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

  • Diana

    Sheila, Your last paragraph needs to be made into a wall poster for us all!!!!! Excellent truths!!!!!!!
    Yes it is one heck of a test to be nice and also protect yourself and your child and it is a worthy goal but also remember that your precious child needs to learn that there are situations that are not negotiable, and people who don’t speak the language of ‘nice’ seem to only respond to a very strong backbone and stern words or action. Way too many of us women do not get this, especially Christian women. You show so much wisdom in what you say so it’s obvious that you understand the concepts but as with ANY skill it will take a lot of practice, maybe daily practice. Sure, it may take a toll on you and be annoying but remember that things will not always be this way. Live your life in the meantime and THANK YOU for an awesome post!!!!! God’s peace and joy to you!

  • Sheila

    Scott and Diana,
    Thanks for the kind words!!!
    You guys are awesome, and we are all coming out of our prison cells now…and the alcoholics are powerless to stop us.
    Let us remember how smart we are and build each other up so that we each can gain courage and strength and self esteem from each other!
    “We rock!”

    Sheila

  • Sally

    Diana, you’ll discover when you take a stand, your family will back you up 100% against your AH. You left him and the world didn’t end, and lightening didn’t strike. Cut him off, and you’ll discover more peace than you imagined existed. He’ll survive – drunks always do. They just move on to the next crutch, or sink deeper into their pity pools and whine about how “mean” and “heartless” you are to do that to them. Uh…’scuse me? Who did what to who? Ignore him. You have something much more important to take up your time now. YOU and your health. Yes, having cancer sucks, big time. But having cancer and dealing with such a brat would be even worse. You’ll be in my prayers constantly. Cancer is a big pain in the butt, but you can do this. Just remember to be very, very kind to yourself. Don’t get down on yourself if you have bad days, days when you want to mope and splash around in a pity pool, or just don’t want to be bothered with anyone else. It’s okay to be what others may call selfish. Heck, if you don’t put you first, who will? Hugs and prayers. Stay tough.

  • Sally

    Julia, honey, please know that if you don’t give an inch, your ex- will eventually find another patsy to mooch off of and to push around. Drunks are invariably bullies. I have a question for you, and you’re going to have to put on your big girl pants and face this head on. Make a list of why you love him. Where in any of what you wrote is there any loving act? And why are you still in love with him? Or, you can do what I did. Make a list. On one side, list all the good times you had with him. On the other, list all the bad times. If your list is anything like mine, the bad times were a daily, if not hourly event. The good times were so few and far between. Drunks are sneaky, and crafty, and damn good actors and actresses. They fool most people some of the time, and some people all of the time. As for him phoning and texting and showing up at your place, you are the one in power, and you’re going to have to buck up, grow a backbone and realize that you’re the only person in charge of what happens to you. Don’t want him texting? Have his number blocked. Ditto him calling. He shows up? Let him know he is not welcome, that he is trespassing and you are calling the police. Do NOT open the door for this jerk. He’s a drunk, plain and simple. You are not and never were his first priority. Alcoholics aren’t capable of loving anything or anyone more than their bottle. Face it – you (and I and everyone on this board) are merely conveniences for the drunks who are in or were in our lives. It sucks that that’s the way it is, but the truth is the truth. You have to stop with the “why’s?” and get on with your life. A good place to start would be al-anon or therapy, so you can understand what about yourself allowed this to happen, and participated in your abuse. Drunks abuse everyone in their lives. No getting around that truth, either. Figure out what went wrong with you to stay with this drunk, and make sure you don’t relapse by finding some other emotional cripple to spend time with. I’m betting on you being strong enough to do this. You just have to decide that you’re worth the effort and that you deserve a good life. I left the drunk in my life mid-January, after 5 years of just what you described. Every day is so filled with joy now. Please stay in touch with us here. We care more than you know. My prayers are with you.

  • Julie

    Hi Everyone, I too have not commented in a long, while but have been keeping up with the comments. Everyone here is such an inspiration and emotional support to me. I too have left an AH recently and we are now goign thru a troubled divorce in which he is playing games with the courts in order to avoid paying any child support. Funny how I noticed he has suddenly been working OT to the tune of 10-15 hours extra every week, but when he was living with me and his children he was calling off work without pay and drinking half his check away at the bar. Makes me frustrated that he is still not paying child support and the children and I are living off my small income as best we can. I know it takes time to force him to pay as he obviously is not willing to pay on his own. Funny how he claims in criminal court that he loves his children and wants them removed from the protection order. Well actions speak louder than words and he has lied so much in the past that I do not trust him anymore. We have been married for 20 years and life has been a roller coaster to say the least. He has been removed from the home since November and you would not believe the calmness that remains in his absence. But he was very abusive and finally after many attempts at rehab and counseling which he always promised in order to get me back the numerous times I had taken the children and left, I no longer even wish to mend things with him. Because my life and my children’s is so much happier without. As I read everyone’s stories I see my story in there too. My best advice to anyone who is struggling with a decision to leave while they can is definitely to get out. I will never get back the years I lived in pain and confusion and fear just wishing hoping and believing we could make things work out like we dreamed aloud when we were dating. I am moving on to a new chapter in my life and hearing how you all are or have done the same and how everyone has made it thru gives me inspiration. I believe God has it in His plans for my children to escape this cycle of alcoholism and abuse and we are on our way. Thanks to everyone here for all the supporting words that even when meant for someone else, have touched my heart and helped me to carry on.

  • James

    Friends, Just to dot the i and cross the ts, I divorced from my wife yesterday. It was a very emotional situation for both of us, but the nightmare is over and I have to face a life alone, and have to go to all the bother of finding another relationship! That’s hard at my age.
    I am meeting the ex-wife today to transfer the ownership of my truck back to me. She craftily put it in her name when we registered it! If it hadn’t been for that truck I would have been gone 8 months ago!!!
    I did something you are not supposed to do. (Sorry JC!) I did a drive-by where my ex is now working as something was bothering me. I wanted to see with my own eyes, and I saw it! She says she wants to run a bar in a restaurant which her friend owns. Well, that is a receipt for disaster. An alcoholic running a bar!!! But, on top of that, I saw her sitting by herself opposite three guys in the bar who were basically ignoring her. But her body language was obvious. Sitting there like a spider faceing these guys, waiting for one of them to buy her a drink. Once one of them has done that she has got him!
    So, she has gone back to her old life as a bar-girl! I’m really sorry for her. She is on the road to nowhere. I saw the backroom where she sleeps and it is the size of a toilet with bare breezblock walls and a cement floor! There is a tent arrangement in there with a bed and two pillows side by side, and a fan. It’s so sordid, and I think the room is being used for “Short Time” seasons. I think she is working as a prostitute. Even though I gave her a large settlement, I think she is still operating! It’s all about self hatered, an insatable desire to be loved and to Control! It’s really tragic, I can’t stop her and cannot get her away from that life. It’s a quick fix for all her problems, quick money and no strings attached.

    She wants to buy a new car from Toyota, but I am very leary of this as I know, as an alcoholic, she will drink and drive although she promises she won’t, and end up wrapping that car around a tree or drive it into a river…there are canals all over the place here as it’s a rice growing country! She wants me to help pay for it by covering half the monthly payments. But I know she won’t generate enough money from her bar to cover the rest, so again she will fall back on to prostitution!

    I will not make a fuss today and be all accusatory, but once I have the truck back registered in my name I’m going to walk away and move on! I will always be ready to help her if she is in the shit up to her neck, as is bound to happen. But, she wants me as a customer in her bar..to watch her flirt with every guy that goes in there and I don’t want thyt…who would?I know it will lead to trouble, so I’ll walk away, cut off all contact with her and let her descend into her own private hell of her own making. I’m not saying this out of vindictiveness, I have compassion on a fellow human being who has chosen the bottle and prostitution over a happy family life…she just can’t stop drinking and doesn’t want to. She will either be dead or hit rock bottom in six months. No two ways about it!
    I will find a new relationship and start again. Although at my age it isn’t so easy any more! Thanks everyone for your support during this very difficult time and for giving me a forum to vent my pain and sadness. God bless you all. Be Strong!

  • Julie

    James you are strong and need to stay strong. Do not give in to her and keep your plan to walk away. Don’t worry too much about a new relationship. You should feel free to take your time and heal before rushing into anything. But I have certainly seen many people have wonderful relationships after a bad one and even in their forties or fifties and even older starting over. So don’t lose heart. It is possible. Just take the time to breathe and feel without all the drama. That way when a new relationship comes along you can enjoy it and learn to trust anew while watching for the things you did not see last time. Seems we are all going thru difficult times but together we can be strong. God bless and take care. I wish you the best.

  • JC

    James, there’s one thing I know to be true, you will have a lot more peace in your life now, that is as long as you can keep a handle on the compulsions to “drive by”. My hope is that a loving relationship will effortlessly find you, someone who will appreciate and love you for who you are. I took a much needed long break to heal, after my divorce, before I entered into another relationship.

  • James

    Thanks JC, I only did a drive-by one time and saw everything I wanted to see. I had to confirm my suspicions that she’s back to the Life. Up to her! I’m learning to mind my own business and get on with my life. She’s was a very manipulative person and I’m glad to be rid of the heartache. I know it will take a long time to heal, and I’m learning to move on. It’s hard but I’ll get there. I promise I won’t go rushing into anything too soon. Thank you for your comments based on your life experience, James

  • Ben

    Does anyone watch the show Shameless on Showtime? It’s about a drunk dad and his drunk/drug addict wife who is on the scene and off the scene. They have a family of kids ranging from 20ish to 1 year old. When I watch that show and the actions of the addicts, with my wife sitting next to me, it highlights how she acts, and she laughs along saying things like “they’re so trashy!” “OMG, I cant believe they just did that” in complete amazement at the antics on the show, never stopping to realize she acts just like that. It’s like they’re totally obvlivious to their own actions. wow. If you haven’t watched that show, it gives you an outsider’s perspective to how we are treated.

  • James

    Ben, Never stopping to realise her own actions sounds like you have a real manipulative personality on your hands. They are called covert aggresive personalities and it is the symptom of a person who never admits they are wrong and will go to any lenght to get what they want. It really boils down to your gut feelings to know how to deal with them. Manipulative people are very intelligent and therfore very hard to spot but their behavior is a sign of a very deeply disturbed person, so be careful. Just a hunch.

  • Laura

    Entering Al-Anon at a low with substantial anger/resentment toward my qualifier(s), I learned that a big part of the Al-Anon program is putting the focus, gently, back on myself as I learned to detach (with love) from the behaviours of my qualifier(s)… this dis-ease does not live in a vacuum; we all play our parts 🙂 … let’s take our own inventories … after 3 1/2 years of working/practicing my own Recovery, I have more tolerance, compassion, and gratitude for my As … as well as myself …

  • Chloe

    Well everyone, here’s a quick update on my situation. Let’s see…another slip up a week ago. We are hoping to sell our house, and got a good report from the loan officer at the bank about being able to qualify for the loan we want. So hubby asked me to pick up a bottle of wine to celebrate. Okay, now what I did was soooooooooo soooooooooo soooooooo stupid and weak willed. I got a bottle for us to share. Why? I guess deep down inside I no longer want to be the alcohol police. I think I just want to let go of the reins and see where it goes. I’m 38. Maybe I just want it to go where it will go SOONER rather than later. If I police for the next few years, maybe the drinking will again rear it’s head later. Who knows? I’m sure you are all getting bored with my ongoing story, and I am too. So we shared the bottle. Disaster. He snuck out, drank a good bit more while I was at one of my kids practices, and when I got home and he was passed out drunk. Same story…blah blah blah. This lovely night ended with me locked in my bedroom seething with rage….yeah, stupid because I bought it…..and him kicking the door down. Oh joy. Another night of wedded bliss.

    The next day…same story….hugging, begging for forgiveness, promises, state of disbelief, panic, declaration of undying love, mortification…same old deal.

    So we move on. What else can we do? We share bank accounts, a mortgage, a roof, car titles, insurance policies, a life together.

    So now we have had one week of sobriety. Whoopee. Are the days of sobriety all bliss? No. Enter in the phenomenon of the ” dry drunk.”

    Mopey, negative, chip on shoulder against world, pessimistic, and selfish…basically all the root reasons why the jackass started drinking in the first place.

    Well, I’m pissed. Sick of this crap. I went around today looking at condos and apartments to buy. My plan now is to buy a small apartment for me and my kids, live way beneath my means for the next decade, and save, save, save, save money.

    I will never be under the thumb of a man EVER again.

  • Ben

    Chloe,

    I don’t think anyone is sick of hearing your story. We all go through these cycles and these cost/benefit analyses in our heads. I went to one Al Anon meeting. The “leader” was a seventy four year old man that has been married to an alcoholic for forty years and been attending meetings the entire time. That’s all I needed to see. I’m not going to end up like that poor fool….at least that is what I tell myself. Then I see a beautiful woman with so much potential, a beautiful two year old girl that deserves a loving family, two good careers, good credit, retirement accounts, investments, nice homes, etc., and the decision is not so easy. Let me tell you my story related to this “cost/benefit” scenario, and maybe it will be easier for you to see:

    It is easy to have what I call the “Baker’s Syndrome” where it seems that you have all the ingredients for a beautiful cake, but it never quite happens….because you are missing the oven! Alcoholism and its related problems are foundational in nature, meaning the lack of addiction is the oven, without which all the gourmet ingredients(credit), fancy baking dishes(income) and appliances(homes, vacations) are worthless. It’s easy to want normal things with these abnormal people, but what good would a beautiful house do? What problems would it solve? How much happiness would it bring? I look at my apartment and I see a freaking mess that I would never have lived in. I try to clean, but I cannot keep up with a slob of an alcoholic. When she is not working or shopping, she is sitting on the couch guzzling beers and watching television. I can make the apartment spotless by late afternoon and it is a complete trash bin by 11:00 p.m. Why? She lets the baby run loose and do whatever she wants as long as her beer drinking is not interrupted. So if I buy her a $450k house, how will that help my situation? Will she stop letting the baby eat on the carpet and destroy it by spilling food? Will I stop finding beer caps all over the house? Will she move the couches to vacuum underneath them? My mother would be appalled at the house this woman keeps, regardless of the fact that I do my best to keep it clean. Will I have a wife that will value our sex life and prioritize our intimacy and love life? Will she use the $400 worth of Victoria’s secret I bought her? Or will she tell her friends that “I’m just not into him” “With Dave it was completely different”. Or tell me about all the great sex she had with all the OTHER guys before me when she is drunk? I used to believe that, and believe it was me…then I realized that this is what alcoholics do. Fact is it was no different with any of the “other” guys, especially since I am better looking, far more successful, more educated, funnier, etc. than all of them…so what is the problem? The problem is her alcoholism, and all the above “examples” are of her deeply entrenched and well rehearsed denial system. It is her system to protect HER addiction over anything else…me, our marriage, our family, our child. Now I ask you….how would a bigger house help my situation? Seems like it would make me a bigger prisoner to her, doesn’t it? How is your situation any different? Don’t you deserve a husband that values you? One that is at his BEST when he is home with you? One that treats you BETTER than he treats strangers (the opposite is true for ALL alcoholics)? One that puts you and your relationship first ABOVE everything else?

    And here is the part that gets me….any one of us, and society in general goes NUTS if a spouse cheats…at least when they cheat, they betray you for some fine poontang….maybe a physical connection, a psychological attraction, the touch of another person…..alcoholics betray us for a LIQUID!!!! A LIQUID!!!! That should make us ALL feel pretty stupid and LOW!

  • Diana

    Cloe, you are taking all the responsibility for what happened and that’s not right. Please do not beat yourself up or be angry at yourself. It’s easy to understand that you were wanting to celebrate, so would I! Maybe it’s a classic case of denial for both of you. Maybe it was just simply you wanting to share moments of joy with your husband like most people would do and then later the sad realization that there’s a high price to pay when we ‘forget’ our reality with an alcoholic. I can really feel your regret as I read your note. Haven’t we all felt this as we work through the effects of life with an alcoholic? Please forgive yourself and him too because you both made a mistake. It’s difficult to work through all this and sometimes we fall. You did well to make a plan for what you will do next. You’ve done well in addressing the problems and making necessary changes and getting help for yourself. Begin again and put away the self-blame for it does us no good. When I reached out to my AH before my surgery it wasn’t long before I knew it was a big mistake and self blame started to set in but soon I decided to forgive myself because my emotions were running high and I felt I ‘needed’ his support, completely ‘forgetting’ the reality of his real behavior and lack of support for me and all the reasons why I left him in the first place. You can do this Cloe with God’s help. I applaud you for being a good mother and wanting the best for your precious children! You are a compassionate person and it shows in your heartfelt responses to us out here who are hurting from the abusiveness of alcoholism. I’m sending out love to you and big ((hugs)). God bless you! I’m cheering you on from Ohio in the good old USA and I’m sure others on here are pulling for you!

  • Julie

    Well said, Ben. Your analogy says it in a nutshell!
    Chloe, Diana is absolutely correct. You are not to blame and we all easily forget the reality of the disease.
    Prayers sent out to everyone. Stay strong everyone. I too am goign thru my divorce right now and as he leaves the children and me financially strapped, he is still drinking away his paychecks and even bragging around our small town how he is picking up women at the bars. Then he sees me in court and tells me he loves me and wants to come back home. He actually said I should drop the divorce so he doesn’t lose “all his stuff”. Well I am not falling for it this time. It is extrememly difficult, but I am trying to stay strong.
    Prayers and hugs to everyone no matter what your current situation with your alcolholic.

  • Chloe

    Well, thanks everyone. Ben, the larger nicer house won’t solve any problems. It will likely further just entangle me more with the guy. So much is coming out now. He has lied to me about many things. His mother has basically paid for more than I knew behind the scenes for many years. I think I basically married a spoiled rich kid with no coping abilities because mommy and daddy have always bailed him out and forked over cash when he needs it for houses, cars, furnishings, business, and spending money. His 400 pound sister said the mother ruined her because she made her life so easy by paying for everything instead of letting her sink or swim like the rest of us have to do. The girl used to spend thousands on makeup alone charged on mommy’s credit card.

    His drinking is due in part to self medicating against the stark realities of big boy adult life in which he has limited coping skills. So when these drunks get sober, it ain’t a bed of roses because they still have ISSUES!!! Remember, drinking is not the problem for them, but their chosen SOLUTION to their problems.

    Well, I’m biding my time here, and striking out on my own and shedding the shackles of matrimony are starting to look better and better. Maybe I will make it to Paris after all. And those neigh sayers who say I am superficial and silly to have that dream, well, we’ll see. It’s called LIFE and JOY, and I am reaching for it. I can live way beneath my means, save, and live life on my own terms instead of being stuck in this depressing life with someone who puts their own pleasure first. Looking better and
    better!!

  • Chloe

    Diana,

    How are you by the way? Are you recovering? How are your doing? please tell us! Hugs xxxx!

  • Diana

    Dear Cloe and friends,
    Thank you for asking about me:) I’m recovering and in the resting mode a lot because I tire so easily. Wednesday I go back to the surgeon and he will tell me the test results from the cancerous tumor that was removed and sent to mayo clinic. I am blessed by your concern and appreciate it so very much! I pray MUCH life and joy for you and that you get to Paris! There’s so many places I’d like to see especially those with white sandy beaches! Ohio is my home but the southern beaches are so good for my soul that craves peace and serenity. I think most of us need some good quiet time after the chaos of alcoholism that we’ve endured. ~~Julie~~ I pray for a good outcome of the divorce and your AH’s crazymaking antics in court are so similar to what my AH has said and done. The patterns with alcoholics are so similar…blame, brag, belittle etc. The alcoholics have chosen their path and we who want ‘life and joy’ and peace must choose our path…and be strong and determined! I know this is very difficult for you but I also know that we all can do hard things. I mean, living with an alcoholic is hard!!! So moving on from an alcoholic has to be easier!!! One day at a time with prayer to God for strength and wisdom is THE way to go. Just do the next right thing. Love your children. Spend time with healthy people who you enjoy and who treat you right. Let’s practice being a grateful and loving person. May God bless all of you:)

  • Julie

    thanks Diana, Ohio is my home too. 🙂 I am glad to hear the surgery went well and I just know there will be good news form the Mayo Clinic soon. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.

  • Sally

    @Chloe, forgive yourself for being human and wishing for the best. It’s what we do – we screw up, shake it off and press on. As for your plan, I think it’s great. Imagine your life in 10 years when you’re 48. Can you see staying with your AH for another 10, 20 years or even longer? Please, don’t consider it as never being under a man’s thumb again. What it really is, in all our cases, is our giving the running of our lives into someone else’s keeping. It’s your life – live it as you want, by your rules as much as possible, and live the life you dream of. It’s possible, believe me it is. There is no situation so hopeless that a way can’t be found to change it. Granted, it may not be the solution any of us would choose in a perfect world, and it’s certainly never easy. Actually, it’s damn hard, but I think that’s part of the journey to being independent, strong and in control. Take charge of your life and let your AH sink or swim. Do NOT fall for that old “for the children” line. Ask anyone who’s grown up in an alcoholic household and you’ll find that not a single one escaped without major damage. We care and we want to hear how you’re doing. Stay strong and check in with us if you’re having a hard day or feeling drained by the fight. We’re here for you when you need us.

  • Sally

    @Diana, I’m glad you’re resting and I know you’ve got to be feeling better without your ex- continually causing bother. Praying for good news for you from Mayo. Please let us know. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Diana

    Sally, thank you so much for your sweet note. Yes life is better with him and his crazy making behavior far away from me. Your prayers and concern mean so much. Little did I know, several months ago when I was sent the link for this site that there would be such a great amount of support! I thank God for all of you and JC for all the positivity presented here. You all are in my prayers for a peaceful, joyful, loving life and I know that God will provide a way for you too as he has me. God bless,and I’ll be back here Wednesday with an update……I just realized something…..I am getting from you all what my AH cannot give me. Now that has to be from the Lord!!!! He truly does provide:) This is proof positive why this site, Al anon and reaching out for help is so very good!!! wow.

  • Sally

    Diana, unlike all the AHs and others, we don’t want anything from you but want good things FOR you!

  • Diana

    Well said Sally! @”we don’t want anything from you but want good things FOR you!” ~~~~ That kind of thinking should be the basis for marriages and friendships and if it’s not there we would do well to look elsewhere regardless of what our hearts or circumstances tell us.

  • Frustrated

    For Ben,I am you,but the wife not the husband.I feel each and every word.

  • janet

    Ben,
    Sorry yours was funny at the end “they betray us for a liquid”
    I’ve been there recently kept t hinking why can’t he love me?
    Doesn’t he see I love him.

  • Sheila

    Shopping for love from an alcoholic is like shoping for food at the hardware store.

    Alcoholics have hostages, not relationships.

    Alcoholics engage in confusing those around them to prevent them from zeroing in the core truth of their own self-centered screwedupness.

    Alcoholism is classified by health insurances in the Mental Health category.
    Would we expect love from a schizophrenic?

    I can be charitable to simply think of them as having a mental illness…and not expect too much from them. They are handicapped, after all.

    Their particular mental illness doesn’t rob them of the ability to function in society,therefore we probably should allow them to function at their best level.

    Their particular mental illness doesn’t rob them of the sam e kind of free will that we have. Unlike a paerson with a profound mental illness like untreated schizophrenia, alcoholics do retain some ability to live in reality…albeit a distorted one.

    Their reality is not sensible, but they try their darnedest to convice people in their sphere that their reality IS sensible. If you fall for it…they GOT YOU.

    Just today I felt compelled to address trustworthiness with my alcoholic. I had to give him the space to respond in his own way, and not expect it to be normal way. He arrived late, not thinking anything about it.
    He didn’t keep his word by arriving when he said he would. Typical for the alcoholic. Yet not a good expample for our daughter.

    I can cope by not expecting him to be on time. Or I can do what I did do. I gently pointed out to him that not be punctual makes it difficult for me to trust his word. If I can’t trust him in the small things, how can I trust him in the big things?

    We are now divorced and I have full custody…so I don’t HAVE to trust him in the big things. But I know that he would like me to, so that our daughter could one day spends some nights with him.

    He can grow in trustworthiness, or not; then the appropriate consequesnces will result.

    It is SO heartbreaking to accept the fact that the alcoholic tricked us into thinking that love could be found with them, when in reality it cannot. We were duped.

  • janet

    do you know why they can’t love us?

  • Sheila

    Alcoholism is a disease that affects thinking patterns and behaviors because it affects the gabba receptors in the brain…not to mention the liver and arterial system also. It appears that some of the changes may be only partially reversible.
    Once a pickle, one cannot go back to being a cucumber.

    All mental illnesses are physiologic; i.e. they have a biologic basis. The human brain is our most mysterious organ, but it is still an organ.

    In my opinion, more research into the affects of alcohol on the brain is greatly needed.

    My mother had schizophrenia. I never expected her to give what she simply couldn’t.I was hurt THAT she couldn’t and suffered the effects of not having a mother’s proper care, but I never resented her for it. I will say she was never unkind to me; and that her behavior didn’t dupe/trick me into expecting it from her.
    My alcoholic has most certainly been unkind to me, yet if I place him in a category similar to my mother, then I can understand and have compassion. I am hurt THAT he can’t give me love, and I was hurt by the unkind things he did to me, but now I can not resent him for being unable to.

    If the medical profession classifies alcoholism in the mental illness group, who am I to argue? I think I will trust their judgement on this one. It is there that I can find a place of peace about this.
    …and I thank God for that.

  • James

    Sheila, I enjoyed reading your comment and agree largely with the beginning. However, I had a schizophrenic sister and I really saw that it was nurture not nature so these things are not biological, they are environmental…because of my overbearing mother and passive father we come from a very dysfunctional family but I read in the US most people famailies are 80% dysfunctional. “People that do evil have had evil done to them”. My second point is that you are so right, alcoholice can’t give love, I don’t know why that is. Good Luck, James

  • Ben

    Janet, in AA there’s a term many alcoholics use to describe their relationship with alcohol: “Romancing The Bottle.”

    That seems to be the simplest explanation I can offer. An alcoholic will choose alcohol over us.

    I don’t think it’s so much that they can’t express love, I just think that we are always second place to the addiction.

  • Ben E.

    I just wanted to clarify that I just made the previous post, but I am not the same Ben further up the page. So call me Ben E.

  • Sheila

    James, Thank you for you input. I actually agree with you and yet also recognize the biologic component in addition to the environmental component.

    My mother had a LOT done unto her and now I see that her condition was much worse that it should have been and she suffered greatly at the hands of others.
    However, not all schizophrenics come from abusive or unhealthy homes.
    Yet,some schizophrenics do come from unhealthy or abusive homes.
    My mother didn’t have a close relationship with her own mother. It seems that her mother wasn’t loving, and my mother didn’t say much about her but what she did say wasn’t happy. Then her mother died when she was only 13. Then her father died when she was 21. Then she met my alcoholic father and it was downhill from there.
    I agree that often people who do evil have had evil done unto them. So we must keep that in mind before we pass judgement on a person, although it’s ok to say a behavior is evil/bad/inappropriate. Even still, somewhere way deep down inside every human is essentially good.

    For me, having had the experience of dealing with a schizophrenic mother whom I took care of instead of her taking care of me, gives me a way to understand alcoholism in a more neutral and more medical way.

    My alcoholic ex-husband (as of 1 week ago we’re divorced) had no evil done to him. I have scoured his past, am close to his family, and cannot find any horrible thing. Even he brags and boasts about his idyllic childhood.
    The only thing is that for the first 15 yrs of his life he lived in a joint family and was an only child with 3 cousins living in the same house. He was different from them and perhaps he retaliated by REALLY being different. It seems that he grasped onto ‘terminal uniqueness’ long before alcohol came into like. I suspect he developed Narcissitic Personality Disorder before he became an alcoholic. I read that NPD’s often become drinkers.

    He has rejected any attempt to allow me to be compassionate about this with him. It would mean he’s ‘defective’ and no narcissist or alcoholic can bear to have anyone talk to them about it.

    So again, I must simply detach/amputate and consider him as handicapped by a mental illness…a more neutral medical viewpoint.

    I am not an expert, nor claim to be, but am simply sharing my personal point of view and expereince, strength, and hope. Thank you, and I do welcome any comments pro or con regarding what I have written.
    It is very helpful and healing to me to have this opportunity to ‘discuss’ these things.

  • James

    Shila, Thank you, all very interesting…I have heard it said that habitual criminals and people with Borderline Personality Disorder/Nacissitic Personality Disorder were often spoilt as children, I don’t know how true that is but after I took my alcohilic exwife to several AA meetings the guy there said that I was wasting my time as people with BPD are vertually incurable and have the lowest rate of success coming off the booze. He was right as my BPD wife never stopped drinking the entire time I knew her.

  • chloe

    Well it has been months and months since I’ve posted. My husband had been doing well back in the spring after the family had an intervention for him and he stopped drinking for a few months. Since then, so much has happened. He lost his job, relocated across the country, and has started drinking again. Our house is on the market here and my plan WAS to join him when the house sells with the two kids. Slowly slowly over time he convinced himself that he would switch his choice of drink wine to beers, and limit it to two only, and that this would be a nice neat compromise. Oh god I’m so tired it’s hard to even muster the motivation to write this. The two beer plan lasted a few months…bravo. Slowly slowly slowly over time the two beers have turned into 12 a day. He just left to go back to the West Coast after visiting for Christmas, and drank 12 a day while here. I picked him up at the airport and he was drunk, and I know he lied about his departure time to have time to drink before going back West.

    There is NO WAY OUT OF THIS. He’s working across country paying all our bills, mortgage, etc and I’m plotting plotting plotting my escape. I need money. I need to pay off a credit card. I need to buy a
    car in my name after this house sells. It’s a blessing he is away so our bond can erode slowly from the distance rather than from an abrupt one of us leaving the other. This works better for me because I can feel safe for awhile and pretend sometimes it’s okay.

    That’s all I can write for now because this is utterly draining. I just wanted to let people know that all intervention and sobriety attempts FAILED and he is back to drinking, gaining weight, and the terrible terrible insanity is creeping back in like water in a sinking ship. I am googling “Is 12 beers too much” and other crazed topics trying to make sense as I used to google “drinks 3,4,5 bottle wine a day.” He masterfully slips out to bars to suck back beers before coming home to drink his moderate six pack. same old same old.

    There is just no way out of this other than for ME to get OUT. There is no hope here. I am getting sick in the head again. I hugged him, kissed him, and loved him so much when he was here even with the beer bottles piling higher and higher by the garbage. I scurried to gather them up and take them to the recycling center rather than the curb so the neighbors wouldn’t see. When we got in a fight, and he spent a night in a hotel, I was the one begging him to please come home so we can work it out and strategize ways to improve our marriage. He was telling me emphatically that 12 beers are not that much, and in the end I started to concede and empathize. I was telling myself his swollen huge beer belly is kind of cute and cuddly. It’s fine, it’s fine.

    Yup…sick again. Back at square one. This disease, weakness, affliction or whatever is kicking our asses. This is so horrible. This is a neverending nightmare, and I don’t know how I am getting off this hell ride. I love the sober man so much and I just can’t process the reality or finality of the drunk one, and let either one go. How do you let go of someone’s hand when you are the one in the lifeboat,
    and just let them sink to their demise?

    No answers here. Just feel there is no way out of this unless I let go and let him sink.

  • C

    Hope you have a close friend/friends who can support you during this difficult time. Social Services has great resources and Al-Anon. You have one life, and being unhappy is not what was intended for you. This situation will get much worse if he continues to drink, so you have to make yourself happy for your children. Life gets so much better away from an alcoholic.

  • Laura

    Chloe, only my suggestion: You Let Go and Let “God” … your AH has his HP; connect with yours and embrace your own Recovery. Al=Anon is a great place to start and get some support for YOU! Alcoholism is an insideous dis-ease; Al-Anon offers Steps and Tools to “Serenity” whether your qualifier(s) is/are drinking or not.

  • Nancy

    Let go and give it to God to take care of him and have faith in God that you nor you husband can help. Just Pray to god everything you need and God, only God can change anyone.

  • Debbi

    Chloe:

    Take the advice of the posts before me: Laura, Nancy & C. Concentrate on yourself and let go of him. Do what you need to do for yourself. Sounds like you have a plan started so keep moving forward with it. Remember “it’s never over till the “fat lady” sings”

    If you feel you are going down the wrong path you can always change direction but until then keep moving forward with protecting yourself.

    God Bless-You’re In My Prayers

  • chloe

    Thanks ladies for your wisdom. I feel a sense of freedom and surrender today that is a breakthrough. Whether I stay with him or not, I’m just plain tired of worrying and obsessing about this. Something today in me just kind of surrendered to the situation as it is and life will go on. My spirit is at peace with this detachment and surrender knowing in time God will show me the way if I quiet my frantic mind long enough to hear the answers. Thank you for your excellent advice and wisdom. 🙂

  • Sandy

    Chloe – I can so relate to the frantic mind . . I call it circle thinking . . where you start letting him rent space in your head and you can’t make it stop; I have a HUGE tendancy to do that so I can totally relate; and most times the AH doesn’t give us a 2nd thought . . yet here we are . . mine is 7 months sober whatever that means . . he’s still a very mean individual; not sure what 2013 is going to bring; but an exit plan may be at the top of my list same as you . . if God brings you to it he will get you through it . . focus on you!!
    take care,
    Sandy

  • Caitlyn

    Chloe:
    Ahh Chloe, I’m afraid I’ve come to the complete conclusion is for alcoholics to give up entirely the grog. There is no way they can stick to the one or two drinks as a maximum daily limit. They ALWAYS slip back to their old excessive habits. The only way out for them is total sobriety. If they give up, so do you and everyone close to them. There should be no alcohol in the Christmas pud or anything that will tip them back on the road of alcohol. It’s only fair to give them every chance of success. Here Alcoholics Anonymos is the secret to success for the alcoholic and for anyone involved closely with the alcoholic.

    Point two is honesty. You have to be honest with them even if there is pain to follow and you see silence as the secret to holding back the pain to come in the short term. It’s just not fair to them to slap them full pelt in an emotional hailstorm. Preparation is the key and honesty. Be up front unless you are in danger of your life. Otherwise give them the respect they deserve just as you deserve it.

    Point three, go ahead with your plan to move out and away. The current situation is just not working. And you know that and you have the sense to see that. Get yourself as much support from alcoholic groups as you can to see you through this situation.

    I am thinking of you as you make your difficult but inevitable choices to give yourself the peace and santuary you deserve and need in life. God bless you and give you strength to work your way through this trecherous journey.

  • chloe

    Thanks Caitlyn. Good advice. You’re right that a true alcoholic can’t cut back and drink in moderation. It always creeps back in. He’s going to have to figure this out for himself. In the mean time, I am enjoying my alone time, the income, being a good mom, working out, and the new found desire to strategize and make the most of my own career. Something in me has sort of snapped, and I’m just plain tired of this issue in my life. I’m tired of being so intertwined with these men, first my ex with narcissism, and now my husband with alcoholism. I need to detach and grow stronger as my own person. I’ve learned a huuugggggeee lesson in not giving oneself up so much to become completely intertwined with another person. This is what I’ve done and I’ve paid the price in these two marriages by getting dragged down by their dysfunction. So come what may, it’s time to forge ahead with my OWN plans, goals, and desires and stop being terrified of being alone which is what I have been. The key to all of this is accepting the situation, surrendering to it, and detaching from it while moving ahead with what is best for me and the kiddos.

  • JC

    Chloe, I love your last sentence…easier said than done in many instances. The thing I love about your sharing is that he did get sober…that tells him and you that he has it within himself to do it!

    Thanks for giving us an update. Keep focusing on yourself, detaching and “praying” always helps in finding the divine pathway to take. God knows the end before the beginning. Stay close to Him and He will make your paths straight…

  • Karens

    God and I have been through a lot of trial and tribulation
    with this alcoholic and drug addict his daughter. I am the
    odd person out. Am I just not listening? I have heard and
    read so much through all of you, and recognize it is hard
    enough with the alcoholic but with meth there is so bondaries that they recognize. They just do not get it.
    I feel like I have become the nut case. Well, in their
    world I am. I have done a lot of detatching and reading
    through the lies. I had a very small amount of good jewelery that was stolen. I am not getting it. Double
    time confusion and I just do not see hope for myself.
    I appreciate what you are doing and the rest of you who are also brave. Keep on going, do not wait until it is to late and you no longer have the strength to leave.

  • Karyn

    First rule of first aid: make sure u r safe

  • chloe

    Yes JC, so much easier said than done. I agree that remaining spiritually connected and centered is absolutely crucial in order to even be able to surrender, accept, and detach knowing we have our higher power.

    Karens, I just cannot even fathom dealing with a meth addict. I can see how you would feel crazy in that situation. I know that feeling myself, and it is no joke to be in that dark confusing and painful hole. The crazymaking is very damaging to our well being, and can sometimes even get me physically ill at times due to the effects of extreme stress like being in a war zone of sorts. My nervous system just goes on overload, and it physically hurts. The best lifeline for me so far is connecting to my higher power which brings me GREAT comfort, peace, and joy at times. I don’t remain in this state all the time as fear and anger creeps in, but I do know God exists because that loving light shines on me at times to absolutely KNOW it is real. In my darkest hours, Spirit ALWAYS gets me back to the Light where there is love, peace, and even joy. Please don’t give up hope for yourself, and try to gain strength from all the wisdom and experience of the good people here who are or have walked this path.

  • Hello Everyone: I have been married to a AH for 35 years now. I am 56 years old and full of life. About 8 months ago I walked out the front door and have not been back. I have maxed out 3 credit cards and spent about 30 thousand dollars on living expenses, rent, gas, food, etc. I am not proud of living off these credit cards but I am proud that I went home after work one day and got that sick feeling inside my stomach, waiting for my drunk AH to throw another one of his heart stabbing comments to me. This time I did not run up to the bedroom I merely turned around and walked out the front door.I had no clue where I was going nor what I was doing. Well folks Im out of money and my cards are maxed. I dont make enough money to survive on it alone. Does anyone have a suggestion for me. I told my husband that i will be home in 2 days from now. He called me everyday for 8 months. I never returned a call and never answered the phone. I only listened to his negative calls and then erased them. The positive calls I saved. Help what should I do? I have no family here and I can’t leave my job. Thank you so much for listening.

  • Julie

    Sherry the best advice I can give is to look to charities or programs in your area that can help you. I kicked my AH out over a year ago for Domestic violence and was left with no support and 3 children to take care of. But that fear of not being able to make it financially was finally not enough to make us all endure the abuse we were receiving at his hands. However, I did get help from people in my prayer group and I was lucky enough to get food assistance from the county and from local charities. The Salvation Army even gave me a few numbers of groups I did not even know existed in my community that really helped us out. You did an awesome job turning away in the first place. The best thing to do for yourself is to find value in yourself and to stop living to “help” or change the addict. They will never change until they decide to do it on their own. I am so glad that no matter what obstacles I had to face I did not take him back. He tried everything. He withheld support from us until i was finally able to return to court to file contempt and then he injured himself while he was drunk and was on disability from which we received no support. He also refused to go back to work until his disability ran out. Then when he went back to work and i finally started to get some child support after 14months with nothing from him, he was constantly harrassing me on the phone and email that i had to give him money back. Now he has lost his job because they caught him intoxicated and because of his criminal charges he is having trouble finding a job. But the children and I are making it on our own and we are used to living on a tight budget without any support from him. And now he is contacting me even though our divorce finally went through and telling me it is my responsibility to “fix” things for him. Well I am not responding to any of that. Right now I am focusing on me and my kids. And Believe it or not it is actually easier without his income to pay my bills even though i make only 1/3 of what he made and have lost his income and any support i may have received. And this is the reason why: because he is not here consuming all our income with his addictions. I actually have real control over the income i bring in and can pay my bills even if they are late sometimes. So do not give in and you can find a way. A local church or charity may be able to give you some options or advice. Perhaps a friend from work whom you are close to may be able to help you out with some emotional support or ideas of where to live etc… I know by me we have a YWCA that shelters women until they can find a place. So say prayers but seek out the help you need. You can do this and do not go back to him and take any crap. Remember that you are a wonderful human being who deserves to be treated with respect. You have gone this far and you can and will make it through. Godspeed!

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