My Wife Is A Severe Alcoholic-I Purposely Had Her Arrested

Reader Sharing: Ben

wife arrested for drivng drunkI have posted here before. I need everyone’s feedback on this – on simply whether or not what I did was egregious or not.

My wife is a severe alcoholic. We have a 31/2 year old daughter. She drank beer during the pregnancy (albeit only a few a night that I knew of), and still drinks 3-6 24 pack cases per week of Bud Light while breast feeding and takes a couple of Benadryl before passing out at night because she “cant sleep.” She has done ALL this WHILE breast feeding.

A few weeks ago, she had given me the severe silent treatment a few days in a row, with the only communication being yelling and swearing at me to leave her alone or leave the house. On Friday, February 22nd, I saw two cases of beer in the garage and knew she was home for three days that weekend…I saw a bender coming. She was home drinking all day, starting at 9:30 a.m. I knew she would want me to pick up our daughter from Kindercare that night, but her drinking has gotten worse and she has been drinking and driving with our daughter lately.

mom driving drunk with childSo I called the police department earlier that day and talked to them about having her arrested. I went to the Kindercare and talked to them about her showing up drunk to pick up our daughter and that the PD would need a few minutes to respond. I watched and waited for her to leave the house at 5:30 pm on her way to Kindercare and I called the police. The director at Kindercare and the teacher had made a plan that if the teacher smelled the alcohol, she would give a “thumbs up” signal to the director for her to call the police. This occurred.

My wife was arrested for suspicion of DUI, her car impounded, etc. She blew a .077 and was not charged. Since then she has been awful to me. I was trying to create a bottom for her and get her to face consequences, but I have been, just like in other instances like this made out to be crazy, a lunatic, etc.

She didnt work for a month and stayed home and drank non stop. She went on vacation to her fellow alcoholic brother’s house who pumped her full of “who would do that to somebody? he totally set you up.”

So did I? was what I did wrong? It was not easy to do. I love her at some level, but this insanity must end. My daughter had to have all her top front teeth pulled due to decay from breast feeding and alcohol all night long. I had to go out of town for work the following week…who would have picked up Olivia? a drunk? How can her brother claim to love my daughter, but condone her being driven around by a drunk? How could anyone?

JC: Ben, thanks for sharing. I think you did the right thing. The safety of your daughter certainly takes priority over allowing your wife to drive around drunk in the car with her. I am looking forward to hearing from some of our readers on this one.

38 comments to My Wife Is A Severe Alcoholic-I Purposely Had Her Arrested

  • Terri

    Hi Ben,
    You definitely did the right thing. Your daughters safety was at stake as well as all the other drivers and civilians that are out there.
    My husband is a nasty alcoholic as well. Fortunately, he does not drink and drive but I have no doubt that if I knew he was embibed and driving that I would follow the same lead.

    Alcoholics have no compassion for their children when they’re under the influence. I remember my son had emergency surgery and needed to be on iv treatment at home. Rather than being there for his son, he clicked open a beer. It’s all on us and if our spouses don’t choose to act responsibly we have to do all we possibly can to protect our children.

  • s-p

    Yes you were absolutely in the right so do not feel guilty.

  • Terry B

    I agree, you did the right thing. When my son had open heart surgery, my husband had to get drunk to be able to handle it. My son was 5 at the time. I had to deal with this alone. He does not normally drink and drive because he lost his licence about 10 yrs ago due to DUI’s. He does have a truck and will drive to work, but he stops on the way home daily to pick his up. Then he drinks himself to drink each night. When the kids were younger I was fortunate to have a network to help me with the children. I did not have to worry about them riding with their dad. I learned early on to have arrangements made to pickup / dropoff the kids so I would not have to worry. It is mind boggling and insane behavior at times. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Nell

    Chin up, Ben. It was worth a try, even if the result was not quite as successful as hoped.
    In an ideal world, you would take those little babies, raise them without an active alcoholic running rough-shod all over their lives, and give them a good chance of a future, despite possible permanent damage from Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome.
    Supporting someone who is chemically dependant is a monumental task all on it’s own. You tried to protect your daughter while also confronting the chemical addiction. That was very clever and very heroic. Also very loyal to both your wife and your daughter. The brother who enables and encourages the continuation of the disease is the uncaring, crazy one.

  • Rick

    Brother I feel for you! You did the right thing, the responsible thing. My wife is also an alcoholic, however she quit a few years ago. Since then she has been miserable without a way to cope with her feelings. Things did not get better because she still uses the same brain to think with, and its sick. possibly forever. One thing I have learned is that alcoholics think in such a way that logic can not explain. My wife can only see the world thru her perspective, it’s all about her. Her problems, her pains, her, her, her. We are powerless over alcoholism. Really, powerless. There is no way to change their logic. You have to get your baby to a safe place, away from that. Your child, and YOU, both need protection from the insanity so you can eventually realize that you and your child are living in an insanity house. There is reality and peace out there. You just have to walk out the door. Get an attorney, and get your child to safety.

  • Karens

    Ben, Why do we feel guilty about trying to stop the insanity of alcoholism? Your precious child needs you
    and if you have to go to the extreme measures you described
    to keep your child safe, so be it. You have built a strong
    emotional spirit to confront your situation.

    Never look back and feel guilty about what you had to attempt. I admire that spirit. Your wife will never
    admit that she is ill with alcohol and needs to change.

    The only one who can change is you and you are strong
    enough to do what you have to do for your child and
    your life. We have the power to change, most of us never
    see that until we suffer long and hard dealing with this
    kind of abuse. We do NOT have to. You have opened the door
    to a better life. Just walk through it and embrace the
    peace I know you will enjoy.

  • Mia

    Hello Ben

    Wow you really thought it through and I think but the key in this was when you say ” I tried to create her rock bottom ”

    I’ve tried to do that by saying I won’t ever see my boyfriend again (me thinking that will make him think! Reach bottom as he is very needy of me) all he did was quickly , that same day in fact (and remember he wants to Marry me etc) ….. He just signed up to an Internet dating site using pictures that were very personal to our relationship

    He had no empathy that using those pictures was hurting us, going on a web site was hurtful, he just didn’t see that his reaction to my creating his bottom was not to reach is and realise but just like he finds a way to drink at work, a way to afford the drink, he just thought up a way to find someone else who wouldn’t mind his drinking ! Didn’t occur to him to stop drinking when I wouldn’t be with him anymore

    We just can’t create a rock bottom , it would be so easy if we could . I wish we could. They have to reach their rock bottom cos that’s all that will change them. I’ve talked to a few recovering alcaholics lately and cone to realise that rock bottoms come in many forms and are not always as severe as we think . Some stopped drinking cos of life becoming disastrous but some changed over something small. I guess it’s just such a personal thing and maybe a long process their subconscious goes through til they get there

    I do think though all the times we stand by our beliefs and make sure they face consequences then although one arrest or incident doesn’t seem to you to make a difference, I do think that eventually these events build up to a truth they can’t deny. Maybe to you it seems denial but I think though she may not admit it , if it made her so angry , it means you made her face a truth and that’s why she’s angry

    I wouldn’t ever say make them angry but what I mean is this

    You must do what is right for you. You must protect your child. My mother was an slcaholic and I would beg you to protect you little girl from a childhood of pain and lost dreams and wishing my mummy was like my friends mummy. It’s a painful beginning to life. She can be in her life but protect her from the daily pain of it. You must love your little girl more than your wife and put her first. If this makes your wife angry I’m guessing this will be because you’ve done the right thing and she is angry at you for making her face it.

    They get angry cos we’ve done something that makes them see they have to stop drinking . They either don’t want to yet or feel they can’t so feel angry with themselves . Then they feel angry with you because you are the block to them being able to continue to drink and have what they want . That is to bury their problem so they don’t have to deal with it and tell themselves they are fine. Nice easy , drunk, no responsibilities life with people around to pick up the pieces every time they mess up . Someone else clears up the mess and says nothing so they can pretend that all is fine. If that doesn’t work and they feel guilty then they will just drink a bit more

    So I’d say carry on protecting your child and making your wife feel consequences. If she gets angry just tell yourself, don’t argue back just tell yourself “she knows in right that’s why she’s angry”

    I hope eventually all these instances will bring her to a rock bottom and she will quit and be a mummy but you must protect your little girl til then . You are her only parent who can . As long as you are genuinely giving consequences anyone would in the situation and not out of malice then you will keep your peace and serenity . Imagine you are looking in on the situation and what the dad should do , that can help


  • L.

    Hi Ben, Imo, you tried to force a solution and it backfired … hie thee to an Al-Anon meeting, my friend, and take your own inventory, etc. If you knew your wife was “on a bender” (alcoholism is a sick compulsion; the alcoholic needs help), why did you not pick up your own daughter? Of course, the safety of your daughter, as well as others on the road, is an important consideration … agreed. The alcoholic needs to find their own bottom; loved ones should not “create” one for them. That is not our job; we are not their Higher Power. Wishing your whole family Love and Light …

  • Debbi

    You Did The Right Thing! You Are A Hero! You were trying another attempt to protect an innocent child–your child.

    Keep going & don’t stop. Go to the court & immediately file for full custody of your daughter so your wife cannot legally pick her up or drop her off in the car with her any more. The police report is your proof.

    If you choose to stay & support your wife through her illness–that will be your choice but take complete control of your daughter now & don’t allow her mother any where near her until she gets treatment & remains sober for a long time. For your daughter’s sake I implore you to not drop the ball & protect this child please!

    You Are A Great Dad–just tired of putting up with her behavior and you did the right thing protecting your daughter–don’t walk away from what you started–protect Olivia at all costs–She needs that from her father!

  • Ben

    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies! This is a difficult situation to say the least, and watching my daughter being put under anesthesia like a dog being put to sleep broke something inside of me. L, I hope you never have to experience that, because it’s like watching your own kid die. All this because the drunk couldn’t be a decent mother and walk her upstairs at 8pm, brush her teeth, and put her to bed. It’s easier to have the three and a half year old breast feeding on the couch while she drinks beer until midnight. I am sure some will ask “why didn’t you brush her teeth?” I do. I brush her teeth in the morning, bathe her, take her to daycare, all things she hates. Mommy takes her to mcdonald’s and gives her booby. On the question regarding why I did not pick her up myself? because my wife has been driving her around drunk more and more often lately, and sometimes I have to travel for work. On the days I travel, I am certain she is driving drunk to pick her up. I feel bad for doing what I did, but a human being can only handle so much. I tried Al Anon, it didn’t work for me, plus, it made her more angry and bitter knowing I wasnt on the couch next to her every night.

    Again, I appreciate the responses, as she is making me feel awful and that NO ONE says what I did was right.

  • JC

    Ben, you have been participating here for an extended period of time. We greatly appreciate having you share your experience here.

    I know for me, I have to be on one side of the fence or the other. When I am in uncertainty, that’s when I’m emotionally unstable and swayed by others opinions of me. I am strong when I can stand in the face of anyone ridiculing me and tell them, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and then walk away.

    Do you feel in your own mind and heart that you made the right decision?

    If you feel as though you didn’t make the right choice, forgive yourself and start over. Do things differently next time.

    If you feel you made the right choice, stand your ground and let it go.

    I know if I was in your situation, I’d sleep a lot better knowing that I’d done something that may help protect my daughter. I’d rather live with knowing I tried something to protect my child rather than regretting not doing anything.

  • Faustina

    Hi Ben: what a pickle. Since your wife is in no condition to drive that leaves you as the one to look out for your daughter’s best interest. I am a retired social worker. I worked for a child welfare agency for many years. I have seen children removed from their home for this exact reason. Your child is in imminent danger when she is driving around with your drunk wife in the car. If you know this and do nothing you are just as responsible. Should CPS become involved you too will be found negligent for not reporting your wife to officials. Worst case scenario, your daughter is removed from the home from the both of you. From your wife for placing her in imminent danger, and from you for neglecting to protect her properly. As a matter of fact, you may already be responsible for not having said anything when your wife was pregnant and or while she was breastfeeding. Your wife may have strongly predisposed your daughter to alcoholism. You are a MANDATED REPORTER! In the future I can think of a multitude of things that your wife can potentially expose your daughter to such as abuse and continuous neglect. I would strong consider if you really think your daughter should even live with her mother. I can’t imagine leaving your daughter alone with your wife. Good Luck!

  • Rhonda

    Ben you are my hero. My alcoholic husband doeis not allowed to drive our drunk with our kids. If he try I would also call police.

  • James Pendragon

    Hey Ben, I understand your situation as my ex wife too is a terrible alcoholic. You not only did the right thing, you did the only thing you could do… considering the safety of your daughter. Is is so typical that your wife went to her equally alcoholic brother who of course sympathised with her. Alcoholics ONLY see their own standpoint because they are totally selfish…they can never sympathise with anyone who isn’t drunk all the time. Still, I don’t have to tell you that, do I? My wife divorced ME but still kept calling because it was all my fault. She commited adulter after only 7 months into the marriage and I stupidly forgave her. However, the last time she called she told me she had driven her car into a river and the engine blew up… ( sorry, but I started laughing! Not everything in life lacks humour). And, surprise surprise, she didn’t have the money to pay for the damage!!! And then she said “I have got a new boyfriend!”. Guess what, as much as I still love her, enough is enough. I changed my number and sent her a message: “I never want to hear from you EVER again!” And, you need to do the same thing, Ben. Cut her lose.

    This goes for everyone on this site: You know why we love your alcoholic partners? Because it’s a bird with a broken wing. You either put up with the drinking or you walk away! God bless,


  • John

    Hi Ben. You did a very selfless and courageous thing by reporting your wife.I had an alcoholic friend for four years who I had to report to law enforcement after he became violent towards me at a wedding we attended in another country.I was in genuine fear for my life.Every time I gave hime a second chance he betrayed me and seemed almost to relish hurting me more and more.The more he dragged my life into the abyss of alcoholism the better he felt about his own impoverished existence.I left the country I had lived in for 6 years just to get away from him.

    Best thing I ever did.I now have options, wheras with him I had none.My life, soul and health were literally consumed by his absolute selfishness.I don’t feel that much anger now , I’m just DELIGHTED to be away from him.He was controlling and micromanaging all aspects of my life so that it would serve his drinking.If an alcoholic can get a free ride they will exploit it all the way.I actually brought him to an AA meeting and he started drinking again afterwards.I think he wanted me to read the book and do the steps for him.His majesty the baby is a frequent description of the alcoholic in his drinking state.I am so glad to be free of this horrible, destructive, abusive, “friend.”

    At the end he was so abusive I just thought “You know what, KEEP DRINKING!!.” I no longer cared if he stopped or not.I just wanted to stop MY addiction to HIS disease.I haven’t and will NEVER contact him again.Life is very peaceful minus the alcoholic.Happiness and a useful life are starting to seem possible.With an alcoholic in my life nothing is posssible.Their disease destroys every dream hope and wish in their vicinity.

    Keep up the good work, Ben.You did the right thing, and then some.

  • Julie

    John and James, Thank you for your comments. It really rang true and reminded me today when i really needed it why i divorced my ex AH. Even after our divorce he is trying to weasel his way back into my life and constantly contacts me to tell me his situation is all my fault. He lost his job when they found out he had drug and drinking and driving charges against him. He is homeless and jobless and has no income and apparently in his mind it is all my fault. He doesn’t even care about the three children we have together but only tries to use visitation as a reason to contact me although he never shows up for it he just calls to tell me i owe him and have to give him money. So just when i start to feel guilty or sorry for him it is great to be reminded that it is his own choices that brought him to where he is today and NOT my responsibility to fix his life. I cannot anyway. I know things won’t change for him unless he changes. Which at this point he has decided to put the blame on others (me) and stay in denial. So great to hear that detaching has made a peaceful existance…eventually. Happy Easter everyone and enjoy your weekend.

  • BJ

    Ben, I too called the police on my alcoholic husband when he threatened me after I took away his car keys. The cops actually took his side and said that there was nothing wrong with someone drunk in their own home. He said if I felt unsafe, I could leave. So I took the kids and we spent the night at a hotel. I was furious. But I was eventually able to get help by taking him to the emergency room after a 3-week binge period, and when they admitted him for detox due to his blood alcohol, I explained that I was afraid he was trying to kill himself due to his excessive drinking. The psychiatrist admitted him to an inpatient facility for 10 days. It’s really helped for him to be admitted against his will and have to be released by a doctor. He’s had therapy and was forced to attend AA meetings while he was there. He’s been sober for almost 4 weeks, and this is the longest he’s been sober in the past 20 years! We’re taking it one day at a time. I think you should continue to take care of your daughter and yourself, but you should never feel guilty about making a decision to do what’s best for your family.

  • Ben

    Thanks everyone for your feedback….Can we try a little exercise? Maybe this will help me heal and cope. While I know I did the right thing, she is punishing me severely for what happened, calling it a “stunt”, not working, drinking more, spending money needlessly. I want to offer you her perspective on what has happened and ask you to comment on it. It will help me to know what others that have gone or continue to go through this would say. Here goes:

    My husband is crazy. He pulled a prank and tried to have me arrested at the Kindercare for picking up our daughter drunk. He is very controlling and posessive. I went to lunch with a couple girlfriends and had a couple cocktails (total fabrication she was home knocking down 20 beers by herself) and was jealous (I didnt know about the fabricated lunch, so how could I be jealous?? plus she was home because I went by the house 4 times that day as it is between my work and Kindercare). So he pulled this prank to punish me. He has paranoid personality disorder and now I know how families of those with mental illness suffer!! His mom has paranoid schizophrenia (my mom had nothing all her life and is now severely disabled from alzheimer’s disease). I don’t believe in divorce because I’m a Christian woman, but I don’t know what to do. This is the most painful thing I have ever gone through in my life! I CAN’T TRUST HIM!!! HE LIES NON STOP!!! HE SET ME UP!! HOW COULD HE BETRAY MY TRUST LIKE THAT???!!!??? HOW COULD SOMEONE DO THAT TO ANY HUMAN BEING??? I’M SO HURT! I don’t know how much more of this I can take!

  • Rc

    Ben, I can totally relate. This is what causes my illness, questioning my own logic. My wife’s logic has always made me question myself. She speaks with such authority. It’s only been since I’ve joined an all men’s Alanon group that I’ve begun to regain enough self esteem and confidence in my own thinking that I can see some of her flawed thinking. Another thing I’ve noticed is that her perspective always supports her, not US or especially me. I don’t think in 20 years there has ever been an admission of fault on her part. Alcoholics are not less intelligent, and they have logic like everyone else. It might only take one small lie to make a very convincing story believable and it’s always someone or something else’s fault. My wife swears that her drinking has been the only way she has been able to live with me all these years. She has a mental list of things I have done wrong from day one. In therapy she said how can I live with a person like me. Although she has had 2 affairs, been hospitalized a few times for basically losing her mind, lost a great career job for sleeping with her boss. All of those things were because of not being able to cope with me. She said the affairs were my fault. The only way to ever have a chance to get well is to detach from her. And for someone that sick, detachment is being physically separated. My wife moved out and left me with the children and I have felt so relieved! Feels guilty to say, but it’s true. I’m going to file for a divorce. She is not the woman I once knew, alcohol has stolen her from me and I have no power over it. Until she wants to change its impossible for me to do anything but take care and protect myself and my children from her faulty logic, which my daughter is already inadvertently learning. Bless you brother and pray like there’s no tomorrow!

  • Debbi

    Ben: Here is my feedback to your request for what it’s worth.

    BE CAREFUL FROM THIS POINT FORWARD. She tried to cover up what she did by putting all the blame on you & telling lies but when she said you broke her trust–take those words to heart. I’m guessing up to this point you have kept silent about her drinking and behavior only discussing with her but now she knows you are tired of this & involved others.

    When I finally did that to my ex A–by showing “black & white” proof to his enabling family what he was doing he sought revenge. He stole things, broke into my car, tried to set my shed on fire, poisoned my horse (I have handicaps & had a therapeutic horse long before I met him), he tried the same thing with a second horse-failed-then went to court for permission to have it destroyed at our divorce, he broke into online bank accounts, forwarded my mail which put me in collections, physically stole mail from my mail box, called my bank accounts and told them I was deceased. I could go on & on. But, if your wife is in anyway vindictive, please be careful.

    Also, please stay away from her as much as possible to help you get her lies out of your head. You need to heal and cannot do that when you stay close to her. She may take it up another notch now knowing you are not afraid to tell the truth. Stay around friends and family as much as possible right now, protect your daughter & focus on you!

    My prayers are with you!

  • L.

    The dis-ease of alcoholism does not exist in a vacuum … both would benefit from RECOVERY … AA/Al-Anon … when both are working their own Program, there is little time for criticism and attack of the other … appreciation returns, (this has been my experience) … please be gentle with each other …

  • Ben

    Debbi- Thanks for the feedback…other than poisoning my horse, she’s pretty much done everything else lately. I’m sure if I did have a horse, it would be dead. I guess the issue here is larger than alcoholism it is anger, hatred, vengeance, etc. My oldest daughter can attest to the few times she has interacted with my wife how awful it has turned out for her- yet I am expected to cater (and did for the longest time) to her daughter. There always seem to be two sets of rules to life with her, and from what I am learning, all alcoholics. Her daughter and loser brother walk on water, but my family is this-and-that. My daughter and my sister love her, they just say she needs to get help for her drinking, and that puts them on her S!&$ list. I am basically on that list now.

    L, I wish she would go to AA. She has no interest in doing so. I went to Al Anon, but do not have any interest in staying in this relationship in its current form, so Al Anon is a moot point. I wish she would get help. I even had people from church reach out to her to no avail. She only wanted to meet with the leaders of our recovery ministries to tell them how awful I was, and how I drove her to drinking.

  • Nellie

    Hey Ben,
    Let’s imagine that there is a Horrific Beast (chemical dependency) which has total, undivided control of your wife’s life. Now, anyone who confronts the Horrific Beast becomes the focus of the Beasts hostility. He will fight tooth and nail, and to the death to retain total control of her life. He plays dirty, he is “cunning and baffling”.
    Sometimes, Ben, you are talking with your wife and sometimes you are talking with The Beast. The
    whole “my husband is crazy….” is The Beast attacking YOU to ensure that you make no progress in freeing her from his clutches. This is a good sign! It means that you really have made an impact to break through the Denial of her disease, she is on the way to gaining insight, and, God willing, recovery.
    That said, living with the Beast is extremely stressful and destructive. Living with The Beast AND trying to wrestle his power away from him puts you right in the Firing Line.
    Alcohol Dependency is a Medical condition, it requires a Medical solution. A Surgeon will never operate on their own family member, because they are too emotionally involved and could get in the way of the patients return to health. Likewise, saving your wife from The Beast is something that requires the input from objective medical professionals, you can’t do it alone. Getting your wife and The Beast to a medical professional who understands the disease and treatment options is a monumental task all of it’s own.
    Do you, Ben, stay and become involved in the Daily War with The Beast, who will surely conquer, leaving you destroyed and defeated?
    Or do you leave, find a peaceful space for yourself and your daughter so your battles with The Beast are on your terms, at times that are suitable for you, and that do not take over your entire life, destroying your peace of mind and your health? Your daughter has already lost one parent to the Beast, please don’t let her lose her Daddy to fighting The Beast.
    It’s not your wife talking “how could any human do that?”, it is The Beast. Put up your shield, and live to fight another day!

  • Debbi

    Great analogy Nellie–nicely said.

  • Ben

    Nellie- you hit the nail on the head!!! This is EXACTLY (emphasis) what I have been dealing with and feeling everytime I stand up to her addiction. Some positives have come out of this; she has agreed to marital counseling which has now been redirected by the counselor to become individual counseling for her to deal with traumatic childhood/life events, she has quit breastfeeding, and I think to a degree, her anger comes from realizing I am right, even while trying to convince me that I am wrong. At some level, I am sure she realizes her drinking ruined her first marriage, a chance at reconcilliation 14 years later, her beloved son from that marriage breaking off all contact with her, her parents stating they aren’t getting involved after dealing with this their entire lives, a severely damaged 20 year old daughter, and the realization that her inability to stop drinking has ruined all her relationships, and basically, her life. I do know she doesn’t want to lose our marriage. She is trying to get closer to God and read Christian books, etc. This is a woman that went on a three week long missions trip to Africa. Having said that, I feel that, as hard as it is, I need to wait things out a while longer, that many positives have come from this event that may help her get better. Nonetheless, the pain she is inflicting on me is difficult to take- lack of love, affection, silent treatment, threats, acting out, insults, swearing, etc. So am I making the right decision to wait it out a while longer? I mean, I can always get divorced- I feel like these new avenues may help.

  • L.

    Nellie, agreed, good analogy … I maintain, Al-Anon is a safe, right place to be and work on one’s own Recovery … whether, or not, the alcoholic is still drinking …

  • Sandy

    Just saw this post – Ben, you did the right thing, I know it’s easier said than done to believe – you had to protect your daughter. I myself dealt with a similar situation with my AH about 8 months ago . . he’s an abusive alcoholic, one night he got totally out of hand, was throwing me around our bedroom and hitting me . . but the clincher is when he threatened and charged my 87 year old mother that lives with us; she was trying to protect me – that was it, I picked up the phone and off to jail he went . . he’s since quit drinking, but is not working a program and his anger at me for doing this to him with apparently no fault of his own . . is . .well. . staggering . . he borderline hates me I think . . he’s started work project on the weekends . . every Saturday and Sunday 9 hours a day for 6.5 months on top of his 40 hour regular work week . . and now I’m feeling guilty . . wishing I’d never put him in jail . . but then I rationalize and wonder “what else was I supposed to do” . . and alcoholism makes the alcoholic and the entire family insane . . that is a given!!! Good luck to you and your daughter is very lucky girl to have such a caring father!

  • JC

    Sandy, we cannot accept unacceptable behavior. Being hit and thrown around and having an 87 year old mom in danger of being hurt, I’d say is certainly unacceptable behavior. You did the right thing.

    No one should be treated that way, I know because I’ve walked in your shoes. When the cops came to get the alcoholic who was beating on me, they had to send the dogs out on her scent trail because she fled the scene the moment I dialed 911. Oh yea, that was the very last time she ever hit me. If we have to set boundaries using law enforcement to get the addicts attention, then that’s what we do. And we do it without feeling guilty afterward.

    Don’t second guess the decision you’ve made in establishing a healthy boundary. The alcoholic can blame you, get angry, talk trash all the want, you can’t do anything about that…We must continually keep the proper balance in our minds in knowing we made the right decision, no matter what the alcoholics in our lives think.

    I wouldn’t hesitate one second in calling the police again if I was in danger of being hit, pushed or shoved by anyone, not just an alcoholic. I will never, ever be someone’s doormat EVER again!

    Avoid Feeling Guilty When Living With An Alcoholic
    How To Handle Feelings Of Guilt When Saying No
    The Alcoholic Is Giving Me A Guilt Trip

  • Debbi


    JC is absolutely right–never accept physical abuse because it only gets worse & you have a natural born right to be treated with respect at all times. I had been hit with a cell phone, had things continuously shoved in my face and at my company Xmas party was shoved and almost knocked over. The emotional abuse was even worse. I knew it would only escalate so I started my plan to divorce.

    I saw a counselor back then & he printed off a copy of something which I will try to locate because it helped me so much. It was called “My Bill of Rights” and listed my rights as a human being, & as a spouse & it opened my eyes as to how many of my inherent rights he was “stomping” all over–some simple like “the right to have my opinions respected” to major ones like what you went through “the right to have my physical well-being respected”. We can never tolerate any of our rights being violated and never feel guilty for protecting those rights & in your case and Ben’s protecting them for someone else as well!

  • Sandy

    Thank you both JC and Debbi for your words of support – it’s horrible to feel guilty about something when in your heart you know it was the right thing to do. My Mom almost called the cops on him again last night and he wasn’t even drinking-I swear sometimes he just acts insane . . he does not understand how inappropriate his behavior is . . his self sense of entitlement just floors me . . he thinks he’s so special that everyone around him MUST tolerate his behavior no matter what it is . . anyway, I did go online this morning and got some info on divorce . . I’m already looking at apartments down around where I work . . I can’t go on like this . . I do believe in crimes of passion . . and I’m not just saying I’m worried he’ll kill me if you get my drift . . he’s pushing me over the edge . . thank you all for listening . .

  • Chloe

    Ben, I think you DID do the right thing. Your wife is a master crazymaker in trying to portray you as a cruel sociopath intent on destroying her as the poor innocent victim. It is so scary how alcoholics SO effectively lie to themselves living in a world of denial, delusion, and blame. Their acquired mental illness is a force to be reckoned with. I can totally relate to how you are questioning your decision, and needing sane healthy people to reassure you were totally in the right. My husband’s main crazymaking statements were 1. He has a much much higher tolerance and ability to process alcohol than other people…so 3 bottles in a day is not much. Tell that to his swollen belly, nosebleeds, panic attacks, and early onset cataracts. 2. If I hadn’t had rage issues, than his verbal and physical abuse would not have ever taken place. Clue…the rage and anger occured after his abuse. 3. My family and I are are on high horses and love to catch people in the wrong and that’s why we had the intervention. We collectively
    thrive on attacking others’ character and gossiping amongst ourselves about him. Uh….no.

    I’m a mostly level headed and stable person, and I would literally go over things in my head over and
    over and over again because it was so hard for me to process and accept my husband’s alcoholism. I
    would stare at the hidden 4 bottles of wine in his office with a mix of confusion, disbelief, and shock. I would go over and over his abusive or violent drunken behavior because the next day when he was sober it would seem just impossible, surreal, and unreal. It was so hard for me accept or grasp this sick man. He wasn’t the only one walking a fine line between sanity and insanity.

    My heart truly goes out to you Ben. Hang in there. Take very good care of yourself because you’ve been through a lot of mental trauma with this. It does a number on one’s head, for sure. Try to get a lot rest, exercise, healthy diet, and seek out little bits of light and joy in life. Continue to be your baby’s hero. Be the best man you can be for her.

    Keep hope too. You’ll know when to call it quits for good. My husband mostly quit drinking last spring
    with a bad relapse at Christmas which unhinged me. He has a new job that he loves in an amazing part of the country, and has mostly quit altogether at this point. I’m visiting him this week, and he looks like his old self. His skin looks so healthy, and his mood is very stable. He drinks hot tea at night, and says he has a few beers on the weekend when watching games. If entirely true…who knows? I call often, and he is sober. It’s encouraging, but I don’t know how things will work out. He does look and seem VERY normal now. So there’s hope for your wife too. Just follow your heart while using your head, and hang in there.

    One day at a time for all of us. It’s a hard road to travel at times, and we each must navigate as best
    we can. Oi vey….a cunning and baffling affliction.

    You DID the right thing given YOU are living with insanity AND trying to protect your baby and bring
    your wife back. A desperate, out of control, and extreme situation calls for extremely bold responses.

    Also, just my two sense, when I’ve been so terrified and filled with grief in my darkest hours, I’ve begged God to please comfort me and help me. Without fail, within maybe hours or a day or so, I feel a Light shine on me bringing me an other worldy sense of peace and comfort…sometimes profound joy. The dark clouds dissipate and the sun shines on me again. Remember, you are a spiritual being having
    a physical experience in a body. If you begin to set the intention to connect with this divinity or spirit stuff that exists within in you, you will begin to experience the unseen higher spiritual nature of God/Spirit which is love, joy, peace, compassion, etc. Jesus embodied this. This is a harsh difficult world we live in on the physical plane (sometimes I want outta here!;-) and it’s fraught with dysfunction and insanity rooted mostly in fear, sadness, and anger and spiritual unknowingness. Yet there is one way out of it and that is through the portal of Spirit…if so inclined, seek and you will find your Higher Power! 🙂 It’s a journey, but profound comfort can be found in discovering the timeless eternal aspect of our spiritual selves. It is the peace that surpasses all understanding!!

  • JC

    Chloe, thanks for taking the time to share your compassion, wisdom and encouragement. Your comment is filled with good things!

  • Ben

    Yes Chloe- amazing. Thank you everyone for your time and feedback, and JC for administering this amazing site!

  • JC

    You are welcome Ben. I’m dedicated to helping others and a bit of a technical geek as well.

  • Ben

    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to let you all know how inspiring and encouraging each and every one of your responses is. I read this entire thread often, as I just did. It helps me cope, heal, and deal with the situation knowing there are people out there with similar experiences and situations who have made it through to the other side and are willing to share their stories to help me. One of the best gifts we can give anyone is our time, because time is finite. Thank you for taking time out of your lives to help me. Ben

  • Barbara

    I know this post is about a year old…but I am going through the same thing with my husband and my kids. I hope for your sake Ben that things have improved.

  • Julie21

    Barbara, God Bless. I hope you are using the wisdom on this site to help yourself and your children in your situation.

  • Lee

    So I take it that calling the police on the spouse who repeatedly drinks to the point they endanger themselves (falling down stairs, hurting themselves in kitchen) is frowned upon by the police???

Leave a Reply