I don't want to go into too much detail because it doesn't matter a whole lot. It's all pretty typical, really. My husband has been an alcoholic for most of our marriage. Up until the last few years he was, what people refer to as a "functional alcoholic" - held a job, primarily self-medicated with alcohol, kept himself comfortably numb but did so without getting drunk or being out of line. A few years ago he got really sick and was sober for a while. Since then it's been a lot of ups and downs, ons and offs, etc. Now though, when he starts, his personality changes immediately and he becomes argumentative, surly, and just says and does a lot of dumb things. He will also go through a lot of money, fast. ($100 in less than a week). We live pay check to pay check and have 7 children so there just isn't room for spending money on alcohol.
In spring he almost drank to death and went into a treatment program. He did really well but didn't keep up with it when he got out. For a while we were meeting with his counselor as a couple but he won't go at all anymore. While we were still meeting with him though, I had told him that if he continues to drink I would take control of all the money. He didn't like that but I said it had to be that way. So, when he started again, I opened a new bank acct, transferred money from our joint acct into it, and that was that. He's mad, but he's sober and I told him I'd rather have him mad at me for the rest of our lives so long as he's sober and alive. Sadly, every time he gets even a little money, he immediately buys alcohol with it. I buy him gas cards, get his cigarettes, pick up whatever he needs from the store - and I willingly do that because I feel like it's too big a risk to give him cash.
Tonight he had money because he gets a small disability check each month from the Army. Initially, I was going to wait and see what he did with it, give him a chance to make good. I knew immediately though that he had been drinking - not much but something. I took the rest of the money out of his pocket. He knows I have it but hasn't confronted me. He's mad though and is currently sleeping on the couch.
It's one of those moments when I wish there was a real life "Easy" button, or a way to get a specific answer from God to say what the right thing is. I know I've hurt him, damaged trust (again), and made him mad. Yet, I feel like I have an obligation to protect him and our kids from his alcoholism. Like I said, I'd rather have him mad and alive, yk? I'm sitting here trying to decide if I should be the bigger person and say, "I'm sorry, let's try to figure this out," knowing that he won't discuss it, wont' meet with his counselor, and will likely just blow the $100 before the week is up leaving us to suffer with his ugly attitude. Or say, "I'm sorry," but stick to my guns and tell him that things will change when we start to meet with the counselor again.
There's obviously a lot more to our story but I'll just assure any reader that I'm fine. No, I don't go to alanon though I've considered it. I have a fantastic support system and the kids and I stay very busy with our lives. We are active at out church, the kids have lessons, we have friends. We live. Keith has, very sadly, chosen to wall himself up in his selfishness and perceived pain and separate himself from all that would help him. There's nothing I can do to change him or his choices. I love him and always will, and I feel dreadfully sorry for him about how he has chosen to lead his life because he misses out on so much, but they were his choices. If he wants something different out of life, he needs to take the steps to change.
Any thoughts on the whole money thing is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Deo Juvante, Jen