Feeling Lost -Not Knowing Where To Turn

Guest Post:
In response to your submission, I’d like to point you to a couple of our articles that may help you to not feel so lost in coping with this alcoholism situation.

Please refer to the comments section at the end of the article. We generally have good participation from our readers who can help you not feel so lost.

Guest Post:
Alcoholism StormsMy story begins about 10 years ago. I met this handsome man, introduced to me by a friend. I watched his struggles in a couple of relationships, but always listened to his side of the story. We saw each other many times over the course of 7 years, always under party circumstances at the lake. The attraction was strong from both sides, but we never dated seriously. Our jobs made the miles nearly impossible. Things changed, he proposed, we had a whirlwind wedding, I relocated to his town and lost my job.
Life was grand for about 6 months, then the drinking became uncontrolled and he turned into a real problem to live with. The more I tried to talk in order to figure out what had happened, the worse everything got. Now we live as roommates basically. There is no intimacy even though I have explained what I need. He doesn’t want me leaving the house. I can’t do anything to make him happy or notice me.

I have depression now and I am ready to leave. Problem is, I put all of my money into a new shop for him and have nothing to leave with. All of my friends and family have turned away because I have moved away and don’t spend time with them. I’m feeling lost and don’t know where to turn.

38 comments to Feeling Lost -Not Knowing Where To Turn

  • Diana

    I have a similar story and there are many of us out here who gave all we had to alcoholics like him. First, pray for God’s help and strength for yourself and direction for your future. Then go see an attorney to find out what your rights are. Go to Al-anon soon and find a group that suits you and go regularly.
    Make new friends. Talk to people, say something nice to others, get out and take walks, visit places you like to go. In other words do some work on yourself and give something to others. See if you can salvage old friendships. Find someone who needs your help so that your mind is taken off of him and yourself. Accept the fact that he is way more into himself and his drinking than into you…NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS. Words mean nothing without appropriate actions. A person’s actions are more truthful than their words.
    Praying for your success! You can do this!

  • admin

    Diana, you hit the nail right on the head. I’d like to add that I’ve heard it is a good idea to not make any major decisions until getting involved in a support group for a while.

    When we reach the point where we are ready to make some sort of change, we are consumed with anger. After attending a support group for a while, we are able to calm down a bit and think more clearly.

  • Diana

    I agree with you that the support needs to come first. A clear head is very much needed. Thanks for taking the time to add to my post:)

  • Karen

    Hello, out there, it is Karen, again.

    During these more than difficult times it is hard to
    stand up on your own two feet, pull up your boot straps,
    hold your head high to take that first step forward to
    a new life that you thought would be so wonderful with
    your husband.

    Married for 26 years now I found no way to financially
    leave because we are both retired. We have some good
    and not so good times. In the beginning it was hard
    to do something on my own but in the end it is rewarding.
    I have found many new friends who tell me I am a very interesting person. I take that as a compliment and
    and appreciate not dealing with the ugliness of the
    alcoholics non-stop mouth,deprecating statements, and
    the twist of the truth to extroardinary lies.

    Since I have started changing me, I have discoverd that
    I am not the problem the alcoholic accuses me to be and
    certainly have and enjoy new interests. It was not easy,
    and at 69 change was and is difficult. As one boot would
    start to fall I pulled it up and tried again. I am still
    married but have a much better life. God and I have daily
    conversations. Have learned to love Him more than my husband. He should have been the priority. Not my husband.

    Good luck you can do this.

  • Diana

    I am also in my 60’s and you sound like a very wise, strong and interesting person. I’m happy for your success and insight. It has taken me many years to realize that loving God first is the answer. Devotion to Him gives us the graces to live our lives with the strength to do the right things no matter what goes on around us.
    God bless you,

  • Caitlyn

    Dear Guest Poster,
    You need to find an Al-anon group to strengthen yourself to deal with the crazy life going on around you. Here you will find real friends and real family to support you in your quest to live and lead a peaceful and fulfilling life. The life everyone deserves. Al Anon will guide you back onto a healthy pathway for you. If your depression is really bad go seek some professional help before it’s too late. None of us here would want anything to happen to you. You deserve life’s riches. A GP [doctor] will guide you to the correct professional for your depression. If your depression is more a state of unhappiness because of your situation then I think you will find Al Anon sufficent support to assist you in overcoming it and finding happiness within yourself and then radiating this happiness outward towards the world.

    Perhaps be bold enough to knock on the doors of your old friends and family again. A brief explanation is sometimes all that is required to receive the love, care and support you need right now.

    Best of luck in finding yourself again, in locating happiness and finding a pathway to peace and prosperity. Wishing you every success. May blessings come your way today.


    I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. Nobody deserves to have their lives thrown away by others. Yes i say thrown away because that is what he is doing to to you. I suggest that you get some counseling for your yourself to help you become stronger, it is not fair to you to put your life on hold because of one who obviously does not give a damn. Forget the fact that you have nothing to fall back on…that excuse is more of a scapegoat. Where what you had came from there is plenty more. There are groups that can help with your emotional backlog. As for your husband…he will not make an effort to change unless you show him that you want it to happen. Be strong on that and exercise “tough love”. I was shown the same tough love and when i realized that i was all alone i began to see no way out of solitude but through the doors of sobriety. I woke up and all who had left came back.

    Remember those who leave us have played their roles in our lives and they see no reason to stick around. Lastly i urge you to pray for him and for the return of stability in your marriage.

  • Mum

    I too share these feelings of complete helplessness however my A is my daughter and I am finding life, especially during the recent holidays, really difficult. I would desperately love to hear from anyone who has managed to detach with love. This last ‘slip’ has been the worst of all and I’ve experienced aggression, lying and extreme behaviour which is so difficult to deal with. I had one afternoon out with a friend over the holidays and have been made out to be the selfish abandoner . The illness is taking over despite a month in hospital earlier this year and 14 days intensive rehab just last month. the serious health problems are hardest to deal with, seizures, vomitting blood and not eating or taking meds. I can’t just let go and let god in this dangerous situation much as I have tried. If there are any mums out there facing similar problems I could use a friend

    G x


    Detaching from one’s own flesh and blood is probably the hardest and most painful thing that one can ever imagine. The knowledge that in this lies a lasting solution i also the only consolation we have. I strongly suggest distance and major distraction techniques to help you with this. Ensure that your daughter is left in capable hands while you bundle yourself and go somewhere far on holiday for a while. Since it is not easy to completely withdraw you have the option of monitoring her from a distance. Write letters, send emails but do not run back until it is time to do so. Often parents especially mothers run to their children’s rescue for all selfish reasons, that is they are actually doing so out of guilt. In so doing you are communicating to the alcoholic that you will be there no matter what hence they have no reason to stop misbehaving. Support groups are also another way to go and in these you realize you are not alone and that you can overcome. Lastly please have a little more faith in God…HIS PLANS ARE DIVINE AND WITH PURPOSE…HIS WILL BE DONE….remember?

  • Thiaa

    I can relate. Finally after the eight year marriage digressed to my husband going from being cheerful and positive in the afternoon to a raging verbally abusive idiot by the time I returned from a business meeting six hours later it happened! He screamed how he hated me and I was a “F” bitch for a few minutes and stormed out of the house drunk. This was December 28th. I got a brief message on my cell phone on Dec.30th that he had to leave since he was too shamed to ever see our friends again after what I told them. He went on to say he was at our seasonal home 1,800 miles away.

    I racked my brain trying to guess what I had said. We had been with friends on Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. He was very loud and seemed to be seeking to be noticed at each of these occasions.

    The following day I received a text wishing me Happy New Year’s Eve. In his text he wined about his dire circumstances; not having his computers, etc. I replied with a text that he took his electronics, his air-card for internet, etc. He responded, “took nothing”. Later I sent a text asking what I had said that had “shamed” him so? I said I ask several close friends who said I had been very quiet and never said a word. He responded that I had hurt his feelings in a fight weeks before by saying we never have sex an I was getting a divorce. We have lived like roommates for several years, but I never said what he heard.

    New Years Day I sent a text wishing him Happy New Year. He responded with text saying only that the heat went out in our vacation home, he didn’t have a computer or internet, or a TV, and he was miserable.

    My response was there is propane in the tank, it was just filled, and he did take his electronics. But, I said just go to a hotel and enjoy yourself and watch football!

    Why was I so positive. Only because I found Alcoholics friend. com and listened tot he audio recording! Here was what I was going through. New Year’s Eve was my birthday. We had a reservation for 18 people. New year’s Day we had 50 people invited to our home and the food was already purchased. I went ahead with all of the plans and made an excuse that my husband had to go out of town to his families due to his ailing mother. This was a half truth. His mom is ailing but he never went to her.

    Yesterday, Jan 2, he sent an e-mail from his computer all excited that he found in his car, a two seat Porsche! He said He never yelled at me or caled me any names prior to his leaving. He said the problem with me is that I get these crazy idea’s in my head that are so far from true. I’m always harping that he’s drunk when he’s hardly touched a drink other than maybe a wine. ( he drinks a minimum of one full bottle of wine a day, every evening within about 4 hours). But, he said he wanted to write me a long letter and explain everything, then he’d take a trip to see his mom, and then return in a week or two.

    I haven’t received an e-mail. I’m certain happy hour interrupted his plans. But, I am now follwoing JC’s advice! Therefore, I haven’t responded with any defenses. I have only said I’d love to read his letter.

    Here is what’s new. I do not want him back. He abused me verbally and has for our entire eight year marriage. Of coarse his drinking has acceleration, especially following our mutual retirement from a company we owned one year ago.

    I have my own interests and many friends. I have a non-profit foundation, have written two children’s books, have therapy animals that I train and take to hospitals, etc… Several times a week throughout this past year I am berated for something, anything, everything. I am too ambitious when he wants a wife that will just let him sleep all day, fish with him on our river bank, watch TV, and have a little wine. I blow all of “his” money, I never want to travel with him, my books are a flop and no one buys them. The tirades are never ending! To everyone else my husband “brags” that he is married to the most talented, beautiful, intelligent woman who competes with he horses, has a foundation…blah, blah, blah.

    At the end of a day I ask myself how I could be all of the wonders he espouses and on the other hand a total looser, money grubbing bitch rolled into one human being!

    I am at a loss as where to go with this all right now and all I know is I am scheduled to take my therapy animals on a national television show in one month. I need to work with them and stay focused. This could be an incredible break for our foundation that needs funding to continue. Sometime I feel like canceling the appearance.

    In retrospect I see that my husband has “pulled” these attacks every time there is anything good and positive ahead for me (really us). And, he has also pulled the “blame game” when I faced a crisis and he didn’t want to support me.

    I don’t know how I can follow JC’s advice and be all loving and at the same time tell him not to come back to our home unless he gets counseling and addresses his drinking. It’d be a luxury to have the time to address these issues but right now I have a plate full.

    last year he went to our summer home a month before me and I refused to come if we didn’t both get counseling. He agreed, I went across the US to join him, and he refused counseling. Nothing changed.

    Did you ever hear the cliche’ that, “Nothing Changes Until Something changes”? This is where we both are at sister! Let’s go!

  • Thiaa

    Mom, my heart goes out to you. I can’t even imagine going through this with a son or daughter. So much of the guidance we get concerning dealing with our alcoholic loved one is conflicting. How can you do an intervention, how can you confront the alcoholic’s behavior if you are suppose to only be positive and loving?

  • Karen

    In my experience, alcoholic’s love to be negative and fight. Create a fight, looking always for something
    to be critical about. Pass fail grades on my vulnerable
    cooking. Everyone else can eat what is served but not
    the alcoholic. I had to learn and with the help of J.C.’s
    program to tactfully disarm the mouth of my alcoholic.
    Useing phrases like “I am sorry you feel that way” and
    another classic that made the mouth of my Alcoholic drop
    wide open “I do not do guilt”. He could not find an answer
    to that. I smile more during our conversations because
    he see’s only the outside of my heart. I leave the room,
    find a magazine to read, anything to keep him from
    torturing me with his always confrontational mouth.
    There is no magical answer to dealing with an alcoholics problems. Keep in your head, you did not make
    him drink, force him to drink and the alcoholics problems
    are his. NOT YOURS. Your need to protect your self
    and the children as the priority. We did not ask to be
    in this situation but life is what it is. Make the best of
    it and if you must leave by all means leave especially if
    he is physically confrontational.

    Good luck, I know you need it just as much as any
    alcoholics spouse. K

  • Jostled

    So amazing that our stories are all so similar. My husband
    Is having the serious health problems now too. Ascites, sleeping all day
    No appetite. Miserable and mean, blaming
    Me for everything. So hard to be on this roller coaster.
    He also goes to our lake house and wonders why I don’t want to go.
    I am going to drive him there at the end of Jan tho since
    I would like s break out if town, but no doubt there will be
    A nasty crises and I will come back home on
    The greyhound and leave him there.

    I am also in my early sixties, married 34 years and
    Financially unable to leave.

    I have carved our a life for myself though with church
    Friends and I have a couple of bookkeeping
    Clients which get me out of the house when he us here.

    Believe me the house almost feels like a morgue sometimes
    With him sleeping on the couch the curtains closed/
    And dark. He likes his privacy he says!

    Thank goodness I have a van and can go out.

    Watching him get sucker is hard too ANC I keep wondering what is next.

    This website is so awesome !! Just knowing there are so many
    Here going through the same thing makes me know
    IRS not my fault like he always says.

    We are strong wonderful people and God is I’m control.

    I have been reading love/dare lately and it really has
    Changed my heart towards my husband. I see him as a broken man
    And I don’t take the insults personally anymore.

    Keep praying everyone, I know things will get better. Keep your friends close and don’t
    Isolate yourselves. Practice the detacent daily.

    It does get easier!!

  • Sandy

    I too gave up everything and am stuck in a relationship with my AH; plus I’m a primary caregiver for my 86 yr old mother who lives with us which really adds to the stress – I married mine last August knowing he had a drinking problem but he promised to quit, well he’s cut back but has not stopped and we are still fighting bad off and on . . and I don’t know if I want this relationship to survive; but for now I’m stuck and have nowhere else to go . . he promised 2012 will be better, he wants more intimacy than I’m willing to give because of all the hurt feelings . . I’m praying too in the hopes my HP will help me get out of this situation . . or through it, whichever is his will . . good luck to all of you too . .

  • Thiaa

    I have money and could do well on my own so I am blessed in this way. Now that my husband has taken this “sebatical” for the first time I realize how peaceful it is and how much I can accomplish when I’m not walking through a mind field of egg shells all day. But, I’m not ready to leave because I have that little bit of hope that soon something will change to make him change and then we can have a wonderful life enjoying a large network of friends and a level of financial comfort. Rationally I realize I am likely a serious day dreamer. I have however seen great miracles in my life and have personally seen God transform people. But, what I do admit is that God only intervened when the person sought the miracle themselves. My husband likes to let me know he doesn’t have a higher power and absolutely is not a “Christ” believing Christian as I am. Has anyone personally experienced a mate that’s life has changed?

  • Karen

    Thiaa My sister -in -law prayed and prayed. Went to Al-anon at church, prayed for years. More years than
    I can even remember. When his health started deteriorating
    he asked her to pray for him and she told him nothing will
    work until he believes that God is the true master over
    his journey to accept Jesus Christ and follow his ways.
    She had an assistant pastor come over for coffee and visit
    with him often. When the end was coming he did love the Lord and of course tried to drink but became ill with all the drugs to help him get well. The last 2 years of
    his life he became a Christian. He was a joy to be around accept when he would slip for a few days into his old pattern of drinking. Chemo ravaged his body and I watched
    as this mans battle slowly ended. I praise God for showing
    my sister- in -law a way to bring her
    husband to a well hoped for life. He died believeing and
    in the end she felt he left a Christian. All of a sudden she knew why he came back to her. ( he had several relationships over the years) She was truly the one person
    who could talk to his heart and help him to understand
    the true love of forgiveness. He needed her more than
    she needed him and now she knows that her journey saved
    his soul.

  • Caitlyn

    To Mum G:

    Ignore, or at least feign ignorance, to the aggression you are presented with. Passively walk away from any aggression. Don’t look it in the eye. Calmly state you will not tolerate any verbal or physical aggression. Walk away with you head up and purpose in your stride. Non response to the evil lurch of aggression lessens the fuel. Hard to do. To not respond. But absolutely necessary for your survival.

    You know your A daughter is lying. Don’t reinforce what you know with her. She is too focussed on herself and her drinking obsession to really care right now. It will fuel her aggressive for being caught out and won’t change anything. It will make you feel negative. Accept she lies and leave it at that. Something to be worked on when she is ready to go sober. Forgiveness will be a big part for you and all around her to overcome the lying and the new her should she step down this path. Be ready with a forgiving heart.

    Don’t react to any extreme behaviour except with calmness and serenity. It will be difficult for her to deal with a calm response, but it should dissipate the extreme behaviour. Sometimes our reactions insense their behaviour. So it’s best to take a deep breathe and pretend it’s all just normal. It’s a bit of an acting game for you to pretend you are immune to all her ways but necessary to help you cope with the behaviour and to eventually detach from the behaviour but not her.

    Don’t let her or anyone else make you feel other than the loving, caring, selfless mother you are. Alcoholics are prone to accusing those around them of all sorts of inaccurate character judgements. Don’t take it personally when they make false accusations. You know the truth about yourself. Remember that. Don’t doubt yourself for a moment.

    You deserve a rich and fulfilling life and your daughter is one of the challenges in your life to lead you to a better you and to a better understanding of why you are on the planet and who you are. God’s purpose if you like for you.

    Also remember, you can’t fight the battle with the bottle for her. Your role is one of support when she is ready to fight for herself. Meanwhile you must step away a little and quietly observe telling yourself it is the bottle not your daughter. You will have to shut your eyes and your mind to some of the extreme activities and reaffirm to yourself you can’t change anything but she can change it all with her will. She needs to find it. May God help her find it. It’s difficult to observe and do nothing about the destructive path of an alcoholic. You are not alone in your quest.

    Erase all feelings of guilt. She is totally responsible for where she’s at in life. She tipped herself in the direction of the bottle whatever her reasoning. Nothing you are doing or have done has driven her there. We all have the mind and free will given to us by God to make choices. Some choices are mistakes. She is yet to see her mistaken choice in the bottle. She needs to arrive at this point herself. Nothing you or anyone around her can drive her there faster.

    Concentrate on fixing yourself and your feelings of guilt, doubt and self flagelation. Think and breathe calm. Close your eyes and mind quietly for a few minutes when tense and just remember what it feels like to breathe and simply be. Then open your eyes and mind again to face the world.

    Contact the hospital to see if they have a support group for the parents and siblings of drug and alcohol abusers. I think you would find comfort in others at one of these groups.

  • Caitlyn


    Say no to the things that are making you fight. Refuse to be drawn into an argument of any kind. Arguments are non productive.

    View his cutting down as a positive step in the right direction. This might be the pathway to sobriety for him. Support him to this end. Be kind, give encouraging words and reject any negative emotions that come to the fore. It’s all about controlling yourself, not the alcoholic in your life.

    You married him in August last year so that must really mean something. Keep it in the back of your mind this year, with your eyes open and your mind receptive to gradual change.

    It is the number one mantra of the alcoholic to say they intend to give up / cut down on such and such a date. Encourage him to start now, not some poxy date in the future or some event. There’s no time like the present. Future dates are false promises to the world. It’s the catch cry as they attemp to convince themselves they are capable and ready for the change to sobriety. They might think they mean it but their actions or lack of show their state of will. Zero. It’s a classic line from an alcoholic.

    In your case, if he has seriously had the resolve to cut back, that’s fabulous and should be recognised by you. You would be important to him as his new wife.

    Wishing you blessings in your life. Best of luck for 2012 to you both.

  • Caitlyn


    Typical fishing for an argument. Don’t take the bait. Recognise the moment the fishing for an argument begins and stand on firm ground knowing where you’ll go if you bite back. You know what you said and who you are. Choose to ignore the untruth from your alcoholic and to wipe it away from your heart forever so you don’t ever review the past. The past is the past. Live in the present. Look forward, but never back to the dark of the past. Be forgiving and try to guide your alcoholic back to the path of the truth wordlessly if necessary to keep your peace. Use a phrase like “you can view it like that”. End of topic. Say no more.

    Alcoholics typically display what you are grieving over. Know the truth about your life, and who you are. Stand strongly convicted to your character and your truth. Know the truth, know your truth and reject the untrue from the alcoholic in your life or indeed anyone.

    You don’t need to ask others if what he says is true. Ask your heart and you will know there is no truth in the matter and to forgive him for causing you grief. No good can come over stewing on the matter. You know the truth and that is the end of it.

    Disassociate from his false accusations and know your truth. Don’t get angry yourself over his untruths about you and any perceived behaviours. Shrug it off and be who you are. Know who you are. You are a good, loving light on this planet. Keep tuned in to this website to help you clear away your cobwebs of doubt and to keep you strong. Stick to your truth not a version of it, or a deviation of it from him.

  • Diana

    I relate to your post on so many levels especially “fishing for an argument”. My AH couldn’t go 2 weeks without creating an argument out of thin air. Many times I was accused of doing something that I didn’t even do and when I denied it he would say that I was lying….just so much craziness and so depressing for me as I have to contend with anxiety and depression anyway. Meds help but chaos sets it off and living with him is chaotic. I think the alcohol has actually damaged his brain cells because he seems to really believe in the imaginary things he accuses me of.
    One question I have is, what do you mean by “Alcoholics typically display what you are grieving over.”
    Thanks for your input and God bless.

  • Thiaa

    You may remember my story. My husband, who drinks heavily every day insists he hardly drinks. He says I just use his drinking to attack him and victimize him. Recall he left after a altercation that he started and it escalated to him profanity and tirade. He left, drove nonstop for 30 hours to our second home 1800 miles away. He contacted me briefly after two days. He has only recently started contacting me by e-mail saying he loves me and he’s coming home. I said no. But, after talking to a lawyer and counselor I offered him a structured separation where we will work toward reconciliation that includes marriage counseling, alcohol assessment, etc. He responded to my letter with hostility and can not believe I am again trying to control him and I am inflexible that he had a little “Screw-up” by leaving. He doesn’t take accountability. He thinks I am making a big deal and he didn’t really screw up. He insists he never swore at me or screamed how he hated me the night he left. And…, he thinks driving 30 hours without sleeping proves he was sober. By the way…, he is not a kid. He is mid 60’s and has health issues.

    So, now I am in confusionville like so many of my brother and sister friends of “alcoholic friends.”

  • Karen

    My husband pulled the same type of stunt. Three dAYS
    later he walked in the door and became accusatory again.
    He started the argument as he went out the door I said
    you are making a big mistake, you started this and it
    looks like you are going to finish it. He chose not to remember any of it. Alcoholics are always confused,
    always twisting the truth and we second guess our own selves. Your husband drove those 30 hours drunk and
    was lucky. Sounds like a well functioning alcoholic.
    I can relate.

  • Caitlyn

    Refer back to the earlier [first entry] by Thiaa. My comment “alcoholics typically display what you are grieving over”. Thiaa was upset over the verbal character attacks and constant false accusations and the childish behaviour of unsubstantiated slights as a method of getting Thiaa to retaliate back.

    Alcoholics typically attack those close to them with insults, or they zone in on our flaws that make us human but they do it with malicious intent to insense us, make us angry for targeting the area we know we need to smooth out. These flaws are sometimes nothing but a sensitivity we have about it like perhaps our big bottom, or crooked teeth. Whatever, the point is it is just a personal attack to create tension and raise anger. This then is the catalyst for the pattern they follow. Something like this:

    1. create drama
    2. get an angry response [because we took the bait instead of ignoring their opinion or comment]
    3. we argue with them or shout back true or untrue equally hurtful things to get back at the hurt they caused us
    4. they seek solace in the bottle and justify it to themselves as due to ‘our’ attack on them [they feel bad about the unjust insult and are relieving their tension]

    This is why we should not take too much if any notice of what Alcoholics say about us. It all leads to one destructive path. Best to grow a thick skin and ignore their comments whether true in part or total fabrications. It saves us from angst.

    It is important to not give them the power of a free conscience to drink because of a shared heated argument. Give them nothing to console the bottle over, then we don’t have to feel guilt for their reaction [drinking] nor do we have to feel any other negative emotions associated with anger and arguing with a drunk alcoholic.

    It takes practice to control our emotions, responses and behaviour but it is worth the effort of trying by the calm we will feel for not biting the bait of arguing back or defending our selves and character. If they believe you to be fat / ugly / money grubber or whatever, they can hold that view but I say you know different that is why you are getting angry at the false claim. Let the nonsense of their mouth slide over and off you. You don’t have to wear it. Reject it for the falseness it is.

    Don’t raise any concern or comment to your husband about his heavy drinking. From this day forth, never mention anything like ‘if only you hadn’t got drunk’ or ‘you drink too much’ or ‘you’re an alcoholic’. Make no reference to him over his drinking habits. In a way it is this very personal attack that he is using to throw as a defence at you. He will not have any ammunition to say you use his drinking to attack him and victimise him because you no longer comment on his drinking habit. Leave it for the experts, the alcohol assessment professionals you are encouraging him to visit to save your marriage. Leave it to them to say. It will sound different to his ears coming from the professionals. He may still choose to reject the posssibility of being an alcoholic from them, but it will save some aggression from him toward you when he can’t use that little number on you anymore. Perhaps as you’re going through separation but with the hope of relationship reconciliation and redemption by him, you only say in reference to his drinking habit “when you are ready to admit to yourself you have a problem and ready to do something about it I am here to help you”. That’s assuming you are of course. He has to see for himself he has a problem. Other people, particularly those close to his heart, pointing it out will make him angry and aggressive. A bit like anyone having a flaw or self-conscious thing pointed out. We don’t need it. We know. Let him figure it out for himself with the professional’s help and then step on his own accord on to the path of salvation. Best of luck with your structured separation. You look after you, you’re number one you remember that. Wishing you peace and serenity in your life.

  • Karen

    Catlin, very well expressed. Thanks Karen

  • Karen

    The insaness of alcoholism just repeated it’s self and
    I thoroughly need to vent. Finally had Dad moved to assisted living. Not easy for any 95 year old. He
    really needs a more peaceful environment. When I came
    home from Dad’s my husband advised me that his druggy
    daughter was going to live with us.(She was kicked out
    of her mothers house because she was stealing and pawning
    items of the mothers home.) She was escorted out of the house by the Sherrif. He said we were going to pay for her
    rehab.!!!I reacted, unfortunately, when I said why don’t
    you both go into rehab. He said this conversation is
    over. I shut my mouth. He has FINALLY gone to bed.
    I am not only frustrated, hurt, angry,and concerned
    about our things. I just do not understand. Going back
    again to care for a 42 year old woman who has abandoned
    her children and we are helping one of her daughters
    with college. He complained, belittled my Dad, and
    did everything he could to have him out of here after 4 1/2
    years. The world according to an alcoholic may have
    broke this camels back. I wish I could cry and I am
    so hardened I cannot even do that. Thanks for listening
    It Almost sounds like I am feeling sorry for my self but
    what I feel the most is his betrayal. Yes, again
    I am lost and I just do not think I can cope with to crazies. My mother is not doing well either. Another
    day in the life.

  • Chloe

    Karen, I am so sorry you are going through this pain. Your husband sounds very self centered in that he is so concerned with HIS daughter and helping HER but not YOU and YOUR family. My husband after his intervention was mostly disturbed about how my telling HIS dad was going to affect HIS dad’s health. He was far less concerned with how his alcoholism is affecting ME who laid on the couch all day with body aches from the stress, MY kids who had another night of trauma, or MY poor parents who drove 6 hours to be at the intervention. No, he’s getting teary over HIS dad being upset by being told his son is an alcoholic. Alcoholics are very selfish. Your emotional needs are being ignored as you grieve for YOUR parents and this is abusive. You are being treated like a dog whi is thrown the leftover scraps! With my alcoholic, the only thing that seems to be working is intense unrelenting consequences that cause HIM pain and discomfort. I am hammering and hammering and hammering my husband with
    unrelenting pain and consequences until I get what I want….a sober husband. I left work early again today and refuse to work the rest of the week. I told him I need the week to rest and recover from what HE has done to me…there goes one week of inome….consequences. I told everyone he did not follow through and call the addiction counselor…..consequences. I am now contacting my attorney and having a legal agreement drafted that if we separate than the house will be sold immediately and I get 50% (he bought it before we got married but tough luck) plus half the furnishings…..consequences. We have all agreed and he agreed that if he drinks again even 1 sip in this house….the police will be immediately called for threat of physical violence to me and the children….consequences. It has been agreed that he is to be dropped off at his dad’s by the police who told me that our local police dept. will do this and then a restraining order will be taken out….consequences. I want this so that I can feel safe and peaceful in our house while I then proceed with legal separation. I want to feel as safe and comfortable as possible…let him suffer living in limbo at his dad’s.

    I have my husband over a barrel. I can feel that the control and power in the relationship are shifting
    towards me. He knows the control has shifted and I am no longer afraid because I have everyone’s support. He knows he is 1 sip away from the back of a police car. Everyone knows about the physical abuse and he is beyond humiliated. Good….consequences.

    My selfish husband did not think to apologize to me, the kids, or my parents and I laid into him over
    this. He offered the kids a feeble apology and I laid into him even more. I got in his face and hissed about how selfish to the core he is to put all of us through this just so his lazy ass can chug wine at night and escape reality for a few hours. That is what this boils down to. He is putting HIS selish need to escape reality through drink before the sanity, well being, and physical health of his wife, step kids, and all the parents involved.

    Well if they say an alchy has to hit rock bottom….than watch out baby because I am about to become YOUR worst nightmare. If he even so much as thinks about picking up a knife again and cocking it back at me, I swear as God as my witness, that man is going to jail. He can pawn his lame blame excuses off on the judge. And his boss will be very surprised to find out why his pet employee can’t make it to work the next day.

    Consequences. You gotta love ’em! 🙂

    These selfish SOB’s are like overgrown kids. My husband actually said that today. I asked why he did it. Why did he hide the liter of wine while he was caulking the shower. He said, “Because I could. You’ve never given me enough reason not to.”

    I still love this man very much. When he is sober, he is a gem. He really is. But Mr. Hyde is a nightmare. I love my sober husband enough to walk the path of recovery. But I hate Mr. Hyde enough that the next time he shows up at our house, he’s leaving in the back of a police car.

    Maybe then he’ll get gone for good.

    This is a battle if the wills and

  • Thiaa

    I like Chloe’s post. I find her reactions real. I think she is right on. But, will someone explain how her actions line up to all I read and hear on the alcoholic friend website? How is this detaching with love and only positive conversations with the alcoholic?

  • Chloe

    By the way, I’ m not waging war on my husband. I am waging war against Mr. Hyde. I figure if my husband can experience all the fallout from Hyde’s anitcs than at some point my husband will tell Mr. Hyde to get gone for good.

    This is my only hope to keep doling out these painful consequences. This is tough love. Otherwise Mr. Hyde will take my wonderful sober husband as his prisoner for the rest of his life.

    Good luck fellow friends of alcoholics. What a rough ride we are all on.

  • Chloe

    Well, today now that my husband has experienced enough pain and suffering from Mr. Hyde’s latest antics, he is walking around with his tail between his legs. My sober husband feels humiliated and ashamed. Good, now we’re getting somewhere. At this point, I am now being loving and supportive to him as JC recommends. I will continue to be loving as long as he continues to honor, love, and respect me AND quit drinking.

    But if Hyde so much as puts a toe on my property, than I will revert right back to doling out severe, swift, and radical consequences to cause my husband pain for allowing his “friend” into our lives. I imagine as if he and Hyde love to party together and Hyde always trashes the place and makes a big mess before he disappears back into the night. I now can see that I’ve been cleaning up Hyde’s mess all these years. No more. Now, my husband will be cleaning up every speck of filth and stench that Hyde leaves behind.

    This is tough love. I am doing this to save the wonderful man that I love. What else can I do?

  • Chloe

    Thiaa, that previous post was my own perspective on how to love the alcoholic as JC says and still not enable them in response to your question.

  • Thiaa


    Thank you for your latest post about tough love. Now it is making more and more sense.

  • Thiaa

    Karen, Thanks for venting. Frankly it’s good to have blogs that I can relate too. My mom was dying in our home on hospice. The nurse came to the house and said mom was in last stages of life and would die within 24 hours. I sat at her bedside until she drew her last breath. My only other sibling said he could not bear to be with her at this sad time. My husband was drinking as usual and went to bed. So, I was alone counting here respiration’s until she took that last breath.It was about 5:00 in the morning. I stood there stunned trying to decide what to do. I recalled that my directions were to call my hospice nurse. But, I wondered if I should wake my husband first. My choice was to let him sleep and called the nurse who called the funeral home. As I awaited for the funeral director and the ambulance I decided to wake my husband. He said, “well let me know when I need to get up.” About 7:00 when the funeral director was sitting with me at the table as I signed documents my husband came into the room and said, “it look’s like everything is under control here so I’m going to the office.” My husband had always loved my mom. I too am venting!

  • JC

    There are a few things I try to keep in mind when communicating with an alcoholic:

    1) Is what I have to say kind, necessary or true?
    2) Am I able to “say what I mean without saying it mean?”
    3) When I set a boundary, I don’t have to explain why.
    4) I never give an ultimatum unless I am certain I will follow through.

    Every article on this site has some sort of tip in it to HELP “us,” the friend or family member of the alcoholic, learn how to do things differently.

    Here’s the article on Having Tough Love With Alcoholics.

    This article has some wisdom throughout:
    Having Expectations Of Alcoholics

    Detaching with love is always my goal, but there are times when I detach with anger. The main thing is that I am detaching to protect my serenity.

    Every situation is different with alcoholism, but yet, they all have common threads: anger, anxiety, abuse, lying, depression, fear…

    A good read: The Alcoholic Personality

    I think it is important to remember the three C’s of Al-anon:

    a) I did not cause the alcoholic to drink
    b) I cannot control their alcoholism
    c) I cannot cure the alcoholic

    More tips here: Quit Trying To Control An Alcoholic

    In the middle of all the dysfunctional behavior, we do feel lost, uncertain, confused, angry and frustrated at times. This is why we suggest getting involved in Al-anon.

  • Caitlyn

    What you have found is the power of life direction. A good positive power. Nothing to do with power or control over your husband. All about power, control and direction of your life. Congratulations of your success in finding it. Your story will be an inspiration to others out there perhaps contemplating what you have done, and now inspired by your positive power.

    I love your words about the Mr Jeckyl aspect of your husband and willing him back your way. And I think the way you have expressed leaving your husband there to clean up the afterparty of his Mr Hyde’s destruction as well put. You have worded it so it is clear for all who read to understand you love your Mr Jeckle, the husband you married but do not love nor will you tolerate the Mr Hyde that steps in. And you voice “I am doing this to save the wonderful man I love”. Powerful, positive and loving action. An example to us all.

    May your life be lovingly restored to what it once was and peace reign over your world.

  • Karen

    Thankyou Caitlin, but I do believeand Chole made those statements. It did take a while for me to get
    my brains and emotions back under control. A little slip
    that I occasionally have. Learning how to not react
    is difficult for me but I am trying to not be judgemental.
    So again, we pull up our boot straps and do better.
    It is interesting that my Mr. Hyde did not like a
    statement I managed to say calmly. “How can you help
    your daughter when your an alcoholic and she is a druggie?
    You cannot drink in front of your daughter and then tell
    her you are not addicted your self. Today he was the most
    sober I have seen him in a long, long time. He made calls
    to several rehab places and he plans to take her for an
    evaluation and to find out from a professional if she is
    truly ready to get off the drugs. Usually it is me that
    does all the investigating for something we may need. He
    took responsibility and I stood back and let him.
    Tomorrow will be another day but it may help him
    understand what is going on with himself as well as his
    daughter. I sure got wrapped up in the mess of it all.
    Things are much better the next day. Just think through
    my error and how I could have handled things in a more
    loving way.

  • geena

    hi you all

    I’ve scrolled through most of your comments and could only cry as it somewhat of a relieve that im not alone. I’ve quiet a long story to tell, but is desperate seeking help and support, unfortunately I’m in South Africa and seems to me most of you are in the US. where in SA can I find support?

  • hello,, my name is pam,,, I marry to an alcoholic,, for over 30 years now I have one child a boy whos married with his own family,, my grandkids are my life… but my husbed is getting worst I took it all over the last 30 years,,, I know you all can understand,,, I even took his family hitting me aswell,, but iam older getting wiser,, but still iam so mad at me for staying ,, I have no family,, iam alone but he now starting on the granddaughter who is only ten she gets scared a lot when he starts in.. I had another bad night last night hope my granddaughter was here she wont leave me cause is scared grandpa is going to hurt me,, I need help and prayers thank you for listen Pamela Gordon in kokomo , Indiana…

  • Veronica

    hello you no god sees what your going threw the person I was seeing last told me he was a diabetic it made me sad like a loss I no hell be fine I think all I’ve done is give it to god I’m now looking for me and daughter it’s been difficult cause I loved this person with all my heart I must go on !!!!!

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