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

  • JustT

    MY heart goes out to you. I want to encourage you. Life does not have to be like this always. Right now you are focusing on your husband’s behavior and you are comforting yourself with fantasy thinking. Believe me, I totally understand – but it’s a waste of your precious time. You won’t heal that way. Two things are crucial for you right now:
    1.Take care of yourself. You’ve got some healing to do. Eat well, continue to exercise, pray, breathe. Get into an al-anon group and focus on getting yourself well. Do whatever you need to do to get yourself well. As a woman, do you understand that nobody in your circle will be well until you get it together for yourself?
    2. Stop focusing on the Paris fantasy. It’s taking your energy away from what you have to do. Besides, things like that are in God’s hands. Let God surprise you with something you never even imagined.
    God loves you. Please trust in God and follow the intuition God gave you. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it’s God’s will for you to be spiritually well. Then things will start to fall into place.

  • Chloe

    Thanks JustT. I wrote that about Paris and starting a new relationship a few months ago. Yeah, some escapist daydreaming going on there. Paris is the farthest thing from my mind these days, and so is starting a new relationship. The very thought of it makes me want to go crawl under a rock, and sleep for a few decades. I’m tired!!

    Lately, if I see those joggers, I’ll think….hmmmm, wonder what is wrong with that one….gambler? Porn addict? Narcissist? Sex addict?Controlling? Rage issues? Substance abuser? Bipolar? Philanderer? Homicidal maniac? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (Insert scream and waving arms in air wildly)

    🙂

    Lol! I KNOW really there are plenty of good men out there. No offense gentlemen…joking. I bet you think all woman are craazzzzyy at this point. Lol! But you know, when you are on your SECOND marriage, and now this……that rock is looking better and better. …LOL! Hmmm…or maybe a convent!

  • Caitlyn

    Sheila,
    Words to you as a friend here:
    Don’t let bitterness seep into your life. It can takeover where the alcoholic was and pervade every facet of your health and well being. Sometimes it is better to walk away and cut your losses. Not saying don’t try to get your entitlement and worth from what you have worked so hard for. Do go to your attorney, but be prepared for the 40/60 cut of assets. That’s the law more than likely where you are. Ask yourself, is it worth getting bitter and twisted over if he does have the rights to 40% of everything. Be brave in this case, walk away, head held high and walk forward to the new and better you and the new and better life that awaits you now.

    Just thinking of you. Don’t let bitterness overtake you darling.

  • Ben

    Wow! This is a great place to vent! Hear ye, hear ye! So I saw her credit card statement and saw $30 a day in fast food and confronted her about it…she always claims she didn’t eat anything. Guess what? She accuses ME of being a spy, and somehow, it ALL becomes MY fault!! I make 120k per year. She makes 40. We pool our money. I trust her with all the finances, and she still lies. I know about the $10 a day worth of beer, the $10 a day worth of lunch at work, etc…an Iphone with a lock on it that she doesnt want me to know, a new computer “for school” that she has a lock on that she doesn’t share the password with me for. You know what? I would bet my right arm she is NOT cheating. So why do this? why this grand quest for privacy? The depths she goes to to hide fast food? She’s not fat, and I always tell her to just be honest about the fast food. Still, secrets, lies, etc. WHY? WHY? WHY? can someone please answer me? Now I am the one that is “strangling me, I’m suffocating, etc” “im just going to go cheat so you can be right!” I never said anything about cheating…only about fast food. Is this just pickled brain syndrome, or am I missing something?????

  • Caitlyn

    I have a different view Ben and Scott and that is one of privacy. Even though you are married she is still entitled to a bit of privacy. I think setting the iphone on lock and her lap top is just like a persons diary. Shouldn’t be read by anyone unless they have permission to. Just be careful you’re not being paranoid about her. Ask her. Why do you need the iphone lock on? Why do you need a lock on your computer? See what she says. It might have nothing to do with keeping secrets about lovers or hiding receipts but more about private chats with girls who have different views to guys and she doesn’t wish to share this with you although you are her husband. She is still entitled to some privacy.

    Just a thought. Trying to help.

  • James

    Sheila, I can’t understand, my alcoholic wife.

    She has an I.Q. of 146,
    higher than mine
    and also considered “genius” level.

    She is fluent in English and cultured
    and yet she has very low self esteem!

    She’s beautiful but lonely,
    gifted but tense.
    Sensetive yet calous,
    smart, skillful in her work.
    But immature!

    She appears confident,
    especially after a few drinks,
    but is the most insecure person
    I ever met. Really no balls!

    Why? Can anyone tell me?

    There are many people who would love to have these talents who are nevertheless
    very well adjusted, don’t feel inferior and don’t need a drink to function.

    She swears and cusses at me like I’m a servant in my own house. Spends money like water but can’t hold down a job for more than 3 weeks. She gets into the most monsterous, turely monsterous, situations and expects others to bail her out, especially me her husband.

    She uses people with no conscience, never feels guilty or has any self doubt to the point of being delusional. Why? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong?

    People say I’m codependent and the enabler, so I cut her lose and the next thing I knew she had the police down on me. I didn’t get arrested but they looked at me like I was a mad axman. God only knows what cock and bull story she fed them.

    She is now threatening to burn my house down, so can anyone help me understand? Are all alcoholics this crazy?

    I have been really good to her, treated her like royalty, and have taken her overseas numerous time. Is she grateful and happy? My friends, our marriage is Hell On Earth!

    Other than suggesting I strangle her and bury her in my back yard, do you have any advice?

    I think there is a Greek myth where someone had to go into the underworld to get the answer to a problem. I begin to feel like that man. Deep down she knows she has a problem but lives in total denial! When she has a problem she drinks!

    Any suggestions on how to deal with this dysfunctional person?

  • admin

    James, I understand your frustrations all to well. It took a ton of effort for me, over a long period of time… to learn how to get my brain off of my wife…

    I was so obsessed with my alcoholic wife’s behavior that I was ready to grab her and shake her…
    IT WON’T HELP!

    The only chance of anything changing is YOU! Alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. The behaviors are insane. “We” drive ourselves nuts trying to make sense of it all.

    You cannot change her. The only hope of change starts with you.

    I learned:
    How To Detach From An Alcoholic
    How To Let Go Of An Alcoholic
    How To Stop Thing About An Alcoholic
    Ways To Not Confront Problem Drinkers
    How To Stop Focusing The Alcoholic
    How To Set Boundaries With An Alcoholic
    How To Quit Arguing With A Drunk

    I try to live by these principle:
    Mind my own business
    Change my attitude or change my address
    Give myself permission to enjoy my day
    Never argue with a drunk
    I have no power “over” the alcoholic

    Above all, Al-anon is where I truly found serenity in my life. I had no idea how my attitude and outlook on life had progressively gotten worse as my wife got sicker and sicker, until I started attending support group meetings.

  • admin

    Quick note to everyone who is participating here, THANKS! I really, really mean that!

    You are:
    Offering hope to the hopeless
    Being Strength for the weak

    You are all greatly appreciated by me!

    JC

  • Chloe

    James,

    Have you ever considered she could have a mental illness in addition to alcoholism? Some of her reckless, dangerous, and extremely impulsive behavior reminds me of Bipolar Disorder symptoms. She also sounds to me like she could have a Borderline Personality Disorder.

    How was her relationship with her parents? Was she physically, sexually, or emotionally abused? Her extreme sexual promiscuity is classic behavior stemming from self hatred and an insatiable need for approval and love mixed in with a huge need for control. She sounds very very damaged especially given her background in prostitution and extreme promiscuity. She was involved in prostitution, wasn’t she? When I read about your wife, it almost sounds like her alcoholism is a symptom of something else…just an impression.

    My only advice is to get yourself as far away as fast as you can. I would even consider a relocation if I were in your situation if possible. Plus read a book by Helen Fischer who writes a lot about the brain chemistry of love, attachment, and the emotional agony of breaking up. It will help you to understand the mystifying sadness and grief you feel for someone who has caused you so much 🙁

  • Chloe

    Here’s a link to one of her articles from her website if anyone is interested.

    http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/03dumped.pdf

  • Ben

    Hi Caitlyn and Scott,

    No, she is not cheating and she isn’t even thinking of it…thats the whole problem. Caitlyn, she has no girlfriends and doesn’t do anything but go to work, go grocery shopping, eat fast food, run back home and start drinking at 2 until she passes out. That’s my whole point, I WISH she would have girlfriends, I BEG her to get involved in things. Alcohol is her only friend. When she was drunk she said something her ex once mentioned, that he was convinced she was a W$!# and always asked her who she was with at WORK. I think she gets a high off making guys THINK she is up to something as a way of holding on to them, since she has no charm, love, talent, kindness, compassion, or anything else of substance to keep a man around. Her alcoholism is so advanced, as beautiful as she is, she has NO sex drive. I used to think it was me, and it hurt me for years. Now I know it’s not me. It’s Bud Light. I do deserve better, non?

  • James

    Chloe, Thank you very much, and very intuitive of you! Yes, I think you are right, that there is a mental problem underlying my wife’s alcoholism. To be honest, I have had a lot of friends who were alcoholic and…for all their obvious short commings…I never came across one that was as extreme in their behaviour as my spouse.
    Yes, she grew up in extreme poverty and there was no LOVE in the family as we would understand it in the West. Strangely, her sister is nothing like her personality wise, very well adjusted and they grew up side by side, so it seemed strange to me. I asked my wife, therefore, if her dad/mum ever hugged her? She said they were Buddhists and it isn’t the way they behave, but huge tears were suddenly streaming down her face as she said this. I asked her if her mum/dad ever kissed each other and she said “only once”. I also asked if her Dad had ever “touched her in any way”. She was very indignant and asked me why I asked. Then she said “No!”. The reason I asked is that her father treated her very differently from her sister. The sister had to work hard but she was excused, they were rice farmers, and my wife sat in the shade while her sister grafted under a hot sun. She was always “Daddy’s little girl”, his princess, so I do harbour the belief that she was his very “special” little girl, if you follow my meaning. I wonder if there isn’t something deeper there than meets the eye and it has been very deeply repressed in my wife’s memory. Certainly, her sleep was always very disturbed which indicates very deep emotional trauma of some kind.
    Although she has not been professionally diagnosed with BPD, I suspect that this IS her problem: the alcoholism being an outgrowth of something much deeper. She certainly harbours deep self hatered and I , in a sense, sympathise that she uses promiscuity as a means to punish herself for something deep in her unconcious mind. I looked up BPD and she has 8 out of the nine symptoms of the mental disorder.
    I am now seeking a divorce after the incident with the police and her erratic behaviour, and I only today contacted a storage company to house my antique furniture until I can sort out plans and my future life.
    I begin to be very uneasy not knowing what’s coming next.
    On a lighter note, our young son said one day “Daddy, I hate surprises” and it made me laugh. I answered, “yes, so do I son!” I hate to think what might come at me out of the dark one night if I don’t get away from my wife completely by relocating after we finally separate.
    I hate the thought of divorce and I truly tried to keep our marriage together, but I have no choice now. I think my wife is mentally ill and a danger to me. I love her still and have compassion but I think the marriage is finished, sadly to say! And your kind words really helped me come to my own conclusions. I’m a Christian and I take my marriage very seriously and love my wife from the bottom of my heart, but I think it unsalvageable and hope God will forgive me for coming to this very difficult decision. Thanks you again for your comments and your compassion, they really do help. God bless! Love to you all!

  • Chloe

    James, I think you’re on the right track. Your wife has REALLY crossed the line by bringing the police to the house. That is going for blood. She’s threatening to burn the house down. She could give you an STD, god forbid, with her promiscuousness. She has demonstrated VERY sociopathic behavior, and you should sever ties as quickly as possible to protect yourself against any false accusations or revenge. You are definitely making the right decision in leaving as she battles alcoholism plus a likely mental illness. She will destroy your well being and sanity if you remain in the situation, and then what good are you to your son? Her only hope is medical and psychiatric intervention, and a spiritual epiphany which would likely only occur when she hits rock bottom.

    My god, she is now calling the police to the house. You need to get gone from her life as fast as you can. Godspeed, my friend.

  • James

    Chloe, I did read the article by Helen Fisher entitled Dumped: Why it’s Painful When Things Go Wrong. It was very interesting and it helped me to understand the mechanism of rejection. So, thank you for recommending it.
    Interesting for example that the the opposite to Love isn’t Hate, but Indifference…Clark Gable to Scarlett O”Hara: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”!
    I’m not sure I’ll get around to reading Helen Fisher’s book “Why We Love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love”, who writes a lot about the brain chemistry of love, attachment, and the emotional agony of breaking up. But the article did help me to understand the mystifying sadness and grief we all feel for someone who has rejected us romantically.
    However, there is a mechanism of forgiveness, even in Nature, which God has wired into our system to:

    Pick yourselves up,
    dust yourselves off
    and start all over again!

    As the song goes!I really think there is a lesson here for ALL of us: we make mistakes in life, no matter who we are. Most especially when it comes to WHO we choose to love. Who can say where the heart will lead us, Aheee? But, if it doesn’t work out, we’re not to waste time with feelings of guilt or self loathing, which is a trap we are all apt to fall into at times, but to redirect our energy to fall in love AGAIN… and Start Over. As I see it, all part of God’s plan for Forgiveness.
    An excellent article and well worth the time to read. Again, here’s a link which Chloe gave us to Helen Fisher’s article “Dumped: why it’s painful when things go wrong” from her website if anyone is interested to read it:

    http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/03dumped.pdf

    It came at the right time, I’ll tell you that! Many thanks Chloe and God Bless you! James

  • James

    Chloe, just as a foot note. I read recently that Borderline Personality disorder is a milder form of schizophrenia and comes from childhood abuse, molestation, lack of parental love or all three. You were quite right! Many thanks, James

  • James

    Hey JC, first, I truly appreciate your comments on my posts and your kindness and empathy for those of us who are hostage to alcoholics, my heartfelt thanks. This site allows us to bring out our pain and share it with others, and hopefully help us onto the road to recovery.
    Second, of course I still love my wife, but I am learning to detach from her and mind my own business. However, I feel it my duty as her husband to get to the bottom of her illness, it’s my nature. I’m now getting a divorce on the condition she enters treatment for her alcoholism, and I’m also going to pay for professional psychiatric treatment for her suspected Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). These are the ONLY conditions under which I have consented to divorce her. So, you see JC, I have set boundaries and you did teach me something after all.
    However, I can’t leave alone a soul in pain even if she has done the most despicable things to me…she is still my wife all said and done. Yes, I have to admit I did feel like shaking her or smacking her face at times, but I have to constantly remind myself that she has a disease… which helped snap my ego boundaries back into place by learning not to give in to my anger.
    Third, this has been the most ghastly experience of my life. Yet, it has been cathartic in that it has made me stronger by forcing me to take a good look at my motivation. I really feel that God raised his huge hand on this: I was forced to realise that my love for my wife was possessiveness. I don’t want to go into it here other than to say possessiveness isn’t love, as you know. To LOVE someone and to be IN LOVE with someone are two very different things I learned. To LOVE someone is to let them go if this will contribute to their spiritual growth. It wasn’t 100% her fault, I have had to come to terms with my motivations, too. I wanted a beautiful young woman on my arm and I married her because I thought I could cure her with love and to MAKE her love me. I realise now it was codependancy. Now I have to stand on my own feet and NOT to be codependent from now on. It’s hard as I really did have the best of intensions, “The road to Hell…” it’s said to be! I prayed very hard and God, through his mysterious ways, made me learn that my motivation was wrong and, by this realization, to effect treatment for my wife’s alcoholism and suspected BPD as well.I hope I can still detach from her when I do this.
    Lastly, I’d love to go to Alanon meeting but as I’m in Hua Hin, holding down a job with one hand and taking care of my family with the other, it isn’t possible at this present time because there simply aren’t any Alanon meetings where I live.

    Many thanks JC, you are a very kind, empathatic person and I have a deep respect for you.
    God bless,
    James

  • Ben

    So my alcoholic is going to be 41 in two weeks. She is in good health otherwise, is 5’2″ and 125lbs and has very good bloodwork. She eats TERRIBLE and drinks 11 12oz beers a day, every day. Never misses a day. She has had a couple bouts of pancreatitis in the past. The last month she has been having issues with her esophogus. The doctor gave her prilosec (dr doesnt know she has a small drinking issue) two weeks ago and it has not helped. She is now convinced she has esophogeal cancer. Has anyone out here dealt with such a small woman and this quantity of beer? I imagine she has been an alcoholic since high school from stories she has told when drunk. She can no longer drink hard liquor, as her “body cant handle it” (alcoholic code for her liver is crapping out). I’m really starting to wonder how much longer her body can hold up? Is this the end? I really don’t know how to feel about it. Any thoughts, anyone?

  • Connie

    Prilosec vs Nexium (Omeprazole is the over the counter brand)
    For what it’s worth, your wife might try Nexium. My xah drank wine everyday
    and he said that Prilosec did not work for him but Nexium did.
    Walgreens brand of Omeprazole is good.

  • Sheila

    To rule out esophogeal cancer, it requires an Endoscopy procedure froma gastroenterologist.
    Alcohol is risk factor for esophogeal cancer.

  • karens

    Scott and Ben,

    The incidious alcohol abuse has no exact date of
    failure to the physical body. When the body receives
    no nutrition and the alcohol is the only thing in the
    body you can expect problems. When my husband was 60
    there was a scary sequence of events. Mouth cancer
    brought about by heavy smoking and drinking, followed
    by stenosis of his back that required surgery. Then
    came the deterioration of his left hip due to the lack
    of nutrition the bone had died. His right hip is now
    failing. Has he quit? NO He had surgery on the left
    and figures he will have surgery on his right hip and
    he will be fine.

    I know this is all something you do not want to hear
    but it is very common with alcoholics to develop these
    problems and more. His doctor estimated failure of
    his liver is next 3 years and they would not be able to repair it because the kidneys would be next.

    Begging, pleading, praying, wishing. Nothing will work
    until he decides he needs to make the life altering
    decision to stop drinking and smoking. His answer is
    “he will live his life his way and to stay out of it”
    Now we have his daughter living with us who is trying
    to quit meth. She has been in rehab and is trying and
    trying to get her Dad to quit the alcohol.

    I am tired of the stress, trying to maintain the resembelance of family and not succeeding. I had
    to detatch, my health and life at stake I needed
    to change the stress in my life. It is one day at
    a time, sweet Jesus, one day at a time . I do not
    feel sorry for myself, just finding a way to live
    and survive.

    Good luck to all, we need it. I am going inside
    my mind and find that place where the sun is shining,
    the water is chrystal blue and running gently singing
    its song, where I can trust with faith and feel safe.

  • Diana

    James, interesting post and much to think about. All I know is that I over-stayed because I loved. I left because I realized that love wasn’t enough in the face of emotional abuse, crazy making, enduring the lies and unexpected outbursts of irrational anger. For a time after leaving I lingered in the phase of: “Heartache & How could this be happening?” Then progressed to: “Why did he do this to me?” and “I thought he loved me?” Right now my thoughts are more about others and me getting on with life and much less about the crazy life he has chosen. I choose to live a life with God at the center now, not a husband or lack of one. God and me. I found a secret key. That acceptance of reality is good for the soul. The alcoholic chooses their reality of dependence and chaos. We choose ours. Choose life!

  • Diana

    Wow Scott! You just described another one of the most painful things I dealt with in my “relationship”. I remember the times this would happen and I would think to myself, “I’m never going to share anything else private with him because he always uses that AGAINST me.” AS you said, we can’t feel secure when the enemy is within.

  • Diana

    Yes, Scott, it is crazy making at it’s finest and how sad for all of us. Maybe you did fall into her pattern out of sheer frustration or out of self preservation. You’ve just been through a war! Having feelings of shame shows that you have a conscience. Thank God! Literally! Thank God! When we realize we have done wrong and ask God to forgive us—-He forgives! And we no longer need to feel the shame. One of the most frightening things in dealing with an alcoholic is that their conscience doesn’t seem to be working anymore and interacting with an alcoholic is like being in enemy territory. They fight to the death to protect themselves & what they want. They lie with abandon and yet at times act rather normal and loving. They lack empathy, have no idea of boundaries, and lack other good character traits. Living with them is brutal. They cause so much pain and confusion and tear down our self esteem if we aren’t careful to protect it from them. May God bless you.

  • Sandy

    Karens, my heart goes out to you. My husband is an alcoholic too and I hear the sadness in your words… they are my words as well. My husband is in his late 50’s and has struggled with alcohol for the last 8 years. He was recently diagnosed with stenosis of the spine and the pain is excruciating for him… we see the neurosurgeon Wed. Praying, begging, pleading, ranting, raving, seeking finding, confronting, ignoring, questioning, threatening, give up….pause…repeat… seems to have been my life for the last few years.My daughter, who I love more than my life is also developing a life that revolves around alcohol. How sad it all is, not at all what we planned. I’ve been to al-anon and I was helped greatly but the reality is its not so easy to move on when you are in a relationship with someone struggling with their health as well as alcohol. And it is especially not easy to move on when you’ve been married for 33 years. In the midst of all of it, I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago and live under the shadow of it daily so I understand when you say you have to take care of yourself…and you DO. We have to detach… yet find a way to still be engaged and not so detached we cease to live our lives. Joy…where did it go?? Laughter…I miss it! I had a friend once who screamed at me…EVERY TIME I THINK I’M AT THE END OF MY ROPE….I’M NOT !!! We are much stronger than we think we are and for some reason God always gives us just a little more space before we reach the end of our rope. Your words, “just finding a way to live” I have said myself. When I share, I tell people, I’m just trying to find a way to live in the midst of this situation. I will add prayers for you to mine that we find joy, and happiness, peace and that our faith is renewed! I will tell you what God dropped in my heart…. He has plans for my life…. my life… your life… and those plans are not spending life waiting to live. Find places outside of the dysfunction and laugh, enjoy and embrace blue skies. What helped me was stopping the cycle of insanity on my part and focusing on things that are good. I don’t know what the end of it all will be, but I’m done wasting every day waiting to live.

  • Ben

    What has everyone’s experience been with their alcoholics and fast food binges?? This woman eats breakfast at dunkin donuts, lunch at mcdonalds, late afternoon snack at burger king, and then dinner at burger king again. She will also eat a pound of bacon with tons of mayo and then a couple extra buttery grilled cheese sandwiches and a bag of doritos before falling over drunk (asleep for normal people). She’s only 120 pounds. I cant figure it out. I gained 60 pounds living that life with her. Now I have lost 30 and am working out again, and she’s scared to death. keeps calling me fatty and stuff. She never called me fat when i was riding the couch next to her. Any thoughts? do they eat like this because they know the alcohol prevents their bodies from getting nutrients?

  • Ben

    Thanks, Scott….well it’s not easy, I tell you. There are times she stresses me out so bad that I get on the treadmill and cant get going…I walk by the weights and cant focus. It’s not easy. I’ve just come to the realization that she is a big ball and chain on my life, and I’m done trying to make her happy. She is a very miserable, angry, and hostile person and God did not put me on this earth to be her comedian. I am trying to focus on myself and do what is best for me, as hard as that sounds. The only thing is I really wanted to be married to a woman I could adore, and who would adore and respect me, and I have failed miserably, which hurts. Further, she acted like SUCH A SAINT when we were dating. I had forwarded her texts to my email account so I would always have them. I read them now and wonder who the hell that person was? Now all I get is profanity, anger, etc. I can never trust anyone again.

  • Ben

    We should all stop letting the alcoholics live rent free in our heads. isnt that from a movie???

  • Chloe

    Wow, Ben, your wife’s diet sounds really bad. She is spending a small fortune on fast food every day. My husband had been SUPER healthy when I had met him, and was working out and following “The Primal Blueprint” diet by Mark Sisson which is an AMAZING way to lose weight, gain muscle, and eat healthily. If you are trying to lose weight and get the most out of your food, check out that book. It is INCREDIBLE! Just look at all the before and after photos on his website. My hubby’s diet up until this past January had seriously regressed with his drinking, and he had gained ALOT of weight. He looked pregnant! He was eating cheese dip, nachos, chicken fingers, chips, wings, and all this other garbage after hours when everyone was asleep and he was guzzling wine. Not sure the correlation between the munchies and alcohol. Anyway, your wife’s diet makes me cringe…how is she not gaining weight with all that junk plus the beer? She’s not bulimic, is she? Wow, how on Earth is she still slim?

    Get Mark Sisson’s book and do what he says. He says eat high protein (meat, eggs, nuts, chicken, seafood) and healthy fats (olive oil, animal fats, coconut oil, avocado, etc), no carbs like bread, pasta,
    and chips etc. Focus on strength training and shorter high intensity cardio (ie sprints). lots of info so up you need to read the book and keep it as a reference.

    Anyway, follow his program, but watch out…your wife will probably feel VERY threatened and suspicious of how good you start to look. She may feel threatened and more possessive of you. It’s amazing. I did his program two years ago, and people at work were often coming up to me and asking
    me how I had gotten into such good shape. I brought the book to work, and they passed it around!
    My brothers, dad, nephew, and friend read the book, and all are now following it with great results!

    My hubby has been doing it since late Jan., and is starting to look much much healthier (despite still sneaking it last week though not the 3 wine bottles a night) and dropping the weight rapidly. Also, he takes protein shakes, and we take lots of supplements like fish oil, coconut oil, and vitamin supplements.

    Working out and eating healthily have been a life saver for me. It has given me something to feel really
    good about despite his alcoholism. Keep it up and don’t listen to your wife’s jealous fatty taunts!!!

  • Julia

    Are alcoholics really capable of being in a loving relationship?

  • Ben

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your wonderful insight and advice…I have now trimmed 20 of the 60 pounds off, and I am well on my way!

    However, there is something very sad weighing on me. I know spouses of all addicts think to themselves “if they’re not going to quit, I wish they would just keel over, already!” I had that thought a few times, regardless of how much I love my wife….sad thing is, it seems like there is something significantly wrong with her esophogus. She has had pain for two months. She went back to the doctor and the doctor thinks it is either an esophogeal tumor or a tumor pressing on the esophogus. My wife is an RN, so she knows her body very well and is convinced this is really bad. Also, the doctor asked all the questions that would rule OUT a structural problem and all the answers from her were “No” meaning it is a structural problem. She had an xray and that was negative, which, contrary to belief, is BAD. It seems like the symptoms line up with cancer. I guess when a tumor grows large enough in that area, blood redirects through the veins in the esophogus, causing pain. Otherwise, the tumor restricts the esophogus, causing pain. Either way, bad news all around. Anyhow, my heart breaks that this beautiful, young, and vibrant woman has allowed a substance to destroy her very existence until the very bitter end. I see our precious two and a half year old daughter cling to her, call her mommy, kiss her, hug her and my eyes well up with tears. How awful this all is. Yet, when I ask her if alcohol is a risk for this type of cancer she says “no, has nothing to do with it.” All of the websites I have looked at list alcohol as the number one cause. She also stated if it is cancer, she doesn’t want me telling anyone and she does not want a funeral or anyone to know. I told her, are you kidding me, I am going to invite all your enablers and have them sit on one side, and your daughter and I on the other, and I will tell them “thanks for all your help!” I have a good sense of humor, so she laughed and I was able to get away with it :). However, it made me realize that she will hide and defend this addiction until death. Hopefully it is not cancer, and she will continue to live. But this episode has made me realize that she will NEVER quit. Waiting for her to quit is futile. I guess if it is the worst case, I will stay and take care of her until the end, as hard as it will be, because it is the honorable and right thing to do.

    Julia, the above should answer your question….alcoholics ARE capable of being in a loving relationship! THEY LOVE ALCOHOL!!!! 🙂

  • James

    Thanks everyone for the kind words and helpful comments. I’m getting a divorce on Monday and your thoughts have helped me to this difficult decision. I really feel it best for everyone. I’m putting myself into debt to pay her off. I know she will probably be either dead from drinking my money away, and/or broke in 6 months but I cannot see any way around the pay-off and getting her out of the door. Do I have to say again that I love her? Of course I do and I have a compassion for her that she doesn’t have for me. However,I need to move on and get my life back…and back into shape! Many thanks again to you all for your support during this difficult time, James

  • Chloe

    Ben, I’m very sorry to hear about your wife’s health issues. It does sound like it could be serious. It is just mind boggling that she won’t quit drinking now facing this possible terrible health issue. Alcoholism is just brutal. I know this is a big stretch here, but is there any way she could be binging and purging (bulimia) all that food which could be damaging her esophagus? Her diet with all that fast food and beer is atrocious, and I just wonder how she is not gaining weight from it? Just a thought, but I’m sure you would know if she was bulimic by now. The alcohol in itself has to be doing some damage to the sensitive tissue of the esophagus, and it is just mind boggling how she can be in denial of this. Esophageal and throat cancer sounds terrifying, and it just goes to show the shear power of the addiction when the drinker is still not motivated to give their poison up. Good, but sad lesson here….if they are not wiling to give it up for their own health than they certainly won’t give it up for US, their partners, in many cases.

    James, it sounds like you are definitely making the right decision. It may take some time to grieve and mourn your loss, but you definitely are moving in the right direction. I hope your wife can get help and recover, but it sounds dismal……. Like many of our situations 🙁

  • Diana

    JC and friends
    I was just diagnosed with cancer and will have surgery on Tuesday.Even though I love my alcoholic husband(AH)of 4 years I had to leave him nearly a year ago because of the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde episodes. He’s loud, accusatory & demeaning at times which sets off my anxiety & nerves.Right or wrong, I’ve told my adult children about what he has said to me during these episodes and they want nothing to do with him.
    As if facing cancer surgery is not enough for me to deal with my AH,who I still communicate with via emails/phone calls,said he is going to be here for the surgery.I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insists. My youngest ‘child’,34,now is not coming to my surgery.My sister is not happy that he’s coming and I am at a loss as to what I am supposed to do. I don’t know what to do and am asking here for insight. I need the support of my family & yet am not about to ‘run interference’ for him or them. I am still shaking from the cancer diagnosis & just don’t have it in me to be pleading for peace with anyone. Please let me know how you would handle this. God bless us all as we try to live life in the shadow & craziness of alcoholism.

  • Diana

    James, I admire your compassion for your wife very much. The love you have for her says so much for you. I love my husband too and in order to protect my health and psyche I had to do the difficult thing and leave. Sometimes, if not most of the time, doing the right thing is the most difficult thing to do but I know that with God all things are possible for us. You have my support and my very best wishes for your future!

  • Chloe

    Diana, you are in my prayers as you go through this difficult time. Now more than ever, it is about YOU, your comfort, your peace of mind, your healing, and your desires. Scott is right. Your AH has wreaked enough trauma and chaos in you and your family’s life. I would tell him that his presence at the hospital is too upsetting for your family which then upsets and stresses you out. I would give him a possible alternate time to visit when they are not there or to just call. He should respect this because this is about you and your family first and foremost. He is an estranged spouse, and your own blood family should take priority. If he has any shred of selflessness, he will man up and graciously accommodate YOUR needs during this difficult time for YOU. You should be resting after the procedure surrounded by your loving supportive family, and his presence will only create more stress for you and the family.
    Maybe you could give him the option of visiting you when you are back home?

    I’m sorry you’re facing this and you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope and pray your prognosis is positive, and with so many amazing medical interventions these days, I just bet you will make it through this and back to good health. One big cyberhug to you, Diana xxxxxx!

  • karens

    Diana, Your journey dealing with alcoholism is long and
    emotionally painful. Notice YOUR JOURNEY. The alcoholism
    has controlled the family and for their peace of mind they are letting go of him and letting God do his wonderful work. Focus on God and Jesus. Pray often as you go through this. Talk to your minister or one from the Hospital. Your strength will come from HIM. Families are
    not perfect and when I had cancer my own mothers concern
    was only for herself. She did come around and bought
    and cooked a large turkey for me to chew on. There were
    horrific dark days I thought I could never get through.
    But I DID. My prayers and thought will be with you Diana.
    This web sight is a family who understands what you are
    coping with. You will be okay no matter what the out come
    is from your surgery. I believe God loves you and will be
    by your side through out all of this.
    Your Sister through Christ, Karen

  • Ben

    Scott, I will be your penpal. 🙂 My email is bennya1972 at yahoo if anyone wants to email, that would be great!

    Diana, I am very saddened at your news. You will be in my prayers. I think Chloe’s comments are spot on, and I would take her recommendation to heart. Another solution may be to schedule your surgery for late in the day. My alcoholic does not go anywhere after 2pm because she needs to be home to drink. Whatever you choose, your family comes first.

  • Diana

    Scott, thank you for the big hugs and support. I hadn’t thought about his ‘need’ to appear as the dutiful husband and I know that you’ve seen through the facade. My inability to see through is part and parcel of why I am in this drama. I’ve got to learn to let the chips fall and allow the consequences of his behavior lie at his feet and stop enabling him. Thanks for the encouraging words for Tuesday and I believe it will work out too. God bless you for your heartfelt words to me.

  • Diana

    Cloe, Yes! I can give HIM options for a change! Now that’s empowering and that’s a skill I really need to work on anyway. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Everything you said is true. Your words of wisdom and kindness are sweet and appreciated. The results of his behavior are his problem. You’re right about the treatments now and I have confidence in the dr. and most of all in the Lord and am praying for a good outcome. I only want God’s will in my life and to learn to live live in a way that is healthy for me and joyful so I can have fun with my grandchildren.
    Thanks for your hugs and I’m sending some your way too:)

  • Ben

    egg shell obstacle course! lmbo! we need to compare notes…i bet they even have the same sayings….when u try to be nice “why are you being nice? you think im drunk?!?” or “what are you looking at?!? “nothing, honey” “you’re saying im nothing!?!? lol or the best one of all “you may be thinking in your head…she’s drunk, well I’m still smarter than ur worthless %$# even if I’m a little drunk once in a while” lol

  • Sally

    Diana, bless your heart. I understand how you feel. I’m a cancer survivor, and I know the fear you’re feeling. You can handle this. We live in a wonderful time when there are so many treatments to make this stupid thing go away. I’m a survivor of many years, but the shadow is always there in the back of my mind. You need time to adjust and adapt. I say adapt, because once you learn as much as you possibly can about your cancer, you’ll lose much of your fear. As for your AH, tell the hospital staff that you do not want him allowed up to the waiting room, and especially, deny him visitation rights. The one thing you do not need during this time is any outside stressors. Cut down or cut off any communication with him. You have to focus all of your heart and soul on you. Cancer can be beat, but not if you’re distracted by him bringing his needs to you. This is the time of your life, from now on, to put yourself first. I speak from experience when I tell you that the only thing your AH is truly worried about is what will he do, who will he turn to to fix his messes, if you’re not there for him any longer. You’re going to need every bit of strength you have for yourself. One thing that may help is to take time, several times a day, to count your blessings, to think about and give thanks for your children, for the sunshine, the caring people who are going to help you battle and beat your cancer, for every little thing you can think of that’s good in your life. This may sound stupid, but if you can, get a copy of “Pollyanna.” The “Glad Game” became my lifeline during the worst of my cancer. It made such a difference in the way I see things, even now, years later. You have to have the strength to cut your AH off and leave him to fend for himself. He’s earned his fate, so leave him to it. You had the strength to leave him, so now finish the job so you’ll be able to keep yourself focused on the person who matters most now – you. You’re in my prayers, and you’ll be on my mind Tuesday. Have faith in God, and in yourself. God bless you. Hugs.

  • Sandy

    Diana… I well remember the dread of hearing that diagnosis. Mine was 3 years ago… How is that possible ?? THREE YEARS !! I say that because in the moment of diagnosis the fear of surgery weighs so heavy on the mind that it feels like you will never get through it. BUT YOU WILL. The cancer I had was breast cancer stage 2. Some of the first advice I received when I went to the oncologist was to choose my inner circle carefully. You need those around you who support YOU, unfortunately people will try to make it about themselves. My husband was at the hospital, under the influence, during my surgery but you know what??? The adults that were there with him were ADULTS. Let them handle it. This surgery is something you need to get through without worrying about everyone else and what they will be doing in the waiting room. If they try to drag you into it, tell them you are not going to deal with that right now. As Sally said, tell the hospital staff you do not want him there and ask that he not be allowed to see you as a visitor if you’re concerned. If he creates a problem, trust me, security will have his fanny out of there in a heartbeat. Here’s my best advice…. don’t worry about it. HA you say 🙂 Remember you are not responsible for his behavior, you are not responsible for your child who is an adult, you are responsible for YOU and right now you have some pressing issues that require your attention. Oh, how I remember the shaking…it goes to the bone! Cold, hot, cold hot That deep rattling fear can be overwhelming BUT know this… we have been there, experienced it, fought it, wept, wailed, got mad, got focused, and got through it. You are not a statistic!! So don’t read them. Your story is not someone else’s story so don’t start paying attention to everyone’s cancer stories. GOD writes your story! Cancer is like childbirth….everyone wants to tell you their horror stories. Just put your hand up and say…Not now! Be empowered! This I can say for sure, one of the benefits of cancer is that you take a good hard look around you and realize YOU are worth caring for. The beginning days are hard, no two ways about it, but you will find you are much stronger than you thought you were… I promise 🙂 I always tell people… laugh when you can, cry when you feel like it, scream when you need to… but always remember, your heavenly father is there with you every step of the way…. He writes your story! You will be in my prayers this Tuesday and I will be praying God gives you mighty strength and great peace of mind, body and spirit. Let us know how you’re doing. You do not walk this path alone!

  • Diana

    Karens, You are so right, it’s MY journey. It’s so easy to let the AH take center stage because they are so good at it. My eyes are opened thanks to you and all the other friends here. So glad that you shared your personal story with me regarding cancer & gives me encouragement from your success. Knowing that you and other friends are holding me up with prayer and good thoughts means so much. Yes, this site is a blessing in that we all get it and relate on many levels. My faith that God is with me always is what sustains me for what’s ahead. I trust Him with my life and anything that comes my way and thank Him for the outpouring of compassion and wisdom you’ve given me as well as our other friends here. It’s a joy to have you as a sister in Christ my friend:)

  • Diana

    Ben, It’s so good to know that you’ll pray for me. God bless you! And yes, Cloe got to the heart of the matter. Family does come first. Yes, the alcoholics are very regimented in their behavior with drinking and shows us what THEY put first doesn’t it? God bless and thanks so much:)

  • Diana

    Scott, my surgery is set for noon Tuesday but I have to be at the hospital much earlier for a radioactive injection. I live in Ohio, USA.

  • Sheila

    Scott, Ben, Karens, Diana, Chloe, and others,
    I haven’t responded in a while, but I’ve been reading and gaining help from your posts.
    As I review all the threads, the collective experiences show me patterns of behavior of the alcoholic and patterns of effects on us. Your horrible experiences validate my horrible experiences.
    My husband moved out 5 weeks ago, but he is here most days for some amount of time. Now it’s time for that to lessen. I guess when a child is involved who loves her daddy and needs to be transitioned into divorce with care and respect for her emotional health, us parents have to see each other more than we’d like.
    It can be a real test for me..to be nice while protecting myself.
    Every interaction with the alcoholic still costs me and takes some time for me to recover from even ‘pleasant’ interactions. That’s the disease trying to get to me.
    I am so ready to move on, but in my situation it seems that it will take time to transition us into that next phase. They say slow and steady wins the race…right now I am just trusting that phrase.
    I am so ready to be fully released from this prison, not just my inner job, but also physically and legally released.
    The alcoholic keeps trying to take me hostage in some form or fashion…aargh!
    The hardest thing I’ve done is grow a backbone so as to get this far. The huge amount of courage that I’ve had to summon up to face him and his behaviors can’t be over emphasized. It’s been excruciating, but necessary.
    No one would rescue me. The victim had to stand up to the bully. The abused had to face down the abuser. The ignored had to get heard. The powered-over had to find her inner power. The nobody had to become a somebody. The drowning had to grab a rope. The duped had to get clarity.
    The tolerant had to stop tolerating wrong behavior. The weak had to become strong. The silent had to learn to speak. The servant had to require others to do their parts. The boundaryless had to stick to boundaries!!!

    I hope this post helps others as other posts have helped me.
    Sheila

  • Diana

    Sally, Nothing speaks like experience which makes your note so special. Congrats on being a survivor!! Awesome! I am going to allow myself time to process this and to adjust and adapt and not allow fear to overtake me. Thanks for the advice on the AH and I will memorize your words and make it clear to him that he is not going to continue his craziness with me and my family. I will surround myself with those who love me and who I love. All others will just have to deal with it. Ha! I sound tough don’t I:) Your advice about being thankful is dear to my heart as I learned this a few years ago when my nerves were broken. It works!!!
    I still remember saying, “thank you Lord for my washer and dryer.” and then after a few days the nerves calmed, sleep came and my health was restored. So I learned that there’s a reason why God tells us to be thankful…it’s for our best interest and it’s just the right thing to do. Yes, the alcoholics’ lives are very small and circles around themselves so I’m sure he’s panicky about what will become of him. Very sad way to live. I look forward to reading Pollyanna and learning ‘The Glad Game’! Thank you for sharing all your lifelines with me!!! God bless you and ALL of my friends here on this site! What a blessing you all are!!! Whether we’re dealing with alcoholics,change,big decisions,sadness or cancer there is ALWAYS HOPE! Reach out to others by listening, sharing, helping etc and support and love will come your way!

  • Julia

    I’ve been in a relationship with my alcoholic for all of my twenties. Only the last couple years after we got engaged he showed his true colors and started to change since he thought he “had” me. I really had no idea, because he was the master of manipulation and hid his seperate life from me very well. That’s when he started ditching me when we had plans to go to a bar all night. Whenever I needed him he was busy with his so called “friends.” He would hang up then shut his phone off, and play other childish games. After EVERYTHING I’ve put up and dealt with I’d finally come to the point where I had enough. According to him I was drama and got blamed for being upset by his actions. It was my fault for not forgiving him. He would show up the next day saying “it’s a new day, stop living in the past.” It’s so crazy to think you can do whatever you want when the clock strikes midnight you can just do it all over again and be forgiven for whatever. Looking into his eyes I wondered where that man was that I thought I knew so well. I stopped letting him come over. Since he lived with his parents and always mooched off of me I didn’t have to make a big move. I’m still in love with him and wonder how this all happened? How could he hide it so well? Why would you put someone through that for your own selfish reasons when you know exactly what you’re doing behind their back? Since I’ve stopped letting him come over the texts, phonecalls, and even stops by my place have been endless. It makes things that much harder for me since I’ve done nothing wrong and wanted this relationship. I wish he’d just leave me alone now. He’s free to go to bars and do whatever he wants without having to lie to me about it. So, why is he practically begging and trying so hard now? I honestly don’t understand or get any of this?

  • Diana

    Sandy, Oh yes, the fear comes and kind of feels like it’s seeping through my whole body sometimes along with the hot, cold & shaking… And you are confirmation that surrounding myself with those I love and who LOVE ME BACK is the only way to protect myself. Actually Sandy, if we all here would just practice that concept then our whole lives would change! And yes, we ARE worth fighting for!!! Yep, adults are responsible for themselves. It’s not up to me & it never was… and I need to repeat that often and strongly. I have a very strong faith in the Lord and am learning to trust Him with all things. Thank you for your prayers,honest sharing and support!!!!! I will go into surgery a very prayed for & empowered woman and I give God thanks for that comfort! I will keep you all posted as soon as I am able. God bless!

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