Guest Post:Debbie has questions concerning her alcoholic husband.
I posted my story over a month ago about my husband who I’m sure really has a problem with alcohol because I’ve never seen him drunk, but his abusive alcoholic behavior led me to believe he is addicted to alcohol and also I’ve also him using drugs–recently a friend gave him his prescription for anxiety pills. Our last blowout ended with his usual silent treatment of me and this time I refused to talk to him any more. I moved across the hall. He proceeded to push for mediation and then backed off. During this time I found he started using escort services and phonesex chat lines. After showing proof to his family and close friends he is still able to convince them I am the crazy one. I cancelled mediation after one session when it was obvious this mediator is counseling him (saw him go in 2 times after sessions) but my attorney is encouraging me to continue even though she knows of the abuse I have suffered including illegal tactics on his part of wire tapping our phone and padlocking up files so I could not get them for the mediation.
I’m hoping someone out there has gone through similar circumstances with someone who seems to be able to stop drinking at will but very verbally and emotionally abusive that can help me answer my questions:
1-Why did he push for mediation then stall for 2 weeks before
2-Why did he leave me notes (love notes and wedding pictures) after I
filed for divorce–tired of waiting for mediation?
3-How do I deal with the guilt of the anger I displayed at him during
our marriage whenever I found out about lying, phone tapping etc?
4-How do I go into this mediation with the right mind set and not lose
my “cool” and yet get my point across to mediator how abusive he is?
Hoping someone can help me?
Debbie, thanks for sharing more of your story. Although your situation is unique, it has many of the same dynamics seen in most alcoholic relationships. Some of your questions can be answered by reading this article: Insanity Associated With Alcoholism.
You may find these helpful as well:
Removing Negative Emotions Related To Alcoholism
How TO Handle Feelings Of Guilt
As always, we recommend that you try a few Al-anon meetings. You will find the answers to many of your questions about the alcoholic there. The first meeting I attended, someone handed me a card with their telephone number on it and said; “call me anytime if you need to talk.” There is a tremendous amount of wisdom that circulates through the program that will bring healing to your life and provide answers to your questions.
Your situation is not exactly the same as mine. My 31 year old son is an alcoholic who also abuses prescription pain meds. He, his wife and 4 kids live with us because he cannot keep a job. When he is working he drinks all of his money. My husband and I are trapped in my son’s world because we have to protect the grand kids, provide for them and our daughter-in-law. What I observe in our son’s relationship with his wife sounds much like your current situation with your husband. As a very involved observer I would say that your husband is indulging his needs with little regard for yours. An addict is nothing if not selfish and self-motivated. That is what I believe leads to the substance abuse in the first place along with other factors depending on the individual. This may sound very harsh, but I will tell you what I tell my daughter-in-law: get out of the relationship. Maybe someday you can get back with him, but until he works out his addiction and selfishness you will always come second. I don’t think you want to come second. You don’t mention kids. I hope there aren’t any because that is a major complication to an already stressful relationship with an addicted spouse. You cannot make him stop his behaviors. The longer you stay with him the longer you delay your own life and your goals and aspirations. I apologize if I sound so negative but I’ve been involved with my addict son for 10 years and he has only gotten worse. Please put yourself first and move on.
First, I want to say God bless you for taking steps to detach from this man. The word ‘husband’ hardly describes his addicted and abusive behavior. Focus on your healing and your life. When the thoughts of what his family or friends think of you just say to yourself that you’ve done the best you could and they can think what they want (people will anyway). Ask the Lord for strength and courage to do the right things for yourself. God will help you. As for your anger, anyone would be angry when they’ve been lied to…I was. We can say over and over, “Yes, I was angry and now I calmly see that this is who he is and I hope he gets the help he needs.” You can do this. You can keep calm. Visualize how you want to present yourself. ***Al anon will help you to pour out your feelings. We all feel betrayed by the alcoholics in our lives and we learn that focusing on them and their crazy making behaviors leads us down a path of anxiety but focusing on our life of peace and making good decisions for ourselves takes us down the path of a better way to live. It’s a discipline to learn to not allow negative angry feelings run the show but it’s learn-able and very helpful. God bless!
You are suffering through a lot of emotional pain that breaks a womans heart. We all go through this in the beginning. Alcoholics and narcotic addictions go han
to hand. Very simular actions on the home front and definitely paranoid. I got the mini lessons you can download and It was the best thing I did for my self.
My husband is an alcoholic and his daugter is addicted yo
meth amphetamines. Their brains get do scrambled they
do not recognize what they are doing do them selves and
the relationship. It takes time to heal from all of the battering but in the end you will be glad you took this path.
Debbie, I feel your pain and will say that you are doing the right things by detaching. Stay strong and God Bless. In my current situation I understand your feelings of frustation and the pursuit to reveal the truth. I am going thru a divorce right now with an alcoholic abuser and he is playing so many mind games it is unreal. The sad part is instead of taking this opportunity to really change and make his life better, he is still playing these games and giving in to the addiction. He even has an anger management counselor fooled that he really has never done anything abusive to me and the children and that I am being unreasonable for not wanting marriage counseling and refusing to end the divorce. But my husband’s actons speak louder than words and even as he says he cares about me and the kids his actions show differently. I know becasue we have gone thru this before. The pattern of leaving him til he says he will change or get help and then when we return he treats us even worse and more controlling to try and make it impossible for us to leave him again. But this time I am done giving him chances. I will never take him back but still pray that he sees the light and makes changes for himself. But it is frustrating as far as his family goes. They used to tell me i was a fool for staying with him and now that we are split up they are trying to get me to take him back. And his father blames me for everything just like he always blamed his wife in his own alcoholic life.
Debbie,in short, stay strong and trust in your God because that is the only real way to obtain freedom. But use any resources available to you. The lessons from this site are the ones that helped me begin to break free.And then there is my support group. Try Ala Non and any support groups in your area. These really help keep you focused on the truth when the addict is trying to confuse you.And support groups provide the emotional support that only one who has been through what you are going through can provide.
You are in my prayers….take care.
He is an alcoholic. You left. He refuses to acknowledge and change his problem. You have two options, 1) Go back and put up with it or 2) end the relationship. If you choose #2 you need to do so in a way that he cannot abuse you from afar. End contact unless it is for important things. Change your phone number and give him an email address to email you at. Have a trusted friend screen the emails before you read them. Have all your replies screened by your friend before sending. This will be more difficult if you have kids, but is necessary to screen the abuse out and only have contact regarding pertinent things. If he loved you, he will get the help he needs and put the required effort into rebuilding himself and then rebuilding the marriage. If not, then you have your answer. Chances are he will choose the addiction. That is not an indictment on you, your looks, your sense of humor, your sexual abilities, etc. It’s simply a matter of mathematics. Over 75% of alcoholics die with their disease. 90% of alcoholic marriages end in divorce. There is a 10% chance he will choose your marriage. There is a 25% chance that at some point he may sober up. There is a 90% chance your marriage will end now or some point in the future. There is a 75% chance his addiction will kill him.
Your points 1-4 are codependency. Addicts have no soul. They have no conscience. They wake up with one thing on their mind- their next drink (and/or drugs in your case). Get some help for YOURSELF, not mediation for a marriage that is not worth saving. I got to the point you did, then gave in. that was 2 years ago, and you know what? I regret it. She has not changed one bit. I have just suffered needlessly for two additional years. All she does is work part time and drink full time. No date nights, no respect, no compassion, no love. She is “alive” when I am at work- 11 am to 2 pm and then drunk by the time I get home. No deep conversations, no cleaning, no cooking, just television, beer, and stories of what a great sex life she USED to have. You know what? she was never any different back then than she is now….a drunk that sits on the couch and drowns her realities in beer.
When I filed for divorce and tried to help HER, she convinced all our friends, her friends, her coworkers, and MY family that I was “crazy.” I know it hurts. I have lived it. Ultimately, my family saw right through her. As far as her friends and coworkers, two years later I realize who really cares what a bunch of stupid nurses think of me? Truth is, how do I know they think I’m crazy, because she told me so? They may think she’s a drunken slut. She isolated me from them, so I don’t really know what they think. Either way, if they ARE stupid enough to take her side, so what? How will that really matter in my life once she is out of it? I realized that what she did to me was well practiced….exactly what he is doing to you. Their addiction comes first, relationships are seen as temporary because they know the truth…somewhere behind the facade of their “greatness” they know they are utterly disgusting and undesirable people. So they develop defenses to protect themselves from reality. Whatever he is doing to you he has done to anyone that cared enough to try to help him. They’re all gone, and the alcohol is still there. You will be gone, and “crazy.” He will find someone else to cater to his addiction and he will tell her horrible stories of how crazy you are. Deal with it. Walk away. Lamenting what you did will not give you those years back.
That is just my advice. Sorry to ramble.
I have found this site very useful as long as I remeber that all addicts/alcoholics lie and act in a similar way. Ben’s point about worrying about our reputation is spot on. I wasn’t allowed to spend New Year with my boyfriends because his friends were taking him in ( we had recently split up ) but even though he wanted to be with me his friends wouldn’t want me there as i had caused him to be upset! Now I realise either he painted a terrible picture of me to them. Or more likely, he spent New Year getting high with some other single mate. Once I raised concerns about his drug use I was never allowed to meet with him and his friends, only meet him on his own. So I had no one to compare notes with. Its very lonely and you feel left out. Look back at my last sentence…I wasn’t allowed! How distaughted is that thinking! We are meant to be in a loving relationship and its easy to lose site of that if you take the addicts words to heart. I agree with Ben his friends either dont know me and will never meet me ..so who cares. Or they have heard his sob stories before and have put two and two together.
Actually the worst part of the addictive behaviour is this… he tries to hide his drug use by pretending he is doing normal things…playing the guitar with a friend…helping a friend with DIY. Going sailing with a friend. having dinner with a friend. Going camping, climbing! I believe it all even though he can hardly walk straight! Meeting an x for a drink..He tries so hard to make excuses and paint this picture of a normal happy sociable life. he doesn’t realise that it is so hurtful that he doesn’t include me!
Sometimes I think I just want to win the argument as much as he does. If the reality of the relationship is that it is not loving..why stick around to prove I am right about his addiction?
I don’t have any contact at the moment..so no arguments…not even in my head..thank goodness. He knows I love him and I told him I want him to recover but he will have to get there on his own.
Ben is right once you get some distance from the addict and meet with old and new friends you will start believing your own reality again and your friends will reinforce it.
Thank God for all the comments and support everyone offers on this site. Another thing to think about and hope someone with similar experience will comment on. My situation is with someone who had a 30 year history of binge drinking and quit about 9 months ago. The behaviour is still the same, maybe even worse because now the arrogance of “I’m not actively drinking” seems to fuel this idea that all behaviours, accusations, inconsistencies, name-calling, manipulations, lies, etc don’t deserve any show of remorse as “you know the way I am”. This individual exhibits grandiose, judgemental, moody behaviour and has gotten absolutely no help (AA, pastoral counseling, etc) and is really accountable to no one but his own internal compass. I have been a bitch, spoiled brat you name it in the last nine months of sobriety and gotten excuses that “men are supposed to do stupid things, are you still upset about THAT??” and various other encounters which show no willingness to accept personal responsibility but to nit-pick and magnify any minor thing I might say or do if it doesn’t fit with the way he thinks I should behave or respond. We work together full-time and began a relationship 1 1/2 years ago and it is maddening to see him come into work jovial as can be and everyone just eats up the nice, charming, outgoing, witty side to his personality. Things don’t necessarily get better with sobriety, especially if the alcoholic doesn’t see the need to seek out and lean on the help that is available. Pride needs to be abolished whether actively drinking or not and this can only come from a complete heart change, which only the Lord can accomplish. I have found myself trying to be as supportive as possible and keep pushing for the need for him to find strong, truly God-fearing and loving men who can challenge him and model for him what faith in Jesus and living by His example looks like. Hard to do for someone who has a 30 year history of womanizing, drinking and partying with the boys. As his “partner” for 1 1/2 years, I just feel constantly degraded, somewhat used and that the true love that only Jesus can model isn’t there. No matter how badly I would like to see him turn into the man I think he could truly be, his pride is keeping him for reaching out beyond trying to control and manipulate me. What I hope to get across is that even sober, without doing the hard work of taking personal responsibility for their own emotional well-being, it will still be a life altering drain on those closest to the addict, active or not. So very hard to let go as my heart breaks for him because of his history and loneliness and stuggles but my head knows the relationship is abusive and unhealthy and it is in my best interest to move on. Sobriety does not automatically (or maybe ever) equal emotional health and well-being. Mostly just heartbreaking as the charming, kind, hard-working, intelligent human being is like a ghost or shell of a whole, healthy human being. Only God can bring about lasting change and I believe He needs for us to sometimes get out of His way so He can heal the addict in His own way and time. It’s so hard to let go.
Suzanne, I understand how you feel. I have been married to an alcoholic abuser for 20 years.. fact is even when he did attempt to go sober or cut down he was still abusive. After much research and support groups I discovered he is two things: an alcoholic and an abuser which are two separate issues. The alcohol only makes his abusive behavior worse. As far as being charming etc.. in front of others, it is a facade he creates to the outside world in order to look like something he is not(this is actually classic abuser behavior). Point is you are correct in believing that he is the only one who can make the decision to change.We cannot change them. We cna be supportive but not to the point where we are accepting abuse. From your words it sounds like you are already understanding the need to “let go”. God Bless and please understand you are not a bad person for wanting to end the abuse to yourself. You are wonderful and God does not want you to accept his abuse of you. Take care!
I just wanted to thank Suzanne for her comment- what you wrote was very helpful to me today. Thank you for taking the time. You never know when you reach out and take the time in supporting others who you might touch and help. Letting go can hurt so bad and feel so lonely. God Bless.
The comments from all of you are so uplifting even with this heart-breaking subject of addiction. We all need to make it our mantra: I did not CAUSE it, I cannot CURE it, and I cannot CONTROL it. It is a very hard road for me to detach because he has so many bad additions I need to learn to detach from: alcohol, drugs, liing and just plain abusive. It has taken me 2 months into this last episode and finally heading toward a divorce that I am able to pray for him–recovery. It may take me a little longer to forgive him & I believe I have not yet forgiven myself for my behavior in my marriage. Sometimes still I keep thinking “my God–I was the abusive one!” but try to remind myself that my reactions were just reactions to things he did & said to me. After attempts to solve his problem/ourproblem it weighed on me and I started to vent and rage to the point I did not know myself any more. But detaching has helped me tremendously to give me the time to start finding me again! I have detached literally (staying in another room away from him) and emotionally (no contact what so ever). This process has got me to stop hurting quite so much over all the awful things he has done to me & start to heal and now I need to start working on forgiving myself for my reactions to his addiction. If I can work towards this while still living in the same house & battling his attorney who is constantly “ripping” me apart, battling his friends who believe and repeat his lies about me, ect. . .I know everyone can–cause I know how stubborn I am but I finally caved and let my higher power do the work & just pray for my hurt and pain to go away. Don’t ever stop working on yourself–this will restore everything to a more normal state in your mind, heart & maybe even your home. Good luck today to all of you out there!
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