Hello, everyone. I’ve posted before, but I did it within someone else’s post, not knowing how to post my own story in my own thread. Sorry about that. So, this is my story, so to speak. My Husband is a functional alcoholic.
I married at 18. My Husband was my first and only. We will be married 22 yrs in August. We have 3 kids, ages almost 19, 14-1/2 and 12. The 19 yo is in college. H went to Iraq in 2004-05 and came home with combat PTSD and developed a drinking problem almost immediately. He drank when we dated, on weekends, but never around me. When we married, alcohol was not an issue. It was never around. He rarely drank when we went out. Looking back, I see now that this was the beginning. His grandfather was a functional alcoholic and my Husband idolized this man.
There have been times when he stayed out all night at bars, didn’t come home from work, etc. In Sept 2010 there was a secret cell phone and a female coworker that he was texting. When I found out about the phone and her, he started becoming physically abusive with arm grabbing, hair pulling, screaming, pushing, shoving, hiding my keys, hiding the phone, etc. Also at this time, he was suicidal and depressed, suffering from PTSD, but never told me until after a failed suicide attempt. In Dec 2010 there was an incident where he completely lost it and fired a gun in our home. I forced him to go to the psych ward of a local VA hospital for treatment. He is on all kinds of antipsychotic meds. The abuse virtually stopped after this. In April 2011 there was an abusive incident and then in July 2011 I had him arrested for choking me. I was free of him!!! But I couldn’t take it. I begged him to come back to me and he did. Yeah, I know. What kind of idiot am I?! It’s those damn marriage vows, I guess, plus a huge dose of faith that he will change and a good measure of codependency. He still has violent outbursts of rage and will throw things. After months of being abused in the fall of 2010, I started fighting back. He says I am just like him now and just as bad as he is, but at the same time will say things like “nothing I’ve done has been that bad.” Total denial. He lies about drinking even though for YEARS I’ve begged him not to. I am ashamed to admit it, but in Dec 2010 there were also 2 episodes of sexual assault, both of which he says he doesn’t remember.
Fast forward to now — We are supposed to go to marriage counseling with the VA on Feb 28th. He is still drinking heavily, at least a 12 pack a night and that’s just what I know about. I’ve stopped actively counting them. He is having all kinds of paranoid thinking about me being out to get him, plotting against him, etc. I can’t decide if that is PTSD or alcohol. Both, I’d imagine. Last night, he was very hateful to our 12 year old daughter. Tears welled up in her eyes. She has started displaying codependent behavior. When he left the room she said to me and my middle son “No one say anything else to him tonight. Its going to be one of THOSE nights.” She had wiped the tears from my face before. 🙁
Both of my sons are afraid to leave me alone with their dad since 2010. My middle son, the 14 year old, today will not spend the night with his grandma tonight (even though he wants to) because he is afraid he has to “babysit” (his word) us, meaning that he thinks that being here will stop his dad from hurting me. The oldest is in college, but he is also a nervous wreck.
I have failed my children. It hit me last night like a ton of bricks. I have FAILED. I have been selfish.This is no longer about ME. What have I done? I feel so ashamed. My children have suffered, and I’ve stood by and let it happen all in the name of keeping my family intact.
Then, there are the good times. The times when he is pleasant and funny. EVERYONE loves him! Everyone thinks he is so charming. He’d do ANYTHING for a stranger or a friend. He will clean our house. He will cook. He will do anything I ask of him…… except stop drinking. No one believes that he does the things he does. He says everyone thinks I am a raving witch. He’s right. I am. Six years of addiction hell has turned me into one. But I don’t rave about the things I NEED to. I saw that last night. If we are getting along, he drinks MORE. If we are getting along, he takes his frustration out on our children.
I keep praying. I have no where to go. He knows how hard it will be for me to pack up myself and 2 kids and leave. He REFUSES to leave. This is “his” house, so he says. I pray that he leaves soon. The last time he was physically abusive to me was in November 2011. Its a cycle. About every 2 months I’ll “do” something and he will smack me or throw something. Its always my fault. His paranoia is my fault, too, according to him. He told me this morning that I “reinforce” it. Please God, let him leave. I want to be free. I want happy, healthy children. Give me the wisdom, strength and courage to do what I MUST do.
Please feel free to leave a comment further down the page.
JC: Thanks for sharing your story with us. I understand your situation all too well. I was committed to the vows I’d made, stood firm upon my faith and endured being abused by an alcoholic spouse. There were several articles that I thought of as I was reading about your relationship with a functional alcoholic.
As always we recommend that our readers get involved in Al-anon.