wife of an alcoholic

The Wife of An Alcoholic Shares Her Story

Today I’m brining you the story of a woman whose husband is an alcoholic. She is sharing bravely and submitted her story anonymously in hopes of support. I’m proud to share her words.

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Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of drinking, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.

If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.

Please show your support to our reader who has submitted the story below. 

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He’s in hospital again.

My depressed, anxiety-stricken, suicidal, alcoholic husband.

It’s the third time this year. Saying it’s been rough is a bit of an understatement, especially since I’ve been trying to shield two boys from the chaos.

His first wife believes the booze is the base problem. (I wish she’d given me the heads-up sooner.) I’m not sure I know which came first. The chicken or the egg. The booze or the depression.

Whatever may have started it, they are all dancing together in a horrible, destructive, downwards spiral, and have been for some time.

It’s the lies that bother me the most.

When we met, he was open with me about his depression, and how his first wife left him because of it. But her leaving was basically good, because his misery in the marriage was the root of his depression. So he said, and I believed him. Depression I can deal with. I deal with it daily. I suffer myself.

I knew he drank a lot, but so did I.  And it wasn’t like he was drunk all the time, or drinking in the morning, or anything. But when he drank, he drank a lot. He couldn’t have just one beer. He had to have 4, or 6. Dinner out meant a cocktail, a 70/30 shared bottle of wine (or 3 beer), and an Irish coffee. It was expensive, and made him tired so he fell asleep early instead of spending time with me, so I complained. But it didn’t change.

Then we had our son. And our son was difficult. More difficult than most parents could imagine. My husband couldn’t handle it, and he drank even more. His temper was horrible.  I once called him a monster. He heard me that time, and he tried really hard to control his anger. And he did a good job.

But he still drank to relieve stress. And to sleep.

Did you know that alcohol completely disrupts your sleep? It may help you to calm your mind so you can fall to sleep, but it will give you a fitful and disrupted sleep. So then you drink more. And your tolerance increases the more you drink. So you drink even more. And then your liver starts to feel the effects.

Not to mention your relationships.

Alcohol is a depressant. When you self-medicate with alcohol to deal with your depression and anxiety, you may dull the pain in the moment, but you contribute to your depression in the long run. You get worse.  And you can’t stop drinking. You spiral.

And it sucks. And the people you love pay the price.

My husband is very successful in life. He is fantastic at his job and is highly respected. He can put on an amazing show of competence and composure, even when he’s tanked. If you are a stranger or a colleague. But if you’re family? Forget it. We get the full show.

Wife of an alcoholic
Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net “Ambro”

For the last six years I have been holding this family together with the thinnest thread imaginable. I’ve begged him to see a doctor, to seek help. I put myself between our kids and their dad, softening the blow of his vodka-induced rage. I try to hide the fact that he’s passed out on the couch. I make excuses for why he isn’t doing whatever household chore, or why he won’t go to the zoo with us. I make excuses to our friends, to his office when he doesn’t show up. I make excuses to me.

I’m tired of making excuses for my alcoholic husband.

I’m tired of feeling like a single parent.

We’ve lost our husband and father to alcohol.  I’ve been holding on to hope for years, because I love this man. I remember why I love him when I see him in his sober moments and he fixes man things around the house, or cooks an amazing meal, or plays with the boys. And, don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of those days. He is an amazing man when he is sober. Even the depression doesn’t keep him down, now that he’s medicated. And since his failed (thank God!) suicide attempt this summer, he has been trying really hard, as far as I can see. He was himself again for a long while, though it was a struggle, and he had a lot of professional support. He was wonderful. But then something triggered him, and he started again.

And the lies started. I mean, I know this man. I can tell when he’s drinking. And I long ago gave up on being quiet about it. But he denies it every time.  He would deny it when I’d kiss him as we left the parking garage in the mornings and parted ways for our separate offices and I could taste it on his lips. He denies it now when he yells and wails, and then passes out at 8pm. But I know.

The lies hurt me the most. That and how his actions are affecting our children. No child should have to see their father this way. No child should have to walk in on their dad passed out on the couch with an empty vodka bottle rolling around the floor. No child should have to know that their dad is in hospital because he wanted to end his life for the third time this year.

No wife should have to continue to protect her children from this every day.

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wife of an alcoholic

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105 Responses

    1. My husband and I got married when I was 28 and had our son when I was 35 he just turned 6. Makes me old lol. Best thing that ever happened. Well, even though I drank a lot up until then my husband always drank more. I rarely drink at all now since my husband seems to see my leisure sips of wine as a green light to Indy 500 style drinking for him. He is very high functioning and successful, helps with most chores, cooks, and pretty much does 50/50 household and then some. He just drinks too damn much. He drinks six out of seven days of the week. When I say drink I mean to the point of inibriation 99% of the time passing out on the couch. Rarely coming to bed before 4-5 am. Beer and wine mostly (he did cut out vodka for the last six months or so). I go to bed alone those nights. If he doesn’t drink (a very rarity) he goes to bed extremely early 9-930pm. I seriously don’t think he can stand to be awake sober. He of course denies having any issues. I take call one week night and every five weekends and it is ALWAYS a fight to get him to “go easy” when I am on call. We have a six year old in the house I’ll say. If there is a fire and you are drunk you will both burn alive how will you get him out if I have to go to work after you’ve been drinking. It’s a terrible seen that always plays out the same way. He drinks any way….. I am rattled with anxiety and worry about whether I’ll have to leave the house…. it’s just plain awful. Even when I am not on call I lay awake upstairs and I hear the beer bottle or wine glass drop from his lap and break….. I walk down and cuss and yell because it infuriates me the dangers he’s putting our son at risk of. In winter he starts fires in our fireplace EVERY night….. I fear he will unintentionally kill us because he is too drunk to be safe. He thinks I am just anxious. I don’t know what to do. I want to protect my son from seeing this. I also want to stop protecting my husband from himself. Any advise? Am I too anxious? This much drinking can’t be normal.

      1. Hi Julie,
        I am so sorry to hear what you are going through! My husband is an alcoholic so I understand your frustration and anxiety. My advice is to find an Alanon group and go to a meeting. I resisted going to Alanon for a long time but once I did, I found some peace.

        Take care of yourself!
        Rebecca

      2. A year back I left my husband of 21 years because of his alcoholic ways. I have a 14 year daughter. All this time I was hoping and praying that he will change. Unfortunately this did not happen. He has called me filthiest of names. But one day I realized that I cannot go on like this . I have moved out of the house. Things are not easy but there is peace of mind. He is emotionally trying to blackmail me now trying to coax me back but I know that my life has already been ruined and I dont want to ruin my daughter life now.

        1. I agree with you Elizabeth. Its very hard i am in same situation. I am also ready to move out but always he emotionally blackmailed me. But now my daughter my son myself we all tired with his fake promises.

          1. I was recommended to a program love over addiction. She has several programs. Also ready in sheep’s clothing by George Simon which is about manipulation and tips on how to identify. Also al-anon they have online meetings much easier to start there then going to a meeting. They have one for new comers every night at 8pm.

      3. You need to get out of the marriage and don’t look back. You can make a satisfying life for yourself and your child. This will never get better. It is bad for children to grow up in an alcoholic home. IT NEVER GETS BETTER. How do I know? Because I’ve been there and done that. He and his drinking destroyed our lives. I didn’t leave until age 70. If I can leave, anyone can. GO.

          1. How do we leave when we are financially dependent? I am 62 years old, and have no finances of my own. Hopefully he can manage to work 5 more years. Where would I go? Is there any help for my situation?

          2. I am 58. I left a high functioning aerospace engineer manager afyer 33 years. My five adult kids disowned me because he lied to them. I moved back home after his forced by criminal behavior rehab. He begged me in rehab to forgive him. He didn’t really finish as. He did what court wanted. 30 meetings in 30’days. He cheated. He signed.and.left. Then he cheated on me after he stole all my medicine the doc gave me.after my surgery. .still with this awhile. Now he has aggressive prostate cancer. Serves him right. For 33 years, I was a stay at home mom, at his request. he asked.me.to sacrifice my college degree and career, meanwhile, all those years he called me.a bon bon eating lazy useless bitch Now, I laugh. He has very aggressive cancer because he didn’t listen to me when I told him to go get his psa check and rechecked. Laughing? Ya, not nice. But you have no idea of the amount of gaslightng he has done to me. He is a piece of shot. 5 adult kids ages 25 to 38 and no grand kids. Only one married and they don’t want kids. Thanks honey. My future sucks.

          1. At 49 I have just got my decree nisi through the post after 25 years of marriage, still can’t believe my husband has chosen drink over his family, he says he’s gutted but unfortunately not enough to stop boozing ! It’s taken me 9 years to realise he isn’t ever going to change, I now know that my love for him has been my weakness, as it has been used against me so that he could emotionally blackmail and manipulate me into believing that he would get sober, I too have been in denial, wishing, hoping and praying that I could help him get sober. I once feared being on my own but then saw that staying was scarier still, I felt alone anyway so decided to petition for a divorce. I finally saw that there has to be more to my life than being second best to alcohol. I deserve better. I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2018 without lies, broken promises or confrontation, it’s been the hardest thing I have ever had to do but feel I can face any thing now. When we accept that a person may not change we become free from them and their behaviour, if we try to change them we are enslaved by them. Best wishes to all of you struggling to find a way through an alcoholic relationship, stay strong and do what is right for yourself not the alcoholic .

        1. Thank you for your comment. I am 59 and this year has really hit me as my youngest is going to college this year and my older daughter just moved out. Both my kids want me to leave my spouse since he is a prolific liar and will never get better. He’s been in AA for years and has bluffed his way through. Its like a frat party to him.It makes me sad and disappointed.
          I waited to marry until I was over 39 thinking that would help me never divorce. I got conned. He is from a Super Toxic family of emeshed alcoholics with no boundaries or value for truth. I have never met such a lying man-child who needs a babysitter not a wife. He was never taught life skills, common sense or how to love or protect with authenticity. His sister is gay and everyone Still (including her) actually live in denial with constant anger-based passive aggression. What a sick-o Toxic family.
          I cannot believe I made such a horrible choice for my marriage and father of my children. God Help me. How I overlooked his total self serving life and how he is his only concern. I too have always been a single parent having to buffer his horrible parenting and constantly protecting our family as he “gave away the farm” to anyone. He has endangered us all and never protected us but would sell us out if he thought he could gain anything by it.
          I must take care of myself and get my head in a good, Healthy place.
          Thank you for this forum.

          1. It is as if you just described my life!!
            I am so miserable and scared in the same situation
            The emotional and physical abuse constantly
            And you hope and pray they will grow a conscience and change for you and your children sake
            With so much to lose on their self absorbed selfish destructive path in life

          2. Yes I am in a similar situation,,,He is sick right now butI guess this could go on forever,,,his mind is going…I feel like I am trapped,,,his family is not in contact with him…apparently they were happy I found him and now I see why,,,

          3. Clare, my situation is almost identical to yours, down to the gay sister in law lol, and his brother has gambling addiction. I also feel conned. Both his parents were abusive alcoholics unbeknownst to me. And the way you describe him is exactly how I depict mine. It’s the alcoholism and he’s no longer the person you fell for. It’s like living with a stranger and it’s hell.

        2. Thank you to you who shared the story and all of you who shared your comments. I’m 43, my alcoholic husband is 35. I met him when he was 25 and I was 33. We broke up once and returned as a couple. We got married. (Interesting how he worked on his sobriety right before the wedding. We toasted to Red Bull.) I really thought he just needed to get past his 20s, then he’ll see how awesome life is without alcohol, once he matures, he’ll see, once we marry he will totally get it, once we buy a house and have a baby, he will have so much peace, experience and accomplishments under him he will totally get it! …

          Present moment: We now have a 18 mo old daughter. Im divorcing him now. I cannot have the girl I have been waiting for, see what I have seen. At this point he is more of a liability and danger for us. And yeah, I thought it would get better and it hasn’t so I’m leaving. I do believe she has absorbed enough. I hope she doesn’t remember. I love my husband but I can’t love and live as a family for the both of us. I might as well do it on my own as a single parent, as I have already! I’m really sad and scared to be alone. It’s a running theme in my life. I hate being alone! But being alone and living with a risk is worse. I’m sad to lose the battle but relieved to take those boxing gloves off.

          1. I give you so much credit for your strength. I am married 40 Years to an alcoholic who is abusive to me when he gets drunk. Of course he’s the greatest guy when sober but that’s pretty much during the day at work. When he comes home he starts with the wine and the beer. I have a lot to give up and live. Nice life because I helped make it that way. Which he gives me no credit for at all. I handle all the financial matters, all his business matters, paper work that is. He’s a contractor. O manage 4 properties that we own and he still insists it’s all him lol. I’m 65 and I have everything but what I really want in life. A relationship and someone to share my life with…. if I leave him he would be hopeless which is probably what he needs. I just need the courage to do it…. and to know it’s the right thing to do… Help!!! 😆

          2. This is so sad. I was hoping to find an answer other than leaving. There has to be another way or am I just still in denial? It’s sad to lose the battle but once kids are involved it seems the best option is to free yourself and your kids. What a shame.

          3. Marissa,

            Hats off to you for putting your daughters best interest above all else. I am 51 and have raised 4 children with an alcoholic husband. Seeing my adult children now struggle with their own relationship issues makes me regret staying in a very unhealthy relationship for more than 25 years. I consider myself strong, independent and usually of sound judgement but reflecting back, every single year I was planning on leaving, but days turned into weeks, weeks into years and so on. So, when I hear of a young woman who has the strength to leave, I am beyond inspired. You did what I couldn’t do and my children have suffered. Best of luck to you and may your daughter forever live free from chaos in her life.

        3. That isn’t true. People can overcome this and there are manyanu testimonies online and real life examples of couples that are happily married today with many years of soberiety. I am one of those examples. My husband is an addict and it took him several attempts to get it right and he has been sober for 19 years so far and it has been the best years of our marriage yet! My husband was in the military and is a disabled veteran. We are one blessed family. So you are wrong saying they never get better. If you want to say watch he will relapse, you can. It’s a day at a time and right now we are enjoying eachother! I trust him and forgave him and have no more resentments. We are a Christian family as well. All that nonsense about keeping your husband last and don’t help him with anything is cruel. It’s commen sense to take care of yourself so you can take care of your spouse. If you stop caring for your spouse your breaking your vows. I didn’t let anyone come between my husband and I. When people told me to leave I told them there nothing they can do to change my mind and I didn’t listen to all those fear mongers say he’s never going to change. Don’t listen to people like that. Just because they had a failed marriage doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to happen to everyone else. That’s called overgeneralization. Addicts do and can get better for the rest of their lives. There’s plenty of testimonies and my example of what really can happen. Don’t player hate congratulate!

          1. Amen!!!
            I agree….as my husband & I are living proof…God Bless you and yours 🙏🙏🙏💜💜💜

        4. You were so strong to leave! I’m 57 years old married to an alcoholic for 32 years. Emotionally and verbally abusive. Two beautiful daughters. Feel like my adult life was taken away by this man. How did you find the courage to leave? Being a stay at home mom, then caring for my elderly parent, I have no work skills. Feel so defeated. Hope I find the courage to leave.

        5. What if he is the bread winner and you are almost 50 with no family and 6 kids 3 under 18 to take care of. All I have done is raise the kids he was military and if I divorce him I would get half of his retirement which would only be about 500 a month. I could never touch his disability which is 500 a month. Everything is in his name all bank accounts I have to beg for money there is no hope for me. The only way out for me is to die

          1. Wendy,
            There is always a better way out than death. Think about your beautiful children. You can be everything to them in this chaotic environment. It may seem like it is unbearable, but find a friend, a therapist, a pastor to talk to. Life is precious even in the worst of times. I’ll be praying for you to find hope.

          1. Hi, I am also stuck. Married 16 yr now It was after 4year into marriage the true drunk appeared. It’s been hell. I’ve forgive over and over given chance after chance helped him mostly enable him. I should of gotten out long ago I hope anyone readying this does. Because they do not change. It’s all lies. He secretly took out a credit card used it to get his cases of beer daily I couldn’t figure it out how because he doesn’t Wk. Hasn’t for years. Never paid on it and once I got calls for it my credit was in ruin. He’d stopped makeing house payments everything I’d trusted-now I am in freedom Dept but stuck in this life. He recenty was in hospital again. Promises to do better. My pets are my

            saving grace

      4. WOW this is my life …I think I maybe try and hide too much …I ask him to stop but there’s always an excuse …either it’s the weekend or if it’s during the week ‘I’ve had a hard day’ …if we r out for a meal with kids I have seen myself giving them a nudge under the table and giving them the ‘don’t say anything’ look so there’s no arguement starting but always starts when we get home and of course it’s all our faults …nobody can say anything because we r all wrong …I try to explain how things are but I don’t seem to get the right words out …he has never hit me or the kids but the ‘words’ can be horrible …only tonight he said if there’s 2 things I would change then it would be 1) I would have went in the army and 2) u wouldn’t be here …nice eh

        I don’t know where to go to or even find out if he is a ‘real’ alcaholic as he just drinks beer and he doesn’t pass out all the time but he does sulk and take himself upstairs most nights

        I don’t want to go on holiday (which is not fair on the kids) as all he does is drink morning till night ‘because’ he’s on holiday …don’t get me wrong I do have a couple myself but I certainly don’t drink every night or every weekend …my kids hate this

        1. Waitied 20 years for my ex husband to stop drinking every single day. Divorce was never in my vocabulary and always said I’d stay for our boys. I was raised an only child by my single mother since infancy and always wanted a large family. Part of why I stayed so so long. In 2014 after years of mental abuse, codependency while being a constant caretaker and enabler. He started getting physical and that was my wake up call. I though staying together, in my dream home finally, was best for the kids who were 17 & 12 at the time. Our middle son passed away from SIDS in 2000 and definitely contributed to his steady increase n drinking. I tried everything from counseling to begging for at least one sober day. He firmly and repeatedly stated you knew I drank when you married me and I’m not going to stop, EVER! He made up his mind from the start that his beloved brewsky was the love of his life. Of course he didn’t drink an 18 pack every day in the early years. Why did I wait so long? He was my High school sweetheart and been head over heals for him since I was 14 years old. When sober, he was an amazing father and spouse who always helped with chores and went to work every day. A functional alcoholic as they say but the functionality was on a steady decline at home from the moment he was off the clock and all weekend long from the time he woke. By Sunday I could not wait to go back to work. My job was my happy place and didn’t even realize how sad that was till a friend ask why? After being in denial so long it took a good year to get the courage to leave him. The day he had me pinned against the kitchen pantry door with his fist in the air and my oldest had to break it up, was when I finally realized staying together was hurting them more by seeing us argue every day. Now the mental abuse was getting physical and I was more depressed than ever before. It wasn’t easy and still wonder if there was something I could have done to save our marriage. But when only one person is willing to sacrifice and work the steps to repair what’s broken, all hope is lost. I would never wish divorce on my worst enemy but I am in a much happier place now. Also never though I could ever love another man after the ex and had actually sworn off men forever. That’s when an old friend came back into my life. He treats me like a princess and best of all won’t touch a drop of alcohol. There is life after the bid D even in our older years. Even living alone with my boys was better that living with Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde. Before I dropped the bomb, I saved some money, got a place lined up to move into and called the movers to come while he was at work. Course the big was up by then and he sat there dumb founded while they carried out furniture. In hindsight I do wish I had fought harder for the house. I handled all the finances and was considered the bread winner. But it would have been harder to prove my case and force him to sell. This would also meen uprooting my kids from there home before they had time to adjust. Mind you my 17yr old felt he needed to stay and take care of his dad while my youngest 12 yr old came with me. He still has the house and to this day it eats me up inside because it took 20 years to find it. On the other hand living in my dream home with a monster was worse than being free and happy living in a box. It’s been hard having to start over from scratch and in debt up to my ears. But I finally found my self esteem and a man who can cope emotionally and never ever says a hateful word to me. My boys survived and are both fine young men who understand why I had to leave. They are smarter than we think and know more than we think we’re keeping from them. Do what’s best for them and your own peace because your worth it. I can’t imagine still living with the ex because now he drinks more than ever before since there is nobody hounding him to stop. He is hateful and still puts me down every chance he gets. We both know the truth and so do my kids even after all the lies he told the family. I hope this helps anyone that feels stuck in a marriage to an alcoholic who refises nor wants help. Without the will to want to change, they never will. I pray my boys don’t fall down this rabbit hole as his whole family are addicts also. Yet never xome around to visit anyway. It is in there life on a daily basis. All I can do is hope they learn from his mistakes cause they certainly have to see it every time he’s around. There old enough to decide if they want to spend time with him and cannot intervene but we talk openly and frequently about addiction and the effects it had on out broken family unit. Life is better for then now and have peace as well without thier parents fighting every single day. We now have a blended family and thier step father shows them how to treat a woman right. Bless all of you having to live with an abusive spouse. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Be strong and make a set and for yourself because you deserve happiness!

          1. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope I find the strength to leave. At 57 years of age I feel scared to start over. Your story helps. Thank you.

      5. Hi Julie,
        My husband is a high functioning alcoholic as well. Professional job, polished appearance. Can go days without drinking, and was supposed to have quite back in 2016 after a drunken scene at a family members wedding. He had slipped 5 times that I count. Few other times I suspected but of course denied. So very good at convincing me he had not drank or taken anything. Makes you question your own sanity. I have been pushed, grabbed, and yelled horrible things during these episodes.
        All with the promises to quit, followed by lies and broken promises. All the letdowns. We recently just had my sons 20th birthday party and he drank again. Disappeared from the party and was in the house drinking from the bottle! I knew. The whole family saw how he acted. I asked him to leave the house and we are in a trial separation for the month. I honestly have no idea why to do anymore? My gut tells me to divorce, as this is always going to be my life with him. He has “tried” 12 steps but claim the people in that program are far worse than him. He’s not like them. I realize he feels he can still “handle” alcohol. He says he would like to have a drink to “feel normal”. It’s hard to try and get over the past hurts and regain trust when he continuously makes the same mistakes, and appears doesn’t really feel he has a problem.

  1. My heart goes out to you. I am the adult child of an alcoholic mother. I still remember her telling me how I was no good, and how i would amount to nothing in this life. It left a big scar. He needs to make the decision to help himself.n you can’t
    Do it for him. Your job is to protect yourself and the kids until he figures it out.
    Wishing you luck:)

  2. I am so sorry you and your children are going through this. You sound like a very strong and courageous woman. I can see why you are at your wits end. You have every right to be. It seems like you have done everything in your power to do everything to take care of your husband. Have you considered or have you had an intervention with him? Maybe it’s time for you to draw a line in the sand and tell him needs to get some real help or you and the children are leaving. I’m not talking about a conversation (or fight) between the two of you. I mean getting others involved, possibly even a professional. Believe it or not, turning your back on him may be the greatest act of love you can give him right now. It doesn’t appear anything else is working.

    I say this because I am an alcoholic myself. I did many of the things your husband did although I don’t have children. I didn’t want to do the things I did, but alcohol had taken over and I could not stop on my own. My loved ones had an intervention for me and I will be forever grateful for that. I have been sober for 2 1/2 years now and I am a different person or I should say, I am back to being the good, honest person I was before alcohol took over.

    Your story moved me very much. I really hope you are able to get the support you need. I will keep you in my prayers.

    1. Can I ask what your family and friends did that made you want to get help? I am trying to help a family member myself. It’s hard, I hope all is well with you. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I am a recovering alcoholic and put my daughter and my husband through hell with my disease. Since being sober, I have also had to watch others waste away due to their addictions and it’s frightening, maddening, and isolating. My ex-husband, my daughter’s father, is in late-stage alcoholism right now and it crushes my heart to watch her go through hell, waiting for him to die or get well. It doesn’t look good. But still, I can’t lose hope.

    Might I suggest Al-Anon? I have started attending that group in addition to my regular 12-step support group, and I have met the most amazing women (and men) there. They have seen all kinds of unimaginable pain, but have been able to find support, peace, and serenity within that program.

    I’m sending up prayers of healing for you, your husband, and your family. This truly is a family disease. Even if he may not be willing to get well, you can.

    Blessings of peace to you.

  4. I’m in a different situation. I’ve been a victim of physical abuse. My husband has been charged with Assault as well as other things. We have been separated for one month now. I hear he is doing very well in that he has enrolled himself in 4 programs: Anger Management, AA, Partner Abuse Help Program (PAR) and personal counselling that he is paying for. I hear he is extremely remorseful and is apparently doing everything in his power, with God’s help, to make the changes in his life that is needed. “He doesn’t like the person he was.” His drinking and pain killing medication (narcotics) were destroying the wonderful person he could be. Like every alcoholic, he hid this secret life from me as much as he could. My question to all is, “Is there hope for him?” Is there hope for us? I’m going to see a counsellor myself next week. I can hardly wait.

    1. I hope you waited at least a year to see him sober and staying in a program before you let him back in your life again!!!

  5. I get it. He’s not mean. Just not connected. He doesn’t come to soccer games, plays, special art nights at school. There is always an excuse and he makes it out like he is taking care of something important and then probably makes you feel guilty b/c you are not there to take care of it. Deep in your mind you don’t want to leave because you are thinking of your kids. The hell with him is better than it is going to be without him. Some judge is going to screw your kids stability up by forcing them to go with someone who has never paid attention to what needs to be done. He will get a holiday that he has never even participated in. And let’s say that you can convince the courts to just the minimum. Then they only have to go on Sat/Sun. What if they have something they want to do; a party, a game, a fair. Whatever it is, he won’t take them b/c that will be his time with them. He will take them home, where it is safe, and never leave until you pick them up. He can drink and keep them in the house. To leave him is selfish b/c the only true victims are the kids. Or at least that is what I think b/c I don’t know what will really happen and at this point, I don’t want to gamble.

    1. I think I must have written this in my sleep or something. This is EXACTLY my situation. What do you do when the alcoholic is not abusive, at worst acting “goofy” and then passing out, and essentially a void? If you divorce and have shared custody, you have to leave your kids suddenly in the custody of a drunk person…alone? So their current life with you, an essentially single parent in a reasonably organized and cheerful home, turns into a split deal – and now they are having to stay nights in a sad alcoholic’s den? Again, alone with one drunk adult as supervision? And, yeah, forget about birthday parties or cheer. And better hope your little one’s appendix doesn’t burst in the middle of the night with the only person in the house who knows what to do and can drive passed on on the couch…

      1. I could have written your message word for word. I too have an alcoholic husband who is ‘silly and happy’ and passes out ( he calls it falling asleep) most nights by 8:00pm, if not sooner We have 2 boys who I am raising and it feels more like having 3 with him. I help with all of their homework, grooming, social schedules, sports (I am the coach of their teams) all activities and organization of any kind. He “sleeps” on the sofa while they are watching a show and calls that quality time. I think of leaving him but then realize that is punishing the kids rather than him. He will get them every other weekend where they will do nothing but ‘watch tv’ and have an absentee father who prefers to drink. He swears that we are more important than anything and ‘this will be the last time’. But it never is…

        1. Document everything and divorce him. Have times and dates of your husband’s drunkenness and what happened. Leaving him and taking the kids may be the only thing that wakes him up and forces him to make a decision. Documenting his illness will give your lawyer ammunition to show the court that he doesn’t deserve to have the kids without an outside chaperone until he gets his shit together. I speak from experience, cuz I was that guy. My wife leaving was the rock bottom that made me ask for help. I’ve been sober for 20 months now, and although my wife and I are divorces, I’m a better (and sober) dad than I’ve ever been. Quit enabling him.

          1. Thanks for sharing. I am preparing for divorce and my husband is an alcoholic and trying to get physical custody of my 6 year old son. I am trying to get a lawyer because I need to protect my son. It is so hurtful all the things he has done cheating, name calling, controlling, and emotionally abusive. I asked for separation and he asked for divorce. He is very spiteful. Please pray for me during this journey.
            Sandra

    2. I shared your opinion at one time, while my children were little. I found myself working all the time because my drunk husband did ot earn enough or would spent what he earned. Problem is that he was drunk while he was to be watching our children. In reality my daughters were taking care of him and he was especially mean to our youngest daughter, a fact I did not know at the time. Eventually, I kicked him out and he did put himself in a treatment program and sobered up. We reconciled and I had one very good and wonderful night with him. The next day he went to work and the his AA class and on his way home was hit by a drunk driver. It was a terrible accident that involved multiple vehicles. A minor that was served at a bar drove drunk and t-boned my husbands full size truck at such a high rate of speed that this sports car pushed His truck into oncoming traffic. The young man driving fled the scene and a manhunt involving several police agencies took place throughout the night. My husband initially pronounced dead at the scene, was later air lifted to a trauma center along with the drunk driver’s drunk pregnant girlfriend that he left in the burning car. After several surgeries and weeks at the trauma center he was moved by ambulance to a hospital and then many weeks later to a convalescent hospital. Months later he was wheelchair ready and after making modifications to my home I brought him home. I was legally declared his caregiver and I took classes to learn how to care for him. He was difficult and suffered nightmares. Once I was sleeping and woke up to glass breaking after he threw a lamp and then began to strangle me. I lived and continued to care for him, my girls, work, and pay hospital bills. Kaiser hospital put a $200,000.00 lien on my house and tried to force me to sign over the house. I stuck it out a few years later and more surgeries my husband was walking and working. He had become a loved and respected member of the community. Then he started drinking again and it all started again. Next accident again not his fault, he fell 20 ft head first on a concrete slab through a short nailed roof. Unfortunately, his family had convinced him to quit his job and help his sister and her husband build their dream home. He was air lifted to a trauma center and 9 hours of brain surgery later my next nightmare began. Two years later he has recovered and working and again back to drinking and decides on our anniversary to climb the side of the house with his climbing gear and falls 20 ft. This time breaking his foot and continued to drink. He healed became accomplished in his career, finally earning more than me and a steady paycheck. But he continued to drink and it increased to blackout drinking. Off an on he was suicidal and suffered depression, typical of alcoholics. I failed to tell you that during all his accident recovery my daughters had to help, because I was working two jobs to pay the mortgage bills, and medical costs. My middle daughter did the most even emptying the urinal, since two of the accidents left him with broken hands legs, pelvis, he had to be cleaned and fed. He would try to commit suicide and due to the blood thinners he would bleed all over the place. Very scary. Now my daughters are all grown up and I have missed sharing all the important moments because I was working. The babysitters and daycare workers got to enjoy my children, my home and I worked missing everything important. I have a great relationship with all three daughters and we love each other very much. My daughters call, text everyday and my youngest the only one at home stays home because she worries about me. Meanwhile, as I write my husband is drunk, quit his great job and in his expensive truck that he had to have threatening suicide driving somewhere; and I am terrified that he will hurt himself or someone else. It frightens and upsets me to think he could cause an accident that harms a young family causing them all the hurt our family has gone through.

  6. I can relate to all of these stories, but I have more. I have a last stage alcoholic husband that was so depressed and out of control that he lied about his 16 year old son to make himself look better. He thought he could get me out of his life by calling the police one night on me because he wanted me out of the house. I was so hurt, that night he went from Dr. Jeckel to Mr. Hide with the flip of a switch. He does this every night. On his days off, it was worse because he started drinking earlier. He was fine the day that he called 911. I had come home from work, he had a salad ready for me, he was being nice and a few hours later he was drunk and staggering and telling me he wanted a divorce. The police ended up coming that night and they made him go stay at his mothers, because the police told me that he was extremely intoxicated and very agitated. He was very mad, and I had to put a PPO on him the next day. I have been doubting myself ever since. If only I could talk to him, maybe I could make it better. I was wrong. As usual, everything was my fault. After I put the PPO on him, he started to turn off all of our utilities. I had no other option but to file for a divorce. I keep asking myself if this is what he really wanted. It was not what I wanted. We have been married for 23 years. I have known him for 30. He says he will never come back. Right now I have our 2 boys. They really could care less if they see him or not. He blames this on me also. The truth is they are afraid of him. All I ever wanted was for him to get help. My family and co-workers think I am crazy when I say I would take him back if he got help. I am told by all that he can’t really love me. This hurts so much. I do need to keep myself and my teenage children safe. It has been 5 months that all of this has happened. He seems to be having the time of his life. I keep plugging away trying to save the house. The kids are a lot happier now and can actually have their friends over without worrying what kind of mood their father would be in. Is their still hope for him. Is it true that Alcoholics tell the truth when they are drunk? I gave this man all of my love and most of my life. He was always a drinker. His brother who is 6 years older than him has Alcohol Dementia. I have seen my husbands brain and way of thinking get worse over the last 2 years. I asked for help from his family because he was out of control. I was told, he doesn’t have the problem, I do. I feel totally lost at times, but then I realize that I have been alone and taking care of the kids needs for a very long time. Things will get better. Any hope?

    1. Wow, I just had to respond to you after reading this. My husband is in end stage, although I still have hope that he and I can keep him on the straight and narrow before he has to give in to wet brain, my biggest fear of all. He can be the sweetest person in the world, and I know he loves me, but he has also shown that he will lie to me to my face, which really hurts, since we had always been totally honest with each other — he has destroyed that in our relationship. I have taken away the car keys, because he’ll say he’d never drink and drive, but he does — I cannot let him hurt or kill someone else so I just can’t let him drive. Another lie to me. He will also say that this problem is with me..ME. Of course I know he says this when he’s drinking, but it still makes me sick and angry. I’m just trying to keep myself together. I’m retiring a little earlier from my job to be at home all the time. Sounds crazy, and yet I know that if I left him, he would never last even another year. He’d drink himself to death. As long as I can, I hope to fight back. Your situation is soooo much more difficult. My children are grown, and since he was still a pretty functioning alcoholic when they were young, they were pretty shocked to learn their father is an alcoholic. However, if things had gotten to what I’m hearing from you, there is no way I would have kept my family in that situation. You are not the problem, his addition is the problem. Hard to keep that in mind when you are being told you are part of the problem or, as in my case I am THE problem. That’s bull, and we both know it.

      I also understand your feeling you would take him back. Well, if he could really show that he is serious about recovery, then I suppose I’d do the same thing, but only once. You can’t help it if you still love the man you fell in love with to begin with. But a person can only take so much hurt, anger, lies, stumbling and falling around, falling and breaking closet doors, trying to drive, having mean mean things said to you, becoming incontinent at night, worry, no rest, no..that’s not a healthy atmosphere for any child — or wife. I’m venting and need to stop. You just touched a familiar spot with me, and my heart goes out to you. Those kids come first!

      1. Wow I soooo relate to where you’re comin from…..my male component and I have been married 26 yrs!!I hate him soo much….He’s abused me and my son for yrs!! Thankfully my. son has grown into a great young man..however circumstances have made him have to move back home for awhile…I’m so nervous that jerk dad will be more abusive than ever!! But I don’t won’t tell my son no!! What do I do???

  7. my husband admits he is an alcoholic and he drinks everyday.a couple of times lately though when he’s playing with our daughter he says to her your uncle loves you and he repeats it several times, like he really believes he his her uncle and not her father is this normal for an alcoholic or is his liver failing.

  8. I don’t have any sympathy for the alcoholics in my life anymore. I am burned out. They are very self-centered and narcissistic and think they should be able to ‘drink’ if they want to. They don’t ‘hear’ the pain of those of us around them. They have caused immeanse damage to their relations and just keep on drinking. They mow right over us all. The ironic thing is that with behaving the way they do, thinking they should be able to live the way they do, they will all get eventually what they deserve – mental illness induced by alcohol, and health problems galore, and in some cases probably death. When I ask, don’t you care about this or that the answer is always ‘no’, so I am tired of worrying about them. My concern now is for those they hurt in the process of carrying on. I don’t buy their ‘victim’ mentality. They ‘victimize’ everyone around them.

  9. I wish I could tell you that things will get better but the truth is they will get much worse. I have been divorced from my alcoholic husband for 4 years now. The first 2 years after our divorce I sat by watching him drink and party andhave the time of his life. I raised our 3 girls on my own while trying to explain his actions to our oldest daughter who was at that time 13. His family always blamed me for everything and so did he. All of them refused to see he had a problem and still to this day try to cover up for him and get him out of trouble. But 2 years after our divorce he was caught driving with our children while drinking and was charged with a DWI and 3 felony counts of child endangerment. Since then I have watched him spiral downwards and even though he was put on probation he still continued to drink and get arrested for various felonies. Meanwhile I tried to move on with my life but he was always there…calling me late at night when he was drunk, begging to come over, asking meto bail him out of jail, etc. At times I did go to his rescue and then lecture him but it never did any good. I have been through a roller coaster of emotions from loving him to hating him to being angry with him then angry at myself and angry at alcohol and the depressed and then just confused. Now he is facing going to prison and I have had to come to terms with that and maybe hope that this is the only thing that will make him sober up for good. I have realized that he has to hit rock bottom before he will even begin to get help to stop drinking. I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life now and move ahead. I have met a wonderful man who is not an alcoholic and who has respect for me and my children and for the first time in over 15 years I actually feel like I have a companion in this life. I do feel that my ex husband loved me but the disease took over who he was and he will never again be the same. You have to do what is best for you and for your children no matter how hard it is. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for you. You just have to realize like I did that you are the victim here and you have done nothing wrong. If you keep going back to him and being there for him then he aill never stop drinking…you will always be his crutch. I hope this helps. I pray for all families that have to go through this…it is a terrible disease and affects everyone in the family.

    1. I have been divorced from my ex for a year and a half. I keep letting him back in my life because I truly love him. He started drinking before our divorce and has continuously gotten worse since. Our now 15 yr old son stopped going over for visits last Aug because his dad was always drunk. Then in Sept, he was in a motorcycle wreck. He was driving drunk. Fortunately, he didn’t harm anyone but himself. Unfortunately, he broke his back. I rushed to the hospital and stayed with him. Brought him home and nursed him back to health all the while losing hours at my job. He promised the world and I believed him. As soon as he was able to move, about 7 days later, he went back to his old ways and came back to my house hardly able to stand. I kicked him out. Since then, the drinking has gotten worse , but he says he loves me and he’ll quit. Then, he goes right back and gets drunk again. Only a day later. He blames me for his drinking. He’s out having the time of his life and I’m home trying to raise our son and pay bills. He ended up getting out of the dui and pleaded to reckless driving. He also turned on the charm and talked the dui course instructor out of sending him to mandatory counseling. He needed the counseling. His parents bought him a Jeep after the wreck and his friends celebrated by buying him shots. Most of the time, I feel like I’m going crazy. Everyone sees this great, fun friend and his son and I are left picking up pieces. People tell me that I am his crutch and as long as he can look to me to hold him up when he’s down, he’ll never get better. I believe that. But I also worry that if I cut him off, he’ll hurt himself or I’ll never see him again. I guess, I’m taking what I can get from him because I love him. We’ve been together 22 years and were married for 16. I’m honestly jealous that other people get to see the fun loving guy when I only get the worst. I keep hoping that he’ll change for me, but I know the truth. I don’t know why I keep hanging on and hurting myself.

  10. I have a unique situation. I have been married to him for 39 years and I pretty much raised our daughters by myself. I hid how bad his drinking was from them. I did it well because a few years ago I asked them both{they are grown adults} when do you think your dad started drinking? and they both gave me different times. I have a home daycare and he had to quit his job about 12 years ago and go on disability. He has several health issues which now he can’t even do simple things except drink because he says it helps numb the voices, depression and lets him sleep. Which is does not. I have a separate part of the house I use for the daycare so it does no effect them but I have to be careful anyway. He leaves during the night now to get alcohol and I caught him taking money out of my purse. Today he wanted to take our grandson somewhere and I had to tell my daughter he hadn’t slept. He was furious and if this makes him mad enough to leave then ok I am really ready for this to end. I don’t know how much more I can take. He lies constantly saying a man has to have his secrets and his secrets are really in his head. everyone know when He is drinking he changes instantly. He is going to a psychologist for this but they last time it did’t help he and I quote told him what he wanted to hear. He doesn’t believe he is an alcoholic he even told his dr. that. His dr asked him what is your definition of an alcoholic and he couldn’t exactly say but I spoke up because I was there for this last session and said he had an uncle who was an alcoholic and he lost everything and was never sober and he said yes but he isn’t that bad. I have tried alanon it did nothing for me. I have a couple of family members I can talk to but I hate to. So I understand what these women are going through. Can I write again?

  11. I’m 44 years old and my husband left me 4 months ago he was an alcoholic who suffered from depression. Your story is bang on. He’s with another woman now and blames me for lack of support when he wanted to die. I was at my wits end!! Lying, cheating, verbal abuse, saying he had cancer to cover up a suicide attempt and letting me go a week thinking he was dying!!! My mom has days left with her battle from cancer.
    Was it my fault because I had hit the I font give a shit wall.
    Is he really in love with this woman
    I’m hurt, alone and can’t even co parent with him.
    I can’t take the blame but did I contribute? He’s says he wanted to die cuz of me!!!

  12. If I didn’t know better I would have thought that I wrote this article myself. It is almost identical to my situation. I am so lost
    My husband is currently being held in a psychiatric facility and I have been through so many lies and failed attempts of sobriety where he hides, lies and sneaks I have no hope which I know is not the right place to be to help it be successful but I just am tired of being disappointed by his actions. His mother disagrees with his actions but is constantly making excuses for him and rationalizing all the reasons that he has to be like this i am just so lost

  13. Read this with tears in my eyes…. 6 years of watching my life unravel and the hands of alcoholism. A year and a half ago, I chose to file for divorce, to provide a safe environment for my girls but daily I checked on him. I am as addicted to him as he is so alcohol, its so painful. He now lives with a woman who allows his drinking and has no relationship for our teenage daughters, yet I still grieve the loss of my husband and his alcoholism. Next Monday we go to court for our divorce and it is so devistating to me to no longer be needed in his life.

    1. I’ve watched my wife go down for 8 years. Rehab twice, detox several times and is not able to work with children(school). She was removed from our home a year ago and lives with a man 15 years older who supplied her with booze. She has told me she has to “pay” the rent with him, when she was drunk. At this moment I have an assault charge over my head that didn’t take place. I wouldn’t let her stay at the house when she came at 6:30 drunk. This was a condition spelled out by children’s aid. Two days later the police called me and I was charged on her word. She called 2 nights later to apologize and that the guy she lives with made her do it or he’d kick her out. It is in the hands of the court now. Even after this and many more pages of crap like this I still see the person who seldom drank and was the centre of our family. People tell me to move on and the truth is, is that I still love her. I know she is in her own prison and suffering. She’s not the same person but I can’t get past that. I totally understand as I will be facing mine in court and there won’t be any winner.

    2. I know I’m doing the right thing to divorce myself and my little children from the life I can’t physically handle anymore, but am so sad about it. How did you ever get through it? Every second, every night with every attempt at an age appropriate response to my little children, every move, and every worry about finances SUCKS.

  14. Wow, i am not alone! Every single one of your messages resonates with me in a big way, alcoholic husband, got so bad after 10 years of marriage that i said enough was enough – we had to live together for about 6 months after separating as he had drunk all our savings and we couldn’t afford it, things got worse, i would race to put the kids to bed before he got home so that they wouldn’t see him falling over, they saw it anyway at the weekends but i tried to keep them busy on day trips etc.
    He eventually moved out, got worse and worse, lied about drinking when he had the kids, lied about driving when he had them and was plastered for i eventually filled for divorce with a condition it is saying if he drank with the kids in his care, he would have no rights to see them. The problem was, i still cared….
    He continued to lie, had 6 car accidents in the space of 6 weeks, drinking went from bad to worse, he made my kids lie to me, telling them that they couldn’t tell mummy that he was drinking because i then wouldn’t let them see him!! Eventually, i would just go and pick him up and bring him to my house so he could spend time with them as i didn’t trust him with them, i had him over for dinner twice a week and then on Sundays I would pick him up at 09:30 and he would stumble off in to a taxi eventually.
    Three weeks before Christmas was bad, he couldn’t function, wasn’t showering, couldn’t get through the night without drinking, was drinking all day and when he woke up, drank again – he lost his job (again) and he eventually agreed to go in to rehab – at that point he was drinking 5 bottles of wine a night, wine in the morning, driving drunk with a 21 year old to work, dropping the kid off and then going for a coffee (with brandy) getting through the day with beers he snuck in…i cleaned his rented house over Christmas instead of being able to spend time with my kids, i sorted out his financial mess he had left behind, as we have a joint mortgage, the banks would put embargos on our joint account for money he owed the tax man….i also look after my kids and work full time.
    He was in rehab for 2 months, had a further 2 months looking for work and then went to stay with some friends – throughout this time, i was still having him over to see the kids, i had told him i would support him through rehab but this was it, no more, i need to focus on my kids and maybe even myself!
    2 months later, I took my kids on holiday, he said he would look after my house, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbit and fish….we left on the 21st July, by the 24th July he was back in rehab, having trashed my house, starved the dogs, let them crap all over the house, vomited everywhere, 2 bottles of gin, 2 bottles of vodka, 2 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of cava and countless beers later – i called in favours from all over the place, sorted out kennels for my dogs, a friend to come and clean, another to feed the other pets, another to sort out the crap…i cried a whole heap and then i woke up. I am done, the only thing that i need to focus all of my energy in to is my children (and work, obviously that pays the bills!) my eldest is 10 and worries about his dad, needs to call him to make sure he is ok, needs to know where he is, worries about people knowing it…i will start psychology sessions with him as soon as possible as he is the same as me, he worries and he shouldn’t he is a child, a 10 year old boy should worry about whether to climb a tree or jump in the pool and that’s it, he should not feel responsible for a man of 38. My youngest is 7 (three days ago) and he doesn’t want to see or speak to his father, he wants us to get a new father who wants to spend time with them and who will be nice to us all. Don’t get me wrong, my ex is not a bad drunk. What pushed me to deciding that i was done? The fact that his doctor called me and said that my ex had started drinking because he felt like a part time father, that i didn’t allow him to see the kids, and that we had left him on his own….after giving up years of my life to make his better, i officially quit, i will no longer invite him over for dinner, or for family Sundays, i will no longer allow him in my house, i will no longer support him, i will no longer be a friend to him and thus be an enabler, i say no.
    My worry is my kids, they will need to see him but i can’t trust him to pick them up from my door and drop them back off a couple of hours later so do i meet him in a park and let them go and play for a couple of hours whilst i work on my laptop, or do i take it to court and get someone else to supervise the visits? How much time should he have with them? Every week? Every other week? They saw him last week for an hour, my eldest was happy to say goodbye and my youngest was distraught – not because he didn’t want him to go but because he apologised for his small relapse, but, as he explained to my kids, an alcoholic doesn’t always think before he acts – WELL THAT’S OK THEN!!!!
    I find myself thinking that there must be some kind of excuse for me out there, i work full time, i take care of my kids full time, i do sports with them, i try to keep the house clean and tidy, i help them with their homework, i walk the dogs, clean and feed the pets, try and make sure that my kids are coping with all the help i can give them…and yet, as crap a father as he is, his children have a right to see him so i will be tied to this manipulative, lying shit for as long as my kids need me to be – can anyone tell me how many hours i need to give up for his rights?!
    The positive is that i have finally decided that i need to look after myself too, a healthy mum is a happy mum right? I’m not saying i am overweight or have any particular health issues but i would like a life, i am 38 – not dead yet! So, running machine is arriving next week, i am going to sign up for a photography course with my boys, even going to the water park tomorrow, in the last few weeks i have been on roller coasters, Disneyland,the Eiffel tower, ridden horses, swam with my kids, played hide and seek, climbed up trees, rolled around on the floor laughing with them, i am freer than i have been in years, although i realise that the road will be a bit bumpy, at least i am no longer responsible for the grown up i divorced!

    1. Meech I thank you for sharing this difficult journey. You’re doing the right things for yourself and your children and I’m so glad that you’ve realized it’s not your responsibility. I will continue praying for you

  15. I am married to an alcoholic who lies constantly, he will be sliring his speech, stumbling all over and argue with me and say he hasn’t drank, right now I took the keys because he was acting like he wanted Taco’s and I said sober up and u can go, now I am repeadily being verbally abused non stop, I am not letting him eat, we have plenty of food in the house, I’m so stressed at the person he has become and what it has done to me and my 15 year old son!!! He is a diabetic and drinks a fifth of vodka each day, passes out everywhere, snashes every car we get, wets himself, almost burned our house down 2 times cooking and passing out, covers himself in food like a 2 year old in a high hair when he eats, has Charcot foot from all the abuse, enlarged spleen and liver, low white blood cell count and will not find out why, he also , vomits all over himself in from of our Son’s friends, now he will not have friends over our home, caused his family to blame me, I been with him 19 years, I left my job and cry everyday because I don’t know what to do, I hate that my son and I live like this, I feel so alone, I have a beautiful home but it’s a horrible place to be, my husband has a really good job, my son and I will loose everything if I leave, I am now a crying mess, I just don’t know what to do to better our situation, I have this dream that it will all stop and he will become the great guy he once was, unfortunately I think it is killing him, I am now at the point that I wish he would die so my son and I can be free of him and all the torchure he has put us through!!!

    1. Hi there Lisa. First of all allow me to assure you that you’re not alone. For the millions of active alcoholics out there, there are family members living what you are. Nothing will change if nothing changes. If you continue on accepting this as your living condition, it’s probably not going to change for the better.

      The “things” you would lose if you left…ask if they’re more important than your own happiness or that of your son. As I read this it seemed to me that you already know anything I would say to you.

      Please try an Al-Anon meeting, there you’ll find a support group of people who know what you’re going through.

  16. A very touching story, and unfortunately the “spouse of an addict” story is all to familiar and common! Like many of those commenting here, I too have been in your shoes. I was a phone call away from walking away from the entire situation, but was lucky enough to have a friend answer that phone call and keep me in the game (sort of speak). 2 years later our family is doing great! My recommendation to you and anyone in this position is to first off get your spouse into a long term treatment center. Once that happens, get yourself help; either al-anon or some family addiction program. I was blown away to learn the damage addiction had on my own life and the many ways I was contributing to the situation.

    Most importantly…take care of yourself and do whatever you need to maintain ‘hope’. A little bit of ‘hope’ goes a long way, but without it there is nothing left.

    Best of luck on your journey!

  17. I married a beautiful loving man 10 years ago. We have two children now aged 8 and 5. My husband lost his job 8 years ago and began drinking a lot. His personality changed when drinking. He went from telling me how much he loved me to being really mean and nasty, lying about drinking, slurring words, stumbling around, drunk driving. I begged him for years to give up drinking but it was always my fault… I didn’t understand him. He was depressed and suffered from anxiety. When he wasn’t drinking, he was a lovely, kind and very talented man. He was great with the children, patient and played with them. Great around the house, DIY, cleaning, making dinners etc. Except when he drank that all went out the window and he changed – mean, aggressive, angry, not nice to be around. 2 years ago he was particularly aggressive one night. I kicked him out of the house and he went to rehab for 6 weeks. He came out, stayed with his parents and was drinking again within a few weeks. They kicked him out of their house. He went to AA for a couple of months but stopped. He wouldn’t accept his drinking was causing all his problems. His brothers and sister all cut him out of their lives. I still loved him so much but wouldn’t let him back to the house until he stopped drinking. I organised an apartment for him to live in (it belonged to my parents) as he had no money to rent somewhere. Only problem it was a two hour drive from our house. He hated living there on his own. He continued drinking. I would get drunken phone calls where he went from telling me how much he loved me to shouting at me to get out of his house and about how I was controlling and abusing him by not letting him live with us. He was also upset that my parents looked after our children while I worked. He said I was isolating him from the children. But he used to mind them while I was at work and too often he would be so absolutely out of his mind with drink that he couldn’t even stand up or form sentences. I couldn’t risk him minding the children. So he was depressed about this too. He began staying with us at the house from Friday to Tuesday and it was nice to have him there for the weekends and we could do family things and be almost normal. But he still drank for the 3 days he went to the other apartment and I would get the drunken mean phone calls. He always saw himself as the victim though. He thought I was out to get him and did not understand / would not accept how he was when drunk. And then the drinking started again at our house – bottles of vodka and whiskey hidden around the house. And him lying about it, swearing he was not drinking and calling me all sorts of names. Last December a few weeks before Christmas, he was at the house and was drinking and very angry and ranting all weekend. He wouldn’t let me sleep and was kicking the bedroom door at 2 in the morning – shouting about how I was abusive as I wouldn’t let him stay at the house and as I had gone to lawyers about a separation because of his behaviour when drinking (he had put his hand around my throat and really frightened me one night). I had always said if he gave up drinking we would work things out. But he wouldn’t accept his drinking was the problem. It was always my fault. I was so emotionally tired from it all. I loved him so much but couldn’t go on the way it was. I went into Court the next day and got a barring order (saying he had to vacate the house and couldn’t come to the house at all). I just wanted the drunken ranting and anger to stop. I could handle it during the day, but at night time when trying to sleep it was awful and he became quite crazy when drunk so it was scary. So, he said he was going to kill himself. He was distraught. We had gone through this before 2 years ago and he had pulled through. He rang me drunk, so I couldn’t talk to him. He wouldn’t listen. It was all my fault. He asked me if there was any hope for us. I said no, it had gone too far. I was so upset with him and he was still not accepting the drink had anything to do with it. I didn’t mean what I said. There was always hope if he gave up the drink. I was under pressure from everyone to not give in to him and the chaos had to stop. So, after that call he texted me a few times over the next couple of days telling me how much he loved me. I didn’t answer, even though I really just wanted to tell him everything would be ok and that I loved him and that we would work it out. I was so emotionally drained. Torn between loving him so much and doing the right thing for our children and me, I thought. So, 4 days later he took his own life by hanging himself in a forest. All alone. He died thinking I didn’t love him. The pathologist’s report showed he had no alcohol in his system, but I knew that as I hadn’t heard from him a 2 days so knew he wasn’t drinking. I took away his hope. He had nothing else. I will never see or hug or kiss my beautiful husband again. Our children’s Daddy is gone. That was 4 months ago. It doesn’t get any easier. Every second of every day I think of him and miss him so much. I am beyond devastated and completely heartbroken. It is my worst nightmare. So awful it was when he was drinking, I would swop the way it is now with that in a heartbeat to have him back. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Oh dear one, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain as I just buried my husband last week. I too, struggle with the guilt that if only I had let him be home the night he passed away instead of a friend’s couch perhaps he’d be alive today. I went through the same of everyone telling me I needed to have strong boundaries with him due to the constant chaos his drinking created in our home. I know I needed to provide a safe home for our children & my sanity but i never thought it would have led to this. Do you have good support system? You can reach out to me if you dont.

      1. Thanks for your kind reply Knaz. I am so sorry for your loss also. I hope you are doing ok. It is very early days for you. I hope your children are coping ok. What ages are they? My children are alright, I think. It is so sad when I see how much they miss their Daddy. Luckily they are kept busy with their own little friends and lives. I don’t know how I am still going about life. But you just have to. I talk to my husband all the time (in my head). I cannot believe that almost 5 months have passed since he died. It feels like only yesterday. I have so many regrets and will have to live with them. I just wanted a bit of peace from the chaos… now I have that, but I don’t feel any peace. Just emptiness inside me. Nothing will ever be the same again and it is all my doing.
        How are you keeping? I know what you are saying about everyone telling you to have strong boundaries. I was in the same position. And I relied on my family for support with the children while I was at work so I had to listen to them. But, at the back of my mind, I always knew this was a possibility, as he was so depressed. And that is killing me. But we can’t go back.
        Hope you are ok. The early days are very hard, watching everyone around you living their lives when it felt like for me that the whole world had just fallen apart.
        I would love to hear from you. Take care of yourself and your children.

    2. I am so sorry you went through this. I divorced my ex alcoholic husband four years ago and he drank himself to death December 14, 2020. He was great sober even though agitated and not a mean drunk. Just passed out drunk every night and was showing mental decline. I tried for years to have him get help until 4 years ago I thold him if he didn’t get help I was leaving because I wasn’t going to watch him kill himself. When I left I left he was working and I left him the house and everything in except a few personal items. After 3 years he quit his job and just lived off his retirement and drank all day. His retirement ran out and instead of selling the house (he could have made over100k) and buying him a nice RV to live in he let it go back. So now he is jobless and homeless. I begged my nephew to let him stay in his RV at his place. For the last year he was a hermit and just drank until he died. We kept in contact since the divorce but you could never believe what he said. With that being said I feel guilty that I lefy, maybe I could have prevented his death. Even though logically I know it would have gotten to this point anyway. My leaving may have sped the inevitable up but without help they will perish either through health issues related to drinking or suicide. It is such a horrible affliction for the alcoholic and the family.

  18. I was married to an alcoholic who told me daily that I’m the reason he drinks, due to my nagging about his drinking and the lack of him in our lives. Well after 13 years of that, I finally had the courage to leave with our children, a boy and girl who were ages 9 and 10 then. This was 11 years ago. Since then he’s remarried and heard he was doing the same thing to that wife as he did to me but worse. He’s lost his job of 20 years because he started drinking on the job. Has been in and out of the hospital for scorisis of the liver and according to our daughter, he seems to have some type of dementia. He’s 44. He’s not eating and currently weighs under 100 lbs and he’s 6 ft.
    I just want to help him get better for the sake of our children and grandson, but don’t know if I can. doesn’t help that he despises me because I left him, so he told our kids. I feel so bad for my children who has to see this as adults now. How can I help? I did love him at one point in my life. Does that account for anything?

  19. This sounds so much like my life. My husband has suffered from depression for most of his life. In the 20 years that I have known him he was always a drinker but the last 6 or 7 years have been a nightmare. He has been to rehab 5 times. He is very close to losing his job of 30 years. I have had to bail him out of jail twice for driving intoxicated. I spend most of my time trying to hide this behavior from my boys but they are now teenagers and know what is going on. I am so sad that they have this life. I don’t leave because I don’t want him to ever have them alone. I know he can’t take care of the boys alone. I used to be hopeful but I think after this last round of rehab that he does not want something different.

  20. Hi. Wow, your story and husband almost mirror mine. I’ve been married just under two years and I don’t know how to deal anymore. Before we were married I really only saw him drink on the weekends but since then, I’ve seen him drink every night and rarely less than a six pack. I used to drink with him every Friday night as an unwind from the work week but now I have little desire to and coming home to him drunk every day makes me so angry. I can’t have a decent conversation with him and the only time he wants to discuss important things is when he’s drinking. I have a young stepson that has health issues and it pissed me off that if anything were to happen, his father would likely be passed out on the couch. Its to the point now that I dread getting home from work. Will I get sober husband or lit husband (usually ends up being lit hubby). So I instantly get bitter and don’t speak to him the rest of the night. He thinks I’m overreacting and that as long as he gets up for work each day, so what?
    I asked him tonight if he would be drunk when I get home and he said if I was going to be angry like that I should just leave.

    1. From experience, if he does not agree to help now you should leave and not invest another year with someone who will only continue to get worse without help. I know because I lived it.

  21. Thank you for sharing your story. Please seek the welcoming arms of Alonon, if you haven’t already. You deserve support and you’ll get it there.

    Julie, thank you for doing this blog. I hope to meet you at a speaker meeting one day. You are doing a great service to everyone with this blog.

  22. I feel like it is my dirty little secret that I didn’t LIKE my now ex-husband any more, let alone love him. What I regret is that I couldn’t find away to address my unhappiness. I couldn’t express it and he would give me the same biblical lecture over and over again that shut me down completely. I regret not having the courage to end it at once when it was burning me serously. And that at most times, I feel not to have ever had a relationship with him, not to talk of marrying him. It’s ironic that he now found someone new in his church. But I thank Mother Sunlight for helping loosing away a marriage which is more like a sorrowful rope, that was tied on my neck. After I contact her for help. I saw jai mata Sunlight details on internet in a testimony just as you are reading mine now. and I don’t bother him too much that they were both still married at the time. His hypocrisy was one of the things I liked the least about him. But I thank jai mata sunlight who came to my rescue and helped me put a stop to the misery I was going through that he pretend not knowing about. And my advice to those people out there sorrowfully burning in a relationship of which there is no life, pls wakeup and come out of it. Contact jai mata for help and counselling. To get in touch with her. And I say to you anything you want shall be done. and I tell you, if you let her lead you and follow her instructions, your testimony will be next. Thanks to you mother I thank so much. Thanks for helping me. Thanks for everything.

  23. I have been married 28 years this year. My husband’s drinking started after having my first child that I kn ew of. He drinks and in 2005 he had a choice to give it up or Would leave. so He went to aa and quit for about 13 years. Then in 2015 both our boys left home and took it hard. In May 2017 he was rushed to hospital found out by er doctor his blood alcohol level was high and diagnosed with cirrhosis of liver,and was sent back to hospital again June 2017 for pancreatic inflammation due drinking and alcohol level high again. Well March 2018 I thought he was having a stroke one Sunday night so took him to er. After they treated him in hospital for few days found out his medicine wasn’t working that keeps his ammonia levels down. So followed up with his liver doctor confronted us and explained the alcohol level was really high and that is why the medicine wasn’t working. Me and our grown kids thought he wasn’t drinking at all in any of these times since he had been sober for 13 years. I caught him in March in our garage drinking energy drinks he claimed but it was alcohol drinks, I emptied them out. Due to the condition of his liver Dr told him not to drink or he would die. Then about 2 weeks later he took me to work and kept the car. I told my son that lives with us I thought he was drinking. So found he had his 3 cans of alcoholic drinks in attic that he bought that day he took me to work, my son was so mad and upset and he denied that they had been there a while. The problem was they were still cool and our attic gets over 120 degrees and it was hot that day.he claimed those two times didn’t remember how that happened. In May I thought ok I will trust him he took me to work and he was suppose to pick me up wasn’t in parking lot then by 6:20 He showed up I could tell he was drinking. Started on main highway he was all over the road in both lanes I thought I was going to loose my life that day. We get home I was upset he wouldn’t pull over for me to drive and he almost fell out of the car looking balance being drunk. He denied drinking so my youngest son got home he went to the store where my spouse had bought the alcohol and got a full receipt since he had cut the receipt he gave me was cut where you couldn’t see what he bought. My son got the receipt it was 24oz alcohol drink, and he denied buying it and cutting the reciept. This wasn’t first time I had noticed the receipt had been cut. I had him taken into custody for March men act and sent to meridian for help they let him out in 3 days. I’m hurt by all the lies, and I feel I can’t trust him, he has done the cirrhosis of liver to himself. I’m just ready for the courage to leave .this isn’t something new to me my dad and grandpa pa was alcoholic so I k now all the signs . I feel i have wasted my life on alcoholic. I’m just ready to get out with a plan.

    1. Dear Mary Ann it’s a heart breaking thing to live with, he will never change so your only healthy option is to leave and get on with your life you have already given and done all you can, unfortunately it’s never enough where an alcoholic is concerned. You have the power to turn things around for yourself so seize it and have a happy ever after with your two boys. I recently divorced my alcoholic husband after 25 years of marriage and have a teenage son, it hasn’t been emotionally easy but I have to say its been easier than living with a liar and the daily torment of seeing someone you loved drink their lives away. My ex once said to me I wouldn’t choose to walk in his shoes to which I replied he wouldn’t like to be in my shoes either, his walk was his choice but I have been dragged along for the long and unrelenting unhappy ride. Be brave and believe in yourself even if it scares you, your situation and heartbreak can never be worse than it has already been for all these years!! Take care and put yourself and your boys first for a change, you have survived the effects of loving an alcoholic so can absolutely thrive living a life without him. God bless and be kind to yourself

      1. This is Mary Ann the post you responded to. I have decided to divorce my husband after 5 months after posting my post. He has lied about drinking and your right it won’t stop. I’m at a point in my life I’m ready to take charge of my life and focus on me. Thanks

  24. Wow so many similar stories I am 37 with a 6 yr old daughter my husband is a high functioning alcoholic he’s been drinking heavy since he was 15 he’s noe 46 Sometimes he can be funny energetic and wonderful to be around it’s a high when he’s like this But then he’s drunk 3-4 days a week unless he’s on vacation then it will be everyday We can’t go anywhere on weekends without him being drunk he’s usually at the cottage on weekend s right now drinking with his alcoholic father . he’s argumentative with me and overly aggressive with our daughter He has never once in 10 years of marriage protected or defended me It seems as though he’d prefer his family to hate me He is also Addicted to video gaming and porn which he watches daily He is a very hard worker and makes decent money he never misses work He has already suffered health issues with a stomach ulcer that bled constant rounds of gout never sleeping always angry and moody He doesn’t drink every day but I’m scared as he gets older it will worsen and I can’t even imagine retirement I feel very alone in my marriage He doesn’t care about my feeling ps at all and rarely spends quality time with out kid I’m scared I will damage my child by leaving and separating I’m very confused about what is the right thing to do here Please help!

  25. My husband has always had an addictive personality. When I first met him it was cigarettes. I remember hating cigs but I always found it sexy the way he lit them. He was a man and I was still a naive girl. We got pregnant and since he was established in his job I became a stay at home mom. As the years went by we had 2 more kids and his personality become odd. Found out he was on meth, then gambling, then getting happy ending massages. I have always hated him. I could never have an intelligent conversation with him, yet he made good money and I enjoyed being with the kids and not having to work. Once the gambling started we went through our savings and checking acct. I moved out with the kids and got us an apt. He eventually came back to us and I moved the kids back in with him. Fast frwd 10 years he’s an alcoholic. He is barely hanging on to his job. When I realized no money was coming in and my kids would be suffering I took matters into my own hands. I got myself a job selling furniture! It’s an amazing high paying job, it’s fun and now I have control again of my life and the kids. I plan to divorce him in a year or two. I will cut him off financially, tell him to go figure his life out while I move on with mine. I have a farm and I know I can run it just fine without him. Listen to me ladies, God will not let you down. He has listened and answered all my prayers. When you are scared because you don’t know how you will survive, you can do it! Figure it out, you have a brain and you have to be strong and think of yourself and the kids. I’m only encouraging this after you’ve done everything for your husband. He’s been to rehab- didn’t change, I’ve asked him to go to a pshyciatrist, nope- I’ve asked him to make a drs appt to do blood work, never happens. I refuse to make him do anything. He’s a fully grown man who needs to make his own choices- I’ve seen all of his promises to my kids and myself be broken and I am choosing not to live my life with him anymore.

  26. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My father drank as long as I can remember. When he was drunk, he became very violent! My childhood was very lonely as I could not have friends over. I never knew if he would be passed out, blocking the front door, laying in a pile of vomit or urine, beating my mother or brother, waving a gun around the house, or God knows what else! Every time he got extremely drunk, my parents would fight and my mom would threaten to leave. I remember when this first started around age 3 or 4, I would cry and plead for them to stop while packing my clothes and toys and sit in the car for hours waiting for them to work it out. This process continued until I was in my early teens. Eventually, I would just grab my favorite toy and sit in the car…….there were no tears or questions. My dad was a high functioning alcoholic with a six figure job at a major company. As my brother and I became teenagers, he bought our love and apologized with gifts. He never spent time with us. Our school thought we didn’t have a father because he didn’t come to any of our events. Instead he bought us cars, paid cash for our college, bought us houses. I always asked my mother why she stayed and her response was that she didn’t want to break up her family.When my brother and I were 23 and 24 years old, my parents finally separated. Less than a year later, my father went to my mother’s apartment,and as she opened her door to leave for work in the morning, he shot her. HE then took his own life. His blood alcohol level was .4. My advice to others…….leave them and live your life! Don’t force your children to live such a dysfunctional childhood! They did not choose that! I felt it would have been much better to be with one functional parent than to be exposed to such adult circumstances that at a young mind just can’t cope with or understand.

    1. Oh Sherri I’m so very sorry. I’m sitting here searching as my husband is downstairs drunk again. Reading your story was very powerful. I didn’t grow up in a home with alcohol so I had no idea how hard and lonely it could be. We have a blended family and like your father he is very highly financially successful. He is a very good father/step father. He is a good husband except when he chooses alcohol. I feel like I’m the old Scrooge. His ex was a big drinker too and I won’t wven touch a drop of it now. Being left alone while your husband chooses alcohol over you to sit alone sucks. Hearing your side of things gives me some perspective. Our kids know he is a heavy drinker and we fight behind closed doors even though they can hear sometimes and more than that feel the tension. Thank you for sharing your story from a child’s perspective. And I’m very sorry for any typos, I couldn’t even cry tonight after he said meeting me was a mistake. My heart is broken and I think reading your story gives me a realistic idea of how our kids may feel deep down. I’m sorry about your mom.

  27. Can you imagine the hurt and misery the alcoholic is enduring THEMSELVES? To uncontrollably and desperately continue to “willingly” hurt ypurself and everyone you love?To see your life,soul and integrity fall away piece by piece by your OWN hand and yet STILL persist? My heart breaks for those suffering.I know it’s unfair having to endure their abuse and neglect but at least,AT LEAST,in the end you CAN walk away.They cannot ever escape the obsession and shame.EVER.Lucky, lucky you.

    1. It was as if I wrote this myself. My husband just relapsed again, tonight. This time it was 2 months and $1500 down from a detox facility. I texted his dad…”blanks” drunk :( Basically heartbroken and lost. He blamed me and said I was the problem that this was not just my husband’s fault. Maybe? But boy have I tried it all. I’ve been with my husband for 17years and married 10 this summer. We have 3 kids and he was my highschool sweetheart. I think the lies are the worst too and getting my hopes crushed everytime he drinks again. It was so nice seeing him again.

  28. My husband is 71 and drinks until he passes out every night. (for the last 50 plus years). His priorities are alcohol, gambling, and being at a bar every day. He does nothing else.. I am 57, and wife number 4. I take care of everything in, and outside my home.. I am a Christian woman and I vowed to stay with him in sickness and in heath. I love him, but can not continue this empty life. However, I fear he he will not live for very long if I kick him out, and that scares me. I have attended Al-Anon and the meetings and readings have helped a lot. However, he has made it very difficult for me to attend. I continue to pray for answers and for peace.

  29. Wow. Such amazing stories of bravery and perseverance dealing with your afflicted spouses. It’s sad because I haven’t seen a single comment mention the opposite; husband gets sober, gets his shit together, changes his ways, rebuilds trust, becomes a much better man/father…

    I am an alcoholic. I met my wife in AA. She later determined she wasn’t an alcoholic. And 99% of the time she doesn’t drink like one. A 3-4 glasses of wine AT MOST per week. We’ve been together 12 years and married almost 10. We’re now separated and living under the same roof, which I know she absolutely hates. She’s not financially stable yet and I’m working to support her building her new counseling practice. We nearly divorced 2 years ago due to my drinking but I worked on myself and began getting my shit together. We made it back to each other – she came home with the kids. Fast forward 18 months and I’ve slipped out of AA and drank 4-5 times. Noting crazy which is the sad part. A few beers. I told on myself each time. At this point all trust is lost and nothing I can say will change that. It’s a simple matter of what I do from here on out. AA is a program of action.

    I’m 39 and finally realize that my wife and children need a good man in their life. A sober, responsible, faithful and gentle man. That I DO need help and not just from AA but professional counseling.. That I can never go back to my drinking and never deny my addiction exists. That I must be the father my children so desperately deserve. I’m taking the action. I truly do have a relationship with God today and it’s only been a few weeks. I have made drastic changes and my wife has noticed them. But, at this point, she’s just done and wants to end it. And for the first time in our 12 years I selflessly want to see her truly happy with a peaceful life. I realize that she’ll have to do this alone, on her own and I’m extremely grateful to see this through for her. It hurts, it sucks, it is scary, but it is real and honest.

    We’re the best of friends and love spending time together. When we drop the hangups and hurts, life between us is actually fun and fulfilling. But the trust, respect, intimacy, vulnerability is shattered. She’s already moved on to another love interest from a guy 3000 miles away in LA who is a polar opposite. I can honestly say, even though it hurts, I wish her well and pray for her happiness. I can’t deny I want to work it out but I think I’ve finally decided to let her go. That’s all she’s asking for and I want to give that to her. What else is there to do besides sobriety at this point?

    1. JBD what a story. Sobriety is a good thing to do, but so is living. You will find love and purpose again. God will open those doors when it’s the right season. Just get yourself ready because He’s not done with you yet.

  30. My husband has been an off and on alcoholic during our 24 year marriage. Recently he has convinced me that he will no longer drink hard liquor but only beer. That worked out for awhile until yesterday. I got a call from one of his coworkers stating Tom was at work and drunk. She found him passed out in the department. I could not believe he would ever risk his job that he has been at for 30 years. Coworker covered for him and I picked him up and drove him home. Many many times I have wanted to leave him but I’m so afraid if I do he will die. Either from alcohol poisoning or suicide. My husband is a wonderful man that has a disease. But I am 64 years old and do not want to spend the rest of my life babysitting him, but I don’t think I can live with myself if he were to die because I left. I’m so distraught and don’t know what to do. I love him but not sure I can live like this. Help!

  31. Thank you everyone for being brave enough to share your stories/truth. I’ve been married to my husband for 10+ years and together for 17+, so I knew he liked to drink. He’s been drinking off/on since he was 15, he is now 40 and will be 41 in a few months. I’m about to be 42 next week. The last 3 months have been hell. He’s been to the pysch ward twice for paranoia which I think is from withdrawal as he was sober both times. Last week he was in the Er twice for alcohol due to being comfy about withdrawal symptoms and both times my parents watched our 11 year old. I took Monday off of work to get him to the Socorro and then get a referral for traetment. He had to have an evaluation and they recommended inpatient which of course he doesn’t want to do & said he’d do outpatient so we called to find out about it and since it is 3-4 months now he says he only wants to do AA. I wrote him a letter since talking wasn’t doing any good and only leading to arguments. He thinks me telling him I’ll file the necessary paperwork is blackmailing him to get help. I said no, I just don’t want to be around your drinking anymore and he said he isn’t going to drink anymore and just go to A.A. He went a month without drinking, but then went on a binge again. That’s what he does and he seems to think it’s ok. I’be taken so much time off of work dealing with all of this either due to him missing get our son from the bus and having to pick him up at school or from him being in the hospital I’m lucky I even still have a job. My dad came with me the last time to confront him about getting help and he agreed and now is backing out of it. His mother agreed to help us with our son, but only if he gets treatment. I fear that he doesn’t think there is a problem and I’m not sure how to go about things since we live in an appartment and both our names are on the lease, but can’t continue down this path both for my own health and for that of our sons.

  32. I have a very similar story. I was married to an alcoholic for 20 years. Even though he left.. I was VERY relieved. Even though, for whatever reason, I still wanted to try and get back together, but was NOT going to tolerate the drinking anymore.. that was one of the road blocks of us getting back together. Three years after we got divorced, just 3 short months ago my worst fear came to life. He was involved in a car accident. He’s now paralyzed from the chest down. We have 2 daughters together who love their dad… I’m still there for him.. everyday, trying to help in anyway I can.. but he will probably never walk again! He STILL has not taken responsibility for his actions and his drinking and driving ultimately caused this accident! He was drunk.. again.. and wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. He could have died.. He could have killed someone or he could have got another DUI.. still might.. But STILL doesn’t take responsibility for his actions. I swear,… if he drinks again..I’m walking away. I can not watch him destroy what little life he has left. I don’t have to be there.. and I won’t if he chooses to drink again.. Why couldn’t he put his family first instead of Alcohol?

  33. I am in the process of leaving my 10 year marriage with my in-recovery husband. I asked for a separation with intent to divorce because I knew that I would never trust him again after discovering continued lies, coercion and other manipulative behaviors that were still occurring after he got sober.

    For me: living with integrity (being truthful, actions=words spoken, and so on) is of the utmost importance. I realized that by staying with him, I was not being true to myself. I want a life where there are shared goals and we work towards those goals. Even sober, he is not interested in that. He wants a simple minimal life, I want to keep growing and expanding and exploring. We are not a good fit for each other anymore, and I’m far too hurt and no longer trust him to continue trying to bridge the gap between us.

    I had spent the five years prior to this separation doing everything I could to take care of me, and to not enable, be co-dependent, and so on with the help of many many mental health professionals and groups. There was absolutely nothing more I could do to “make the relationship work” – I gave it my all. In this five years, I have believed more lies from my soon-to-be-ex than I can count, so many promises broken… Never again will I listen to words more than actions… We are what we do, not what we say we do (or are going to do).

    I also stayed because of the BS that we are taught that we should be there for our struggling and ailing spouses, and all that nonsense. If your relationship is making you sick: get out. I have developed an autoimmune disorder that I am convinced is from the 10 years of being married to a very skilled covert alcoholic and manipulator – convincing me to stay, lying lying lying, me being in denial, me doing my best to keep the household functional, and so on. I wanted to leave for years and convinced myself to stay, or let him convince me to stay. No more will I deny what I need for myself and my life out of fear or the discomfort of having to adjust to a new life.

    I wish I had left two years ago, and really five years ago when things started going downhill. I’ve lost so much because of this relationship, and I have so much healing work to do still. I pray that I will not be spending the rest of my life recovering from this decade’s debacle of bad choices.

    Getting sober didn’t help my husband and I, it just took alcohol out of the picture and revealed how sick my husband truly is, and how sick I’ve become by staying with him. (I was not perfect before this relationship, and had a lot of healing work to do that wasn’t done yet, but this took things to a whole other level!)

    The glorious thing in all of this is that I have learned how supportive my family and friends are and can be, and that gives me hope that this is a low point in my life and that things will get better. Everyone (except my mother in law) is happy that I am doing this. They saw the writing on the wall far sooner than I did.

    I saw someone recommend the Love Over Addiction programs – I recommend them too!

  34. Lots of sad stories here, so I will add my own. This is my second marriage and I raised my first daughter by myself, until I re-married. New wife had two daughters about the same age as mine and we ended up pregnant with another – a girl! The youngest in now 4. Fist date I had with my current wife, involved her drinking heavily, and this should have been a sign – but it I didn’t see it.
    Fast forward now five years into the marriage and my wife is an “alcohol abuser”. Drinks heavily 5-6 nights a week, almost always in front of the kids. When they go to bed, she stays up and drinks alone, usually in a dark room. She has cried to me several times about how the alcohol has a grip on her, but she always chooses to go right back to drinking – so frustrating. She is starting to have other health problems which I think are connected to excessive alcohol use. We have been in marriage counseling and she has been in individual counseling. Both the marriage counselor and the individual counselor recommended that we go out and have a drink! This suggestion from these Licensed Counselors just blew me away! I had told them, in great detail, about how much and how often she drinks and for some reason, they just don’t believe me. Now, I do not know what to do. I cant allow my 4-year old to grow up in this type of environment and If I have to go down the divorce road – I am not certain that I will get my daughter. They legal world of divorce for Dads, is never fair. Just don’t know what to do.

    1. So sorry you are going through this. I pray the courts see the truth. In a similar situation with my husband.

  35. My husband (not by law) is struggling w drinking. He does not acknowledge it as an issue. I’m sad and scared that he would become and alcoholic. My father is one. He has been for at least a decade. They manipulate you into saying that it’s your fault or that you knew they were like that. The courage is to leave and that’s what I have learned from all the stories I’ve read. Leave now while you can, don’t wait . I’m giving him a third chance and if he blows it I am walking away . I am blessed to have a family that will support my decision and help me if I need it. I love this man. I will not choose him over my sons safety and well-being. See his dad struggled w drinking and I believe it tarnished him in the process. People can change . I choose to not be an alcoholic or abuser of anything . I believe in our Heavenly Father and that you should always fight for yourself. Even when no one is fighting for you. I pray for my brothers and sisters around the world . I know pain is hard to deal with. But it’s only temporary. Please fight with me . We can do it .

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