Is My Husband An Alcoholic? Cheating, Marriage Ending, Divorce

JC: Thanks for sharing your story; I read through it twice. Our readers will answer your question about whether or not your husband is an alcoholic in the comments section. I’ve linked several articles throughout your story that will offer a few ideas for coping with an alcoholic.

Wife Wondering

Guest Post: My husband and I have been married 15 years now, second marriage for both of us. No children between us but both of us each have an adult child from previous marriages. I knew my husband drank beer before we married but never saw signs of any abuse and not until 8 years into our marriage did I think there may be a problem.

I noticed him starting to do alot of mixed drinks in addition and his doctor would not renew his prescription to an arthritis medication without a liver enzyme test so he stopped the medication and continued to drink. I mentioned to him that he might want to stop drinking so he could continue his medication without damage to his liver by doing both. I suggested some counseling services. I got the denial and then I started getting accusations of me accusing him of being an alcoholic and from that point it was down hill.

Before this even started I was told by him that his first wife had cheated on him with a friend of his and all through our marriage he continually accused me of doing the same thing to him. He accused me of stealing from him and all kinds of crazy things.

The last three years have been the worst because I have been battling some major health issues and during that time he started becoming verbally abusive (Getting Abused By An Alcoholic) and making nasty comments to me and behind my back to family and friends. He so convinced his family members that I was cheating, one sister lent him a recording device for the home phone and possibly even a spy camera.

I found a hotel room card key laying on the garage floor one day and I know he either planted it to make me mad or now he was being unfaithful. I stopped worrying about the drinking at that point and started tracking him for signs of unfaithfulness.

puzzle piecesI did everything wrong–I confronted him everytime I found out something else he had done to me and raged. I became that “co-dependent” that I am now learning that played into his rules. His method of dealing with our problems when I broached any subject was the “silent treatment”, sometimes weeks or more at a time. And so I then became obsessed with him and stopped living my own life–another big mistake I am now trying to “unlearn” (How To Stop Focusing On An Alcoholic).

The last silent treatment is still going on to the extent he has stopped contributing money for our expenses. In addition to trying to always get me mad and angry he used money as a weapon. I decided enough was enough. After my last surgery I dropped the paperwork off to an attorney to start divorce proceedings.

And now during these last couple of weeks waiting for everything to be finalized I found charges on his credit card for escort services, phone sex chat lines totaling with approximate cost of the cash he gives directly to these escorts of $3,000 and counting. My heart is now broke completely. I knew I needed to end this marriage and get back my peace but this last was like a stab to the heart.

He’s still living in the home and blatantly calling these women and going out with them even while I was recovering from my surgery in which I had to have friends drive me that day.

I am attending Al Anon but everyone in our group has children they are dealing with so I am hanging in there but not really getting support from other members because their situation is different than mine.

My mind just keeps asking the same question over & over “Since I never saw him actually drunk, passed out, etc., I’m still not sure that his use of alcohol is the only reason for all this and maybe I am dealing with a completely different problem here”. But I guess at this point it does not matter, he crossed over the line in sand I had drawn–infidelity. I have been tolerant of  so much but that just made me snap.

He actually does not know yet I filed for divorce (Overcoming Fear Of  Living Without An Alcoholic) but will soon and I’m not real sure he even knows that I know about the escort services and other items because he hid that credit card bill from me–I had checked it online to discover that.

Can this all be the cause of alcohol? When he is this cunning, mean and devious, maybe I need to approach this divorce with a different mindset than blaming the alcohol for everything. It gets harder & harder waiting for things to end while I sit here and watch his antics. I had started to get my life back and going out and this last incidence with unfaithfulness has thrown me right back to “square one” and dealing with my feelings of guilt, anxiety and many many more.

Just hoping for that “light at the end of this tunnel”, staying in separate room away from him and trying to make sense of how my life became so bizzare. I so want to let his family members who help him know of all his indiscretions but being told by attorney to just “sit tight”. Feel like my hands are tied, can’t move around in my own house for fear now of his throwing out threats and nasty comments to me.

Is there a way to cope (Lessons For Coping With An Alcoholic) with this crazy situation? Moving out is not an option for me for financial reasons, although I do work, not enough to do that right now and I have no family in the area to help.

Sure hope there is an end to this craziness!

8 comments to Is My Husband An Alcoholic? Cheating, Marriage Ending, Divorce

  • Cindy

    This is textbook alcoholic behavior with my own spouse. I never caught him but I always thought he was cheating. He beinged 10 to 15 days at a time and the verbal abuse has been insane. I’m 60 and I’m not moving or filling. He just got out of treatment. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I’m thru playing the , if it weren’t for you game.

  • Sally

    Guest, please know that his behavior has nothing to do with you. You’re a convenient excuse for him to sink as low as he wants to go. Your story sounds so familiar. His behavior isn’t only caused by the alcohol, but alcohol makes it easier for him to rationalize away any remorse or guilt he may have. He says hateful things to you because he knows you’re a decent, caring person, and it makes it easier for him to justify his sorry behavior if you fight back, and deep down, he’s hoping to make you hate him, because even deeper down, he hates himself. I know this may be very hard, but do your best to remember that whatever he says, it’s not about you. It’s all about manipulating you so that he can feel better about what he’s doing.

    Your lawyer is right. Say nothing to anyone. His family is probably quite aware of who and what he is. If they’re not, they soon will be. If he ever gives you the slightest reason to fear for your safety, don’t hesitate to call the police. Document everything that you find that has to do with your joint finances. Make doubly sure you have it in a place where he can’t find it. My favorite hiding place was the dirty clothes hamper. I knew my drunk wasn’t going to touch that! 🙂

    In Al Anon, speak up and ask for your group’s support. They can’t know what you need unless you say something, loud and clear. Even there, the fallout from living with a drunk tends to give people who live with them a case of tunnel vision. So speak up, and you’ll be heard and helped.

    Take care of yourself and stay strong. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I completely understand how hard the waiting is. I had to wait for months before I could make the move I needed to in order to save myself. I left the drunk in my life 7 weeks ago, after 5 years together, and every day life seems better. As I said on another post, since I left, I have good days, great days, so-so days and even a few bad ones, but even the bad ones are better than the best day with the drunk. We’re here for you, so please, stay in touch. You’ll find a good group here to listen and understand. God bless. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Chloe

    In addition to having some level of alcohol dependence, he may either have or is developing a sex addiction. Porn, s#% chatting, escorts etc. are a slippery dangerous slope for many men who quickly become addicted to the intensity and endless novelty that those experiences offer. No woman can ever compete with those artificial sexual experiences that he is purchasing for himself. It’s very destructive to a relationship, and can have lasting damaging effects on his brain because it alters his ability to be satisfied with real life monogamous s%# and intimacy. Do you think he is addicted to the phone chats and escorts at this point?

    So many potential vices in this world 🙁 !!!!

  • Chloe

    Sorry I had to retype the word sex like #%% because the system thought the comment was spam.

  • Jamie

    Guest, it’s sad that your husband is carrying around baggage from his former relationship in your marriage. That seems to be what alcoholics do though, they cover over the pain with alcohol instead of healing from the pain.

    I hope you will keep us informed as you move in this new direction with your life.

  • Suzie

    So sorry to hear you are going through the pains of alcoholism. Yes, your husband is an alcoholic. My husband only drank beer but also smoked pot since the day we started dating, but it was well hidden once I expressed my disapproval. Unfortunately, addiction is a progressive disease and our reaction to it as co-dependents are also progressive. My husband was sober for 5 years, but even though he attended AA he was not in recovery. I always suspected infidelity early on in his addiction, but he was self employed and it was easier to hide things. It’s hard to decide to divorce someone based upon “guesses” of what I thought was happening….and then we become obsessed in figuring out what is going on but we take them back over and over….Alcoholism is cunning and baffling disease and so is codependency. My husband’s sobriety was such a welcome relief until the infidelities became even more apparent. Without alcohol to hid behind, the pursuit of other women became more apparent. I don’t know if it was a substitute for the alcohol and pot addiction. He had been using for 45 years and we had been together for 36….well, I was struggling from the affair recovery and he was less than proactive….just too much work for him and he decided to divorce me to pursue what might be out there….what he might be missing..and his best friend had just died too, which just made the “mid life crisis” at age 62 more apparent that his life might be “slipping” by and why waste any time working on affair recovery when hooking up with the next one could give him a relationship free of any past or effort (that’s what he thinks relationships are….just free and fun, never any work). So I understand the pain you are going through, and addiction only gets worse and there is no guarantee that even if he got sober that he would change his basic personality and character problems. AA does not support recovery of affairs with marriage counseling and honesty, they believe the betrayed should say bygones are bygones and just forget it ever happened….no wonder there are so many divorces in AA. Best of luck.

  • John P

    I will never give another heavy drinker/alcoholic a chance in my life. I fell in love with a woman and was in a long-distance relationship with her for about a year and a half. She totally had me. We lived 6 hours apart and that gave her every opportunity to lie and cheat. The worst part was not really knowing, having my instinct/intuition telling me one thing and her telling me another. The difference in this woman from before she crossed the edge to becoming an alcoholic was stark. She didn’t even seem like the same person, not only while drinking but sober as well. My mistake other than getting involved with her in the first place was not breaking things off after the first time I caught her lying about where she spent the night and the first time I had to babysit her all night long to keep her from hurting herself or driving off to hurt someone else. I’d think maybe another week, maybe another month, maybe another rehab, another conversation, etc, etc. We had about 6 months of good and then a year of bad. It’s now been a year since we broke up and I am still dealing with the anger, resentment and feeling like I don’t really know her. My advice to anyone who get’s involved with someone who’s an alcoholic and who’s drinking is to RUN, especially if you don’t have that much invested in them to begin with. When you really think about the amount of damage someone like that can do to you, both in the present and in the long-run, it just isn’t worth it to hang in there for them. Like one person told me who was a recovering alcoholic, they will change only when they decide to, NOT when you want them to or because you want them to. I’m not saying people who are alcoholics are bad people. I had to learn the hard way that this is a disease, and one that once it’s taken hold, may never let go. The question to one’s self, one who’s dealing with a person like this is what about you? What about your life?

    Trust your instincts and put yourself first because that’s what they are doing every time they drink, putting themselves before you and everyone else in their life. What they do to you in the process of ruining their own lives can be immeasurable.

    Never again in Portsmouth.

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