Sick of Living With an Alcoholic Husband

wife of alcoholic husbandBeing sick of living with an alcoholic husband is not an isolated experience. As they say in Al-anon; “you are not alone.” The disease of alcoholism devastates many marriages. Couples that may have started off completely sober and with American dreams of owning the beautiful house with the white picket fence, the perfect children and outstanding carriers, find themselves miserable because of the affects of alcoholism in the family.

It’s not something that happened over night either. The devastating disease, slowly over time, hardens hearts and separates even the best of friends, spouses, brothers and sisters. In the Alcoholics Anonymous program’s readings, they refer to the disease as being cunning, baffling and powerful. It’s a subtle thing that happens as the problem drinker or drinkers progress toward drinking more on a daily basis.

This is the point that I really want you to understand, you did not get this way over night and there is no quick fix for the sick husband or family members who are constantly dealing with active alcoholism. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to recover from the horrible affects of this type of addiction.

Even though we live in a society and time period where we seem to get instant gratification, learning to cope with a sick husband who drinks too much is going to take time. If your heart has become hard toward him, then the process of softening your attitude, emotions and perception of the situation is going to take a while.

Please don’t despair though because with effort and patients you will be able to love the alcoholic unconditionally again. This may sound like a difficult thing to do because you are so sick of living with an alcoholic husband that you are just ready to cut the cord and start over. Many people have the same attitude when they first begin to seek out help. This is called hitting your bottom. It’s a tough place to be, but it is the beginning of you seeking out help. Even though there is a level of embarrassment to deal with, you must get help.

Now, get the help that you need by finding a support group locally. There are thousands of people in every medium to large sized city who are dealing with active alcoholism just like you. Once you get involved with others who are suffering from the affects of alcoholism, you will discover that there are many spouses who have lived with husbands who have drinking problems for decades. As you continue in a program, these women will become the strength you need to help you learn how to live with your alcoholic spouse. If you are totally sick of living with an alcoholic husband, get the help you need today by finding a support group. This could be the very thing that saves your marriage from having a tragic ending. Remember the vows you made to love your spouse forever, now your going to have to learn how to love them the way they are… not they way you wanted them to be.

33 comments to Sick of Living With an Alcoholic Husband

  • linda lee

    i tired of this. just really really tired . i just can’t seem to leave him though. when he’s sober i enjoy his company. when he’s drunk i can’t stand him

  • really

    Love them unconditionally? Are you freaking kidding me? Have you lived with an alcoholic spouse who threatens you and follows through with the threats?

  • Kam

    New here. At my wits end. My husband is a functioning alcoholic. We have a 5 year old son. My husband is not abusive. But when we argue about his drinking he always turns it around to my faults. Or he gives me the guilt trip – woe is me, I’m a terrible father and husband, maybe it would be better if I went away – crap. Then if I say for him to leave then he refuses and says this was his house first and I should leave. I knew he drank when we married but it has gotten worse. I have no family here an no where to go. My biggest issue is that he drinks and drives and then drinks while driving. I don’t let him take our son anywhere. If we go somewhere as a family then I drive. I love him but hate him at the same time.

  • Melanie Richard

    This sounds so familiar. I have felt that hatred, and have left numerous times. It’s painful because he hears me say, “I love you”, to family and friends. But even if I do love him, I can’t say, “I love you” to him, he has hurt me so many times.
    I can’t have friends over, nothing gets done, the house stays unfinished. We were functional enough to build a house.
    But now, everything stays unfinished, no molding, no drywall on hallway walls. He does what he wants. We don’t have company over, except once in a blue moon, because we argue. This website helped me the most teaching me not to argue with an alcoholic. I didn’t know that.
    The pain of the arguments affect me physically and mentally.
    It’s weird, now that I have the mantra, “you can’t argue with an alcoholic” and I’ve told him this, he turns it around. He says, “you can’t argue with an overweight person”. I’m 40 pounds overweight and he’s 60 pounds overweight. We have both gained weight being miserable.
    But I’m not that bad. He isn’t totally disgusting either. But I am actively looking AGAIN for a place to live apart.
    When we have separated he gets more active, and so do I.
    So don’t know what the answer is. I just know keeping my sanity by not arguing with him is starting to help. Even though he REALLY tries to drag me in to his stinking thinking. I refuse to be drawn in again. This website is really helping me.

  • C

    Really honest posts that anyone who has been with an alcoholic can relate. Having a support system is so important in order to keep our sanity. The name calling and constant finger pointing over nothing is the most maddening. It is very hard to block it out without ear plugs!

    Being social and active is vital to anyone dealing with an alcoholic.

  • My husband’s drinking has gotten worse be is a homeless veteran once again it is a very difficult situation and our 23 year old daughter is abusing alcohol as well so I have been. at my wits end it’s hard enough with one never dreamen I would have two

  • Melanie Richard

    Honesty seems to help. He finally told me today, he got drunk on purpose. I didn’t know he did that.
    The terrible argument we had last week was when he got drunk on purpose. This argument helped me find this website. I called three treatment centers the next day. This website is the only thing that has helped to date. Thank you AF!

  • Paula g

    Hi Kam,
    If your AH drinks and drives, he is not a functioning alcoholic. A functioning alcoholic follows strict societal rules and they drink too much every day, but usually at night after they are home for the night. Your whole situation could change in the blink of an eye, if he is involved in an accident, or even if he just gets pulled over.
    Some alcoholics are very intelligent and cunning and can convince you of almost anything, the only way to survive this kind of manipulation is to listen to yourself and trust your gut, because all the convincing of things in the world can’t change what is and isn’t okay with you. This is your boundaries…find out what they are, like you did with not letting your son get into the car with him. Don’t loose yourself in the constant demand he has on you. The hatred feeling is resentment, you are being put in positions and situations and living under circumstances that aren’t okay with you. Try to make it your priority to put your finger on what they are exactly, and once you know what your boundaries are, state them and set them to what you need them to be…again like you did with the driving. Don’t take no for an answer. If you discover at this point that you have no say in your life, then you have more serious things to consider because at that point you are in a controlling relationship, that maybe abusive. This is my simple guideline that I use to keep confusing things in perspective, knowing exactly where you are in a situation can clarify things a lot and lead you to the right actions. Good luck sister!!!


    I happened to “stumble” on this site and have read my story in many others stories. Tried AL anon but that just didn’t seem to work for me. I don’t know, I’m reaching, it’s hard as I’m sure so many others have felt as well. Will check back in and maybe leave my story as well. Thanks.

  • ali murchie

    An alcholic will pick drinking over you. You will find they stay exactly the same drinking everyday.They have
    thrown their lives away and will toss yours as well. Save your money and run. Life will get better it always will
    reward you that way.

  • ali murchie

    An alcholic will pick drinking over you. You will find they stay exactly the same drinking everyday.They have
    thrown their lives away and will toss yours as well. Save your money and run. Life will get better it always will
    reward you that way.

  • So Very Tired

    I googled “sick of my alcoholic husband” and found this site.

    After 8 years of marriage and 14 years total together, I have to say that I am truly SICK OF MY ALCOHOLIC HUSBAND. The hatred I feel is off the charts. How can you love someone and hate them so much at the same time?

    At this point, I’m just waiting for his stage 1 cirrhosis to progress to 4.

  • Jessica

    I am sitting here in tears, as i have convinced myself i can manage my husbands drinking. But i have developed my own illness from the stess it has brought onto our family. We have been married 17 years i have excused the alcoholism we worked through infidelity and other emotional roller coasters. I am ready to leave now but i can’t seem to go my guilt is so high. Every one has left in his life and i am lost. At this point the bane calling is daily, the putting me down and reminding me what a piece of crap i am how i would be nothing without him i meed to go to save myself. But how

  • Karen

    All these stories sound familiar. I hate my husband when he drinks and he drinks daily. I seriously can’t endure this anymore. He is a high functioning alcoholic who thinks he can fix everything on his own. I’m just about ready to quit him. I’m giving up……

  • M

    I was married to an alcoholic who abused me emotionally and verbally on a daily basis for six years.He would not work consistently and I would be the one keeping us financially afloat. At the same time, I was raising a child, and protecting her as much as I could from the situation. There was not reprieve. No amount of empathy or understanding sufficed to save the relationship. In the end, I had to consider my child’s wellbeing. People deserve to be loved and helped, just not at ones personal expense. If someone is abusive, that should be the line in the sand.

  • Lori Bradburn

    Been married to my hubby since 1994 he always drank. But last 10 years he gotten worse. He yells all the time. When he not drunk he is a good man but he can’t stop drinking. Soon as he comes home he drinks. Weekends are let’s drink to we either puke or pass out. I am tired of it. But I do love him. But my health isn’t good And he mAkes it worse. I just want it to end

  • Kari

    I can’t believe how my life mirrors so many comments here. My AH is disgusting when he drinks, which is every day so he’s just disgusting. Thank the Lord above we don’t have kids together, 2nd marriage for both. He was a HUGE mistake and I can’t wait for the day I don’t know him anymore. He’s a very sick man but I haven’t a drop of respect or love left for him so I’m saving my money and getting out. He’s also a serial drunk driver, I’ve told him one of these days, he’ll get caught but he doesn’t seem to care at all. I want to call the police on him, I really do.

  • april55

    The stories here are heartbreaking. You are all such wonderful women. I am worried about my best friend who is living with her alcholic partner and although she pretends he is great, little things come out which makes me believe he is abusing my dear friend. I miss her and see her so rarely as she is so devoted to him, buying his drink, sacrificing herself to please him. She is no longer the wonderful vibrant happy women she was prior to meeting him. She loves him! Yes, but love is a doing word, how he treats her, enhances her life I tell her.

    Yes making that decision to leave takes guts and sadness and being on your own might be scary, but life will improve I promise.

    I worry about you all and what you are going through.

  • april55

    The stories here are heartbreaking. You are all such wonderful women.

    Yes making that decision to leave takes guts and sadness and being on your own might be scary, but life will improve I promise.

    I worry about you all and what you are going through.

  • Renee

    I feel EMPATHY for the friends,spouses,relatives,coworkers of an alchoholic. Thay put us all through hell. It’s best to kick them out of our lives. Most of them never get help. MOST ALCOHOLOCS make excuses and lies for there crazy BEHAVIOR.Most abuse the hell out of us.
    I say enough is enough. We all need a good life. We all deserve it !!

  • Kate

    Living with an alcoholic made me sick emotionally, physically and spiritually. The ups and downs, the manipulation and dishonesty. He definitely deserves an Oscar for all the lies he told and how many friends we lost over the years. He was so good at bullshitting, that even his own family believed him. After over 25+ years of living with someone who has treated me worse than the stray dog on the road…I can finally say I’m done. The promises to give up get help dragged on for years…unfortunately I believed all his lies and was dumb enough to have kids with this guy. The great thing about it is that I can finally put myself first without have a care what this pricks doing

  • D

    Reading these stories sounds like my life, 17 years of dealing with a drunk for a husband. He is destroying my life and my son’s life and I’m at the breaking point. He has had 2 dui’s and lost his license for 5 years one of which my son was in his truck when he was little, He now has a breathalyser installed in his car. I can’t continue to live like this and as soon as I’m financially able I will be getting a divorce attorney. He’s lazy and never works consistently, I’m so tired of not knowing what I’m coming home to after a long day at work. I’m so done!

  • Elayne

    I have been living with an alcoholic since 2017. Got a DUI and lost his license. Has not worked since then. I am working two jobs to support two kids in college. My kids got tired of it and all the crazy things that he would call to say to them while they were away at college and they decided for their own mental health they could not talk to him any more. I come home from work and don’t know what to expect. We sleep in separate bedrooms and I sleep with my door locked. There have been times where he would just come in my room and attack me for no reason. I wake up to him banging on the doors at 3 am saying all types of horrible things about me and my family. He has put holes in the walls and broking windows. He lies about what he is drinking. ” I am just drinking beer.” and then I find bottles and bottles of cheap liquor under the bed and hidden in unusual places. I am tired of being the better person. I made him go to rehab and it was a joke to him. He did not follow-up with his outpatient treatment. He continues to blame me for everything and cannot seem to grasp all the damage he has done and continue to do. I have left so many times but continue to come back due to guilt because alcoholism is a disease. Would I leave him if he had cancer? But the violence and anger displaced is too much. I sometimes want to kill myself because I feel like I can’t get out of this mess. But I think of my kids and I know I am much stronger than. So he doesn’t want to get help so I am done. I have walked away and my mental state is better. He is an adult. He needs to find his way. I am like a crutch to him.

  • CH

    I’ve been married to a disgusting alcoholic for 25+ years. The last 5 have been unbearable. So many arguments. 1 DUI so far shockingly. I’m waiting for the next. But He thinks it’s ok- he has a great job, makes tons of money but he’s “StReSsEd”. I “don’t understand the pressure he’s under”. He has to drink it away nightly. Whiskey. Glass after glass. We have 3 teenagers and they are onto it. You can smell it from miles away- literally the whiskey permeates off him. He even goes to my sons games drunk, slurring, stumbling, embarrassing. But I’m a bitch who just want to take away his “pleasures”. I’m a buzz kill. I need to lighten up. I have no sympathy for the pressure and stress he is under at work. He does try to hide it sometimes. Waits til I leave the room to get up and make another drink. Hides his booze in the garage… I know all his tricks. I’ve even starting watering down his bottles. I’m just so disgusted by him. He used to be a good looking guy- now he’s drunk, fat, drooling, slurring, red nosed… Wish I could leave but I’m trapped. Stay at home mom for 25 years with no work experience and now dependent on a disgusting alcoholic. What do I do?

  • AF

    My husband is an alcoholic; and I go back and forth between angry, sad, and throwing my hands up in the air. I can’t do anything until he decides to act. But I am worried about his health; he doesn’t even seem to care about it. He had a massive seizure a month ago because he wasn’t eating, and was only drinking. And he keeps not taking his supplements he was told to take because of that; and I can tell he’s starting to not eat again. He was on dialysis for kidney failure but his docs said he doesn’t need it anymore, but I don’t think he’s paying any attention to his health and I am scared of what will happen next.

    I don’t want to be home with him, I don’t want to go out with friends with him because I am embarrassed about how he’ll act if he’s been drinking. I hate this. He keeps saying he’ll go to inpatient rehab, and that he’s reached out to the center and they just aren’t responding. And I want to step in and be all ‘Let me talk to them” but that’s not useful. I doubt he’s actually called them. It _has_ to come from him.

    I appreciate this community.

  • M M

    My alcoholic husband was just involuntarily committed to a detox . He was released early . I found out two days later . He chose not to come home. He
    is gone. Abandoned his family, left my with all the bills, and a house that needs a lot of work. I have been married to this person for over 25 years. I have to work a lot of hours just to make ends meet. I did everything for this person. I am so sick of reading how to live with an alcoholic, its a disease. I am tired of how we are supposed to accommodate them because of their ” illness”. Be understanding , avoid confrontation. On and on.
    Its crap.His behavior is repeated over and over, why , because he can .No remorse or repercussion . There will always be some sucker out there that will help him . What about the family members that are left clean up their mess. I am not getting help. Oh, except when I read about how I need to take care of myself. I am so done .

  • Fed up

    My wife is an alcoholic and let me tell you. I HATE HER FOR IT. She drinks nightly she comes upstairs drunk. She ruins my sleep every night. She keeps me up all night and sleeps til 3. I have to work mind you and get 3 hours of sleep. She is an angry drunk and argues all night. I tell her I have to work. I beg her. Let me sleep. She keeps going. I hate her I don’t even care if it’s a disease I hate her for doing this.

  • Kathy

    Hello everyone.
    My story is the same. I have been married for 38 years. My husband is retired military. He began working as a government contractor straight out of the Army. This job kept him away for months. I mention this because I think his travels could have been the reason he began to drink every day. Loneliness. However, I am not buying that excuse anymore. Our children are grown and gone. We had planned to travel and enjoy our life. We have everything. A great home, vehicles, great jobs, and a wonderful family. He has ruined it. Last year, August 2022, he was diagnosed with ESLD. He needs a liver transplant. But this news hasn’t stopped him from drinking. He was working while drunk, driving while drunk – which he still does. Has had three accidents. Once he smashed the vehicle in front of him – of course it wasn’t his fault. Told the officer he was on pain pills – NO DUI. His other crashes were with fences and trees. We have had over $20,000 in damage to his vehicle. Insurance rate has gone sky high. He has crashed the riding lawn mower several times, backed his truck into the fence several times, and even fell off the lawn mower one day – just laid in the yard for a while. He is no longer employed. I am the only one working full time. I hate going home. I hate it. The name calling, the looks on his face the lack of respect for himself and me. Back in August 2022, he was so sick that I had to call an ambulance. He couldn’t walk and his stomach was so bloated. They airlifted him to a transplant hospital. His kidneys were not functioning, and he has liver failure – stage 4. They were able to bring his kidney numbers back up. Kept him there for 2 weeks. Said he had less than 3 months to live. It is now July 2023. He is still drinking. Thinks the doctors don’t know. They do. Has been in and out of the ER. Has had his stomach fluid taken out several times, jaundice, swelling, HE. He is a dead man walking and I cannot wait until the day I can breathe again. I am staying healthy. I have my friends and children. I do not wish this on anybody. It is a terrible way to live. I have so many similar stories, but why bother. He did this to himself and there is nothing I can do anymore. Alcohol destroys families. I hate him.

  • John Somerville

    My wife drinks every day. She drinks at least a bottle of wine per evening. When she drinks more it gets difficult to be around her, she becomes argumentative, and blames me for arguing…
    and i end up going to bed at like 8PM.. . There is zero interest in stopping.

    If I have a few drinks too it’s a relaxed evening, but I find that with the daily drinking around I am getting more tempted to drink too. At this point I’d really just like to get out of this relationship, but she’s retired, and doesn’t really have a lot of income. housing has gone so crazy these last couple years, on the other hand, if she didn’t have a second ‘earner’ around she wouldn’t be able to afford the booze so she might be better off..

    I don’t know what to do.

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