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

  • Louisa

    that’s right scott, i can just picture the drunk agressive woman using her physical strength to over power the man and rape him. i’m sure it happens all the time.

  • Louisa

    So when did I ever say it was ok for anyone to abuse, male or female? I need to sign off but it has been a pleasure chatting with you and very interesting.

  • Ben

    We should have meetings or something, like Al Anon. Where does everyone live? I’m in Boston, soon to be Minneapolis.

  • Connie

    Dallas, Texas lol

  • Ben

    God Bless Texas!! lol. Julie, I LOVE Lifetime movies!!! Drives my wife crazy, lol. I actually looked for that title in our cable’s On Demand ordering menu, but it’s not there. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it. 🙂

  • Julie

    I am in Ohio. Online meetings with this group sound great. I take great support just from these chats and forums I read here. Al Anon does have online meetings. I have attended a couple in the past.

  • Laura

    Connecticut, I’m in 🙂

  • Ben

    Connecticut? How far from Boston…we only moved here a year ago, so I know certain parts of connecticut are close. we should meet for drinks! lol lol. how ironic would that be? 🙂

  • Laura

    @ Ben – LOL! Use that line on all your Recovery sites? About 2 1/2 hours, depending on how heavy your foot is and how well you can navigate Providence (RI) ….

  • Ben

    lol!!! no, no…I’m a good christian boy with an evil sense of humor 😉

  • Laura

    Dangerous combination 😉

  • Chloe

    Well here’s another update. I posted earlier about the night I found him drinking at 3 am. The other day, we were driving somewhere in his car, and I heard a rattling noise, and he wondered aloud what it could be. It kind of struck me, and later that day, I opened the back door of the car to see what it could have been. I didn’t see anything, and I checked under the seats and found nothing, and so shrugged it off. It still struck me as odd because the sound seemed to come from inside the back seat. Well, this triggered my codependent obsessive behavior of frantically searching the house and his car, and I found a secret compartment in the trunk. I opened it and there was nothing there. Relief. Yesterday, as I walked past his car again, I had another urge to check. I again opened the back door and just stared for a minute thinking of that rattling noise in the back seat. I started messing and tugging around the the actual seat, and suddenly the cushion raised up, and lo and behold there are these secret compartments underneath. My heart was pounding, and I opened one of them, and yes there was a small box of wine. I thought, okay, maybe that has been there for awhile. The next day, I went out to the car again, and checked and that box was gone. This tells me he is currently drinking drinking again. The rattling noise a few days before sounded like glass as in a bottle of wine. That is what I heard, but he removed it and replaced it with that box.

    Well, I’m really not that upset. I’m really learning the hard truth that these alcoholics are going to go where they are going to go. There is no stopping it until they decide to change. The intervention after effects worked for a little while, but he’s back to giving it another go in thinking he surely can be moderate. I was naive and foolish to have been so overly hopeful.

    Now I feel once again on hyper alert and like I am babysitting him. This is no way to live. Tired. I have to stay here through May to finish up a contract I’m working. The only answer is detaching from him
    while still here, and just focusing on myself and the kids. If I’ve ever had to trust in God, it is now.

    What a strange life this is living with an alcoholic. It definitely is a HUGE and very real threat to the sober one’s mental health :-(.

  • Laura

    Good sleuthing, Chloe! 🙂 And a good reminder that “We didn’t cause it; we can’t CONTROL it; and we can’t cure it” We can, however, work/practice our own RECOVERY program … One Day At A Time … and with the tools and support found in Al-Anon our days can be good, whether the alcoholic is drinking or not … all the best ~

  • Ben

    Chloe,

    I know what you went through is awful and painful….but hilarious!!! I had the same experience when she “quit drinking.” All of a sudden she was getting hung up at work late every night…then I opened the backdoor to her car and one night she had forgotten the beer caps in the little handle cut out in the door “cling! cling! cling!” They are much more resourceful and much smarter than us sober people. Don’t be fooled.

    As far as my situation, I tried to give it a mental “go” by moving to where my company is headquartered and buying a nice house. However, a couple more adverse events reawakened me to the fact that this is now way to live, and I withdrew the offer and am back to Plan A. It’s incredibly hard when there are kids involved (one beautiful 2 year old girl). However, besides working 20-30 hours per week as a nurse, the apartment is a super mess and bordering on health department condemnation, she spends $10 each shift on cafeteria food, spends $8 per day parking in her hospital’s customer lot because she doesn’t want to take a shuttle, spends $10 per day on beer, $5 per day on caffeine to offset the beer, and a couple of hidden fast food episodes every day. Regardless of how much you make, this adds up to $1200 very selfish, very self centered, anti family ways for a woman and mother to act. Ladies on this Website, am I wrong? Am I being too critical? Am I nitpicking? I do not think I am, but you know how they get you doubting your own thoughts.

    Anyhow, I just want my life back, and dare I say…maybe a “normal” relationship?

  • Chloe

    Scott, yeah you’re right, we do get a sixth sense for detecting it. I know what you mean about the nasty phase of trying to extricate yourself from their life. It’s basically like a death of sorts…death of hopes, dreams, love, and an envisioned future. It is death of that person in your life. Tough painful times are ahead, no doubt, if this train keeps rambling on to where I think it’s going. No getting around that one.

    I thought I was doing okay until I got to work and those feelings of deep sadness and heartsickness set in. Those are a killer too 🙁

    One day at a time. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

    Ben, your wife’s financial irresponsibility and trashed home sounds like the unfortunate fallout of her ever foggy brain, lack of self discipline and motivation, and very low energy mostly resulting from her alcoholism. It’s the same with how my once fit husband descended into being slovenly and out of shape. Alcohol is a depressant, and has that overall effect. Sadly, my hubby had worked hard and gotten back into much better shape since January but with that crap now hidden in the car….ugghh.

    Thanks Laura, for your wise words. One day at a time absolutely!

  • Diana

    Ben,
    You are not being critical or nitpicking. You’re being honest about what is going on in your home. This is no way for you to live and certainly must be miserable for your precious daughter. Only God can restore to you and her what you both have been robbed of by alcoholism. Please go to Al-anon for the wonderful information they give and to get insight on ways to deal with the whirlwind you are caught up in. Your little one needs love, stability and protection from the crazy-making life of the alcoholic. God bless you as you take steps to better your life.

  • Laura

    It was also my experience that when awareness cracked the shell of my old reality, I did travel a corridor of “death”/grief, etc … which eventually emerged into rooms of new life and expanded awareness …

  • Chloe

    Yes, Ben, I second what Diana said. Do anything and everything you can to protect your innocent precious daughter from being hurt or damaged in any way from this insanity. The protection of our children is number one priority.

    In my case, I am going to move right near my parents, and let my dad who ADORES his grandkids step in as a father figure. My son really needs a good stable male role model, and my dad knows how to raise boys into good men. They have a closed relationship already. So do the same for your girl, Ben. Try to figure out the best situation for her so she can grow up healthy, safe, and loved by healthy people in her family. We can’t let our kiddos down!

  • Chloe

    I meant close relationship….

  • Ross

    Scott, I’ve been thinking and doing the same thing.Exact same things. And of course, I’d
    wanted a real relationship, so I have hope inside my heart to have that and it isnt there.
    At least in a safe way.

  • Chloe

    I know, I know, Scott. You’re preaching to the choir with me. These alcoholics we love are like our drug. Love and sex create a bond in the brain, and it is very difficult and painful to eliminate it that pair bond. Breaking up can create emotional agony. Helen Fisher has some good books detailing the science behind it. Hugs 🙁

  • Ben

    Isn’t it funny how they don’t have money for certain things, but always have money for booze??? Their car could be out of gas, but somehow there is always beer in the fridge….or under the car seat. Sorry Chloe….laughing WITH you :).

  • Ben

    Wow Scott!!! Same darn thing as my situation! It’s scary!!! Bud Light? the commercials are so fun and glamorous, aren’t they? I wonder how much beer they would sell if the commercials showed broken families, hurt children, DUIs, messy houses, ruined finances, and early death???

  • Ben

    Scott,

    When you were together, did she promise that if it came down to your marriage or beer, of course she would choose your marriage (like a no brainer). Have you been clear the divorce is a result of her alcoholism and her refusal to get help? Did it make her drinking better or worse since the divorce proceedings? Let me guess, the couple of times you did try to get others involved (like an intervention) she tried to convince everyone you were a lunatic, crazy, etc?

  • Diana

    Ben, you’re right on about the commercials! They also don’t show the spouse’s pain from being lied to, the arguments, threats from the alcoholic, the lonliness, feeling like you’re losing your mind, the dread…absolute dread of the next episode. Yes, the commercials do a great job of glamorizing addiction.

    Re: Christians: I left my marriage of only 3 years and am a Catholic Christian who loves the Lord. My faith in God is a treasure. My spouse broke his covenant with me with his choice of alcohol over everything else, anger, lies and emotional abuse. God is a merciful and compassionate God who loves us so very much.

  • Chloe

    I believe that one very real aspect to being enmeshed to an alcoholic is also what I call the cortisol hangover effect. After discovering yet another box of small wine in the secret compartment, I decided to confront. I asked him if he had been drinking since the 3 am episode. He repeatedly said no, and then after several minutes of discussion, I told him I had found the secret stash. He then became offended and twisted and manipulated the conversation into accusing me of hoping to catch him because I enjoy having things on him. He also made an issue of me invading his privacy and how I especially enjoy prying into all his affairs just to watch him squirm. Blaming, shaming, and shifting culpability 101. So we went round and round for a few minutes with me upset about the actual drinking and him upset that I relish and enjoy catching him slip up. Crazymaking 101. He then justified the drinking with this poor me all I do is work and life is so boring and I work from home and I have no friends in this town blah, blah, blah. Justification 101.

    So after this fight or flight cortisol and adrenaline inducing altercation, he finally conceded that yes he is an alcoholic, yes he slipped up, yes he was wrong to lie, yes he was stupid, no it won’t happen again,
    yes he is sorry, yes he feels terrible blah blah blah. Anyway, I accepted the apology just to keep peace in the house and went to bed early.

    Yet today at work, I felt once again physically achy, spacey, withdrawn, and very drained. I got out of there as fast as I could, and came home and crashed. This is what I call the “Cortisol Hangover” effect. It is the chemical after effects of the body’s fight or flight reaction to feeling threatened and unsafe with the very person that you are so closely bonded to. No picnic. How many days have I trudged through work feeling this familiar body achiness as if my insides are raw and my body is weak? It is another especially unpleasant facet of life with an alcoholic. We all know this familiar pain well.

    Sitting on sofa now. Hot chocolate. Still drained.

    Anyone out there, if you are reading this and are not intertwined with the alcoholic or addict yet through marriage and/or kids, take this advice…..RUN!!!!

  • Laura

    I have learned that when dealing with an alcoholic … if their lips are moving … consider that what they are saying MAY BE A LIE; if they are in denial and lying to themselves, of course they may lie to you … It is not my job to police them and their lies … adopting this tact has saved me so much mental and physical energy … that I am free to focus into the direction of my choosing ….

  • Chloe

    The lying is still shocking to me even though it shouldn’t be. It feels surreal and hard to grasp. Yes, if they are lying to themselves than they will lie to us. Makes sense.

  • Laura

    When I accepted that it was part of the dis-ease, the lying became less “shocking” and at times even comical …. detachment is an interesting position to take …

  • Chloe

    And maybe as they often have to hit their rock bottom with drinking, we partners often have to hit our rock bottom in staying in the situation.

  • Diana

    Yes Cloe!!!! Well said! This is exactly what happened to me. For so long my eyes were fixed upon him and his behavior. When I reached my rock bottom…nervous wreck, confused, lost and filled with anxiety THEN I realized that I had come to the end. There was nothing left for me to give. I was drained, literally drained of energy and emotion. Alcoholics take away from us everything that they are not. We give and give to them. They take and take. Among other things, mature and loving relationship should be give AND take. We must also hit bottom.

  • Sheila

    Thanks Chloe for giving a name ‘cortisol hangover’ to what I’ve been experiencing.

    I simply would say that every interaction with him ‘costs’ me. It drains me mentaly, emotionaly, spiritually, and physically.

    Even if there is no altercation, just talking. it stilldrains me.
    It’s because it isn’t a real dialogue like with other people. We have to be careful what we do and don’t say and how we act or not react so as to not allow a futile altercation. It’s very draining.

    So it’s helpful to have a name for the experience.

    Regrding lies…I beleive it’s wrong to lie. So to think that my very own husband would lie to me is unacceptable.
    For my peace of mind about it,and to lessen the hurt, I blame the alcoholism. Nonetheless, lying to one’s spouse for any reason is wrong and just plain unacceptable to me.

  • Sheila

    Egg shell factor…haha!
    That’s what my alcoholic husband (who moved out almost 4 weeks ago now) would say living with me was like.
    Oh, the crazymaking!
    HE was always on egg shells..was he acting right or wrong at any moment?..aargh!
    I’m just glad he’s gone.
    But he’s not as gone as I’d like.
    I’ve got to work on him not coming over everyday. Gonna consult with the attorney.
    Gotta take take of my daughter’s emotional needs too.
    They say ‘slow and steady wins the race’, and perhaps it would be best for everyone’s emotional health here if we transition further toward divorce like the frogs in a pot of water that is slowly brought up to boil.
    But moving forward is what I intend to do, and am doing.
    Inch by inch until the Divorce then Annulment papers are in my hand.

  • Ben

    Scott,

    You were smart to get away, and fortunate not to have a kid. Yeah, talking to my wife is like talking to a pretty mop. The hair dangles, but the elevator doesn’t make it to the top floor. Guess I can’t judge, if I drank 11 beers a day for 25 years and weighed 120 pounds, guess I’d be acting pretty stupid too.

    Chloe,

    Your post hit home. It was so accurate, I reread it two additional times. I always called it a “stress hangover.” No matter what we call it, it’s awful. I believe they do it on purpose, and know when they make us feel that way that they have power and are winning. They sense us squirming, walking into walls, and they get a perverse joy from it.

  • Ben

    I want to ask everyone here for feedback….Does your alcoholic swear at you constantly and fly off the handle constantly, even if they are dead wrong over an issue not related at all to drinking? I confronted her about her spending in the past week, as she has clamped down on my spending completely, yet all of her spending is justified. So she starts swearing at me in the costco parking lot with F-Bombs at the top of her lungs and in front of our two year old. Is this part of an American marriage? My parents spent a lot of time, hard work, and sacrifice to raise me in a good Christian home. I never heard them raise their voices at each other, let alone swear…as a matter of fact, I don’t think they knew a swear word! Now I was raised in Chicago since I was very young, but my parents are middle eastern, and it’s just weird to me the fundamental lack of respect this woman has for me. If I give her all my money and shut up, I get treated like crap. If I dare have an opinion about anything, then I get verbally, mentally, and physically tortured. I don’t mean to sound ignorant or racist, but is this how American women behave in the home? My dad always used to say he would live his whole life alone and celibate before he married an American woman…is this what he was referring to? Please say it ain’t so!!!!

  • Sheila

    Ben,
    It ain’t so.
    It ain’t normal.
    and
    It ain’t right.

    Male and Female alcoholics in every country act just like that.
    Sometimes they are loud and crude like that episode. Sometimes they are suave and charming, but essentially doing talking the same way. (Jekyll and Hyde personalities)
    People are people everywhere, in America and elsewhere.

    She’s abusing you to deflect blame off herself.

    Alcoholics have Hostages, not Relationships.
    Who ever had a normal conversation with their hostage-taker? Nobody.

    You deserve better, and so does your child. “As you did to the least of these…” Be a good father and spare your child while she’s little. Help her escape with you…my feedback.
    At minimum you both deserve to not have verbal abuse going on in your life.
    Best Wishes.

  • Sheila

    Ben,
    They DO get a perverse joy out of controlling others’ emotions. I sat in on an open AA meeting and one of them admitted it right there!
    I thought to myself, “HA! I was RIGHT!”
    Creating chaos in others’ minds is their tactic.
    I call it the “O.J. Defense Strategy” namely, if you can’t convice them, then confuse them.

    Trust your judgement.
    I find that the less I communicate with my alcoholic, the clearer my head is.

  • Diana

    Ben, Sheila is right on in what she said. You asked for feedback so here’s mine and by the way, this is a 61 year old Catholic woman speaking….For the love of God, protect your precious little one. Lovingly tell this woman that there is help for her and that you hope she gets it and then take your child and go make a healthy life, for her sake and yours. ***If you don’t protect your daughter from the ugliness, craziness and most of all the emotional abusiveness of this woman who will???*** Accept the fact that your “wife” is an addict who has chosen alcohol over her husband and child and memorize this: “No one can have a relationship with an alcoholic.” The best you could hope for is an “arrangement”, meaning that your daughter and you will suffer and die inside. If you do not protect your little one, she will grow up angry and she will wonder for the rest of her life why you didn’t value her enough to give her a peaceful life. I know because I was an unprotected little girl who had a mean alcoholic parent. What will you say to her, that you were a great martyr? Go to Al-anon. Pray to God Almighty for the courage and wisdom to DO THE RIGHT THING. My prayers are with your family, especially your child.

  • deborah tolbert

    I spent hours and hours reading everything I could about dealing and understanding the alcoholic. In was a complete waste of time. Bottom line he was a drunk that wanted to stay drunk. I got out moved to a new apartment complex with all the bells and whisles. I am living the life a deserve. (We always lived in the getto so the was more money for alcohol). I am a addict in recovery and made the choice to stop (he didn’t). I divorced him changed my address, phone, and blocked him on facebook. I don’t regret my choice or the fact that it took so long to make it. I had to try everything and then I let go let God and trust me I don’t look back

  • Diana

    Deborah, God bless you for the steps you’ve made in your recovery and in accepting the reality of his choice and moving forward with your life. This shows your strength and determination. Although the books I’ve read regarding the alcoholic in my life didn’t change him, it gave me understanding for myself. I truly didn’t see that I ignored so many red flags. I was in a denial of my own making because I couldn’t accept the fact that I was in a mess with him. I mistakenly thought that he would change for me. He didn’t. I’m so thankful that I too am beginning a new life. No looking back for me either:) Life goes on and it is very good! Blessings to you my friend.

  • Karens

    Ben,

    I am 69, Christian, 25 yrs married. It just does not get
    better. The alcohol is his first and only love. He thinks
    his smart a== jokes are funny. I have realized, over time
    the only people laughing are the ones looking at the bottom of a bottle. The ones who buy all the drinks and can tell a stream of raunchy jokes while feeling up the
    lady sitting next to him. Not me!!!!!!

    I may be to low in self esteem and a hard battle with myself to leave. That is hard to admit. Please do not
    get to this place. You have a long life ahead of you my
    friend. Enjoy it, have peace and a loving relationship with your daughter.

  • kaz

    Hey Ben, the simple answer to your first question is ‘yes’. The wind could be blowing in the wrong direction and an alcoholic will get angry. As Sheila said, it is a way to shift to blame/focus from her onto you. It’s up to you if you want to accept this. It’s up to you if you want to agree with this. It’s up to you if you want to believe this. There is no need to argue back. We all know arguing back will get us knowwhere. I too have been lost. I believed the horrible things that were said about me were true. Thanks to the help on my Al-Anon friends and non Al-Anon friends I am remembering who I am. Good luck to you.

  • James

    My heart goes out to you Ben. I also have an alcoholic wife who is an abusive nightmare and a spender. Shila said just about everything there is to say: marriage to an alcoholic is like being a hostage. That is the closes analagy to our lives with an alcoholic spouse…the only answer is to escape from them. This person is sick and there can be no reasoning with them because you are not on the same page, not even on the same Chapter as them. Talking doesn’t help because saying “stop drinking” to an alcoholic is like saying to a Giraffe don’t eat leaves from the top of the trees! The only thing to do is to seperate yourself from your alcoholic spouse, and try to find your own path to happiness. And again, shila is very correct, they have so many tactics to deflect any blame from themselves. It is always someone elses fault, not theirs. Take my word for it, there’s no answer. You will just find yourself going in circles until you seperate yourself from your alcoholic spouse…but, be warned, you are going to find it the hardest thing you ever did in life!! I KNOW! I’m a hostage, too!My wife is now asking for a huge amount of money as a divorce settlement. Money I don’t have! She doesn’t care if she bankrupts me so long as she gets the money to drink herself to death! How can you reason with a person like that?

  • Mum

    I can empathise with you all on this topic, I too was raised in a family where swearing just didn’t happen in the family home. Now I have my A daughter cursing at me almost daily in my own home. She is not yet one week out of hospital for renal failure caused by internal bleeding as she has bleeding in her osophegus and liver damage. She is 24 and my heart is truly broken. Even as I write this I just realised my spirit is broken now too I just don’t know what else to do now I’ve asked her to leave and find her own apartment as she is basically committing suicide right in front of my eyes.
    I also realised she drove my dad, who has just had a stroke , to shops yesterday whilst under the influence, she also visited him in hospital drunk a few weeks ago. He was scared for her and called me from the hosp ward really upset. I have a breathaliser at home so asked her to use it for me before driving, which I don’t think is an unreasonable request? I got a barrage of abuse for that as apparently her CBT counsellor has told her that is ridiculous suggestion and that she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone!!! my mom is in a psychiatric hospital just now too and I know it’s just a matter of time before the staff there realise my daughter visits drunk and takes my mother on outings from the hosp. They have a zero tolerance policy.

    The comment above re diffusing blame is so true I try hard not to respond or argue back but my stomach is in constant knots worrying not only that she might kill herself but also some innocent bystander . While I am very familiar with al anon and it’s CAL I am tied to this situation as a mother the guilt is almost , at times, too much to bear. I desperately would love to hear from any other parents living with this disease and wish you all well in your quest for a serene life.

    G x

  • Caitlyn

    MUM:
    Do yourself, your husband and your daughter a favour. Next time you suspect she is under the influence and driving, dob her in to the police to breathalise her. Who knows how many lives you will save. It just may well give your daughter a reason to assess her condition and try to seek the professional help she needs to overcome alcholism. Don’t tell your daughter you have done this. Don’t tell anyone if you suspect news will get back to her. She doesn’t need to know. And you can have some peace of mind knowing that doing this is the right thing to do.

    Perhaps encourage Al Anon, as so many here already attest to. Do Al Anon suggestion after she is caught for drive driving.

    Good luck Mum, my thoughts are with you.

  • Sheila

    James,
    First of all thanks for the words of affirmation.
    Our self esteem gets shattered so badly, that we need to hear good words from each other to help build our self confidence. So, thanks!

    A few days ago I opened the discussion of division of assts regrding our divorce settlement.
    He wants 40% of everything.
    40% of my office bildihg value. 40% of my business value. 40% of the value of the house. 40% of our cash assts.
    I say ‘No way Jose”.
    I have worked so hard while he has sat for hours each day drinking and watching TV.
    He made choices in his career to do the least possible, not be a man and take care of his family.
    I have endured enough injustices. NO MORE!
    I am not goin to take out a several hundred thousand dollar loan so he can swim in money while again I continue to work myself to death…ain’t gonna happen.
    I plan to consult with my attorney, and keep my cards up my sleeve. I’ll find a way to protect what I’ve worked so hard for.

  • James

    Hey Shila, You’re very welcome.You know,when we have worked hard for something and another person wants to grab what you have, because they can’t accumalate anything, it really hurts. My wife came to the house yesterday with the police. A sqad car and no less than three motorbike policeman as well. I don’t know what she had been telling them but they stood by while she forced her way in, grabed her id… and then the keys to my car! I dare not raise a finger to her as I would have been arrested. I can’t use my car now! The reason was that when I bought it my wife filled out the paperwork and put her name as “owner”. Yesterday she said in front of the policemen, “You bought the car for me, right?” This is the typical attitude of the alcoholic, I, me, mine! This from a woman who can’t even drive! She also said she was going to have me arrested for slapping her face! I said “The reason I slapped your face is because you spent a week with another man in his hotel room and I don’t know of any other spouse who wouldn’t react in the same way. Did you mention to the police the reason WHY you got slapped?…no!” She said she needs her id so she can get a job. I said to the police, she needs her id so she can opperate as a prostitute. They need id to get into a hotel room with a guy.

    One year of marriage and it’s been Hell. A sham marriage to a sham wife, but believe me women in Thailand can and do get away with it! So, ya, I don’t blame you in the least for refusing to give your drunken spouse 40% of everything you worked hard for. Stick to your guns. The only thing I can’t figure out is why I didn’t figure all this out before I married her? I’m no dummy, but alcoholics really know how to manipulate other people, it’s part of the disease. Do you find your husband very manipulative and crafty? If so, you had best get a really good lawyer before he takes nearly half of what you own. Take Care and try to protect your assets.

  • Christopher

    Ben,
    Your story sounds quite familiar. I have heard that it is impossible to win an argument against an alcoholic, and I believe it. Though it is very difficult to do, when I am able to view their unreasonable behaviors as symptoms of their disease, then I am able to refrain from being drawn into the arguments. And I become wise enough to NOT point out this fact to them, as that IS antagonizing to them and fuels their fire. Now I just reply by saying something like, “Yeah, you may be right about that”.
    Turning my attention away from the alcoholic and onto myself works much better for me. I go to meetings, not to learn how to get the alcoholic to stop drinking, but to learn how to take care of myself.
    Christopher

  • Laura

    Right on Christopher … alcoholism cannot exist in a vacuum … the “star” of this drama, (the alcoholic), always has a full supporting cast of characters … there is an Al-Anon piece of literature called “Alcoholism, A Merry Go Round Called Denial” that defines and explains this dynamic beautifully … through the Al-Anon tool of detachment (with love if possible; with a black iron skillet if necessary) we learn to take the spotlight off of what the alcoholic is and is not doing and shine it on ourselves and our own Recovery …

  • Ben

    Thanks Everyone. This really helps. Sheila, you are soooo right. Alcoholics have hostages, not relationships. That is exactly how I have and continue to feel.

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