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

  • Lisa


    I can relate to everything that you have said in your story. I confronted my alcoholic partner last year. I have sent boundaries for myself which i have never had before. He is also my high school sweatheart and I have 3 kids. I have been abused emotionally, verbally and physically for 18 years. Once I started seeing my oldest daughter go down the same path I did with her boyfriend, I started to wake up and ask myself, Is this what I have taught my children? To become blind and numb and take this kind of abuse? That is no way to live. The path will be long and sometimes difficult but you will start to open your eyes. Set your boundaries, get therapy , get your children into therapy. God will show you the way, he has for me.

  • John

    Laurie, wow, this all sounds so familiar. There is always hope for change. You are the one who is going to have to start changing though. If you want to stay in this relationship, you must begin to learn the proper ways of detaching from him and also how to set healthy boundaries. As JC mentioned, Al-anon is one of the best places to find people who can help you work out how to handle your situation.

  • Karens

    I relate very well in many ways but I will soon
    be 70. This is with my third husband of 27 years.
    Such a dear, dear sweet person when at least semi-
    sober. He is not physical but very, very abusive
    when he gets past the semi drunk.

    My social security well never cover expenses of this
    modern day. I am studying how to live with an alcoholic
    and emotional eating. In my head I create beautiful
    days and hug my dogs. Good luck to you.

  • rick

    I am the husband of an alcoholic (married 20 years) and i too have faith in God. My faith is really small at this point. I had no clue what alcoholism was all about, i just thought she could “hold her liquor”. Its been chaos and one problem after another for 20 years. Ive never been able to make enough money to make her happy. Al-anon has changed my life, but not the alcoholics. Being detached, for me, is like having a roommate. For 20 years, ive just kept thinking things would get better if only i could (fill in the blank) and she always filled in the blank for me. its a moving goal, like a carrot on a stick in front of me. we have 2 children and i am very family oriented and loving. this is why i keep trying to stay in it. but she has nothing to give, completely self-focused. and in a constant search to “feel better”. I have a really hard time thinking about the 20 years that i have spent doing this. And i am sure ther are men out there like me, who love children and would be honored to be a part of your life. Ive heard that. “going to and alcoholic for love and caring is like going to Home Depot for a loaf of bread”…Its not there. God bless you and know that you are not alone. We are out here hurting too. 🙂

  • Laurie

    Thank you so much for sharing your every days as well. It does make you feel better to know that there are other people living out there and going through the same things I am and that all the negativity he tells me and tries to turn things around on me and blame me(which at times you second guess you). It breaks my heart to know that other people live their life like I have been. I am really trying to focus now on me. I hope that I can get myself strong and independent to make the right decision. I just know that I avoid life, I avoid things because of him. I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want to be alone the rest of my life. That scares me. It scares me to think if I walk away that could mean my kids would have step families, and shared holidays. I have gone to Al-Anon before. I really didn’t like it all that much. I don’t know if it was just that meeting or what but I felt like we read from the notes and commandments things more then tried to talk about stuff. Maybe I should give it another try. Sigh..

  • Alyce

    I could’ve sworn you have been looking through my windows because our stories are very similar. I have 3 kids though, but my husband is not my teenage daughters father. He is not physically abusive but is very emotional and verbally abusive to both her and I. He and I have two young sons together and I am a stay at home mom. Our oldest son just started kindergarten and we still have one at home is only 3. He owns his own business as well and controls our finances. I have to ask for money to buy groceries or gas. The one time I got a job while we have been married, he made me quit 3 weeks later. He is a beer alcoholic. He starts drinking every day at 9am and doesn’t quit until he goes to bed. I never dreamed you could become an alcoholic from beer. I know that sounds crazy, but most people picture an alcoholic with a jug of whiskey or wine in their hand. He can’t go one day without it. He’s made all the promises to quit, but he slowly goes back to it. He has destroyed us financially and when he comes home drunk every day, I walk on egg shells trying to keep the peace. I too, am learning how to detatch from my alcoholic. It’s the only choice I have with 3 children and no job. I try to keep the peace in our family because I was raised in an alcoholic home and there was always violence and fighting. I don’t want my children living that life. I worry all the time of the effects this will one day have on my children. My daughter is strong and I am very proud of her for that, but my oldest son who is 5, is always in his daddy’s back pocket. He admires him to the moon and back. I have tried to point that out to my husband in hopes that he would want to give his son a better life and be a better example, but it just leads to another arguement. I don’t get breaks. He comes home from work, sits in his favorite chair, grabs the remote, and drinks until he goes to bed. He very seldom even eats. I do all the housework, taking care of the kids, cook all the meals, everything. He tells me it doesn’t pay the bills, so I’m useless. I do truly understand your confusion. How did it get this bad? I have also started educating myself on detaching from him and to stop obsessing over his drinking. I’m learning how to walk away when he tries picking another fight. I’m learning how to live for not just me, but my children. He has never gotten a dui or anything. (I can’t believe it either!) But I know one day his luck will run out, and I hope and pray that I will have strengthened myself enough to stand on my own two feet, and say, Not my problem! Good luck to you….

  • Laurie

    Alyce….seems we live in the same house. My husband has the money and I like you must ask him for money to buy groceries, and field trip money for my kids ect. It is ridiculous! He wants me to get a job but then when I look and find something it means he has to watch the kids…which he complains about and to be honest…I don’t trust him with the kids. The cost of day care is crazy and I can’t afford to work to pay for it and still bring home money. My husband also is an everyday beer drinker. When we go out he orders a long island…because then he can get drunk faster…UGH. I hate going anywhere with him anyways. I am always the driver, and always the one truly embarrased by his every action, hence, why I am starting to stay away from stuff. His family supports me, and they know he his an alcoholic too. I also have to constantly walk on egg shells too. I dread when I see his truck pull in at night. It’s always like….what kind of night will tonight be?!? I know the dangers of alcohol, and I also know it is a matter of time before he does get in a serious accident, and could kill someone. Maybe its a little swerve to answer a phone call or just even bad roads, but the amount of alcohol in his blood stream would lock him away for sure. How do you deal with all this? That is my main thing, I feel like I am losing my self worth, my self esteem, and I am so sick of feeling this way. I keep thinking this can’t be what God wants for me? As much as I try to avoid and not talk, and say it isn’t my problem…it is. This is my life, our life, our children’s life. No matter what I do it is going to affect my kids, and me in some way. how can I change that. how can I deal with this?

  • Debbi


    You have tolerated so much & I’m guessing that the infidelity & hookers is now the “straw breaking your back”. We put up with the mis-treatment, liing but somehow after a husband now makes that leap into infidelity & with prostitutes and the like it finally breaks our hearts. I see that in your words about the obsession with phone records & crying all the time. The infidelity mine did was with escorts while abandoning me during a major surgery. Now finding out about other affairs & other major sexual encounters that pretty much are “deal breakers” in a woman’s heart. We are trained to stay with, help all the way to the end and sometimes the infidelity is the end.

    You can barely think straight right now as I am just slightly ahead of you on this path & I still cry every day even though divorced 6 weeks ago. I know the standard answers will not help you right now because you are watching your marriage fall into ruin.

    But please try to the following:
    1. Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases
    2. No more intimacy with husband & tell him because of unfaithfulness (you will be no good to your children if you catch something from him)
    3. Stop looking for empty cans, phone records, everything. You already have your answer & anything else immediately sends you into another deep pit of despair. Beat your head against the wall, bite a stick, run, jog but do NOT look anymore. It will only tortue you. Please make a pact with yourself to stop watching him.
    4. Stop worrying about if someone else would want you. Right now that is the last thing you need. Focus on your children and put extra good things in their lives right now to offset the bad they are having to live through. Spend time with them–play games, laugh get back your sense of fun & what is right and what is wrong. Kids have a knack of setting us straight, so take good care of them right now–not him! And take good care of yourself right now–not him!

    You said if you won the lottery you would walk–that is your answer and I believe you know that. So, slowly work towards that goal. So my advice to you is set the boundaries, create the distance and start to look for that job. . .”your lottery ticket”. . .to get you on your way.

    You can do this–keep us posted & God Bless!

  • JC

    Laurie, learning how to cope with this situation in a healthy manner is going to take time. Don’t let too many suggestions overwhelm you. Just take things one baby step at a time. You didn’t get into this uncomfortable place in life overnight. It is going to take a while to make healthy changes.

  • Alyce

    I understand every emotion you are feeling Laurie. Even down to the not trusting your husband with your children. Daycare is incredibly expensive here too. I wish my alcoholics family would support me though. His family is a bunch of hypocrites. My husbands brother was married to an alcoholic and all I ever heard was, how terrible she was to him. Or, if she would just sober up, she’d realize how wonderful he is. When I’ve mentioned my husband has the same problem to them, they turn on me! If you would get a job and help take some of the stress off of him, that would probably help. Or, try not to bitch at him so much. I have no support in this at all. I paste a smile on my face and keep going.
    I wish I had the answers you are looking for. I feel reaching out to others, like you did today, is probably a great start. I know, I don’t talk to anyone about this. I hold it in, and just pray if we have to all be somewhere for the kids, that he stays somewhat sober. If not, I try and convince him to just stay home. (But in a nice way, so it doesn’t cause and arguement). There are so many people affected by alcoholism everyday, but so many families try to cover it up. I guess out of embarrassment or shame. I don’t know. I have too, asked God, if I was being punished for past mistakes. I work so hard at trying to keep everything together, but I don’t know how to keep myself from falling apart. I’m glad you posted your story on here. Not that I’m glad that someone else is going through the same misery as I am, but I am glad to know that I’m not the only one. Make sense? haha! I am learning slowly, how to live my own life. Even if it means just going for a walk or taking the kids to the park. It doesn’t cost a dime, so I won’t have to ask for one. But it allows us to be “normal” even if for a short time. Healing and forgiveness to yourself has to be first and foremost. If God brought you to it, He will see you through it. Trust in Him, as hard as it may be. And be careful of others sometimes. They want to help and give great advice, but have they ever dealt with this situation? I have had people in the past tell me, “Just stay with him. He’ll quit eventually” or “It’s just a guy thing”.
    Hang in there Laurie, and know that you are not alone.

  • Joey

    Thanks to everyone who participates here. I am learning a great deal about how to cope with my girlfriend. I went to my first Al-anon meeting a few days ago. I have to say the people there were very understanding of my situation.

    What I don’t understand is how my girlfriend can be so nice and then get a few drinks in her and it’s like I can’t do anything right.

    I’ve never been with someone whose mood changes so drastically after having a few drinks. I’m actually thinking of getting out of this relationship. After reading so many comments on this site about how the alcoholics in many of your lives have been abusing alcohol for many years with little hope of change.

    I’m twenty five years old and feel that there are plenty of women in the world for me to interact with who don’t have a drinking problem.

    When I read posts like this one where the alcoholic has been cheating and is also abusive, it makes me take a good look at my life and where I may be headed if I stay with this girl.

    Laurie, I admire your commitment to your family and desire to hang in there. I don’t really have anything to offer other than to say thanks for sharing your situation. It has helped me see more clearly how clouded a relationship with an alcoholic can be.

  • Sandy

    Laurie – I don’t have children, which in my current situation is a blessing, but I am married to an abusive Alcoholic . . he currently is sober and attending AA only because I had to have him arrested 5 months ago one night when I thought he was going to kill me and my 87 yr old mother that lives with us – they can get better, but sometimes it takes tough love . . and . . they will only do it when they are ready which is rarely when we are ready. I want to recommend a book to you since you have mentioned that you “love him so much” . . it’s called “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood and I think it would give you a lot of insight into yourself and why you feel the way you do. Another good book would be “Codependent No More” by Melodie Beatty – both of these were life changing for me, and these would be a good place to start I feel in the event you don’t want to go to Al Anon right away. I can NOT even imagine going through what I’ve been through with my AH with 4 children in tow; but now is the time for you to take care of YOU and the 4 children; and quit worrying about him . . until his denial wall comes down there isn’t a whole lot you can do . . God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference – you and your family will be in my prayers . .

  • Alyce

    @Joey: RUN! Haha! Seriously, you are young, no kids. You have your whole life ahead of you. Alcoholism is called the family disease for a reason. If you plan to have kids, please think long and hard about what others with children have been posting on here. It’s scary to be in a relationship with someone who is an alcoholic, but by yourself, it’s a little less scary to leave if you need to. We all know how to take care of ourselves, and if we have to crash on a buddies couch for a couple of days is one thing. It’s not that easy with 3 kids that also need a roof over their heads and food to eat. Your girlfriend is still young enough that she could get help, but it won’t work unless she is the one to decide to do it. No matter how much you try and love her, she will always love her addiction more. Good luck to you, Joey. You seem like a pretty level headed guy and I bet you’ll be a great husband and dad someday.

  • Terri

    I can relate to your situation. I was a stay at home mom for approximately seven years. When my son started grammar school, I started working part time and as he got older was able to find a full time job. He is a beer alcoholic as well. The good thing about working was that I was able to establish some independence. In my case, though, as I started working and became more independent his drinking increased and he became emotionally abusive. I think he is truly angry at himself and when I found a job, that gave him less control over me.

    However, some financial independence does give you hope. There are more options when an income is increased. I’ve suffered a number of self esteem issues as well. However; as my son got older and started college I started doing more things for myself. As you are able to do this, with children or without, you start to gradually feel better about yourself.

    Unfortunately, in my case his disease is progressing. It is getting more difficult to cope with him. On nights when he is very nasty, I leave the house and go somewhere. By the time I return, sometimes I am blessed to see him asleep. Walking away from him or ignoring him is usually my best option.

    As far as what Joey is saddled with, I think anyone involved with an alcoholic, maybe remember their first experience with denial. There were signs before I was married and I chose to ignore them, thinking instead that I just overreacted.

  • Nancy

    Al-Anon has been a life saver for me. I attend 2 types of meeting: one is a 12 step/12 traditions meeting and the other is a discussion meeting. The 12 step meeting teaches us to take care of ourselves and relying on our higher power to help us. The discussion meeting is just that, whatever issue you have you can discuss with the other members, and the focus is on you not the alcoholic.
    If you are not comfortable in one meeting,try a different one.
    Life is very difficult living with an alcoholic.Al-Anon can help ease the pain.

  • Laurie

    Thank you all so much for leaving comments. I am taking it ALL in and really listening from every one of you. Today…and hopefully every day after I am focusing on me and my kids. That is the first step….I am not going to focus on fixing him!

  • Joey

    Alyce, thanks for your kind words. I am in the process of figuring out how to best break things off with my friend. I want to do this in a non condemning way if possible. I also want to try and remain friends with her. I remember reading on this site somewhere about how I am only responsible for my side of the street. However she decides to react to my choice to not date anymore is going to be her problem…not mine. I didn’t sleep much last night knowing that I am going to have this conversation with her today. I know in the long run that this is the best thing for my life. I have decided to play a lot of golf for the next few weeks while I try to get over this break up.

  • Karen

    Lurking around, seeing others write about MY life….
    For those of you who think eventually your
    alcoholic will be caught drinking and driving, mine has been at it for 40 years
    and hasn’t.

    Joey, you’re 25. I seldom give advice, but since I have 2 sons in your age bracket, I’m going to this time. Son, step away now.
    Most of us who write on the site were probably once just like you. Look at us now. And believe me, what you read here are merely words and can never adequately communicate what we live with.

  • Alyce

    @ Laurie: You hold your head high and be proud of yourself! The first step is letting go and letting God. I have started my own journey this week as well. I have started educating myself and focusing on my own health, well being and my children. They give me my strength. Them and God. I know that I have to do this and I have to be strong for them. They are the innocent who are trapped in an adult world of confusion and chaos. Making their lives better is my only goal, and I will not stop until that happens! I keep telling myself this one thing whenever I feel my anxiety about my alcoholic and if he is drinking, (duh! when isn’t he?)
    “Alyce, this is not your problem. Leave his drinking problem to him. You have enough to worry about with 3 kids. This is his cross to bear and his own demons to face. You can not change him. Stop making his problem, your problem.” I know that sounds silly or that I’ve lost my mind, but I actually talk to myself and tell myself those things throughout the day.
    @Joey: Good Luck to you and your decision. I will be praying for you. Give yourself credit for stepping up and making such a hard decision, and then hit the golf course with aggression! haha! I wish I wouldn’t have ignored the red flags and some days I wish I could do it all over (but still keep my two baby boys)! I like many others, made excuses instead of making the hard decisions. It was easier, I guess, than facing the reality of it at the time.
    I promise, God has someone very special he will have you meet one day and she will be a game changer!

  • James

    Hey Lauire, You won’t fix him…he’ll die of it. My ex wife is an alcoholic and I recognized many points you mentioned which are common to all alcoholics. You are very right, if it come down to his choosing between you & the kids and alcohol…he’ll choose alcohol! I know it’s crazy but we are dealing with a addict, and alcoholism is an addiction. Like you I too had no experience of alcoholics before I met my wife, who was a really great person when she didn’t drink. And, my wife did everything your husband has done and more…now she called me last week and wanted to get back together again! Why? Because she lovers me? No, because she has blown all the money she got from our divorce and now wants to latch onto me again so she can get more money so she can drink. She also needs me to pick up all the pieces from the wake of devastation in her life that the alcohol brings. She destroyed her car and could I help pay $4800 to fix it? She owes money, she has 2 drunk driving convictions, she needs medical treatment for a cyst on her overy due to the trauma to her vagina she has sustained from going to bed with a different man every night. Guess what…I put the phone down on her and changed my number! I know this doesn’t help your predicament, but understand what you are dealing with here. He is a selfish person and he’ll never change…ever. Try getting out of the relationship some how, and understand that there are many wonderful men out there who will love you and your kids. Lift up your heart, everything will come to right…trust in God and look to a bright future…it will happen! In my case, I never believed I would ever break away from that Jykle and Hyde monster I married, but now I’m free of her for good, thank you God because He did intervene in my case, believe me and He will intervene for you, too.

    You have my Love and I really feel for you,

  • Laura

    I can not even tell all of you how much it helps me reading all of your posts! I was starting to “get it” and started being able to detach….and yesterday, I was literally sick from it all! I have been with him for 2 yrs now, and over the last week he has only sent a couple of short texts, and doesn’t bother to come home or ever call. Prior to this behavior he was the most loving, caring, funny and awesome man….now, it’s like he’s totally gone, has no time to even talk to me, rude, inconsiderate, calls me names, blames me for EVERYTHING, and now, doesn’t even come home. It’s like a demon has crawled up inside him and the man I loved is dead! I can not even get my mind to comprehend what has happened to him and what he has turned into…I’m feeling as if I am mourning the death of my supposed to be, fiance’. I know God has a purpose for what is happening, and know that I gave it all to God last week…but I’m just really having a bad day today! I know he is at least not having an affair, because he has issues in that dept. as well because of his drinking/high blood pressure. All he does is work….and drink I guess I just can’t get my heart to accept what is happening…I’m 49, he’s 50, we had an awesome relationship, and SO quickly it has turned into “this”. My heart feels like it’s in a million pieces.

    Laurie, I’m keeping you in my prayers. I know how hard it must be having children to worry about as well. I don’t have children with him, and we’re not even married…and even though I know what I need to do…it’s one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to deal with. I will pray for strength and peace for you and your children, and for the rest of you as well. Try and have faith that God has something wonderful in store for us after this horrible time we’re going through right now….that truly is what gets me through each day…my faith.

    Much Love and Blessings to ALL of you!


  • Terry

    You have to keep yourself and kids safe. I can relate. I just had my 20 anniversary. But…we seperated 16 yrs ago. He had his house and I have mine. I heard once that it is better for the kids to be from a broken home than to be in a broken home. I really believe this I have 2 children and they have been spared alot of the emotional stess that comes from an alcholic home. I wish you luck.

  • Caitlyn

    You need to find the confidence in yourself to sort this situation out to your advantage. Don’t let the alcoholic take charge and control. Join an alcoholic support network such as alcoholics anonymous who can help you sort through all the issues you have with YOU.

    Great on you having got through and completed your final two years of schooling. What a positive for you. Now work on creating other positives in your life and rejecting the negatives that the alcoholic passes on to you.

    I hear between your words you needing to raise your confidence in yourself further, raising your self-esteem and through this you will come up with the best solution for you and your kids. Meanwhile you need the support of alcoholic support groups to get you with a foot out of your self-imposed barriers. Get out there and be independent in mind, thought and soul for it will free you from the shackles of a loveless relationship I hear you having with this alcoholic.

    Don’t think who will want me with four kids. A restricting way to think. A Mr Right will love you and your four kids. If he doesn’t he’s not the right one for you. Stand tall and stand up for yourself in this situation. I can’t see it getting better by lingering. Your ‘love’ for this alcoholic does not mean you have to endure their hurt and pain they bring in to your relationship through the bottle. To me, that is not love. Love knows no bounds, nor should it be binding. Love is a free and beautiful thing, otherwise it is something else but not love.

    When you have a thought, analyse it carefully, such as your declaration of love for this man. Check it is not just rote (repetition) from your past real love you once shared.

    Not being mean here to you, just trying to make you see the truth for what it is. Only you know the truth about your life and how it is for you know.

    Thinking of you as you work through your pain and anguish. God bless you and your four kids to come safely through this empowered and knowledgeable and stronger and more humane for it. Perhaps this is Gods intention for you.


  • Hi,sorry havnt been on site for a long while. I am very tired most of the time. So much horror keeps on happening coz I keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result!! Have had trouble with my tenancy as the alcoholic terrorist has caused me damage camping in the corridor, urinating in the lift, fags burns in carpet etc it goes on, raging abuse at me in the street, and I still went to the housing with him last friday as he once again was evicted from his room. At the housing he was drunk, and started to snog some woman, God only knows where she came from. I lost all my patience and tolerance, and went for him. He was actually re-housed in another room that day for the homeless. Anyway I left then, went home totally distraught, believing that that was it, no more, no way. 2.30 am banging on my door, did not open it, called the police. He was arrested for harrassment kept overnight sobered up, court, released with fine, this has been happening for 10 years now. I attended court with guilt that I got him arrested??? Have been told by police I must get injunction and have been to see solicitor. He is sober now for 10 days, evicted from his room again during the last binge, now homeless. attended again the housing they will be housing him on monday for the last time (so they say) I dont know how he keeps getting away with his behaviour. It is all wrong. I have put him up at mine during this sober period???? (I know, can you believe me, i am creeping him in through the back carpark) I am a fool i know. He has no money as he wasted all his on the last binge, now eating my food, using my electricity and water etc etc etc. I am now in touch with victims support, seeing them on tuesday. Roll on Monday when he will be housed and God give me the courage and hope that I can change MY repetitive behaviour. My thoughts are with you all who are suffering with the disgusting selfish self-absorbed behaviour of an alcoholic sub-human x

  • Sally

    karen, I’m so sorry you’re still letting that a-hole into your life. I only have one question for you – what in your life are you avoiding by focusing all your attention on him? Counseling and therapy through victim’s support is a definite step in the right direction toward finding the answer. What is there in your past that makes you believe so strongly that you don’t deserve any better than this wreck of a human being? You already know that he has no respect for you and that he will always treat you worse than a doormat. Why do you keep trying to save him? You know you don’t have the ability to do it, and he doesn’t want you to. He just wants to keep using you, and you keep letting him! You’re capable of living without this man in your life. You know you are. There ARE worse things in this life than being alone. I’ll be praying for you. Please check in and stay in touch.

  • Chloe

    Hi Laurie,

    If you are positive that your husband has been cheating on you with your child’s friend’s mother and hookers, than my advice would be arrevederci to this man. Easier said than done, I know. He is putting you through severe psychological trauma both with his drinking, verbal abuse, AND cruel infidelity. You have given this man FOUR children, FOUR pregnancies, FOUR newborns who are EXHAUSTING, cared for them, kept the house going, gone back to school for your family’s betterment, and THIS is how this man treats you!?! YOUR body has been through FOUR exhausting pregnancies and YOU have taken on the non-stop 24/7 Herculean task of caring for these little ones. Your husband’s behavior is piggish, cruel, and despicable as he is attempting to escape the difficult big boy responsibilities of life through drink and affairs while inflicting severe trauma onto YOU. Unless this man has a “Come to Jesus” real soon, I would begin plotting my escape with military like precision.

    You must get it out of your head that no other man would want you. You’re 33! We’d all love to be the poster girl for women’s lib, and do it all on our own, but the fact is that you could use a GOOD Man help you out of this mess. This man is taking you down into a life of misery. To care for these four kids, work, and run a household as a single mom would likely be trading one misery for another. If I were in your shoes, and to some extent I have been, than I would begin by getting myself back into great physical shape by daily exercise and super healthy eating. Men are visual, and you’ll attract a good one much easier if you’re fit and healthy. Law of nature. After you get into shape, splurge on some new clothes if you can and look purty! Once you’re feeling good about yourself, plant yourself in places where sane, productive, intelligent, and DECENT employed men would gather. I would scope out the gym, very large churches, or anywhere else these types of men would be found. You’ll have to get creative here. You could take a job at a large hospital doing something…..a 45 year old divorced doctor with 2-3 kids might just love to meet a YOUNG 33 year old great mother!!! Get the picture?!?

    It will take effort, self discipline, and determination, but with a little luck and God on your side, you could have a shot at a brand new start with a man who can give you a better life. You can then get going with your own career, which is crucial, and regain some sense of joy and pleasure in your life. Just the very idea in your head of having this hope will give you some reason to get out of bed in the morning with a little joy. Even if a better mate alludes you, at least you will be focusing on you for awhile and improving your life rather than your husband’s severe dysfunction.

    No man or relationship is perfect, but if this man is sleeping with hookers AND the boy’s mother
    AND is a verbally abusive drunk with NO MONEY to boot then he has got TO GO! Divorce is very painful and sad, and I too hate to see a family broken up, but cheating is where I draw the line! I can deal with financial issues, be patient for a time with addiction, understand depression, but cheating….and with hookers or my child’s friend’s mother…..NO FREAKING WAY!!! The man would have to repent to God and me on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness, and then do a complete 180 for me to consider reconciliation. If there is no behavior change and heartfelt apology in sight, then I would plot my escape every single day to save myself from becoming a damaged basket case knowing my kids need a healthy and sane mother.

    You’ve got to combine prayer with action. It will take tremendous wisdom, strength, and determination to navigate your way through this situation. Don’t rule out another better life partner if nothing appears as if it will change in due time. You cannot live like this long term. My ex husband who I left 6 years ago is still dysfunctional, and I would be right there beside him if I had stayed. My current hubby has changed for the better, and stopped drinking. It can happen. Focus on YOU, forget him for awhile, workout, look cute, bat your pretty eyes at that divorced doctor or professor or business man if he seems like a good SINGLE guy. Keep working towards YOUR career bit by bit too. Keep your options open and dream a little.

    You just never know what might happen 😉

    Cyberhugs to you Mama! Keep your head held high!

  • Karen (!)

    Chloe, Darn good advice!! Laurie, she has
    laid some doable stuff before you. Best regards.

  • Julie

    I agree with Karen(!) Chloe gives darn good advice. These stories here are all my own too. I am going through a divorce with an alcoholic after 20 years of living with it. At first it was for the sake of my children and their emotional welfare that I took the first steps now it is for me too. I know I deserve a life free from his abuse and now I am on my way to getting it. It has been a long and difficult road that i am still travelling. But it is so much nicer and definitely less drama than living with my AH. I still care and am concerned about him but now I realize he has to help himself. There is no other way to make change.

  • Julie

    Just one more comment though. Laurie, meeting a good man would be a help and would be awesome but you can do this not entirely on your own but with help from good friends, neighbors, family and even your children. I know because I am doing it and have 3 children. In my position I am not looking to start a new relationship yet as my divorce is still ongoing and I came from not just an abusive alcoholic but a man who was abusive even when not drunk. In my case i need to heal myself before moving into another relationship and learn what behavior not to accept from a man before I look for another relationship. So just saying that Chole’s advice is correct that you will need help, but not to jump into a relationship before you are ready.

  • Chloe

    True Julie. Laurie, don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire by getting involved too soon OR getting tangled up with the wrong man again. It takes time to get to know the REAL person and decipher if the man has good character versus dysfunction. You do need to heal and focus on yourself. Yet God can either work a miracle in your husband OR draw you to another healthier and better partner. So keep your chin up Mama and know that either way God/ Spirit can work this out!!!!

  • Karen(!)

    Julie, What you say about your AH being abusive when sober (so to speak), made me think of something I’d like to share. In AlAnon, a participant who says she is also a recovering alcoholic said to me, “…I was an alcoholic before I ever took the first drink.” Wow. So according to her, folks who are alcoholics, had problems and chose the drink as their self-treatment, only to become addicted.
    The rest of the story…I think we can write ourselves.

  • Rick

    I can vouch for that being true. My AW hasn’t had a drink in 3 years and still thinks like she did when drinking. She’s just much less happy. She married me because she thought I could save her. I see her al behavior in her still. She’s still looking everywhere for that one thing that’s going to make her happy. Shopping, clothes, Starbucks, vitamins, books on sugar and etc…she was much more loving towards me and the kids when she drank. I asked her the other day, what she loved to do most in life, she said “DRINK”!!!. No mention of me or the children. She will always be an alcoholic even if she never takes another drink.

  • Mary

    Laurie, I can relate to everything you are dealing with. My husband cheated on me, was verbally and physically abusive. In the end of the marriage, I was afraid of my husband so much that the fear of being without him vanished.I had finally realized that he was treating me worse than anyone should be treated. There was no unity or intimacy between us.

    In my situation, I was awarded the house, the kids, child support an alimony. Since divorcing, I have had to keep constant pressure on him through the legal system, but he always comes through with his financial obligations. If he doesn’t, he knows he will end up in jail.

    I got out of the abusive relationship and waited almost ten years before getting into another relationship. I wanted to heal and get my kids grown. During those years, I cultivated a relationship with God. He has taken care of me and my children.

    What Chloe said about getting into shape and taking care of yourself is great advice. I not only got into great physical shape, but took great measures to get into good mental and spiritual shape as well.

    One of the things JC put in his email course is that “nothing changes if nothing changes.” It all starts with making small changes…one day at a time. I hope you consider getting involved with a support group like Al-anon or maybe one in a church. As you start making changes, you will need the support of people who understand how to get through the devastation of being in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic.

  • John

    Rick, I’m guessing that your wife never really connected with God or a good support. It’s been my experience that that is where a recovering alcoholic finds happiness, joy and freedom. It sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for in comparison to many of the lives of those who share on this site. I wonder if you have connected with a support group to help you cope with her behavior?

  • Laurie

    The advice and stories I have read all week have brought tears to my eyes, knowledge to my mind, strength to my weakness and encouragement to a better life. It is so nice to hear so many different views and their outcomes. This week I have begun to just focus on me and not him. I have goals set and I WILL get them. I have decided to 1) get a job 2) start getting myself healthy spiritually, physically and mentally. 3) every other last energy I have left will go towards the kids. That’s my goals for this week. None if them include my AH. There’s a lot I’m still so scared of and so sad to lose but I have retread my story multiple times… Which, when you read your horrible nightmare in words it really makes you think what in the world am I doing here still. It sounds crazy. I also go through your comments and advice over and over again. Your words have given me hope and strength for this week, so I thank you for that. Please keep us in your prayers.

  • JC

    Laurie, thanks for your kind words. This is why we started this website. Not only have you been helped, but many and I mean many thousands through the years will be influenced by your story. Praying for you now!

  • ross

    I would like to congratulate everyone on this site, when i was reading all these stories ,some so sad and some inspiring but what i noticed in all of the stories was the awareness that you all seem to have gained from your own personal experiences……. I have been where you all are and suffered greatly by my AH, then one day a light bulb seemed to come on in my head and i woke up to the reality of what was happening….. although he is still in my life, i take responsibility for myself, my healing came when i create my own feelings,emotions and actions whether he drinks or not,i dont blame him of no one else for how i am,i detatch with love and i respect him for the person he is, i love him but not his behaviour,i love the sinner but not the sin, i expect nothing from him and i create my own experiences in a healthy way to suit my needs,its sad to watch him slowly destroy his life, but i didnt cause it i cant control it and i cant cure if but i do have a choice how to live my life and that is what i focus on everyday and i am thankful and grateful for each and everyday i wake up that i am still breathing and to realise that there is so much beauty in the world to focus on the things i can do rather on the things i cant change, “let go and let God” and this makes my life so much easier….good luck to us all……

  • C

    Joey: I have two married sons, and neither of them drink. You are 25 with a clean slate – separate from your gf and begin a new life. Join a ski club (activities all year long), frequent a cafe for coffee each morning – you are bound to meet someone special in your area.

    Being with an alcoholic will drain your sense of humor, wear out your health and bring your life to a halt. I know because I was there.

    We have one life – we owe our children peace and happiness.

  • Karen (!)

    Ah shux Ross, thanks.
    I often say if it weren’t for my alcoholic, I wouldn’t be so sure I’m gonna make it to heaven!
    The worse he is, the better I get–you think?
    Have a good evening everyone, we’re not alone. We have friends, alot of them. Amen.

  • Julie

    Laurie your goals 1,2,and 3 sound like a great start to me! It is what I am going through right now and it is working. I truly believe God is watching over us and even when i thought i had setbacks in court it turned out those setbacks were actually blessings in disguise. So I am sure He knows what He is doing better than I know what is best for my situation. As I lived for 20 years surviving the abuse I know it is because of my faith in God and His Hand in my Life that I never truly lost who I was and am now able to see the reality of my situation and make the changes I need to make in order to grow and make my life and my children’s lives safer and happier.I know this can happen for you too. God bless! Prayers to everyone on this site no matter where we are on the road to a better life.

  • Patty


    That sounds like a great plan! I am in a situation similiar to you. I have four kids – 5yo, twin 3yo and a 3 month old. I am a professional. I have several master’s degrees, own rental property, am truly blessed by God – yet can’t seem to get away from my AGF. She isn’t willing to quit drinking and has untreated mental illness to boot. I keep thinking I can fix her. I keep hoping she can be a family with me and my children. I even went to the extend of lying to get her name on my last child’s birth certificate – which I now seriously regret. I am currently out of the country for the week for work – am the loss of control I feel is overwhelming. The babysitter I paid to be there with my kids left for most of the weekend with my baby so she could see her boyfriend. My AGF verbally attacked and physically threatened my best friend for coming over while she was gone so i could skype with my kids. It has been drauma and choas since I left. I have the rest of the week of this! Thankfully, i am praying alot, trying to let go of my need for control and make a plan. I know my sitter will be there the rest of the week because her bf is gone M-F. I am trying to take a deep breath and let go of the anxiety i feel.

  • uncadiane

    Just one quick comment for Rick. At an AA panel meeting, I heard an alcoholic say, “When you take the alcohol out of the alcoholic, all you have left is the ick.” I never forgot that. If the alcoholic only stops drinking and doesn’t work on the rest of themselves, they’re icky. That’s what you are experiencing. Drinking is just one symptom of alcoholism; there’s a whole set of other behaviors that go along with it. Your wife isn’t working a program on those other behaviors. She’s icky.

  • Rick

    Thanks John, I’m in Alanon , all men. It has truly saved me. Except for the tax return I just finished!

  • Timothy

    I live in constant fear that my alcoholic partner is cheating. When she gets a few drinks in her, she becomes the life of the party. I cannot be around her in social gatherings when she is drinking because she not only naturally attracts men, but she “rarely” thinks twice about flirting with them. She has little respect for me or our relationship when it comes to other men. She calls me a jealous ass… if I say anything to her. I keep hoping that things will return to the days of when she wasn’t drinking so much, but I am beginning to think that the person who used to love me and respect our relationship will never return.

  • Rick

    Tim, my wife did cheat, with her boss, vp of a fortune 500 company. She then lost her mind and ended up in hospital/rehab. I gave her an ultimatum to go to counseling and quit. She did, and quit drinking. Things were great for 5 years, then drinking again. 12 years ago all this happened. 3 years ago she quit drinking again. It’s been insanity for 20 years. Now I think about the stress and lost time. She had no love for me now and says those 5 great years were just not “her”. It’s made me crazy. I’m still waiting for her to love me. I’m the crazy one.

  • Laura Tew

    Hi Laurie, JC has invited us to respond to your post. I have not read all of the previous posts but I am sure you have received some good direction, insight and wisdom already as this is usually a great forum offering indispensible help and resources. I chime in with anyone who has suggested attending Al-Anon meetings to better grasp the family dis-ease of alcoholism and find some new tools to cope. May I also suggest picking up a book called “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft to understand and navigate the abuse issues you have shared. I wish you and your family well. Love and Light.

  • Sandy

    Trying to get caught up on the posts from the last few days-something someone said though caused me to have to post; calling our diseased loved one and ALCOHOLIC TERRORIST . . bravo . . . I could not have said it better . . how descriptive and to the point; I say a prayer every morning that my AH will stay sober another day because when he’s drinking he is the ultimate abusive terrorist . . we are going camping for a week on our vaca next week and I’ve been feeling very restless about it and not sure why . . I just hope it’s not my intuition telling me something is looming on the horizon . .

  • Sandy

    Wow one thing that just occurred to me vs the whole cheating thing that so many of you have been through and my heart goes out to you; my AH when he was at the heighth of his addiction and being abusive etc. . . he was always aggressive and pushy and wanted sex . . all the time . . and when he was drunk I couldn’t stand to be intimate with him and some of our biggest fights occured during those times . . and I would beg him to go find a hooker and leave me alone, literally on my hands and knees BEG HIM – he never left . . he only drank at home which made it harder because he was always there . . but now, listening to all your stories about the cheating; I’m thanking God he didn’t listen . . and I’m thanking God he didn’t cheat on me . . because now that he’s sober; I would never have been able to forgiven him for that and move on . . thank you all for the reality check on how his disease was REALLY affecting my behavior; who in their right mind tells there husband to find a hooker . .

  • Rick

    My wife recently told me that cheated because I was such a jerk. Trying to make her affair my fault. I don’t deny that I was trying everything to control her, that’s what most people do, but I told her that she had had a lot of other options in lee of having sex with someone else. Alanon has helped me get to that healthier way of thinking. It’s taken me 3 years of meetings to get there, but that’s better than the alternative. In the past, I would have believed her and appologizzed.. 3 years sober she still thinks like an alcoholic. I never knew what alcoholism was about. I’m slowly getting my sense of self worth back and I’m able to recognize the insanity when it occurs.

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