Husband’s Alcoholism Progressively Getting Worse

Admin (JC):
 Thanks for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear that you and your marriage are suffering due to your husband’s drinking problem. I found great support and help when I started participating in the Al-anon program. Your story reveals many of the classic character attributes seen in people when alcoholism is present, lying, abuse, split personality and many others. I identified with your spouse’s alcoholism progressively getting worse. I’ve seen the same thing happen in many alcoholics through the years. As I read your story, it’s obvious that you are caught in the grip of this horrible disease and you too are getting progressively worse. There is hope though, it’s possible to overcome being angry with an alcoholic and learn how to enjoy your life while still living with them.

Here are a few articles that may help you momentarily:

We generally have several readers who respond with experience, strength and hope in the comments section. I’m confident that they will have a few excellent suggestions.

Guest Post: Please feel free to leave comments below the article.

lonely beautifulI met my second husband at the gym. He was tall, muscular, and in great shape. After our first few dates, he told me that he had to move back to his parents’ house for a year because he had crashed and burned by having had to travel so much for his previous job. He mentioned “drinking wine every night alone in his hotel room” but, at the time, it did not register as alcoholism because I had never really known an alcoholic. Anyway, fast forward, and we’ve been married now for four years. My husband is a really great guy when he’s at his best. He’s very intelligent, caring, attentive to me, a great cook, good handyman around the house, and an avid reader. He performs very well at his job and fixes a lot of problems making himself invaluable to his boss because he’s so intelligent and capable. He reads so much and knows so much that he often will fix issues or problems for me or my family (ie health, home repairs, advice, etc). He has backpacked around the world, followed the Grateful Dead around the US and Europe, and loves to have a good time….and a good time, unfortunately though, mostly includes drinking.

My wonderful, smart, and caring husband is now up to between two and four bottles of wine a day. During the week, he drinks two to three bottles of wine a night, and on the weekends it can get up to between three to five bottles per day. If it’s football season, than easily more towards four to five bottles by midnight. He starts guzzling around three in the afternoon. This has been getting progressively worse over the last two years in which he now hides it around the house, sneaks out to buy more, LIES, and has secret stashes he drinks when everyone is in bed. I calculated that he spends about $400-$500 per month on cheap red wine.

Split Personality Of AlcoholicMy wonderful, smart, and caring husband does not stay wonderful and sweet after the second bottle. He gets edgy and negative. He starts cussing at people on TV and proclaiming how much he hates this person or that person throwing the f-word or n- word (racial slur) around in every sentence. He becomes callous and insensitive to me and laughs or becomes sarcastic like a rebellious 13 year old if I get upset about something. He truly is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is a bonified jackass when drunk and it is very unpleasant to endure. I usually just go to bed as early as possible to miss out on all the “fun” and then wake the next morning to a low grumpy bore.
There has been physical abuse a few times. The police have been to our house twice. He has hit, choked, and kicked me and thrown things. He threw an apple so hard at my leg a few weeks ago that it left a black bruise the size of a grapefruit on the back of my thigh. I do blow up every few months, though and go for blood hissing, “You pathetic weak loser of a man….drink you loser because you can’t go through life sober like strong winners do. You’re a weak pus%$^! ” I’m not justifying the physical abuse but I do fall into a seething rage every few months which is not safe to do when he is drunk.

From JC: I thought this would be a good place to share another post with you on How To Love An Alcoholic.

The alcohol is really hurting him. He looks TERRIBLE. He has gained so much weight that he looks pregnant. His nose is red and veiny. His skin is puffy and blotchy. He has a low sex drive. His neck is sagging and fatty so has severe sleep apnea. He has sickly blue bags under his eyes. He’s been in the emergency room twice with panic attacks this year. He had to have cataract surgery last year and I read that alcohol abuse can be a factor for early onset. He’s now having chronic and severe nosebleeds and alcohol is likely the culprit as well. His nose has big broken veins on it. Not a pretty picture. He’s often in a low level depression and irritable. It is a vicious cycle of drink, get depressed and anxious, and drink to relieve those feelings.

My husband SAYS he is ready to quit drinking but talk is cheap. He has said this four or five times before. I am in the process of detaching from him. I am starting to envision a new life possibly without him. I am looking at other men and wondering what they are like. I see strong, fit men jogging in our neighborhood and I admire them. I am working out more at the gym and buying myself new clothes. I am fantasizing about what it would be like to go to my beloved Paris and stroll through the streets with someone who is more interested in the city than gobbling down bottles of its wine. I imagine sipping a coffee with this person at midnight and then strolling back to our hotel hand in hand enjoying each other and the experience. I do not envision walking nervously behind my husband as he stumbles boobishly out of some café pestering me to let him buy one more bottle for the hotel room. I do not envision waiting impatiently for his groggy self to finally roll out of bed at noon so we can go do something. I do not envision me tossing and turning all night because his loud slobbering wino snoring is keeping me and others at the hotel awake. I do not picture making love to a wine-smelly bloated man with nasty breath in Paris. I do not picture myself having fun, romance, or making sweet memories with a pregnant looking depressed fat man with wine and food stains all over his shirt in Paris.

I don’t and I won’t. Mr. Hyde sucks big time.

I see them around all the time, these men, these joggers. I can tell. I bet they would rather have a coffee at midnight than suck back another bottle. I bet they would stroll hand in hand with me back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep or something even better rather than more booze. I bet they would. You know why? These men I see, I bet they would. I bet they would because, in the morning, they would want to be up early. They would want to be up early so they could jog in the beautiful morning sunlight of Paris.

Please feel free to leave comments below…

253 comments to Husband’s Alcoholism Progressively Getting Worse

  • Ben

    I have read a lot of posts on this website and none have lined up with my experience more than yours. I married a woman that hid her drinking and lifelong alcoholism from me while we dated and I even for the first two years of our marriage. She is a beautiful woman to outsiders, and it’s hard for a man to leave a beautiful woman, but there is no quality in our relationship. Her looks have also slipped as Bud Light has taken over more of her life. At 115 pounds, she drinks 12-14 12 oz bottles every day, beginning at 3 p.m. and takes two sleeping pills with the last couple of beers until she passes out around midnight, 1, or 2 a.m.
    She always bragged about the wonderful sex she had in life, but we had no sex. This caused me great angst as it wore down my self esteem and self image. I realize now that these are all stories and that any sex she had was in bars with people she doesn’t even remember. While she has cleaned up that part of her life (she is a committed wife and mother to our beautiful daughter), it is difficult to have a relationship with an alcoholic, and the question becomes one of many “whys?” Why do I have to be the husband that comes home to a drunk? Why can’t we go out at night or do anything at night? I used to be a morning person, but now I wake up barely in time for work. I used to work out, but now I sit on the couch with her and watch TV. I used to be handsome and motivated, now I am depressed and lost. I love a cup of coffee and a morning jog, doing things at night, friends, family, etc. Now on the rare occasion we go to Walmart after 5 p.m., she needs to bring two bottles in the car with her for the drive otherwise she will “fall asleep.” My father died two years ago and he was in the hospital for 22 days….she did not go with me even ONCE to see him. I was consulting out of town at the time, and I had to decide between seeing my dying father and my wife and newborn baby girl. Why couldn’t I see all three? Because she wanted to stay home and drink, but offered some pop psychology as an excuse “this is about you and your dad” “Go see him, I’ll be here when he’s gone.” Made me wonder if she would come visit ME when I was dying in the hospita….fast forward two years… My car ran out of gas on the highway at midnight as I was coming home from a second job I took…we are in a new state and have NO friends here. I called and called her phone….guess where she was??? PASSED OUT! She never answered. If it wasn’t for some stranger, I would still be out there. Another night, I had a kidney stone attack in the early morning hours, all she did was get up and give me ibuprofen and a heating pad because I was “making too much noise.” I ended up driving myself to the ER at 7 a.m….she woke up early that day and came to the ER at 10:30.
    As a man, I was handsome, educated, and have a great job. I was a hopeless romantice that doted on her. I was so many things that I no longer am. I am not sure I even believe in love anymore after being so thoroughly used. I tried to put my foot down and do the “it’s me or the beer” thing twice in our marriage. She just drank more and convinced everyone around us that I was crazy. She even said she would file for divorce if I didn’t seek professional help. The help told me to set up a secret account, save money, and get the hell out of this abusive relationship.
    Thing is, I don’t even want her to stop drinking anymore. I do not want to live with the possibility that she will relapse in the back of my mind. These people will use you and destroy you from the inside out.
    Get out while you still have the hope of Paris. If you don’t that hope will die also, and then you will be left with nothing, like I am.

  • Karen

    You are young Ben, and It is obvious this woman will take
    advantage of you over the slightest whim. Getting back
    to you is very important in your recovery from her addiction. After 25 years of being to stupid to figure out
    what was going on I am devastated right down to my soul.
    I do not recommend divorce to anyone being there
    2x before this marriage. There are big prices for that.
    BUT, this is no way to live either. I am working on me
    and it is a slow process after all of these years.

    Good luck, to you and your child. You have even more
    to consider should you divorce but maybe if the child
    was with you

  • Chloe

    Ben, your wife is doing to you what my husband does to me…..crazymaking! The pattern is that you get upset, confront her drinking, threaten to leave, and then she turns the tables and points the finger at you and all of your faults…am I right? My husband does the same. I admit, I do fly into rages every 2 months or so at him because I foolishly engage in conversation and conflict when he is drunk which is just maddening. This is an exercise in insanity which is why I now go to bed around 9 pm every night to avoid that futile trap. He has cleverly twisted the facts and rewritten history by now making my “rage issues” the focus of what needs to change in the marriage. In other words, my rage issues are equally as troublesome to the marriage as is his drinking. Ummmmm…..hello? His drinking is the trigger for the anger! He also will masterfully concot victimized reasons and justifications as to why he drinks and those reasons are often my fault. Hmmmm… rage issue, my kids are poorly behaved, my ex- husband stresses him out and he has to take on all responsibility. None of the above are true, and even if they were truths, big boys confront their problems in life head on and solve them rather than downing another bottle of wine to escape reality. In reality, my husband has it pretty good. I work and contribute significantly to our finances. My kids are great according to everyone else. I keep a spotless organized house. I keep myself fit and healthy. My ex husband takes them every other weekend for 5 days and he pays child support. My husband has a great job with tons of flexibility and has much less responsibility than other men who don’t have working wives like me plus their own biological kids to provide for. Yet, in his mind, he has been a martyr for me and my two kids. Nonsense! I pull my own weight, and then some, and always have! My point is that alcoholics can be very skilled manipulators and one of their tactics is crazymaking. They turn the tables, point the finger at you, and blame, blame, blame. This is scary because it shows how the self-centered alcoholic can so easily delude themselves and prance off into the sunset feeling utterly vindicated and abused by the sober one. It shows how
    even after decades of patience and sacrifice, the sober long suffering partner can easily get nothing in return for years of crap but one final kick in the ass. I know of two women in their early fifties who stuck it out with their alchy husbands only to finally be dumped for younger women who were willing to take care of the alchies because these men had some money. One of these women had to check into a psych hospital for 2 weeks after she saw her alchy husband in church with this younger attractive woman who was his new caretaker. Classic example of the copendent enabler left holding the bag of pain while the self medicated-numbed- from- reality-addict is off in lala land. Uh, no….that will not be
    me. I will not let this situation go on for much longer for the sake of my two kids, my parent, myself. They will NOT be visiting me in a psych ward and my kids will NOT be seeing their mom as a basketcase in 10 years. Not happening.

    Nor should you.

    Here’s the deal. We both have to come to grips with the fact that we ***may***have to BE THEIR PAIN. We may have to BE some aspect of their rock bottom. We draw a line in the sand and say NO MORE. If we leave, we thus inflict the pain of loneliness and abandonment on them which are the consequences of their choices. It’s a crapshoot. Maybe this will be their rock bottom or maybe not. This is passing the bag of pain back to them for them to hold. It is not our bag of pain as it belongs to them. It’s a gamble. They may simply say good riddance and prance guilt-free off into the sunset too numbed to know they are holding the pain bag with yet another unwitting partner or a fellow drunk who can provide the life they want. Your wife is beautiful. She may easily find someone else and have fun in the process. But imagine your fifty year old self sitting down with you if you stay on for years and years in this house of horrors hell ride. Right now, you’re young. He would say to you, “Young me, wake up! Get out of this daze! Look around! You can still live. You can still find love. You can still be your best for me and my daughter. You can start over, young me! Embrace life, health, sanity!” The reason I know your 50 year old you is saying that is because that is what mine is saying to me.

    We don’t have to pass the pain bag to them immediately. But we can begin to prepare for the day that we do. I am. Like I said, I’m working out a lot, eating healthily, getting plenty of sleep, starting to do things by myself, setting goals for my kids’ futures. My son wants to try acting so I’m taking him to plays. I’m taking him with me to the gym to get him ready for lacrosse in the spring. Little things…moving towards progress. I’m moving away from the depressing illness and death path of my husband and running in the direction of life, hopes, dreams, and goals. I’m not ready to leave him right now. I love him enough to walk this path a bit longer with him hoping he will change. He is making progress but we have been down this path before of his attempting moderation anh inevitablly he falls back into the cycle of 2-5 bottles a day. My eyes are wide open to this fact but I continue to encourage him and walk alongside him as he attempts moderation and eventual weaning off which is a bottle 5 nights a week. Not great but an improvement. Everyday though, my fifty year old self is reminding me not to get lulled
    back into denial and my own comfortable path of least resistance delusion. She is saying that I better not get too comfortable, like the frog in the pot of water, because I may be packing my bags someday because the line in the sand has been crossed. And if so, it is coming sooner rather than later. I’ve got to get off this hell ride.

    I cannot stay in this House of Horrors much longer because I can’t let my fify year old self or my kids down. I love my husband very much but not enough to wake up in 13 years in a psych ward shackled to a bag of pain.

    And, Ben, neither should you. All of this

  • Chloe

    Oops, “all of this” ….meant to say all of this is *****easier said than done *******:-) but doable, nonetheless. Try to detach from her, focus on bettering yourself, your daughter, and start envisioning a good life for you and your daughter with AND without your wife. Exercise does wonders for mood and clarity. Healthy food and sleep are paramount. Also, one of my favorite all time books is Eckhardt Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” You may find it helpful.

  • Ben

    karen, thanks for sharing and thanks for your encouragement. Chloe, thanks for your thoughtful response, it was very helpful. I went to Al Anon a couple of times, but I just didn’t find it helpful. Chloe, speaking of my “50 year old self”, one of the leaders there is a man that is 70 years old, and he has been attending and dealing with his wife’s alcoholism for 35 years. That was all I needed. I said to myself, I’m not ending up like that old fool.

  • admin

    Chloe, I love the term you used: “crazy-making.”

    Here’s a few things I’ve learned. We can either change our attitude or change our address. The choice is ours. The alcoholic is NOT going to change until they decide to enter recovery.

    The decision we make to either stay or leave should be based on our morals. When we do not believe in divorce, then we are more compelled to try everything at our disposal to make things work.

    It is when we are caught in the confusion of not knowing what to do is when we are at our worst.

    Staying in an intensely abusive situation is not healthy for all involved. Some people can endure mildly getting abused by an alcoholic because they have learned how to protect their emotions from being damaged…


    The Alcoholics Anonymous program is filled with millions of recovering alcoholics, walking miracles. You may want to consider not giving up because a miracle could be five minutes away.

    The problem is that WE get caught in a world of denial. For a while things will go smoothly in a relationship with an alcoholic and our “hopes” are high that things will continue to be good. Then the “crazy-making” begins again and we find ourselves angry, frustrated, irritable, confused and discontent…

    As the addict progressively gets worse so does our attitude and outlook on life. Our hopes and dreams of jogging in Paris with the one we love seem to fade in the insanity of alcoholism.

    What I love about the people who participate in our conversations is the level of honesty. Many people have coped with the insanity of addiction for years…HOPED and BELIEVED that the alcoholic would change…and they have not. This has brought them to a place of seeing the reality of what is happening in their lives. For years the have been changing their attitude in order to live with the one they love, but the miracle hasn’t happened. So, they begin considering changing their address.

    Al-anon says: “Living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us.”

    If you want to stay with an alcoholic…getting involved with support group meetings is a great place to begin to learn how to do so…

    It’s possible to live with an alcoholic and still take trips to Paris, Greece, Rome, Florida or whereever… The thing is that we have to plan those trips with friends who like to “jog” in the morning. Accomplishing this takes learning how to love an alcoholic with out conditions, being equipped with detachment techniques, surrounding ourselves with friends from a support group and finally learning how to let go of the alcoholic in order to ENJOY life on our own.

  • Ben


    I understand your point. As far as morals go, it’s a difficult argument. Let’s just say someone is a “christian” and espouses “christian” morals and values. Going for a jog in Paris with someone else (if they are opposite sex) will cross the line into emotional and perhaps physical infidelity. I cannot see how that is moral or Christian. Detaching and living life as if you are alone is also un”christian” as the Bible clearly states the purpose of marriage is so that “man” (or woman) is not alone, and if we find we need to detach from our spouse to jog, go to Paris, go to church, hang out with our family, go to support group…why the heck are we married? For a tax deduction? Seems like a very lonely life that runs counter to the Judeo Christian view of marriage, does it not?

  • Chloe

    Thanks JC for your suggestions. It’s good to be reminded that some people can actually stay with the alcoholic and learn ways to lovingly detach. I may go to Alanon soon since it’s a lifeline for many affected by this. We shall see. One day at a time. Thanks again, JC, for this website. It is very helpful.

    I am almost positive he lied again last night. I’ve developed a sixth sense radar for how much he has had to drink. I am 99% positive he guzzled a bottle prior to the one bottle on the kitchen counter last night. I am beginning to think rehab is the only way out for him.

    This alcoholism is no joke. It is absolutely no joke at all 🙁

  • admin

    Ben, thanks for participating. I’ll have to think on what you have shared. Perhaps I’ll get back to you on this. If not, thanks so much for sharing your views here.

  • Caitlyn

    Does anyone know of or heard of an alcoholic that has most successfully gone from alcoholic to social/occasional drinker? It seems a common theme with alcoholics to say they are reducing the amount of alcohol they are consuming when they really aren’t. They’re not really lieing because in their mind they see themselves reducing, however they measure this assessment. But in reality they are kidding themselves moreso than us, the sober partner. Is total abstinence THE only way for an alcoholic to become sober. I’m sure the pull of the bottle is way too strong for an alcoholic to ever truly just turn to be a social drinker.

    Any thoughts out there on the topic.

    By the way, fantastic comments and life experiences shared by Ben and Chloe. Us readers gain so much from your wisdom, experience and comments. I’m still in the assessment stage with the A in my life.

    And to the original Guest Poster, I’m thinking it sounds like you have your future mapped out for you and you’ve arrived at the decision before you started your article. I’m guessing the writing of the article has actually bought it to the fore for you now and if you re-read your words you can see the answer leaping out at you.

    I say go to Paris with the man that truly deserves to be there with you. You’re not going to get it from your alcoholic husband. Doesn’t sound like he’s about to do anything to save your relationship from the alcoholic doom and gloom he bought to it. A far cry from the beginning – gym workouts, fit and healthy looking. Some alcoholics never find a bottom to drag themselves up and out of. Time to walk down a new path and live your life and that Paris dream. Good luck with it all.

    And to Ben and others out there, I’ve been on my own for over a decade before meeting my alcoholic lover, friend and husband to be. I am keeping my eyes wide open and am absolutely willing and capable of living on my own again should anything go sour big time in our relationship. It’s important for the sober party to keep their independence to keep this window open for escaping. And I am absolutely able to go back to living alone and being on my own because in every way it is better to live alone than be in the wrong relationship. I’ve always firmly believed that. Wishing everyone out there the ability to find their own form of strength. It is strength that will carry us through the trials and tribulations of life, especially with an alcoholic prominent in it. Strength and wisdom to choose the right path to you all.

  • Chloe

    Guys, out there in cyberspace, I am in a living hell tonight. I keep coming back to my own post and pathetically reading it over and over for some sanity. He’s been hiding it and drinking both today and yesterday. Mr. Hyde is back. My God, this is a living hell and all hell broke out tonight.

    My precious nine year old daughter spent all day planning a family game night at our house. She made signs, tickets, we went out and bought donuts and hot cocoa. My husband was in the bathroom caulking my shower and drinking. He had his weaning bottle on the kitchen counter and pretended to be sipping small glasses from that.

    Anyway, fast forward and Mr. Hyde insanely accused me of stealing and or hiding his expensive kitchen
    scissors at dinner. Insane. I would never do that ….insane thinking period. He had that horrible callous, detached, and arrogant demeanor and I got snippy with him. I basically said, “Kids, he drunk so just
    ignore this nonsense.” I then said, ” Your mother (with Alzheimer’s) would be so ashamed of you. Look at you!” I was so full of rage and disgust that he was trying to sabotage my baby’s game night. It’s so
    evil. It’s so abusive. He than said to my kids, “Well, your mom is a bitch and a cunt and that is why her second marriage is now failing. She is crazy and a cunt.” The kids went hysterical. Well, my 11 year old
    son shut down and became stone faced, my daughter sobbed.

    He stormed out smugly and arrogantly confident that once again he had been abused by his horrible
    crazy abusive wife. He pointed at how I caused all this turmoil for the kids. This is truly what he
    believes especially when drunk but even when sober by pointing the finger at my anger.

    This is a nightmare. I am living in a horrid nightmare and I called my wonderful sweet parents and they are beelining it to my house in the morning to confront him. They are in horror that he called me a cunt
    in front of their grandchildren.
    I pride myself on being self disciplined. I pride myself on being healthy and fit. I think I’m a good mom and good at my job. I keep my house clean and tidy. I’m a good supportive loving wife. I’m not perfect by ANY MEANS but, I do feel good about having some strengths. But people, this is bringing me to my knees. I am thrown each time into a horrible state of panic and fear and utter sadness and helplessness everytime we have a night like this. I descend into mental hell. Lately, I pace around the room or yard just trying to breathe breathe breathe. My adreniline is just pumping in overdrive. It is horrible pain to have your husband turn into someone else like some entity has taken him over and for him to dole out such verbal and mental abuse. This is so painful and heart wrenching, Then I sickly want him to come and comfort me. He does after awhile and I sickly accept the comfort, apology, hugs, and promises because I crave the love and security. I accept the promises for him to change and then sickly I wake up the next morning with fresh new hope. It will all be okay and my husband emerges from the bedroom and he’s himself again. Round and round and round we go on this insane merry go round from hell.

    This week I am calling a therapist and trying alanon. I have got to get help.

    God, help those of us living with alcoholics. God help us.

  • Chloe

    Sorry for the poor format and grammar….I’m shaking as I type 🙁

  • Caitlyn

    Oh Chloe, my heart goes out to you and the kids.

    If you are determined to stay in the marriage you’ll have to learn methods of self preservation. Start with ignoring any false accusations. Don’t acknowledge any false accusations by giving him a conversation. Save it. Perhaps even go along a little and say I didn’t take the scissors. It’s not important right now. I can help look to locate them after [daughter & son] have finished with their game night. Perhaps tomorrow morning if it’s late. God, hopefully by then he’s sobered up and you can still play along with I didn’t take them but let’s just look together to see where they might be.

    Really hard to do, but control yourself and stay calm when the false accusations fly. You know the truth. Don’t ever get angry back. Nothing positive happens. By staying calm and collected you are setting an excellent example to your kids. And by the way your kids know what dad is commonly like, credit them with the intelligence to know the truth. You won’t have to justify yourself when the truth is lingering. Lies bounce off if you’ll let them. Literally shut him out of your sphere while he talks crazy. It’s your mind that will be doing the lock out. You can be in the same room but your mind has blocked out his words so they can’t affect your emotions.

    Next time he tries to saboutage your family time or your kids friends night / game night, simply resume your games and turn your back on him and focus on the game at hand. Welcome him in if he’s civil and offer a solution to his scissor dilema.

    I feel that you shouldn’t involve your parents as it will only add fuel to the raging fire. By all means talk to them, but don’t have them front up for a confrontation. Confrontations and angry talk never fixes anything. All his defences will be up.

    And absolutely get yourself some professional help through a therapist and into a support group like AA. There are many issues to be resolved.

  • Chloe

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragemnt Caitlyn. It is really hard for me to keep my big mouth shut when he is provoking me. I fall into the crazymaking trap almost every time. It’s very very hard for me to sit there especially when so many emotions in me are brimming to the surface. He is masterful at stirring the pot when drunk. My mental image of the whole situation is like having a giant jackass bucking and kicking through the house wreaking havoc. It’s hard to be nice or ignore this beast.

    By the way, I am the original poster. I’m the one dreaming of a better life with someone else and Paris.

  • admin

    Here are few more articles that may help:
    Facing Alcoholics With Courage
    What To Do When An Alcoholic Blames
    Alcoholics Bring Out The Worst In Us

    Chloe, I am so glad to hear you will be reaching out for help. Al-anon will start giving you ways to live a much more peaceful life.

    One of the things I’ve learned is if I don’t engage with the alcoholic, there will be more peace in my life. Learning how to do this is a progressive process. Doing things differently, like Caitlyn said, is the key to protecting your and your children’s serenity.

    Here a few tips:
    1) Never argue with a drunk. There are methods to help you cope with an angry alcoholic.

    2) Avoid having serious conversation with someone when the are intoxicated. You wouldn’t try to reason with someone when the had just came out of surgery and where under the effect of a major anesthetic, would you?

    3) Alcoholics are always pushing our buttons. When they push our buttons we react. The key is to learn how to not react, but respond with self control. Saying short phrases like: “I didn’t do anything with the scissors,” or “I don’t care to discuss this now,” or “I’m playing a game with the children, let’s talk about this later,” can give you an opportunity to exit the room and do something else, rather than continuing to engage in a heated discussion.

    4) Not everything the alcoholic says ABOUT us is true. I do not have to react to the lies. Just knowing the truth is good enough for me. I don’t have to defend my character when I recognize that what the alcoholic is doing is trying to get an argument going.

    I can say things like:
    A) “That’s not true”
    B) “I’m sorry you feel that way”
    C) “You may be right”

    After saying one of these short phrases, politely excuse yourself and go find something else to do, like playing games with the children.

    There is HOPE for you and your children…all is not hopeless. You are now at the beginning stages of progressively learning how to live a better life. It just takes time and effort.

    Do what you have said and REACH out for help.

    You cannot do this on your own anymore. You can break this cycle of progressively getting worse as your alcoholic husband continues to get progressively worse. You can start the process of change today.

    Our audio lessons are filled with tips like these.

  • Sheila

    Divorce and changing address are two separate things.
    If one can’t stomach Divorce, the Legal Separate is a choice.
    A very holy priest told me last week, “Even if you chose to separate, you should still support him.” (Support him in his efforts to get better).

    As I read on a diffreent comment thread; one can’t have a real marriage relationship with someone with alcoholism.
    The best one can do is live separate lives. Some of us are too caring to be able to do that with the same address as the alcoholic.

  • Ben


    Indeed, some of us are too caring, and that what gets us hurt.

    CHLOE:: If this is NOT your children’s real father, they will begin to resent you for putting them in this situation. If their father is an option, they will eventually run to him and blame you for destroying their childhood. You will lose your relationship with your kids if you try to preserve your relationship with the alcoholic. Trust me, I have seen it many, many times. Forget the fact that you don’t deserve to be treated like that and called those things, do you think your kids deserve to see this?

    As far as the crazy making, I hope you enjoy it, because it will be a part of your life forever. This website has helped me a ton, as I have detached. She could drink herself to death for all I care. They are happy where they are, if they weren’t they would get help. My wife lost both of her children to their biological father after raising them by herself and he was largely absent. She hurts every day. Did she get help? Did she learn her lesson? HELL NO! She drinks even more now to deal with the pain. These people are addicts, and as silly as it seems to go mary a homeless crack addict off the streets of chicago, that is what we have done. Yes, mine used to be great at her job, but that is even slipping now and she only takes part time nurse jobs and works two days a week, so she has more time to drink. If yours is working, this will probably be his next phase. I have decided that she is happy being drunk and I am unhappy being married to a drunk…if I truly love her, I need to let her do what makes her happy. That is what I am doing. I am also leaving in the summer, because I cannot live like this. Maybe that is where you need to get to.

  • Chloe

    My parents are en route to my house. We are all going to his recovered Alcoholic father’s house and sitting him down and telling everything today… physical abuse, the mental abuse, the police, the attempts to quit, his panic attacks, the hiding, the lying, 5 bottles a day…everything…all the crap. I’ve kept this a secret for 3 years. We want him to move out today and go stay at his dad’s for awhile. The choice is rehab/recovery or the marriage. He needs to go back home to his dad’s so my kids and I can live peacefully for awhile.

    This is win win for me, my kids, and even him. This leads to some peace for me and the kids. If he’s in pain, it may be his rock bottom. If not, it gets him out of my hair for awhile so I can get help and start climbing out of this depressing pit. And now there are finally going to be CONSEQUENCES for his choices!

    Thank you everyone for your helpful input. jC, I am determined to try to keep my mouth shut and walk away if ever in the situation again and follow your advice. Thanks again for this site!

  • Diana

    I grew up with a “giant jackass” and suffered as a child because my sweet mother put up with his verbal, emotional & physical abuse to her children. My nerves as a child were damaged {nightmares,biting nails,fearful,insecure,timid}. My self esteem was non existent and then I went on to marry a closet alcoholic. As I read your latest post I re-lived my childhood and felt the trauma again. Can you imagine yourself at that dinner table, ignoring the crazy abusive jackass, and saying to your children, “My sweet precious children, you and I are not going to live with this abuse any longer. I wanted to have game night with you so much and was excited to play with you and I saw how happy you were making your plans and that made me happy too. Nobody should have taken that away from you. Please forgive me for allowing this man into your lives and for hearing the ugly words he uses and for exposing you to alcoholism and his abusiveness. I made a mistake and was wrong, please forgive me for what I’ve allowed in your lives. I am taking a stand for you and for me. With the help of God, I will give you a better life beginning right now.” {then do the right thing & follow through} I wish I would have seen and heard my mother be strong and protect us children from crazy making in my home. I wish I would have learned to be strong from my mother so I wouldn’t have accepted a crazy jackass in my own life whose alcoholism and verbal abuse brought me to my knees with a nervous breakdown before I had the courage to leave him. I pray that you seek God with all your heart and ask Him to forgive you and for courage to do the right thing for your children. They deserve a peaceful life where they can be children who are loved and protected as they grow. They are a gift from God. If you focus on doing the right thing for THEM your life will take on new meaning far greater than jogging in Paris I promise you. Do the next right thing Cloe. Do the next right thing for them and also for you.

  • Louisa

    I do not understand the tip “avoid having a serious conversation with someone when they are intoxicated”. Yes that is true, but it has been my experience that you cannot have a serious conversation with an alcoholic AT ANY TIME. They will always be angry with what you have to say especially if they are not drinking. And alcoholics have alcohol in their systems 24/7.They still have alcohol in their bodies in the morning. Plus they tend to be moody, grouchy, irritable, withdrawn when not drinking. Just because they are not drinking at that time does not mean they instantly revert to logical, mature, reasonable person who is willing to listen and work with you. And let’s say you did manage to get a somewhat sane conversation in with them, by that night it will be blown to hell and forgotten by them.

  • Diana

    Well said Louisa. There is much for us to learn about the alcoholic and yes, alcohol is present in their system long after the drinking stops. Mine actually gave alcohol up for Lent!!! for 40 days! which tricked me into thinking that he just couldn’t be an alcoholic……i was so wrong.

  • Chloe

    You are all so right that the kids come first and foremost. I didn’t mean to allow this situation to go on this long but have been in denial and so codependent for so long. I just kept burying my head in the sand hoping hoping hoping and trying to remain optimistic. In the past 4 month, it has been just getting worse and worse and there is no denying now that he is a full fledged alcoholic. No denying. I just had to cycle through it so many times to finally see this. I see it now. I’m 100% committed to protecting my kids and am taking firm steps towards leaving if need be.

    We talked to his dad. It is all out in the open. We had a family intervention with my husband who hung his head in shame the whole time as I publicly recounted the physical and mental abuse, lies, binges, and a dangerous drunk driving episode last year. There is now some new accountability to everyone in the family for him to sober up or get out. He is seeing an addictions counselor this week. He’s staying in the home but we all told him the next time it happens, my entire family is showing up with a uhaul and he is out.

    So we’ll see guys. This is a tough thing to beat and I don’t know if he will be able to. I, like Ben, am also planning to move this summer to live near parents with the kids if he resumes drinking. I know I have to. I cannot let my kids end up as Diana described. It is my job and moral duty to protect them from this severe dysfunction. Now that I am finally getting out of such sick codependence and denial, I
    think I can do it. I cannot keep gping like this. Today my entire body aches and I feel utterly depleted,
    exhausted, and shaky.

    We took the kids out for pizza and ice cream and had a long talk about how changes are coming soon. We told them we are all taking control and their protection is number one priority.

    So tired. So emotionally drained. Thanks for all the wonderful kind support here. It is a lifeline to sanity, my friends.

    By the way, Louisa, you’re right about how it can be so hard to have a conversation with an alcoholic even when they are sober. I read somewhere that the alcoholic stopped emotionally/spiritually maturing at the point at which they started drinking. Mine started at 16 and at times that theory sure seems to be true especially with processing his own emotions. Oi vey!!!

    Bye everyone, I need to go get some rest. Mr. Hyde is gone for at least this night 🙂

  • Diana

    I am cheering you on!!! It is very hard, I understand. God is always there for you as you reach out to Him. Psalm 55 was and is my favorite for this situation in my life. You are in my prayers. I so understand how draining this is for you and your nerves need a lot of rest. Be gentle to yourself but very, very protective of yourself emotionally, spiritually & physically. Al-anon is so helpful. This blog is so helpful. Being grateful for all the good things in your life is another helpful thing. You can do this with God’s help. You and your children deserve peace.

  • Caitlyn

    Ladies, I’d say there are different levels of alcoholism. Some have it real bad and it really turns on the big bad nasty person inside them and they are unable to switch back without a total alcohol detox found in a rehab clinic. Others switch from Super Nice Guy being unaware how nasty or hurtful they become until you point it out and they try to control that side of themselves to save relationships. The question for me is how long can they stay master of this switch? Some alcoholics are able to show certain levels of control over their behaviour even while intoxicated and it is those that the comments of ‘going to another room’ to get away while they are being their nasty other selves is a method of escaping from their insanity until they are reasonable again. Others can never do this, they are too far gone? too intoxicated? it’s their personality? whatever the reason. But they turn and stay turned bad and nasty to the point of dangerous. These ones need to be left alone to themselves and we need to permanently get away from them. Either one is still difficult to deal with. The intoxicated but controlled drunk or the intoxicated bad nasty uncontrolled drunk.

    Louissa, the permanent bad nasty type one can never have a serious conversation with but the other can be highly reasonable and receptive to behavioural change when soberish. Maybe yours is the ‘all the time nasty unreceptive’ kind of alcoholic; never open to comments or serious conversation. Some of the tips found on this site would never work with that kind of alcoholic. Just take from it what you can or pass the tip because it wouldn’t work for you. Time to look at whether you need to break away even? That will be for you to determine. No one else can decide what’s right for you to do. Decisions take a long time to arrive at but arming yourself with knowledge and information can make that decision making process easier. So research all you can and then visualise that path before stepping on it.

  • Chloe

    Caitlyn, From my own situatuion, my husband’s nastiness has gotten worse over the last 2 years. When I first met him, and he started drinking, he was more of a silly drunk. He would just go off to his computer and listen to music for hours and hours. His edginess and aggressiveness has worsened progressively. One big issue brought up with his dad and at the intervention is how he now grabs his fork or a knife when drunk and angry, clutches it in his hand, and starts pumping his fist with it. It’s like he’s revving up that fist to take a stab or swing at me. He was told yesterday how one day he could snap and stab me in the neck, knock out my teeth, or break my jaw because that fist is just revving up to do it. I’ll be severly injured or dead and he will be in prison. Nice. If it even gets close to that threatening behavior again then I am calling 911 and having him arrested. That was another boundary set yesterday.

    This was not happening a few years ago when he would blissfully sit drunk at the computer for hours listening to the Grateful Dead sing about peace, love, and butterflies.

    So Caitlyn, my husband had much more control over that “switch” a few years ago but like everything else that aggression has gotten progressively worse. I’m now the poster girl for being that woman, who
    like a frog being boiled in water, slowly begins to accept more and more abuse as the norm because it has been a gradual descent.

    My husband has crossed the line and is becoming the kind you can’t just go into another room and escape from. It’s getting dangerous. I actually tried going into the bathroom alone the other night and he grabbed me and shoved me back out into the hall. He threw an apple so hard at my leg a few weeks ago that the back of my thigh was swollen and bruised black for days. I swear if that apple had hit my head I would have gone down unconscious.

    So many are locked away in prison for committing crimes while intoxicated. It is well researched and documented that alcohol increases aggression especially in men because it impairs their frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is involved in inhibiting aggression and regulating impulsivity. That is why it is dangerous and foolish for me to stay too much longer in this situation. That area of the brain must become more and more damaged and impaired for some alcoholics the longer they keep drinking.

    This is tough. Even if they get sober, they still have that pickled brain and can slip back to their ways years later and then we’re back to this hell ride at age 50, 60? So much to think about.

    It is utterly horrifying to think of my son at 13 or 14 mouthing off to him and than getting walloped in the face. NO!!! This exact scenario is why trying to stay with some alcoholics and love them in a detached manner doesn’t work. The family’s safety comes first and we are at that point of taking swift, permanent, and radical action if he resumes drinking. Ben is right….my kids would be so bitter for letting it go on. I would be one sick woman and a complete failure as a mother to allow that to happen.

  • admin

    Thanks to all who are participating here. I am again deeply touched by your sharing.

    I’d just like to offer encouragement.


    Take one small step toward making a change. Make it your goal today!

  • admin

    The following was taken from here: Avoid Getting Abused By An Alcoholic

    “No matter what, NO ONE has any right to physically hurt another human. It doesn’t matter what they think or say about your behavior, you should never be someone’s doormat.”

  • Sally

    Folks, please, for the love of your children, your sanity and yourselves, crawl down off the crosses and cut the alcoholics out of your lives completely. There’s no halo or crown or heavenly mansion waiting for you for enduring and surviving life with a drunk! Marriage takes two competent adults in order to truly be a marriage, and a drunk is not competent. None of us who are visiting this website can be called completely sane, as we have chosen to become involved with drunks and then chose to continue to keep them in our lives to do their horrible damage, not just to us, but to our children and our families. Get out now, and stay out of these relationships with drunks. Alcoholic sounds like a medical term, and it is, but it does none of us any good to disguise the fact that these people we have allowed into our lives are drunks, are going to stay drunks, and trash our lives in the process if we let them. Why would you stay in hell, when the door to freedom is yours for the taking? I debated for more than a year whether to leave or stay, and if you’ve read my story, you know that this past weekend I left him and will not go back – ever. Alcohol is not part of a normal, sane, healthy life and neither are alcoholics. This talk of being able to love and live with an alcoholic is very noble, but what kind of life is “detachment”? Why would anyone choose to live in hell with these addicts? It makes no sense. Please, whatever it takes, get these sad, sick people out of your lives, because it won’t get any better. All you have to do is read the stories of any one of us to know that is the honest truth.

  • admin

    Thanks for sharing Sally. I would like to add that there is always hope that an alcoholic will hit bottom and get help.

    We have two of them in our family who have done it. One had over twenty years of sobriety before she passed away and the other currently has thirteen. Both were transformed from ugly alcoholics to beautiful trophies of GOD’S grace.

    Alcoholic’s Anonymous is filled with people who finally HIT their bottom and asked for help.

    For some people dealing with alcoholism, there is HOPE.

    For those who believe in GOD, know that He is with you “right now” in this moment!


    Contact Al-anon

  • Sally

    Admin, I admire your spirit, but the truth is that SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT of alcoholics NEVER seek treatment. Gambling that one of us has one of the 25% are odds I wouldn’t take on my best day. Yes, some drunks do dry out and stay that way, but they are in the minority. There is hope for some of them, but for most, they’d rather stay just the way they are, and any attempt by anyone who loves them to help is met with abuse upon abuse by word and deed.

  • Ben

    Any word from Chloe? I sure hope her family is doing OK. This is definitely a bitter pill to swallow, and I don’t want to appear shallow or unforgiving, I just don’t love her anymore. It breaks my heart to think my beautiful daughter will grow up in a broken home, and that I will not be there to shelter her from the abuse of this dark and evil woman, but staying is even worse, for both my daughter and myself. I feel like a jerk for how I feel, but this is a woman I have treated far better than anyone could have imagined, only to be abused mentally, physically, and emotionally to no end. Lastly, if God wants them cleaned up, he is God, I am not. I don’t want to be misconstrued as “bitter” or “angry” but these people should have cleaned up their issues before dragging others into their horrid lives. At least for me, anyways, as she skillfully hid her severe addiction while we were dating.

    May God help all of us.

  • Chloe


    Is your wife safely able to care for your daughter without you in the home? I think you mentioned that she is in fact a good mother and drinks only in the evening. Is it possible to try to get custody and then take your daughter with you? You probably work so I’m sure childcare will be an issue. Would you be able to move closer to your family if they can help?

    No easy answers. It sounds like you are at the breaking point with your wife’s abuse and insanity. She sounds very abusive 🙁 It drives a person to the brink of such despair and desperation at times. If you go, you can give yourself the time and peace you need to recover from the enormous stress of your situation. This way you can be at your best, healthy and sane, when you are with your daughter. If your wife never recovers, there is hope your daughter will one day want to be with you instead of her.

    Don’t feel guilty. Take care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, eat healthy, connect to your spiritual source. I had to stay home from work today, wrap up in a blanket on the couch, drink warm tea, light my candles, and gaze out at the sunshine for hours…all day literally. My body felt achy and so beaten up and weak from the stress of the last few days. You have this ongoing stress and trauma too. Go get a massage, go for a jog…whatever you can do to counter the stress and grief that is storing up in your body. Do not feel guilty ever!

    Take Care 🙂

  • Sally

    Ben, I agree with Chloe’s advice – take your daughter and run. Talk to a lawyer and do what you must to protect your daughter from your wife. This is personal experience speaking – the children of drunks are almost always abused by other drunks that are brought into the home. A young child is ripe for sexual abuse at the hands of a drunk’s “friends.” Don’t take that chance. And Ben, it’s absolutely true – God helps those who help themselves.

  • Chloe

    I just had to post this while it’s on my mind after my last several posts about tough love. Today, I had a long talk with my husband’s sister about why her dad did not join us in the intervention. He opted out and when my husband found out his dad chose not to participate it triggered deep pain and sorrow. He just stared out the window with raw hurt in his eyes. Decades of hurt. His dad is a recovered alcoholic and was EXTREMELY emotionally absent from the family. He was mostly irritable and impatient when he did interact with the family. So she and I were talking about how she and my husband, her brother, felt very rejected and unloved by him growing up but she, at least, has come to terms with it. My husband, on the other hand, still does carry this wound and void in his life from his dad’s rejection.

    This just got me thinking about how even though my husband’s drinking is unacceptable, he started drinking at a young age to numb these fearful and sad feelings he carried from these childhood wounds. Tonight, my husband acknowledged that he does, in fact, fear rejection and struggles with feeling worthless and invisible.

    From this point, I urged him to connect with his own spirit/soul and begin a spiritual journey to heal these deep wounds and any other ones he carries by connecting to God’s Love.

    I totally GET IT NOW with the spirit of this website and JC’s angle of LOVING the alcoholic. I was really consumed with anger earlier this week, and rightly so, but there is a flip side to the situation. It is the miracle love side of it. Our alcoholics, most of them, started drinking to numb some sort of fear, pain, or sadness within in them. JC, I appreciate so much your reminding me to keep loving my husband so that I can encourage him to heal these lost wounded parts inside of him. I want to help him heal these wounds.

    I’m not backing down on doling out consequences to Mr. Hyde. Don’t get me wrong. The behavior is unacceptable. But I have gained greater compassion and love for the situation by seeing this angle as well.

    The Great Master of Love himself, Jesus, would have looked at all of our alcoholics with compassionate eyes and seen through their awful behavior to their pain, fear, sadness, and anger. I am
    appreciative, JC, that you are keeping that spirit of the Great Master’s love alive with this website. It is a most valuable tool to keep handy as we try to navigate difficult terrain at times. And yes, it is the stuff of miracles.

  • Diana

    Yes, Jesus has great compassion and love for all of us sinners and yet as He said to the woman at the well, “Go and sin no more.” This is key to real change. We must have real desire to change and the ONLY way to real change is to listen to God speak to us as we stand by the deep well of desperation in our life. By our own will we can do nothing. As we devote ourselves to God’s way of life we can do impossible things. Life is about love of God and love of others. Getting our selfishness out of the way is the only way to really love God or others. Love conquers. God bless you and all of us who suffer with the consequences of alcohol.

  • JC

    Chloe, thank you for your kind words. There is a way to live with and love an alcoholic. There is also a way to love an alcoholic and not interact with them.

    When we learn how to love in all situations, we are happier INSIDE! When we reach the point of loving others through it all… we somehow find that we love ourselves more for being the best that we could me.

    Of all the things we have in life to give, love is the most powerful of all. If I don’t have it, I am a clanging symbol…clang, clang, clang.

    We have to get up one more time than we fall down. We have to get up and rise above and walk again in love.

    The real test of love is found in forgiveness. Alcoholics will let us down time and time again. It was at the height of my frustrations, after the alcoholic had dumped on me the ten thousandth time that I fell to my knees in anguish. With tears streaming down my face and with fists clinched, I screamed: “GOD HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO FORGIVE HER?”

    That is when I heard Him gently say: “How many times have I forgiven you?”

    “Forgiving them will only accomplish one thing, your life will be free from the damaging negative emotional baggage you are carrying around.”

    The above quote came from here: Forgiving The Alcoholic

    We have to find God’s will for our lives in the middle of all this mess. When I was living in the midst of alcoholism HELL on earth that is where I was being shaped and formed for one of my purposes in God’s kingdom…to try and help others who are in the middle of the battle field, wounded, bleeding and crying out for help.

    ALL of the things I share here came with a GREAT price. As I look back on those horrible years, GOD was with me the entire time.

    He is with all of us! If we take time to truly seek Him out-He will be found.

    As my wife’s addictions were progressing and the frustration level in our home was increasing on a daily basis, I was progressively growing in having a relationship with God. I found Him to be the calm in the midst of the STORM. He finally calmed the storm by delivering me for the abusive mess.

    Although my marriage to the alcoholic/addict ended in divorce, I know that I know…I did all that was in my power to make things work. Because of that I live with a tremendous amount of peace on the inside today. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

    Even with all of this talk about love, we should always PROTECT ourselves from being ABUSED by the alcoholic. GET OUT OF HARMS WAY AND FIND HELP IN YOUR COMMUNITY to deal with abusive situations.


  • Chloe

    Thank you Diana and JC for your encouraging words. Forgiveness, love, and compassion are so important to practice or we get all twisted up with anger, bitterness, and hatred. On the other hand, one can’t bury one’s head in the sand denying the power of the addiction and its destructive effects. I gained a greater understanding and compassion yesterday, though, about ****some****** of the reasons behind WHY and WHEN the addiction started….to numb fear, sadness, and anger in his teens. I am compassionate to his wounds and his sense of meaninglessness/hopelessness about life. His family life was VERY dysfunctional (dad was a dr. and owned a surgey center, pawned both kids off to boarding schools, infidelity, angry mom, sister now weighs 400lbs due to hard core eating addiction).

    I’ll walk this path a bit longer but have to follow through with the consequences of calling 911 if he drinks again in the house and my plan is to ultimately leave by June if there is no change. I’ll hold out hope until then that some spiritual healing will occur….that’s really the only hope here.

  • Ben

    Hi Everyone,

    OK….just need some attention here….ok…so I cannot stand when people chew with their mouths open…I am not a very critical person, but that sound drives me insane. My alcoholic is extremely critical, she criticizes everything I do; my friendships, work style, communication, even extremely personal things. Anyhow, she was sitting on the floor plastered eating with our two year old and she was eating noodles with her bare hands and chapping her lips…she usually eats very clean, but when innebriated, her eating habits go down the tubes. Anyhow, I mentioned it to her….Since then I have been subjected to silent treatment, swearing, hyper criticism, and she even threw our daughter’s wooden toy hammer at my head (thankfully she missed). Then she says that she has given ME a second chance at this marriage ( I filed for divorce a year ago and said I would not drop it unless she went to rehab). ALL of our problems…ALL of our problems are some type of result of her alcoholism…things she says or does when drunk, family problems due to her alcoholism, her kids being near lunatics because of her alcoholism, etc.

    Anyhow, I find it quite odd that someone that dishes out so much hate, antogonism, and criticism gets all bent out of shape because her eating grossed me out. Again, she mixed up cause and effect. If she wasn’t a drunk lush, this would never have happened. Do they completely miss this point??? What goes on in their warped little heads????

  • Brandie

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is the exact story of my life with small differences. I only have one son and he wasn’t there for the birth. My addict boyfriend will be going to jail as well. After seeing your story, I realize that I am not ‘crazy’ and that I am not alone. Alcoholics have similar patterns. I use to wonder why he didn’t love me the way he was suppose to. Now, I see that he loves me as an addict loves someone. I have been fighting this battle for 3 years and I seem to fall back into denial every time he promises to change. I have been working hard to let go for me and my son and for him. Many councelors have told me to love him enough to let him go. (So he can face his addiction) After reading your story, I am finally ready to love him enough to walk away. I don’t want to enable him anymore. I don’t want his disease to infect my life anymore. I pray he gets help, I pray he finds peace. However, I have to put myself first, for once. You’re story has inspired me to control the things I can (and that’s me and my life) Thank you.
    I wish you all the best. Al-anon and Nar-anon help….you should check it out.

  • Chloe

    Thanks Brandie. I’ve been in denial for 3-4 years too. I had to cycle through all the binges, then apologies, then short reformation, then back to drinking again SO many times before finally waking up. I think posting my story here was a huge first step in finally admitting his alcoholism and I’m so glad it helped you 🙂 You can even see after posting the original story how I clung to false hope in a later post that he could wean himself off with just a bottle a day. He had tried that several times before with no success….but once again, I sickly went along with his promises, and in denial to the fact that he is an ALCOHOLIC.

    We all get mentally, emotionally and, some of us, physically abused by our Mr. Hyde, but then our husband/boyfriend shows up and apologizes, hugs, cooks a nice meal, and explains it all away….until Hyde shows up again. We go round and round on this horror house merry go round. This is how WE eventually get sick and stay living in a sick life. The insanity becomes the norm for us as we become like the frog who is slowly boiled in water.

    Only you know what is ultimately best for your situation. Maybe you leaving will be his rock bottom. Maybe not. It’s very hard sometimes to make that final decision to go. Take good care of yourself. Think about your own dreams and goals for you and your child. Allow these positive thoughts more and more space in your head so there is less and less space in your head for your boyfriend. This
    is what I am doing. This way, if you do go, you have your own hopes, dreams, and goals to sustain you as you extract him from your life.

    My husband has been sober for a week (whoopty doo…right? Lol!) and it has been wonderful having him back and Hyde gone. This time though, I’ve not been lulled back into my codependent denial coma. The reality is that he might relapse. I have one foot in this life and one foot out of it ready to go.

    Been round and round on this ride too many times.

    It’s time to get off now.

  • Ben


    I admire you for your courage. Brandie, that is very helpful…”he loves me as an addict loves someone.” When you feel unloved and disposable long enough, you begin to feel you are unloveable and despicable. That is the consequence of being in an alcoholic relationship. I have come to the grim realization that my alcoholic will never, ever quit. She will die with this disease, and she is taking me with her (maybe even faster). Have you ever heard how drunks don’t usually die in car accidents they cause, but the sober people do? Because the drunks are so relaxed, their bodies are less likely to be injured by the force of the impact. This “stumbling through life” approach is also evident in relationships…They stress us out, use us, bleed us dry, and are uninjured by any of it, because they are completely relaxed through it all. They do not care while we cry and stress. They sleep like babies while we twist, turn, and pace. They eat while we lose our appetites for days.

  • Ben

    to end the last post……all the while wondering what the hell OUR problem is, and why we are so crazy. 🙂

  • Chloe

    Ben, VERY well said…you summed it up PERFECTLY with the car accident and stumbling through life analogy. That’s an amazing description of the dynamics going on with alcoholics and their codependents.

  • Chloe

    Hello everyone! A quick update…my hubby has been totally sober since Jan 16. He is actually watching the super bowl drinking hot tea! He’s losing weight, working out, and eating healthily. Hevis truly starting to look healthy again. The Welbutrin is helping slowly too. He seems truly self motivated to keep this going. I think me humiliating him in front of our families by exposing all the physical and verbal abuse put the fear of God in him to change his ways. I really set out to expose his loser behavior and he was so ashamed for everyone to know and hold him accountable. He really looked like a real loser jerk in front of everyone, and I think this was enough to shake him up. He felt very badly for his dad to find all of this out. When we went to visit his family forva birthday party, he was visibly withdrawn and ashamedvlike a dog with its tail between its legs. His voice was even shaky. He felt really awkward knowing everyone knew he had hit and kicked me when drunk a few times. He also found out that they all thought he looked physically awful…bloated, old, sickly, and yes, pregnant! I think that hit his ego pretty hard 🙂

    Well, just wanted to post this in the hopes that it could help someone else. This strategy of swift in your face tough public confrontation and exposure has seemed to do the trick in my situation so far. I also told his beloved psychiatrist about his aggression in front of hubby causing hubby to feel mortified.

    Thank you all so much for your kind helpful support. I was such a basket case a few weeks ago but now feel so much better and hopfel. Thank you again! It has been heaven having my sane normal sweet hubby back for almost 3weeks. It is so heartbreaking how alcohol can bring good wonderful human beings down into sickness and insanity. God help those of us living with them….hard hard hard.

    Cyber hugs to all you tired folks dealing with it still. Please please try to take good care of yourselves. You’ve been through so much pain and I’m so sorry 🙁


    So far so good guys. I’ll keep posting periodically to update and let you know if he relapses.

  • Caitlyn

    Very thrilled on hearing the great news. Thrilled for you and your family Chloe.

    Just keep it in the back of your head, if he relapses, it’s not the end of the world. He’s proven he can take charge once. He can take charge again. Be strong and encouraging for him to this end should that happen. Strong, encouraging, firm, kind but take no crap.

    So pleased it’s turned out sober for you. Very best of luck.

  • Sheila

    All of your comments help me so much.
    My husband is moving out on Saturday.
    How this will affect my 9 yr old daughter, I don’t know. But this I do know, I can handle it and take good care of her emotional needs.
    The Al-Anon pamphlet Merry Go Round named Denial is really helping me.
    The generous hearted side of my alcoholic agrees that I shouldn’t live in anxiety and if his presence causes me anxiety and interfers with my mother/daughter relationship then he should go. Really it’s an excuse for his to live as he wants without accountability, but so be it.
    I can tap into the ‘generous’ part of him to help this be a smooth amicable separation…and THAT is always best for the children.
    So, it seems that God has placed the best possible situation right in front of me. Despite the grief brought on by the loss of a dream of a real marriage and family, I am moving forward with the separation and trusting my abilty to judge the situation on a day by day basis and appropriately. It’s at times scary, hard, and nervewracking…but I am trusting God, asking for daily courage, and moving forward. I am entering unknown territory…single parenthood…the very thing I tried so hard to avoid.
    But if my daughter cannot have a proper two-parent family, then she will have a sound and secure mother there for her. Since the alcoholic prevents me from being a sound and secure mother, then the alcoholic must go.

    The alcoholic is an adult and can take of himself, but the child cannot and must rely upon adults. So my first duty is to her, not my husband who doesn’t act like a husband.

    On CONFUSION: when I get confused it is the alcohol’s influence on me; flowing from the bottle, through my husband, to me. The less I am in contact with him, the more clarity I have.

    It takes courage to stand up against wrong actions and wrong thinking, but for me that’s no excuse for avoiding standing up for it. Right is right and Wrong is wrong. The alcoholic likes to make me get confused about what is right and what is wrong, but the less contact I have with him, the more clarity I have.

  • Janice Marquis

    Wow I cant believe there are others living like me. But picture this, I met my boyfriend 5 years ago and fell in love. He was just out of a rehab. I never dating an alcoholic before so had no clue what it would mean for me. I was new to this city and had no friends or family support. He became very controlling and possessive within 6 weeks. He was seperated when we met and I was told he would get divorced. Its almost 5 years and it has not happened- the ex is still involved too much in his life. (its been 14 yrs since seperated). He cheated on me. I only had 10 months work in 4 years and he drained hundreds of dollars from me. My family has helped me with a few thousand sincd then but I would say 25% went for his beer. He has worked for over 2 yrs but its min wage and he drinks and smoke 800 a month. We lost 2 apts due to him not paying the rent but I got blamed. I have moved 6 times sinces 15 months in rooms because I cant afford anything more and we cant get an apt togetheer as we cant come up with the 2000 dollars needed. We dont have credit cards. He so called borrowed 350 since xmas but I told him I wont give him anymore. (I told him 100 times this but he still has the nerve to ask me). In Dec I ran out of money waiting on govt money for 9 weeks and he promised to pay my rent I owed as he was getting a 940 dollar cheque, he took the cheque and gave it to his dad to hold and gave me 50 dollars! He also had to save for his housing as he was trying to find a room but he has continual income from a job. He has done this before – he owes his dad and me and he will pay his dad before me in heartbeat and his dad has a 2000 a month combined income its not mean. I had to call my family to pay my rent can u imagine this. Then when u bring it up he twists the info. He had lived with a lady for 1 month and he lied and told her that I OWE HIM 160 dollars when in fact he is always the one who owes me, well no more!! He doesnt even feel guilty about it either its unreal. He also knows alot of women and likes to flirt-he was known to cheat alot on other women he was with. I dont love him at much now as I used to because he has done mean things to me. He also acts stupid when he drinks-he has smeared nose things on me, he once threw a half dead wasp on me and laughed his head off, he demeans my cooking even when i cut onions so he has brought down my self esteem. When I was working and called once about an issue there he didnt care and said’u figure it out! whenever im in a crisis im told to suck it up yet im always there for him to confide and feel bad for him. we were engaged when we met after 4 months but once we got an apt he started to mistreat me and his exwife was calling all the time and this caused a huge fight that led to our breakup the first time. I was told they wont stop talking and it i donnt like it i can leave! I was in tears as everyting was perfect until this point and I had a huge diamond ring. He took that ring and pawned it. His sister is also mean with me and she is try8ng to destroy my reputation behind my back with other family members. she did it this xmas by calling his roomate and lying aobut me and it scared the woman and she didnt want me there, that was xmas eve…..his sister is also an alcoholic. She does very mean things at times.

    I tried to leave here but my work fell through so I had to stay. He is the only person I know here other than one female friend I met at work. Im about to run out of my money by april and I cant find a job or get social welfare-I was denied welfare here twice (yes its in canada they are cutting people off all the time). The job scene is worst than the usa…………

  • Tabitha

    This is a great conversation. I’ve wanted to join in for a while, but I’ve been lurking. I’ll be honest when I say that I do not fully understand the “detaching” concept. I mean, I know what the goal is, I know that it makes sense in ways, but I guess for ME, I don’t want to be in a marriage with someone that I have to detach from. I’ve also learned there can be no meaningful relationship with an alcoholic. It is impossible.

    A little info about my situation — I met my husband when I was 15. He was 18. He was my first love and I never dated another guy. We married a week after my 18th birthday. I am almost 40 now. We have 3 kids, one is in college. He was in the National Guard and went to Iraq in 2004-05. He was deployed 18 months. He ran conveys doing security. He has combat PTSD and may have TBI. As soon as he came home, he fell head-first into a bottle. He hid this from me for years. When I found out, he lied constantly about it. 2010 was the year of all years. He started staying out all night, not coming home from work some nights. I found him with a secret cell phone texting/calling a “woman” he worked with. I have a few other names for her. The lies he told about her and that relationship went on for weeks. When I’d catch him in a lie, he’d become abusive. From Sept-Dec 2010, he abused me physically, any time I brought up the woman and the phone. I’ve been choked, had my hair pulled, slapped, screamed at, bruised, pushed, pinned down, and even sexually assaulted. Dec 30, 2010 he fired a gun inside our home during one of his crazy spells. I forced him to go to the psych ward at a local VA hospital. He stayed 4 days and was put on several psych meds. He came home Jan 2011. He started drinking immediately. So, he drinks on top of all these meds. The abuse has continued off and on since, but it is not nearly as often. Everything is MY fault according to him and his VA psychologist. I “push” his buttons. I am in the process of leaving now. I’ve had enough. Its hard to explain to someone what living with a “functional” alcoholic is like. It is constantly CRAZY, even when they are not drunk. He will say he is sorry, but then say “Nothing I have done has been THAT bad.” Well, it has been to me. He has damn near killed me and threatened to kill me during 2010. He was also suicidal then. So, I have his PTSD to deal with on top of alcoholism. There is never a time when I can talk to him. He doesn’t want to hear how he has hurt me. He doesn’t want to know the pain he has caused. He says its all in the past and I should get over it. His last physical altercation with me was in Nov 2011. Its a cycle…about every 2 months. For some insane reason, I still love this man. I mourn for my marriage. I grieve for my future that is now lost. He says he will not change until I change. Its one excuse after another for why he continues to drink even after everything he has done to me. I’m starting to have nightmares about being abused. I also am suffering now from insomnia. I believe I have my own mild case of PTSD now. As another poster said, God help us all.

  • I guess I should also say that I have not been perfect in the past 6 years. I flirted around on the internet in 2007. I didn’t meet the man or anything like that, but still. I told my husband this because I knew it was wrong & the guilt was eating me alive. I fully expected him to leave me and I knew that I deserved that to happen. He didn’t. He stayed, but he refused to talk about it. I hurt him terribly and I am forever ashamed of it. I’ve never done anything like that since. The only excuse I can give is that I just didn’t care and let Satan take my hand.

    Also, after months of being physically abused, I started fighting back and hitting him back. There was also 2 times when I was so angry at him when I caught him in a lie that I hit him FIRST. So, he says (and his VA psychologist) that I am just as bad as he is. I guess I am because I should have NEVER hit him first. I let my anger overcome me. I have apologized for that many times because I feel ashamed of it.

    So, I keep trying because I know that we all do things we regret. I just feel now that there is so much to work through and he won’t let me discuss any of it with him. He wants to just forget it all. I wish I could, but I can’t. Maybe I am wrong? Maybe I did do something to deserve the past 6 years of hell.

  • Janice Marquis

    He is an amazing man when he is not drinking-that is the man I love. I feel part of his problem is his family is highly dysfunctional and it started from his mother. Presently he found out his mom has 3 months to live shes very sick so i feel i cant really leave him at this point-as I know how hard that is losing a parent. When he drinks the hard liquor he turns abusive and hits my legs and he makes me take a shower when i already did at my place; and he misses all meetings with me. When Im suppose to drop by he falls asleep and Im stuck outside in the cold waiting to get in. He has turned and talked to his family stating im the one with all the issues and I need help- well alot of my upsets are from him. He took me to a xmas party of his boss’s last year and he was trying to hit on a 60 year old woman right in front of me i was so upset and ashamed! He husband had died so he said he wanted to make her feel better… He never apologized for that. when i get really mad at him want to knnow what he does, he wont call me he texts me!!!!!!!!!!!!and that infuriates me to no end! He also tries to get me to chuggle hard liquor on the back of a bus when the driver is not looking and with him u cant say know if he wants u to do something he will push and push and push and push so you have to do it to shut him up (hes very impulsive!)….i used to hardly drink and if i did it was on the weekend but a few but when we are together i drink every day- he forces me to drink with him- again i cant say no he wont let up!!!!!!!!!!!!

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