Need Advice-Alcoholic Still Hiding His Drinking

Guest Post: By Debbie
My alcoholic husband is still hiding his drinking. I never saw him totally intoxicated, but he is very emotionally abusive to me. He is still using escorts, phone sex lines and still not contributing to household expenses. My divorce may take quite awhile, but I am hoping someone can help with suggestions for the enablers in his life and how I deal with it.

I have posted my story before. Here I am again hoping for all the wonderful support and advice here that has already been given to me.

JC: We have an article called “How To Not Obsess Over An Alcoholic” that may help you with diverting your attention away from all of the things that the alcoholic is doing.

He has a friend who is now giving him “under the table” employment one day a week and I believe is coaching him on hiding money and maybe even convincing him to “wipe out” checking accounts and annuity accounts. This man would never talk to me about what my husband was doing in the past when I asked him. How do I deal with this legally and emotionally? Calls to my attorney don’t seem to get her to move any faster and I’m feeling she doesn’t believe me.

JC: I remember someone telling me to let my attorney handle things…they know what they are doing. If you don’t have faith enough in who is representing you to let go and trust, perhaps it’s time to change to a different lawyer.

My husband also has a large family that believes his lies about me. They help in many ways and may even be coaching him as well.

I feel like I have no one when I reach out for support on these problems it seems no one believes me.

I started taking photos of the things he is doing to me in the house: throwing my shoes out in the lawn, throwing away any decorations I put up (wreaths on door etc), taking magic marker and blacking out my face in pictures in the house. His antics are not enough to call the police, but they are working on me. I detach from the alcoholic and can laugh at this stuff, but when I see he convinces other people to help him–is there a way to let these people know what he is actually doing while hiding his drinking?

Finding that “place of peace” is getting more and more difficult as he pulls these childish things on me–they keep weighing on my heart and sometimes start to make me feel guilty when everyone else seems to believe him over me no matter what I show them or tell them.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

JC: As I continued to read your story, I noticed that there are several people involved in your situation that you have no control over what they do, think or say. We have an article called “Trying To Control An Alcoholic” that has some good advice on how to let go of anyone in our lives whether they are an alcoholic or not. The situation won’t change any if you inform people that he is hiding his drinking. The only thing that can change is how you respond to people around you. I hope that you can find a way to be content in knowing that “you” know what the truth is regardless of what other’s may think.

READERS please feel free to comment further down the page.

11 comments to Need Advice-Alcoholic Still Hiding His Drinking

  • Ana

    Hi Debbie,
    My ESH is that only when I started doing things differently, things started changing and I started feeling better. Taking care of me is the most difficult thing Ive ever done, but Im finally feeling better. I have no idea if you attend Al anon, this is where my life started change and I began having the RIGHT answers to all of my questions.
    Hugs to you !!!

  • Sheila

    Hi Debbie,
    I agree that Al-Anon can be very helpful. There you’ll find people who will believe you.
    It can be so nice to have others to talk to who know what you’re going through and understand.
    Instead of communicating with people who don’t believe you, perhaps spend your energy communicating with those who will believe you.

    Meanwhile, keep taking pictures! Also a written diary of daily events can prove to be useful later one. It wouldn’t hurt to schedule a consultation with an another attorney so that you can compare different styles.

    Seems like you’re moving in the right direction. So keep going. Slow and steady wins the race.

    Wishing you all the best!

  • C

    My heart goes out to you.. Keep a journal, take pictures, make sure dates and times are accurate. I found a wonderful female therapist when I was recovering from my divorce. I moved, got a great job in a large corporation and started a whole new social life.

    At first, I totally thought about my ex – what he was doing – that he was treating everyone so much better than he ever treat me, etc. That all slowly disappeared when I got very busy on me! Also, I went to college at night.

    I don’t know your situation, but please keep posting so we can be supportive during this very difficult time. You are the most important person right now – not him, or his new life. He will show himself, so don’t think anyone will get better treatment.

    Eat well, ride a bike or take long walks – dance to great music and sing in the car – all to relieve stress.

    Go to your local expresso cafe or diner regularly and make new friends.

    Take one hour at a time – wishing you peace and a loving friend nearby to help you.

  • kaz

    I used to try and talk to my friends about my situation. Then felt guilty. One for putting my partner down. Two for involving them, and then not liking their answer (just leave him). When I first started attending Al-Anon I felt ‘safe’ talking about my situation. They too had experienced what I was going through. I didn’t feel judged by my indesisive ‘should I stay, or should I go’ thoughts. Nobody ever said, oh just leave him! They encouraged me to live my life and let him live his. There is no simple answer to the struggles we all face on a daily basis. We can only try. One day at a time. Stay safe my friends.

  • Karens

    Debbie, You are going through a lot and I know how difficult divorce, alcoholism and
    non-supportive friends and family can be. It is important to find you and your own
    life. I learned to not answer leading questions family and friends ask to prevent
    more gossip. Is it me they are befriending or the gossip they can spread. Gossip
    underminds the spirit and soul. When you find that you do not have to answer the phone
    or invasive questions your spirit will soar. They will gradually move on with their
    lives and not focus on yours as if it was the latest news event of the year. Do not
    give them any opportunity to manipulate your statements on your life. They really
    need to clean up their minds and think about their miserable life. They all have skeletons in their closet so they drag yours out to hide their own issues from the world. Get a little wiser, and build your life. No one needs family or friends
    who have excessive needs to focus on you. These so called friends will slowly drop
    away and the ones that stay and accept the world you are building are true friends.
    The rest, who needs them. Look for good qualities in your new friends. Life goes
    in with or with out poor relationships.

  • Chloe


    I posted several months ago about my alcoholic husband, and my situation has improved dramatically. After a series of family interventions with my family cornering him and hammering him with his past physical abuse, and me going and telling his family everything about his abuse and lies, my hubby was brought to his knees. He was humiliated and ashamed of his drunken behavior, and has been sober so far since about April. So far so good but alcoholics can relapse obviously. Anyway, the interesting thing is that now his family will not speak to me. His dad insinuated that he drinks to relieve the stress of marrying a woman with two kids, and that I pushed my hubby into getting married. Nonsense! My hubby was lonely when I met him, and very much loves being apart of a family and having a wife. His dad barked at me that he did not like how I have handled the situation. His sister said his dad said he had no intention of getting involved on my behalf with dealing with his son’s alcoholism because he said if I stay, then it is my own problem. Hid dad is cold and resentful towards me, yet continues to call my hubby for friendly chats, sent him an expensive birthday gift, and ignored my son’s birthday. My hubby’s dad is also an alcoholic and his sister is a 500 lb food addict! The silver lining is that my hubby through all of this was really SHOCKED and APPALLED at how poorly his dad treated me. My husband knows I have been nothing but nice to them over the years. His dad had ZERO compassion for me, and mostly blamed me for poor sonny boy’s stress! It opened my hubby’s eyes to his own family’s dysfunction, denial, and ability for self deception and justification. They are HUGE enablers and codependents! His 500 lb sister’s psychiatrist told her that her mom basically enabled her to remain so obese so she would be housebound as his mom’s ever present companion. And his sister now agrees that this is what happened to her since a young age….sick!

    Anyway, Debbie, don’t expect much from the alcoholic’s family. Most likely, they are a sick lot since that is who raised the alcoholic after all. In my case, my husband’s dad strongly resisted any attempt to help
    his own son, and twisted the facts and blamed me for his son’s alcoholism. Crazy. Now both my hubby and I clearly see the extent of the dysfunction in which he was raised, and HOW my hubby fell into the family pattern of dysfunction!!

    I’m glad his family and I no longer have any contact. Good riddance! My hubby just sees them minimally now, and is able to see the forest through the trees about their utter dysfunction and the sick family dynamics.

    Hang in there Debbie, and protect your heart and soul from your alcoholic’s toxic family members who likely will try to blame and shame you! Don’t fall for their crazy making trap of blame, denial, and justification because it behooves them to keep the peace and relationship going with their blood relative.
    In my case, My alcoholic elderly father in law NEEDS my husband in his older age, and would be happy to see us divorced, and my hubby freed up to help him and his obese house bound sister.

    Hang in there…you’re the sane one!!!!

  • Debbi

    Thank you all for your support. As an update, my soon-to-be ex broke into my desk, took all the keys to camper, trailer, my car, my mom’s house keys, etc. I called the police just to make a report–big mistake–they treated me like a 2 year old wasting their time even though I told them I just wanted a report made out. During this encounter, my husband came home in a matter of 5 minutes convince the 2 officers I was bi-polar & crazy. So much for getting support again.

    I spoke up at my last al-anon meeting and told them everything I had been through and asked for a sponsor. They all looked at me like I had 2 heads and not one even so much as offered their phone number or any words of encouragement to I have stopped going there. Websites & support groups there seem to be the biggest help like this site.

  • Hi Debbi, I am so sorry for you, I am going through the same terrible stuff with my alcoholic. I attended an AA meeting last night with him, he was drunk, they asked him to leave and talked to him outside. One guy who I know there said to me not to bring him here, I was gobsmacked. They all seemed to say oh bless him, when all I wanted to do was physically kill him. I called the police on him the other day as he is causing me trouble in my block of apartments and the residents someone who has written in the lift to “get the woman out of number 16”. God this is all so unfair. The police turned up and said “we have blue-lighted it all the way down here and not to call 999 in future, but to use another number” so much for their help. I have been to doctors this morning to do with my eyes, she said it could be due to stress. Everything seems so hard and unfair. I keep praying and asking God to help me find the strength to carry on.

  • Debbi

    Thank you all so much for your encouragement. I see some of you in the stage I am in and some of you have already gotten further along in your progress. It is encouraging. It helps me every day.

    Just to update everyone–my soon-to-ex just yesterday destroyed a $5,000 above ground pool. do I call the police–why bother they never believe me & neither does my attorney. 2 days ago we had a massive storm & lost our power & water. I walked in house after work, and after surveying the damage to the pool and found rotting meat decaying in freezer–his food he had in freezer that he did not remove. The blood from the meat now running onto floor & dog licking it up because he did not give the dog water.

    How far do you let alcoholics suffer their consequences when what he is destroying I will have to pay to fix and inhumane treatment to animals. Have any of you had it this extreme? He never gets drunk because it takes a sharp mind to do all this destruction–what is going on?

  • kaz

    Hey Karen, I think the people at your AA meeting advised you not to bring your friend to the meeting because he was drunk. Not because they don’t want to help. There is a better chance of him being more reseptive to what they have to offer when he is sober. You can go to AA meetings yourself, if you think you may be able to learn from them. If you have gone to an Al-Anon meeting and found this not to be helpful, please try another meeting. I went to several before I found one I was comfortable with. Please remember ‘your’ sanity is most important at the moment. I know you will have lots of questions. This is a very confusing time for you. I wish you all the best.

  • Hi, thankyou Kaz, nice and quiet tonight. Went swimming with my daughter today 🙂 On way home got off bus to find him waiting on bench and screaming abuse at me as to where I had been, so humiliating, everyone staring. He kept asking to come back home with me with me refusing, the only thought I could come up with was to say to him I will go with you to your room, which seemed to work, he calmed down and we got on bus, that was havoc, but made it to where his room is, stayed for while, more insanity and said goodbye, which he replied beep beep beep! He is up in court on 16th or 17th, will see what comes of that, hopefully some good news!!!

    Debbi I think as you are married to him you must take photos of all the damage he is causing, I am so sorry for you. Maybe you could try an AA and Al-Anon meeting yourself, I know its hard when all this trouble is being put on you, we never seem to have any peace of mind. My thoughts are with you. I do wish I could have a magic wand but alas this is not so. Stay strong all of you, God is watching us 🙂 I pray for strength and rest to cope with each day.

Leave a Reply