although from your comments I doubt it.

Let me know if you want some more information about Alcoholics Anonymous and I will help if I can.
 

Davyatsea

Active member
Many thanks to both of you, both really good replies. I came in from work this morning and my wife admitted she was stupid and didn’t really know why she had bought more Prosecco so late. I did try and explain my feelings, but not sure she wanted to hear it. I will definitely look at buying a home Breathalyzer kit - won’t stop her driving when my back is turned. Last time I hid the keys, she accused me of being controlling, which is something she struggles with despite being well aware of the consequences. I have said it’s only a matter of time before she gets caught if nothing changes.

As for our future, I don’t know right now. Both kids are visibly affected by her drinking and will often tell me she’s been drinking when I’ve come home from work. I work a 3 shift pattern btw. If I let my guard down, which I admit I have done, my kids tell me Im not helping her, which is true. So, I’m now at the point of not wanting to drink with her at all - which for me is no bad thing really. Just means I’ve got to stand by and watch her get drunk, which is anything but relaxing.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Many thanks to both of you, both really good replies. I came in from work this morning and my wife admitted she was stupid and didn’t really know why she had bought more Prosecco so late. I did try and explain my feelings, but not sure she wanted to hear it. I will definitely look at buying a home Breathalyzer kit - won’t stop her driving when my back is turned. Last time I hid the keys, she accused me of being controlling, which is something she struggles with despite being well aware of the consequences. I have said it’s only a matter of time before she gets caught if nothing changes.

As for our future, I don’t know right now. Both kids are visibly affected by her drinking and will often tell me she’s been drinking when I’ve come home from work. I work a 3 shift pattern btw. If I let my guard down, which I admit I have done, my kids tell me Im not helping her, which is true. So, I’m now at the point of not wanting to drink with her at all - which for me is no bad thing really. Just means I’ve got to stand by and watch her get drunk, which is anything but relaxing.
I was thinking about this and what advise i could offer you dave. My wife likes to have a drink a couple of times a week and i can honestly say it does relax her in a social capacity.She does not drink much and would never put anyone at risk. Maybe you and the wife could set some ground rules where she only drinks on days when she does not have to drive the following morning or you are about to drop here to work. I like to have a few beers but i tend to leave it until a weekend fri/sat when i am not driving.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
I was thinking about this and what advise i could offer you dave. My wife likes to have a drink a couple of times a week and i can honestly say it does relax her in a social capacity.She does not drink much and would never put anyone at risk. Maybe you and the wife could set some ground rules where she only drinks on days when she does not have to drive the following morning or you are about to drop here to work. I like to have a few beers but i tend to leave it until a weekend fri/sat when i am not driving.
I think Davatsea's wife has more of a problem with alcohol given how much she is drinking. She is certainly misusing and is borderline dependent and may well be drinking more than she is admitting to - that's what us Alcoholics do. We are great at telling lies, especially to ourselves.

I would like to think the 'don;t drink on a school night' rule would work, but I am not so sure.
 

Davyatsea

Active member
Many thanks to both of you again, especially Les for your school night advice. I did try a similar approach before where my research showed a 10 hour period per bottle of wine/Prosecco before driving. Please correct me if I’m wrong as I’m open to learning. This approach worked to a certain degree, except that it was pushed to 1 1/2 bottles, sometimes nearer 2 - in fact more often than not. Really hard to keep an eye on as two weeks out of three, I’m either not home till 9pm, which is too late to prevent the drinking. Or, she waits till I’m out the door for night shift. If I suggest the zero approach, I have no confidence it would work at all. Tuesday evenings seem to be her weakest one, as her Tuesday working day is really busy, but yet she hasn’t got the strength or desire to influence her outside demands.
 

Guygibson

Well-known member
You are clearly in some despair about this, but I think you are now in a position where you need to think beyond the needs of your wife and put the needs of your children and members of the public before hers.

You NEED to ensure she does not drive the morning after drinking to this extent. You could initially buy a home breathalyser machine (I got one off eBay,) and make her blow into this each morning to prove she is below the limit. If you cannot do that, I would suggest getting a safe and locking all the car keys in that with only you knowing the combination for opening it.

Too weird and out there? Well consider the potential effects of her crashing while drunk? I won't detail them as I'm sure you can think of them on your own.

Regarding her drinking habits, I only joined AA after a 7 year binge and losing my licence twice. Luckily the only person I hurt was myself, but it could have been so much worse with reading of 124 and 96.

I'm afraid you can't force sobriety on her. She has to want it herself, and I don't know her well enough to say whether she is yet at that stage, although from your comments I doubt it.

Let me know if you want some more information about Alcoholics Anonymous and I will help if I can.
Nailed it 👌
 

JamesH2122

Active member
As harsh as this may sound, the only person who can help your wife is herself. To use the "three Cs" of Al-Anon, you and your children didn't cause, can’t control, and can’t cure the disease of alcoholism that your wife is suffering with.

However, you are able to help your children and the best way to do that may be to change your circumstances so they are not being brought up in a house with an alcoholic.

It's obvious you care for her and you post comes across as very heartfelt - it's obvious you are desperate to do the right thing - but the actions you describe with regards to your wife are not that of someone acting logically, but someone whose brain is muddled due to the horrific disease that is alcoholism.
 

BigTom

Well-known member
Many thanks to both of you again, especially Les for your school night advice. I did try a similar approach before where my research showed a 10 hour period per bottle of wine/Prosecco before driving. Please correct me if I’m wrong as I’m open to learning. This approach worked to a certain degree, except that it was pushed to 1 1/2 bottles, sometimes nearer 2 - in fact more often than not. Really hard to keep an eye on as two weeks out of three, I’m either not home till 9pm, which is too late to prevent the drinking. Or, she waits till I’m out the door for night shift. If I suggest the zero approach, I have no confidence it would work at all. Tuesday evenings seem to be her weakest one, as her Tuesday working day is really busy, but yet she hasn’t got the strength or desire to influence her outside demands.
Davy, I feel for you. You want to do the right thing for your wife and your family, but don't know how. Alcoholism is a disease not a choice, your wife needs to realise this and want to get over it, but you cannot force this on her.

Personally I don't think the 'not on a school night' regime works sufficiently. I would suggest you talking to her and asking for complete honesty. Tell her you are there for her, don't pull the punches and tell her that you and her children are on the line, if you can't get through this together she will eventually lose you all. Tell her you understand the situation, but you need her to be honest with you about when, where and how much she is drinking. You will not be judging her, but you want to ensure hers, yours and the kids safety.

Some people find a gradual weaning, reducing the 2 bottles to 1 1/2 over a couple of weeks, then to 1 bottle over a couple more weeks etc. helps. Others find AA a great source. Personally, I went to AA for a while, I found just listening to others' stories helped me understand a bit better. I am not one for standing up and saying " I am Tom, and I'm an alcoholic", but you don't have to. You can just listen, if you want to contribute you can, if not it's fine. Perhaps suggest she tries a local meeting, and you promise to sit outside and wait. She can walk out at any time if she wants.

As James mentions above, Al-Anon is another thing you can look at. It is like AA, but is for the families of people suffering from alcoholism. It allows you to speak to others going through what you are, and get ideas and tips on how you can help as well as help for your suffering.

At the end of the day, none of this is easy. I can see you are at your wits end, and really wish you all the best. Keep in contact with this group, ask your wife to read some of the posts here also - hopefully it may have an impact!
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Really threw me back reading this last night guys as we have all been there and most have come out the better side. I continue to play a part on this forum even after regaining my licence because it helped me though some bad times mentally. Price and Grice-Big Tom are a power house of help and support amongst the gang and i think of us as a team bunch of members. I will put my little foot forward and help as best i can keep safe all.
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Many thanks to both of you again, especially Les for your school night advice. I did try a similar approach before where my research showed a 10 hour period per bottle of wine/Prosecco before driving. Please correct me if I’m wrong as I’m open to learning. This approach worked to a certain degree, except that it was pushed to 1 1/2 bottles, sometimes nearer 2 - in fact more often than not. Really hard to keep an eye on as two weeks out of three, I’m either not home till 9pm, which is too late to prevent the drinking. Or, she waits till I’m out the door for night shift. If I suggest the zero approach, I have no confidence it would work at all. Tuesday evenings seem to be her weakest one, as her Tuesday working day is really busy, but yet she hasn’t got the strength or desire to influence her outside demands.
Hi dave i new the guys would reply and i hope this has helped you in a small way. Please please feel free to ask for some support going forward and think of this forum/thread as an outlet for your own support group (y)
 

KeyWorker

Active member
Hello Dave.
I’m sorry you and your family are going through such a difficult time.
AA is an option that works for some people, and in any case is a good place to go and listen to other peoples stories…it’s one of the best ways of deciding if you have a problem with alcohol, and maybe the first time that you are able to think ‘ well I’ve done that ‘ or ‘ I thought that as well ‘ and realising usually for the first time, that what we were doing and thinking wasn’t normal. AA meetings are generally friendly relaxed places, after all everyone there understands what you’re going through, in a way that the people who love and care about you, can’t. There are no forms to sign and the meetings are run only by the people who go to them.
You could see if your wife would consider going to a meeting, it honestly wouldn’t be as difficult as she probably thinks it would be, and a warm welcome is guaranteed. The AA website has an option to find meetings local to you, and you’ll probably be surprised how many there are. For example Corby and Peterborough are both quite close to me and each has 7 a week, a mix of daytime and evening meetings. If you phone the AA helpline 0800 9177 650, you’ll be put through to a member close to you, who would be happy to chat on the phone, but also come out and see you, or take your wife to a meeting
Unfortunately if this isn’t addressed it seems likely that your wife will loose her licence, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the helplessness and despair that goes with drinking. She may well want to stop, but without help, keeps finding time and time again, that she can’t. She would see quite soon the freedom and happiness that is there, if she decides she wants it. Locking keys in a safe is great idea, however if she really has problem with alcohol she will ensure that she has a supply hidden away….just one of the things we learn ‘ normal’ people don’t do
Good luck anyway, let us know how you get on.
PS I apologise to everyone if I seem to be using DD as a platform for talking about alcohol, but it does seem to be an issue for some of us who post on here.
 

Luna2000

Well-known member
Hello Dave.
I’m sorry you and your family are going through such a difficult time.
AA is an option that works for some people, and in any case is a good place to go and listen to other peoples stories…it’s one of the best ways of deciding if you have a problem with alcohol, and maybe the first time that you are able to think ‘ well I’ve done that ‘ or ‘ I thought that as well ‘ and realising usually for the first time, that what we were doing and thinking wasn’t normal. AA meetings are generally friendly relaxed places, after all everyone there understands what you’re going through, in a way that the people who love and care about you, can’t. There are no forms to sign and the meetings are run only by the people who go to them.
You could see if your wife would consider going to a meeting, it honestly wouldn’t be as difficult as she probably thinks it would be, and a warm welcome is guaranteed. The AA website has an option to find meetings local to you, and you’ll probably be surprised how many there are. For example Corby and Peterborough are both quite close to me and each has 7 a week, a mix of daytime and evening meetings. If you phone the AA helpline 0800 9177 650, you’ll be put through to a member close to you, who would be happy to chat on the phone, but also come out and see you, or take your wife to a meeting
Unfortunately if this isn’t addressed it seems likely that your wife will loose her licence, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the helplessness and despair that goes with drinking. She may well want to stop, but without help, keeps finding time and time again, that she can’t. She would see quite soon the freedom and happiness that is there, if she decides she wants it. Locking keys in a safe is great idea, however if she really has problem with alcohol she will ensure that she has a supply hidden away….just one of the things we learn ‘ normal’ people don’t do
Good luck anyway, let us know how you get on.
PS I apologise to everyone if I seem to be using DD as a platform for talking about alcohol, but it does seem to be an issue for some of us who post on here.
I think you have hit the nail bang on the head. This is a drink-driving forum and we are all here because of alcohol, so I don't think you need to apologise for mentioning it.
 

Davyatsea

Active member
Many thanks everyone. So much to think about and take in.
Having said that, my wife has told me she has booked a GP appointment to discuss the alcohol and the effects on her body. It’s not for a week or so yet, but it is a real lightbulb moment. No one’s saying for a minute it’s going to be easy, but I feel it’s a massive step forward 😀
 

topchippyles

Well-known member
Many thanks everyone. So much to think about and take in.
Having said that, my wife has told me she has booked a GP appointment to discuss the alcohol and the effects on her body. It’s not for a week or so yet, but it is a real lightbulb moment. No one’s saying for a minute it’s going to be easy, but I feel it’s a massive step forward 😀
Speaking to the doctor it will be recorded on her medical records if she got another ban it would be a nightmare too regain her licence. Question is does she rely on her car and what would life be like with out it with 2 autistic kids not much fun. She has made an appointment dave so she realises there is a problem with alcohol.
 

KeyWorker

Active member
What I would add, is that no one likes to think of themselves as Alcoholic. It’s not a very attractive label, but it isn’t always about labels….
It’s about the freedom to live a different life. To just accept what happens to many many of us, and understand that there is a way out. George Best famously said he was too well known to go to AA. How very very sad was that. There is nowhere safer and more confidential than an AA meeting….and who cares what any one else thinks anyway, it’s our own life that is at stake.
 

Davyatsea

Active member
Speaking to the doctor it will be recorded on her medical records if she got another ban it would be a nightmare too regain her licence. Question is does she rely on her car and what would life be like with out it with 2 autistic kids not much fun. She has made an appointment dave so she realises there is a problem with alcohol.
She has mentioned this before, and is aware, which is why she hasn’t done this before. We were discussing her weekly therapy today and she admits having difficulties with authority. So, I have to tread really carefully how I approach things with her. I have to be led by her on this one and hope that she is doing the right thing. She does rely on her car and hopefully remembers how difficult it was for her during her previous ban. What she has told me is a massive step forward, especially when she told me she was 30th in the queue to make an appointment.
 

Davyatsea

Active member
Seems ages since I’ve been on here, so time for an update. My wife did speak to the GP - telephone appointment and they sent her for blood tests, liver function etc. The blood tests came back normal, which I was pleased with, but surprised. They advised her to self refer to alcohol support, but would not refer her themselves. ‘Normal’ blood tests, clearly showed to the GP that there was no problem despite my side declaring 8-10 bottles per week.
She has shown signs of trying to increase the days between drinking, which has been good in last couple of weeks. This week, she’s started to slip back again
 
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