Afraid To Leave My Abusive, Cheating Alcoholic Husband

JC: Thanks Laurie for submitting your story. You stated clearly that your husband is being abusive, he has been cheating and is consuming alcohol on a daily basis. At the same time you shared that you love him so much and have hope for change.  You are living in a very difficult situation. There is a very fine line between reality and denial.  I  highly recommend that you find an Al-anon support group in your area and start attending right away.

Having An AffairStory Submitted By: Laurie
Hi, I am new to this and wanted to share some of my every days. I am 33, I have 4 kids. My husband is an alcoholic. The problem I have is well that I do have 4 kids, it scares me to walk away…asking myself “who would ever want to be with someone with 4 kids.” I currently don’t work, however, I did just graduate from school so I do have hope that I can find a job and then not worry about money issues.

I love my husband so much. We were high school sweethearts. He truly is amazing and would do anything for anyone…sober. When he drinks he becomes this completely different person. He is so mean. My  alcoholic  is verbally abusive to me all the time. He has cheated on me with my son’s friends mom, and I even think he has gotten hookers. It has gone so far and beyond what is right and wrong. I love who he is when he is sober, but he drinks every night and therefore, my world is rocked everyday.

I am spiritual. I believe in forgiveness, I think I have been more then forgiving. I hope and pray one day he will snap out of this. He has wrecked cars, gotten a DUI, and recently got physical with me for the first time. I know if I gave him the option of picking between me or drinking it would be the alcohol he would chose. He’s “quit” before..only to find 8,000 cans hidden everywhere. I feel like he is another child in my house. I do everything for the kids myself. I just finished going to school full time 40 hrs a week for 2 years.

silhouette of familyI only know of us. I basically have been a stay at home mom so I am so afraid to walk away, as he has always taken care of us financially. Our finances are so in trouble right now. He owns his own business so that has been struggling as well. I keep thinking what is best for the kids.I know it isn’t to see us fighting but I hate to break up this family. I hate to think I would have to share them on holidays etc. I am trying to learn how to deal with him through the advice on this site. It seems I have been doing and dealing the wrong way.

This completely consumes my life because it’s my world. I am obsessed with looking at phone records, crying all the time and fighting with the alcoholic. I do know that if I could win the lottery and have a home for my children I really do believe I would stick up for myself and walk away.

All these things he has done I believe he wouldn’t have done if he was sober, so there’s a little bit of hope left I have but I feel like I am running low on that. We don’t have sex, we barely talk or see each other, mainly because I avoid him at night. Any advice?

JC: Staying with someone who is abusive and cheating in a relationship  just doesn’t seem to make sense to many people. Laurie, only you can decide what is going to be best for you and your family. There is always hope for your alcoholic husband to hit bottom, many do and get sober in the process. You are on the right track by trying to learn how to cope with an alcoholic before giving up on the relationship completely. Many people are able to stay in relationships that are worth investing the effort in once they get the proper training on how to live with an alcoholic.    If at all possible, please get involved in Al-anon ASAP.


74 comments to Afraid To Leave My Abusive, Cheating Alcoholic Husband

  • Karens

    It is amazing how we do not recognize the signs of a born alcoholic. Looking back my first husband was not a heavy drinker but had all the traits of an alcoholic. We divorced because of the affairs and emotional cruelty.
    My children still believe he is heaven on earth. He has
    turned my children away from me and is still manipulating
    them with half truths and lies about me.

    When my second husband was verbally abusive and came home
    telling me he found some one special I did not hesitate to
    get the heck out of the marriage. This after 16 months of hell living with him.

    Now into my marriage with number 3 for many more years than
    I care to count. I realized long before I met him that
    I needed to do something about me. I studied any motivational book I could get my hands on. After 4 years
    I married number 3 thinking I had a handle on me. Well,
    guess who married a handsome, charming, manipulating,
    unfaithful, cruel to the bone alcoholic. Very disappointed
    I am staying. So please ladies and gentlemen as well. We
    are attracted to what we know. Underneath that very charming exterior is a multigenerational alcoholic. Please
    take time to know you. Four years between each marriage
    helped not at all. It takes more than time to heal from
    the trauma of their alcoholism.

    Bless each one of you and a successful life and happiness
    be yours. Karens

  • Sandy

    Karen – I too am in my 2nd relationship with an abusive alcoholic and wonder everyday how did I get here again? I’ve always thought I was one that learns from experience, and I’ve learned for sure just not the right things . . mine is sober now but he definitely has the dry drunks and when his old behaviors come out I just want to scream . . at least the violence has stopped but he still can push my buttons and make me want to scream occassionally – we are busy planning our camping vacation next week and I’m very apprehensive . . he’s taking some O’douls to drink and there are certain times I can see it affecting him like a regular beer would; I set a boundary and said I’m not shelling out any $$ on the stuff anymore and I’m not enabling; he’s on his own . . I still don’t know if he’s actually hit bottom even after being arrested . . how can that be?

  • James

    Karen, Don’t be too hard on yourself, I should have learned my lesson but I ended up having relationships with one BPD sufferer after another…the last one was an alcoholic to boot. Why didn’t I learn my lesson? Well, I really didn’t see it coming and you don’t get a resume or a psyciatic report on people you date…you go out with them and take your chances…Am I bad picker…guess so, lol…!

  • John

    Why is it that we are attracted to the unhealthy ones? A friend of mine recently started dating a girl. By all appearance she wasn’t an addict or alcoholic. He was ecstatic that he had finally found someone who was “normal”. After about ten months, her behavior started changing and he thought he had done something to cause her to not have much interest in him. Turns out that he is now in a relationship with a relapsed prescription pill addict. She started abusing pain pills after she went to the emergency room for severe back pain. My friend is devastated because all trust has been broken due to the lies that she has been feeding him over the past two months. Her addiction has turned a once beautiful girl into an abusive, lying and possible cheating girlfriend. He was so cautious to try and find a girl who didn’t have these sort of issues. Now with so much invested, he is having difficulty stepping out of the relationship. I have invited him to attend Al-anon with me, but he doesn’t seem to have much interest. I see him slowly falling into the black hole and there’s nothing I can do to rescue him. I feel helpless, but have placed him into the care of God’s hands.

  • Laurie

    I had a bad night last night with my AH but I will tell you that when he came into the bedroom and started running his mouth and talking bad to me, I got up, didn’t say a word and slept in my daughter’s bed. I am glad I learned to do that through this website, otherwise, it would have been a bottomless argument. I know that I really need to make a move with breaking away. I keep going back and forth stick it out through the holidays and 2013 can be a new start to something, but I don’t think I can do this anymore. I keep thinking should I pack up and move into my dads house. It will make for a crazy schedule with the kids because they have school in another town. It is amazing though how the next day after they have managed to make you angry, how you start evaluating yourself. Is it me? Should I try harder? love more? Not walk out on someone who has an disease? I just have so many thoughts going through my head, I feel sick to my stomach. I know God will put me in the right path, however, I am definitely in the blind part of this journey….IDK…just a day of feeling sorry for myself.

  • JC

    Laurie, good for you for refusing to argue. I’m sure you saved yourself from many negative emotions. yesterday is over. Do your best to stay present in today and be all that you can for your children. It will do you well to be kind to the alcoholic too.

    Keep trusting God completely, He knows the end before the beginning.

    I would encourage you to write in a journal every time you have an encounter with the alcoholic like last night. It will really help you see clearly what he is doing to try and push your emotional buttons.

    If you have a phone list from Al-anon, use it! I know that the phone seems like it weighs a thousand pounds, but people put their numbers on those lists so they can be of help to you. Reach out for help Laurie. If you do, you will find another avenue leading you toward serenity.

    Above all, make your mind up that you are going to enjoy this day…no matter what comes your way. Listen to your favorite music. Play with your kids. Exercise,read, go to the movies…

    We are here for you. Don’t hesitate to post questions here. The community of readers will be here for you.

  • Lizzie

    It’s tough to be a stay at home mom and consider the reality of having to go back to work. I had a sweet career prior to marriage and when we got married, my (ex) husband insisted that I quit my job in order to stay home and take “care” of his immigration problems, work problems, you name it. For 10 years I was a slave to him and that house- pushing a lawnmower over an acre of land in 100+ degree weather, working in the yard all evening- staying outside in order to avoid him- and have him run his truck all over the vegetables I was growing to feed MYSELF because he only allowed me to eat english muffins. I was locked IN the house during the day, locked OUT of the house at night where I had to sleep on a porch with NO screening. Living in Alabama, I got bitten by so many mosquitoes that I developed a fever and eventually HOOKWORM from having to live outside and drink and bathe out of the water hose. IF he allowed me in at night, he would literally cut the power off outside @ the power box and I had to go outside to use the water hose to bathe. And on the day I ran away- walked out of the house in only a night gown and no shoes, wandering thru a cotton field to make it to a fire station a mile away, only to get there and have them call the cops who delivered me back to HIM. It was my mom who heard the Lord’s calling who drove 5 hours to come and find me on my hands and knees digging in the dirt with bare hands. He told her that it was a good thing she came for me, because he was going to “set me on fire”. After I left, he filed for divorce, citing I had abandoned him. I had to get a court order to have my clothes released, my car- and he trashed ALL of it. I had letters from doctors documenting bruises and meltdowns in their offices over the abuse in my house, only to have his attorney object to that evidence (“we didn’t know about this evidence, so it can’t be used in court”) and get it thrown out of court. I GOT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. He stole my dad’s military medals. I plunged head first into poverty. NO health insurance. No car insurance. NO clothes, shoes, NOTHING. I learned that for months he was draining our bank accounts by sending it to Canada for his mom to hold. Now, at age 48, I’ve had to go back to school (and incur $14 THOUSAND in student loans while waiting tables and making $3.25/hour plus tips. The Lord does NOT intend for us to stay with a husband who batters us. THAT IS NOT GOD’S PLAN!!!

  • Karen(!)

    Lizzie, I admire your spirit and courage.

  • Laura

    When I started reading your post I actually had to think if I wrote that and forgot that I did…that’s how much I feel the way you do today…EXACTLY!! I just feel really sad because of the same questions you are asking yourself. Lately, I have been able to walk away and not let him control my emotions and get upset. But last night, I messed up…and he got the best of me! It has left me exhausted today, and I felt “crippled” and sick to my stomach the entire day. Which also makes me mad at myself for allowing it. I just pray for God to continue giving me strength and guide me in the direction that I need to go, and take one day at a time. Thankfully, my house is mine, in my name, and he’s my fiance’ not my husband. My problem is…that I love him. When you said “when he came into the bedroom and started running his mouth and talking bad to me”…I had to smile and giggle…not because it’s funny, but you sounded just like me. That’s one of the things that make me sick, he just won’t shut up! I will keep you in my prayers, and pray you have peace very soon! Take care Laurie! Hugs!


  • Laurie

    Wow.. Lizzie. That brought tears to my eyes. God bless you today and everyday ahead of you. What a horrible, sick man.

  • Sandy

    Laurie – in regards to your earlier post and feeling sorry for yourself; I’m going for a ride in the “waaaaambulance” today myself – my AH who is sober I think ?? some days I have my doubts like last night; seems to be trying to get better then there are nights like last night where his old intimidating mean behaviors surface and what do I do . . join the dance and around we go again . . I wake up today wondering if it’s ever going to end; what am I waiting for, why me? Am I crazy? You name it . . we have a bad day then a couple good days and the hope comes back . . it’s just a big revolving door . . he has no idea how close I am to just walking . . the good days are really good . . but the bad days are really bad and my mind and my body are just exhausted from all the bickering . . arguing . . mind games . . list goes on . . oh and lets not forget manipulation on both our parts . . it’s draining . .

  • Sandy

    OMG Lizzie . . I have no words for your post other than “you are in my prayers and may God be with you” .. we are here for you . .

  • Regina

    Thank you to all for your comments. I am separated from my alcoholic husband but am struggling to end my marriage because of my not being ready. Also, I fear God more than anything else and want Him to Guide me in my trials thus divorce is not His
    Way but I also know that His Will will allow or deny circumstances. I am praying to always be able to hear His Voice in all the noise but am grateful for your posts as they give me strength to put one foot in front of the other….Thank you again…

  • Karen

    I have learned thru this site and Al-Anon how not to react to the A’s mean and angry behaviour. I recently had him over to my place for dinner….so get this….and then tell me that I am just as crazy as he is.
    He does not drive (lost his licence..DUI twice in one day) I pick him up and drive him to my place. He looks like a bum,dirty ,torn pants on,sloppy shirt,body odor,and unshaved(3 weeks worth).Of course I have beer here for him and he immediatley starts drinking like a hungry vampire. Within 2 hours he is feeling good and starts with the negative comments of me and to me.I asked him to stop with the comments as I did not appreciate them. Well he did not like that comment and continued with numerous warnings from me to stop. So I started to ask him about some tings he had mentioned to me a few days before and he could not remember what he had said to me,which pissed my off..these blackouts are way too frustating for me now.Now I find myself getting angry and lowering myself to his standards. So I excused myself for washroom needs and in the bathroom I had a conversation with myself and made an excellent decision. When I came back into the living room I very nicely and calmly asked him to leave and go home. He was somewhat surprised at this comment and he hesitated. I went over and openned my apartment door and told him to please leave now and he did!!!! I just do not want to do this anymore and it makes me crazy and I feel so un-balanced when he is in my life. He is like “Cybil”. He has way too many personalities and I never know from day to day which one I am dealing with. The whole situation is totally exhausting.

  • Julie

    Wow Karen. Mine has the same personalities. Mean, Nice, needy. We are getting close to the finalization of our divorce and he is trying relentlessly to get me to drop it and take him back. I was doing fine when i was not talking to him except when he would show up at the house and tell me how bad of a person I am because I was not communicating with him. Problem is I started responding to his calls and now he is the needy one who cannot live without me. When I tell him why I do not want to give him yet another chance and that i do not trust him then the angry guy comes out and he is nasty to me and blaming me for everything. So I will have to cut him off again and just not communicate I suppose. It is too difficult for me to detach when he talks to me. He is very good at manipulating me. 🙁 So I feel for all of us. But we can find strength in each other. God Bless.

  • John

    Karen, I’ve had so many conversations with the alcoholic that started out to be fine and as they continued to drink things would ultimately end in disaster. Sounds like you did great job of recognizing that you were on the edge of engaging in a losing battle. You did a good job of detaching. I’m guessing that you probably had a little more peace and serenity within by handling the situation the way you did.

  • Karen!

    Karen, I’m trying to understand, why did you give him beer? I promise I’m not judging. I do get tempted at times to be that “nice” to my AH, but have always refrained.

  • Laurie

    So I wanted to share with you all I got a JOB!!! It’s exactly what I need to help better myself and give me independence. I still am so afraid to leave. Not because I don’t want to because I really am sick of crying and crying and being verbally abused ALL THE TIME. I still have a piece of hope for my kids that by miracle… He’ll quit drinking… I know it’s not likely to happen. As I laid in bed last night after arguing with him then being called.. Garbage, stupid ect… I try to just stay away from him which I learned from here but when he’s loud, obnoxious and waking the kids up on a school night I get angry and go out and tell him to stop. Which then because I’ve spoken it turns into a screaming match. My happiness would be to not deal with him! I just worry if I walk out of my marriage will he then turn his abusiveness to my kids when he has them??? Makeshift terrified to leave. I’m afraid he’ll kill my kids… Not from physical abuse but maybe driving drunk with them or him putting something in the oven and passing out and burning the house down while everyone is asleep (he’s done this before but I was there to wake up smell the burnt food and turn off the oven ) I feel like should I just stay and take this, so my kids won’t have to deal with it? He’ll ruin them. He already is. But I don’t think mentally I can take much more. I’ve come so close to wanting to punch him square in the face when he’s in my face bashing me. I just don’t know anymore..

  • Sue

    Hi Laurie,

    I am 35 years old with 4 children. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. He never drank once the first 11 years of our marriage. He came from a family of alcoholics and never understood how people could waste their lives away in bars. 2 years ago, he met a woman at work who wanted him. She introduced him to alcohol and they had an affair. Then he seemed to have old friends come out of no where to go drinking with. These friends he formally had no interest in. First it was once a week. He turns his phone off. Now it is all the time. We are separated as I have learned of several more affairs.
    He used to be the most affectionate and loving husband. We were his top priority. He says he loves me but he needs to be alone (he wants to drink!) I am devastated. He has changed so much. Talking to him, he is emotionless.
    I guess my question is how are things for you now?

  • Laurie

    I finally left! I am so at peace. Its not easy but I am not walking on egg shells anymore. Praise God. Power of prayer is amazing.

  • SC

    Good for you Laurie. I’m happy for you and your kids will benefit too. Enjoy!! Would like to hear what his reaction was.

  • C

    Laurie: Please be strong and go forward. You and your children will be in a much happier place without he negativity and drinking.

    It only gets worse. The posts by others sure supports taking care of ourselves and making sure we stay out of harm’s way. The alcoholic may not know how nasty and dangerous they become at times, but we can certainly get out of their way the first time they show their ugly behavior.

    There are so many marvelous, interesting and energetic people all around us – they are the ones we should be sharing our time with in order to heal.

    I will never give the past a chance to make me miserable again – learning lessons is necessary but can be exhausting!

    Hopefully, everyone is in good health during the Holiday season.

  • Laurie

    Ended up meeting an amazing man, who actually loves me, asks about my day and shows up for my kids. I never thought I would find someone who would love me and my 4 kids. We have been dating for 2 1/2 yrs. I still work in the same place I first got my job after I graduated. I look back and think of what a crappy place I was in. There is hope for anyone going through this. And my ex is actually now sober. Sober because he got 2 dui’s again after I left him, one being with his mother. But he went to jail then rehab this last time and is working the program. Maybe bc court ordered or maybe he will actually stay sober. I hope its for the good for the kids sake. Being a single mom is definitely tough. Not only did I struggle but then I had a house fire and lost everything. God was with me like he was through this mess. Stay strong, believe in God and also yourself. No one deserves to be treated the way we were treated.

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