Alcoholic Husband Leaves Me Confused, Frustrated and Damaged

JC: NAM, thanks for your submission. When we focus on the alcoholic, we do get confused, frustrated and damaged. AA says that alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. Do the best that you can to take care of yourself, to love your children and to let go of the insanity that accompanies interacting with alcohol abusers. If you don’t let go, you will get dragged along.

Article by: NAM

It’s been 7 months since I left my alcoholic husband. It has been a roller coaster of emotions being with an alcoholic. I’m relieved and sleep a lot better at night. I don’t have to worry about the binges or the episodes that follow. I don’t have to walk on eggshells or wait to see what his mood will be like today to adjust my own mood. My kids are safer and its a better environment.

I do see my AH often. He misses our boys. He stops by during the week after work and spends an hour with the boys and has them on weekends. We have been out as a “family” on events and some are really good. Some remind me of all the reasons I left.

I still have all the codependent feelings and traits. I still worry as if I were still living with him. I feel anxious. I have that feeling we have when there are moments of peace and you know soon the wave of the binge is coming. When things get so out of control that you pray that you make it through the night so you can leave in the morning and never go thru this again.

I’m angry and depressed. Two of my friends are losing spouses to incurable illnesses. One to a brain tumor and another to Cancer. These people do not have a choice. They cannot stop cancer or stop the tumor.

My AH has a choice. He can choose to stop and see his children grow up and be part of their lives. He can choose to be healthy and live a new life. He can choose so many things. I know Alcoholism is a disease. I understand the definition of it.

  • I just don’t understand why and how he chooses that over us?
  • I have these feelings of low worth because I cannot see how he can not love me enough to want me and our family back more than he wants that beer?
  • What is it about that beer that can keep him so consumed?
  • Why are we not enough? Why am I still trapped in this cycle when I made the move to get out?
  • Why do I continue to hold myself back in hopes that he will magically wake up one day and everything will be perfect? And even if he does wake up, will we be able to move past the issues?

The alcoholic blames me for everything. I “took” his kids. I “left” him. I left everything on “his shoulders”. For five years he kicked me out. Told me to leave. Get out of his life. I was holding him back. All that mental, emotional, psychological abuse on top of dealing with all that comes from his disease… I’m so confused, frustrated, damaged. I know O should be happy I’m “free”, but I can’t be.

74 comments to Alcoholic Husband Leaves Me Confused, Frustrated and Damaged

  • Julie

    Debbi, I agree with you. There are some good people who get this disease and then change. But then there are others who pretend to be someone they are not and then the truth comes out. I found with my alcoholic ex-husband that whether he drank or not his actions and words were always to control my behavior and keep me under his thumb. I only realized this after i found the life i was living unbearable and my children actually came to me and told me they would rather die than to live with their abusive father anymore. My biggest fear when separating was to have the children alone with him on visits and not being there to protect them. no one seems to understand how powerful of a hold he has over me because i am trying to keep my children safe. As his alcoholism worsened so did his abuse but that is only because he would throw caution and fear of consequences to the wind when he was under the influence. But sad to say even if he sobered up (which he admits he will never do this) he would still be a selfish man who feels entitled and believes his family are his possessions. Unless he was to truly embrace the Lord and change his entire way of thinking, this man is no one that i wish to be with and alcoholism is no excuse for his behavior. And he too pretends he is so ignorant of any abuse but has been cold and calculating through our entire 21 year marriage and is still doing it today as he publicly bad mouths me on FB to his drinking buddies and sends me horrible texts telling me what a terrible person i am. So I do agree that alcoholism is a disease but i also know that if a person actually cares about himself and his loved ones he would decide to do anything in his power to fight this horrible disease. My alcoholic ex-husband has had many chances even through court ordered programs to change if he wanted to but he always chose not to and now that he is starting to pay the consequences he still is pushing all blame on me. Tired of the whole situation and still trying to protect my kids from him. Even after our divorce. But i find strength in my support from friends and family and God. Every night i pray for the ex’s awakening but he is in God’s hands now and i am trying to focus on me and my children. God Bless everyone and stay strong. Keep focused.

  • I agree with you, we have a choice to live.
    and even a choice to make our life more miserable.
    but if we think a person can change, and willing to change
    we should help them and don not treat them as a contagious disease

  • tammy

    Where do I start. I am married to an A who is extremely drunk for 3 days injuring himself to the point of hospitalization…sober for a week… back to drinking. I am going crazy. We have a business, home, family, I am sinking into feelings of suicide. I here detach and I am not sure how to untangle my life from this man I so deeply love. I call an attorney to start divorce proceeding and cancel. I call a therapist and cancel. The years go by and never improve. How do I start to heal and move forward. I keep his alcoholism a secret to the best of my ability. I wanted to have children and a future. He only goes to treatment to come out drinking more. I survived a terrible car accident for a life of misery. Please give me some direction before it is too late for me.

  • Pez

    Tammy you need to get out!!! You have severe emotional impact from this situation which is a huge warning sign. Plan to move out into your own place while he is at work or away. Do not tell him or threaten him. JUST DO IT. Once you are moved out then you can talk and see if this makes a difference. In my case it didn’t. Maybe file for legal separation to get the point across more firmly. You need a place of peace and serenity. You can seek help from a local womens crisis center for counseling and advice, a victims advocate at your local police station, a task force or church. Don’t go back with him unless he proves himself. If not file for a divorce or remain separated till you know what you want. Leaving someone you love is sheer agony, I know, but it must be done Tracy for your own mental heath.

  • Nellie

    Sending a force field of love, peace and strength to surround you, Tammy.
    You are not alone.

  • Kalpana

    Tammy, just move out and the rest will fall in place without any efforts from your side – make the first right move and the rest will follow. It’s a sin to abuse and also get abused. Where you are right now is never ever going to give you any peace – get out and take the step in faith as God’s with you !

  • Debbi

    Everyone has suggested you move out immediately and that is a big step and one I can see you are not ready for because you have cancelled appointments with therapists and attorneys. You may think you are keeping his behavior a secret but if he has ended in the hospital others are seeing this.

    Moving may be your best option but take it in baby steps. First reach out to a couple close friends (yours not his) and reach out to any family of yours you have in the area. Tell them what is going on and just see if you can spend time with them when your husband may be home so you get away and able to talk to people who are not in a dysfunctional relationship. This act of just keeping some distance from him and being around others will help clear your head. Keep your distance from him in the home as much as possible right now until you decide what YOU want without him standing there belittling you.

    Then try again for therapists and possibly Al Anon and if possible an abuse support group. There you will find people in every stage you are going through. Then you will be able to make your decisions clearly and calmly. Your decisions this time will be what YOU want and what is good for YOU. Keep the focus on you and your health and take baby steps to get back to where you can think clearly. However, if there is any chance of physical abuse or violence on his part then you cannot do this slowly–you must get out. You are in my prayers.

  • Linda

    Confused, Why is it that a recoving acholic gets mad when I share my feeling??????? MY feeling make him mad.
    Please! imput greatly needed Linda

  • Ross

    Julie alcoholism is such a complicated disease and it affects us so much.The alcoholic continues in their disease by being in denial.If you’re sharing your feelings he may not like what he’s hearing.That doesn’t make what you said wrong.But since theres too lttle detail in your post,I would like to ask….Do you attend AL-ANON?If not, I would highly suggest it.This is too hard a situation to handle on your own.
    Good Luck,keep sharing if you need to,it helps!

  • Julie

    Ross, yes i attend Alanon meetings near my home. The people there are wonderful and it has taught me to focus on myself and my children adn allow him to make his own choices. Just tired of his still blaming me for the consequences he faces for his own decisions. Trying to detach and it is very difficult. Thanks for your concern. And venting to others who understand and do not judge me is actually a big help.

  • Ross

    Oops, I meant Linda, so sorry! But still, Julie I hope you keep focusing on healing you.
    Hugs to both of you!

  • linda

    Thanks Ross yes I do attend allon just need to end his denial feeling like a third party involved here
    What my husband back.

  • Ross

    I shared my heart and hit post and it was lost in transition!

  • sheri

    I understand all of this. 2 months ago a finally blew up at my husband and ended up saying awful things as I was so tires of it all. We would be married 10 years pretty soon and he has always had a issue with drinking. He was marries before with 3 kids and the first wife left him for drinking but I did not know all when we got together. His was hidding it and always would lie about even simple things. He now uses the excuse that he misses his kids and I have 3 kids that he has been around since they were small and he would irrate them as he would be rude to them at times and drink during the day and stay in our room all day until right before I would get home and by then he would seem fine. Last year would stood by him thru kaiser support but I believe he started back drinking about 4 months later and the kids knew but I did not. I had thought about making him leave for some time and finally I blew up at him and kicked him out. I feel bad for the things I said to him but I believe I had just had enough. The past few months have been hard as I do miss him but trying to stay strong have not seen or talked to him since he kids r really glad he his gone which sometimes males me think wow what they seen that I didn’t. I miss him and I wish I didn’t

  • marilyn

    I was married to my x husband for ten years, who is alcoholic , that drank everyday even hiding it excuses all the time lost job after job though his drinking cause argument all the time to go on benders would go for a week sometimes two weeks put my kids down had affairs I couldn’t take it anymore he was dragging me down I even suffer a heart attack though all the stress so I got rid of him in the end I had no choice because he would of kill me , I,m still angry and want revenge on him for what he put me and my kids though I can’t get it out my head of all the lies he told, how he blame me, someone else has got his crap now and that’s sad for her and her children it took me ten years to wake up I hope it dont take her that long to wake up I know I shouldn’t be saying this but yes I dfo miss him and wish I could let go but its hard and I’m trying to build my life back up and its not easy

  • Anna

    I live with my alcoholic/occasional drug user ex-boyfriend. He broke up with me three days ago. His reason is that he wants to be able to go out all the time. He has been going out, binge drinking, gone for weekends without calling or letting me know anything. We have a 16 month old daughter. He has a felony DUI. He got that one when our daughter was born. He had prior five DUI’s. He has cheated, lied at all times. I don’t work, but when I did he spent most of our money on drinking. Since I stopped working my family’s been helping me with food, clothing and diaand everything else. I don’t know how to move or where to go. I know that the past four years have been the worst of my life. Emotional abuse, neglect, lies, manipulations, broken promises, always blaming me for taking off for days and the list goes on and on. I am crying a lot but also trying to find a job and detach myself. With an alcoholic life is unpredictable, lonely, full off negative events and just sad. I don’t understand how people don’t want to be better for their kids. Oh..I just hope my daughter and I make it financially and get out of this. Will
    be paying the debt he put us in for years. I wish you ladies all the best! I pray for us and our kids, that we may never fall pray to an alcoholic.

  • Julie21

    Anna, I have been in the same situation. I am now away from my exah and life is so much better for me and the children. We still live pay to pay but we were in a rough spot too when we first left. I found help from family, friends, neighbors and churches. We got assistance from the local programs in our community that even bought Christmas gifts for my children that year that we left my ah. Also a good place to reach out for guidance and help is women’s shelters for abuse or domestic violence victims. Even emotional abuse is recognized by these shelters and is considered (at least in Ohio where i live) to be domestic violence. If you do not know how to contact the local shelter your nearest courthouse may have information for you.
    God Bless and please get away and change your life and your child’s for the better. Peace is possible.

  • linda

    Can someone please help me

  • linda

    Can someone please help me, im not sure if my problems in my marriage are related to alcohol or not. I married my husband two months ago and since weve lived together ive seen him go up and down with the drinking and our marriage. He drinks beer everyday and when hes drunk he tells md he doesnt want to be with me and wants me and my kids out of the house, i ask him repeatedly what i did wrong and its never anything specific its usually “everything built up” is his answer.its been to the point tonight that im calling women shelters to find somewhere to take my kids. Hes so angry and blames me for everything, we have had our share of problems but things i think are normal issues every couple faces. He says he can never make me happy and to go find someone else, the entire time im asking him what i did wrong. I have nowhere to go with my kids, my own family cant help me and i feel lost and scared and dont know what to do, hes passed out in bed now butni dont know ifbhes kicking me out tomorrow or just drunk, i dont know. This isnt fair that i moved from another town to be with him and get married and thisbis what i get, he drinks everyday maybe theres one or two days out of the week he doesnt, on those days it seems ok but still recovering from the damage done when he was drinking. I know he complains to his friends about me when hes drinking and even his 14 year old daughter, what could they possibly be thinking at this point? Ive done everything to try to be everything hes wanted and needed, i dont know what to do now.

  • L.

    Linda, your closest Al-Anon Family Group will greet you with open arms and help you sort things out. You can Google meetings and locations. Check it out and stay in touch? All the Best, Love, and Light <3

  • Carmen

    Linda, I’m lucky that I am the owner of my home, but my husband has been very strange lately too. I went to Al-Anon and found the help I needed to detach with love. You can look up your closest meeting on-line. You won’t regret it. C.

  • Hannah

    Hello. I just thought I would comment because I have a lot on my mind. My husband of 2 years has a drinking problem and I’ve been through most of what everyone has been saying. The lying, drinking binges, all that mess. I told him to get help or leave (he was being drunk and violent in front of me and our kids) so I has no choice at that moment. Even though I know it’s for the best for me and my kids I still can’t help But miss him. After all, I didn’t ever fall out of love with him. I miss the love and affection but he has no want or desire for me anymore he says. He has finally chosen the booze over us for good. Its hard for me to accept. Despite the awful things I just wish a miracle would happen.

  • Nellie

    Love to you Hannah.
    I know this feeling of missing someone who is totally toxic, and it was explained to me this way.

    Scientists studied how little children would behave by putting them in a play pen, in the middle of a football field.
    The children were playing happily in the play pen for quite a while.
    Then, the scientists took away the playpen from around the children, so they were free to play anywhere in the
    entire football field. Instead of running away, and all over the field, the children did something unexpected. They
    remained exactly within the area that the play pen had covered, they became morose, cried and were frightened
    and upset. Not one of the children left the little area of field that had been fenced in by the play pen.

    Unfortunately, our “play pen” exists in our hearts and minds – and it is almost impossible to break free from the
    invisible fence. This is where JC and AlAnon can help us, especially in those times when we miss the A, and desperately
    wish things were different.

    Love to you Tammy, tomorrow is a new day.
    Nellie :[_

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