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

  • sheila

    I found that the less I interact with my alcoholic
    ex, the better I feel.

  • Kalpana

    Hey Nam

    You are not alone we are all with you – every alcoholic has his own unique character, but the one thing common I see is that they re selfish shrewd and cunning with the most endearing personalities that can keep you confused as long as you associate with them – I am living one such marriage –

    Since my husband controlled he finances I have not been able to set myself free and to my bad luck I am living with him – my spirituality gives me the emotional strength but what gives me joy is my job. It gives me my money to do what I want and now that my kids are well settled in their jobs I do not suffer lie I did in my earlier days –

    Have a parallel life – if you can get a job and try and work yourself up the or pirate ladder – just make one right move and everything will start settling down. Trust in god and my philosophy has been that He helps those you help themselves.

    Love u

  • L.

    Nam, As I see it, you/we are dealing with two separate problems: alcoholism and abuse. I got some clarity when I learned the distinction between the two. Two books that helped sort it out for me are “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft and “When Love Goes Wrong: What to Do When You Can’t Do Anything Right” by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter. In my opinion, the Al-Anon fellowship is a truly remarkable resource to learn all you can about the dis-ease of alcoholism and your place on that merry-go-round/roller coaster. It is a place to be heard,get practical information and support … and recover. The books I mentioned can help point you in the direction and toward resources and support for the abuse. All the best to you as you walk One Day At A Time ….

  • Fatima

    Hi, I can understand what are you going through, all the confusion for me is the same thing when I see his kids sleeping in the room and him not coming home until early hours in the morning. I ask myself what did we do wrong to deserve this? What does he find in that drink better than his family?
    I don’t know if they feel even a little guilt over all what they are doing.

  • Ger

    Hi there
    I have just made up my mind to leave my Alcoholic spouse. It has been a long battle. I feel that my husband can only get better if I leave him. He is a very intelligent man, is a musician, producer, computer guru, cook etc. there is no end to his attributes. but when he drinks, oh my, he is a totally different person when he goes past that 6th beer. he can now drink a dozen now every other day. I purposely spent all our money this time around and it has been the third day with nothing to drink. I am curious how it is going to play out. mind you he does have empties he can cash in.
    Nam, there is nothing wrong with having your feelings. I have dealt with the verbal abuse for 23 years and it does something to a person. Thank God for my job! I am happier this past week because I have finally made up my mind to talk my power back. he knows I am leaving. I am taking over the finances this pay period and getting my taxes done which will get me added money to move out. You did the absolute right thing for yourself and your children. when you think of the past, look around you and think of the present. you did it! keep your personal contact to a minimum with your A and live you life the way you were meant to live it. you have done a great and noble thing for your children. God bless you on your journey

  • Debbi


    I believe “L” is on to something–abuse & alcohol. I can see how distraught you are. You left him because he crossed a final boundary with you just like mine did & I ended it & I filed for divorce but your heart is hoping that he will come to his senses and choose you & your children over the alcohol. So many things need to happen before you will see that–He has to have a sober moment where he instantly sees what he lost and immediately seek help because he can NOT stop the alcohol on his own and needs to hit that bottom. I am sure though when he has his sober moments only love for you and his children come to his mind since you mention he does come to see them & attend family functions. . .so there is hope.

    It is too late for me–I had no children with mine and the infidelity I saw at the end make it impossible for me to ever trust him again but in your case if that has not happened and because he has children with you I am so hoping you get your wish. I hope he wakes one morning and realizes he is about to lose that beautiful gem he holds in his hands–YOU. Stay strong–I see by your posts you are a wonderful loving person and IT WAS NOT YOU–it’s okay to love him from a distance right now & hope & I’ll hope with you. Deb

  • mace

    That moment when they wake up; it was in jail for my Dad, and a heartbreak for my mother and grandmother, seeing this 70 year old man in jail for DUI. The five day stay did something, but within a year he was dead. What a waste of time, and his grandchildren would have loved to get to know him better.

    I no longer struggle with my A. He can come, go, get help or burn in hell. The procrastination and broken promises become a bit much. I am stronger, wiser, and this forum helps tremendously.

    I decided to have a life without him, and there are other men..perhaps he will wake up soon, but if he doesn’t, my life will go on.

  • Nellie

    Hey Nam,
    Your two friends who are losing their spouses to incurable diseases……….
    You also are losing your spouse to an incurable disease.

    No doubt they have also tried every treatment possible to give their spouses
    a good shot at life. You and your spouse also have no doubt tried every treatment available
    to give him a good shot at life.

    A good friend of mine recently died from melanoma. She was young, medically trained, and in
    complete denial that the disease had riddled her body. She had been told she had six months
    to live. She would not accept it or believe it. Instead of spending her time at peace and with
    her friends and family, she isolated herself, and turned to “quacks” for treatment.

    Your spouse is in denial, just like my friend. He will not accept the diagnosis of his incurable,
    terminal disease. But you are right – there is treatment available, but it is not as simple as just giving up drinking.

    L is right, Al-Anon is the way to go, if you can make a meeting (I believe there are on-line
    meetings also if you cannot physically get to one). This is like “care for carer’s” of folks with this chronic disease.
    Hugs and love to you.

  • Karens

    Nam, we sometimes forget that our alcoholic spouses have
    an incurrable disease that distorts the thinking of the
    brain. What you are wanting is wishful thinking because
    he cannot change the way his brain reacts when he continues to drink. My AH has two hip replacements due
    to the physical chemistry of the alcohol and his body.
    His liver is next and is showing symptoms in blood tests.
    Alcoholism is a terrible disease. It is often said that
    cancer of one family member changes the whole family
    as they struggle trying to maintain sanity in the dying

  • Deb

    There’s something about being a ‘young’ woman that causes us to accept things a normal person won’t and things you’ll find you will NOT accept once you are older. I’m 45 and I look back at my youth and I realize that as much as men are affected by testosterone, we have to admit we are affected by Estrogen. We as women have a very strong ‘nesting’ instinct and its nothing small. It’s Biology and Evolution, it really is.

    I want to share something with you. When a woman makes love, it changes your brain. If you want your brain to work you have to stop making love. Its plain truth. Get off the love making for a bit and you will have an operating Mind again. You will see that the Alcoholic is a little bit Sadist, a little bit Child and has criminal tendencies. There is no way around it. Look at the behavior. No one who is decent and kind will take you on a ‘head trip.’ No one with a conscience will ‘spin you’ around so much you don’t know if you are coming and going. A DECENT HUMAN BEING does not act nor treat another HUMAN BEING in the way an alcoholic does. You can realize they are ill, you can accept that ‘there are ways to OPERATE around them’ but you have to accept something here. You fell in love with THE UNTRUTH. Because who they presented themselves to be WAS NOT THE TRUTH. Why are we so proud/disabled to not admit this to OURSELVES as woman? It’s okay to screw up. It’s okay to fall in love with some FANTASY which only ‘we’ can see in that person. And, maybe that is a part of who they are but ITS NOT ENOUGH of who they are to live a CIVILIZED PEACEFUL LIFE. We have a hard time ‘messing up.’ We marry the wrong men. And, you know what ‘that is okay.’ Men do mess up all the time, why are we so hard on ourselves. AND life isn’t over…THERE ARE NO SOUL MATES…that’s a pile. WE get fed a lot of garbage as women and its time we CEASE allowing it.

    Men and women are inherently the same. We really are, save for our hormones which seem to run amok in WOMEN as well as men. If it hurts, if it makes you feel like crap, if it makes you feel like you are going crazy…IT IS…AND IT IS THE TRUTH…and you are RIGHT.

    Your feelings are right your instincts are right and…ITS TIME TO CARE ABOUT YOURSELF…IT REALLY IS. In this day and age, aside from poverty issues, ‘if they don’t love you, use them, TAKE WHAT YOU NEED and then DUMP EM! Do not sit and fret about being alone. It is AWESOME to live alone in freedom and peace. It is AWESOME

    If you live with an alcoholic, he is not normal. He is not even HUMAN. They are borderline folks who BELONG in prison and that is the truth. Women need to pull up the pants and ENJOY YOUR LIFE…YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO IT. They do it. Men mess things up and then move on. We need to also. So what if most of them are druggies and alcoholics, LIVE your life while you have a chance.

    Take advantage of him RULE over him (he’s drunk.his brain is not working right there are a thousand ways you can USE your ALCOHOLIC)if you think you will do anything else but LIVE A SEPARATE LIFE then be miserable. You will go to a funny farm and then when it’s all over you will laugh at yourself. Yes you will when you see all the places in’did not love enough. LOVE YOURSELF who cares about the alcoholic if they cared about themselves in some HUMAN way..then would treat you with respect.

    I have no qualm if you want to learn the hard way, I did. Listen and take advice. LIVE WITH THE ALCOHOLIC slowly separate your heart from them, slowly move your life away from them, slowly get on your financial feet and LOVE YOURSELF.

    You either figure it out before your hair turns grey and you are all wrinkly or you don’t. And, you know what, you are still ‘hot’ even wrinkly (we are fed so much BS…by society about our worth if you got the house, the car, the dough, you can get a HOT young broke man, just like they did to us when we were young, it works for WOMEN TOO) Love YOURSELF!

  • Deb

    This may sound overly harsh but I want to tell you something. You are doing something VERY WRONG when you are empathic to the ALCOHOLIC. You really are. You are committing a crime. You have a dog or cat who deserves your empathy and your time more then he does.

    I am not sure if its Biology or Society or thousands of years of the way women have been treated (thus affecting us mentally). You deserve something. What that is you need to figure out. It is okay not to care when someone is abusive to you. You have permission to cease giving a shit. When someone mistreats you mentally, emotionally or physically in any way that makes you feel ‘off kilter’ in any way shape or form TRUST THIS: That is an ALARM. That is a SIREN saying; ‘you are about to be Mistreated and it will cost you.’

    It’s okay to pay the price. Its okay to try to understand him for hours, months years, but know this:

    When you lay on that hospital bed taking your last breath (because you will, we all go that way) do you really want to look back at your life and discover that most of it was spent ‘worrying about the future’ of someone like that? AT LEAST CARE about someone WORTHY OF YOUR TIME…He isn’t, He really isn’t!

  • Deb

    I love you women.I really do. As much as we focus on men, its time to look at ourselves. How old are you? If you are over 40 then you are all grown up. In your mind and imagination. Imagine what an Adult would do. If you aren’t sure what you should do, imagine what the Adult would do in this situation.

    Women have such tendency to feel the need to care for all. There are easier ways to become a saint. Believe it or not, living in a Convent is far easier then living with an alcoholic.

    To become effective you have to take responsibility for your own life. It isn’t easy. It is hard. It’s not in our DNA. You have to consider you will have to become the provider. You will have to consider establishing your own home. You will have to learn how to manage money and run your home like a business. But..YOU CAN DO IT! When you are in charge of your own life, you do not have to put up with this. And, if you don’t want to be in charge of your own life, do it smartly.

    It may go a bit against your conscience, but it will set you free. Learn to make him dance to the music you want him to dance to. They are so easy to manipulate, but you have to learn the buttons (you can live sanely with them if you learn this).

  • Karens

    Nam, sorry for ending my response so quickly. My AH
    walked into the house and to keep from arguing it was
    better to just quickly exit. Anyway, I believe that
    cancer and alcoholism run to lifes end. Sleuthfully
    cancer over takes the body to a bitter end as does
    alcoholism. It destroys families and love in different
    ways, but alcoholism is a purposeful chosen way of ending. Good luck to you and your family and may God
    guide you in your decisions as they are meaningful and
    necessry to you and your family. Karens

  • Kalpana

    I have to say that all he responses have been precious –

  • Linda

    Hi all.
    I agreed with everything that is said. The ah likes to project onto us. Trying to make us feel their guilt n shame. Everything my ah says is what hes guilty of. They can’t live with their lies. And they start believing their own lies…Silent treatment is also used. God be with us all.

  • Debbi

    Hoping to shed a little light on this “Alcoholics Leaving Us Confused, Frustrated and Damaged”. I am still not sure after everything that went down in my marriage if my ex husband was or was not an alcoholic or an emotionally abusive man who drank alot. So, Al Anon was not working for me and the Domestic Abuse suggested I attend an abuse support group. I was given the following list of what abusers do to their loved ones & it is always about Power & Control, whether the abuse is emotional, verbal or physical. I see all these same behaviors listed on this site by everyone’s A so maybe this list will be an eye-opener for you as it was for me:
    1. Using Intimation–looks, actions, destroying property, abusing animals and pets, displaying weapons
    2. Using Emotional Abuse-degrading another, mind games, blame & guilt, making you think you’re crazy or guilty.
    3. Using Isolation-controlling what another does, sees or who they talk to, controlling their outside involvement and they use jealousy to justify it.
    4. Minimizing, Denying, Blaming-making light of the abuse, not taking your concerns seriously, denying it even happened or saying you caused it.
    5. Using Children-make you feel guilty about caring for them, using them to relay messages, threatening to take them away.
    6. Using Male Privilege (when abuser is man): Treat you like a servant, not allowing you to make big decisions, acting like the “master of the castle”, defines men’s & women’s roles.
    7. Using Economic Abuse-Prevent you from getting or keeping a job, making you ask for money, giving you an allowance, taking or stealing your money, not letting you know about family income.
    8. Using Coercion & Threats: Make and/or carry out threats to hurt or do something or leave you or commit suicide, make you do illegal things.

    This list was created many years ago by US Government Agency: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. I found similarities of the Alcoholic Behavior to this Abusive Behavior list. . hope it helps & maybe some of you recognize this in your relationship and you can use the wonderful tools & tips here to help stop being subjected to this if it is happening to you, whether you remain in the relationship or not. I know it certainly opened my eyes & made me take inventory of exactly what was being done to me. Unfortunately I have lost my trust in everyone because of this & trying to get back the person I was. . .kind, caring able to love another.

  • Laura

    Debbi, Wow I cannot believe when I read the abusive section of your entry how many of those fit my situation….. Good grief, I wish I would have thought of that earlier. I have felt or known it, but put it out of my mind for so long. Thank you I am going to work harder on my own self esteem and less on his needs and BS. It is hard as he so sick and sliding away, but he still is with it enough to continue to do this crap. Last night he acted like he was 2 trying to get my attention. His back hurt so he decided to do everything he could to make it worse, not my problem, then he had been in town and did not eat so he wanted to eat, but usually he wont eat anything I make for him so I was like do your own thing and he heated up a instant meal and acted like he was blind he could not figure it out kept asking me about it and then I finally said are there directions on the box? He said they were to hard to understand.. are you kidding me. Even when I offer to make him something he just says na not know. probably messes with drinking Then he needed documents out of the safe for his business and just opened it up and left it so that I would just jump right up and get on the floor and dig through it all for him….. he never even asked me if I would, I did not do it. I made cupcakes served him one he said nothing then later I asked if he liked it and said THANKS. I said what does that mean? He said I never can say the right thing, I said you never answer a question. On and On and On. He got a box for medical hospice items with medicine in it would not even go to the door to get it and then just opened it up and left out on the counter with morphine and other stuff like it was nothing or it is my job to put it in the hospice safe box down the hall up high where no one can see it and it is safe and where the nurses know to go. But he was good enough to go out and smoke jerky . cut wood and do all sorts of other stuff all night long in his shop and drink. My god sometimes I just feel like hell trying to be nice to someone who is dying and who keeps drinking and doing this to himself. I am going to work on the abuse part with my counselor tomorrow. Thanks for the insight. Love L

  • Debbi

    Boy Laura you are dealing with quite a bit here. I can’t believe he’s on hospice claiming unable to place a box back on a shelf but turn around and go out & cut wood. He is going to abuse you clear to the end.
    In my abuse support group they said that alcohol use does not cause abusiveness but then proceed to tell you that 80% of domestic disturbances involve the use of alcohol or drugs. So what gives? I believe everyone has it wrong and alcohol causes damage to the way the brain functions and causes them to be abusive. . .some worse (sorry guys but men especially seem to be more abusive). Court records also prove that a woman will serve 64% more jail time for abusing her spouse than the man will. . .we see all these awful shootings of men going after their estranged spouses & children. . .we must always be careful. They also know for a fact that 85% of personality disorders in adults go away completely when the alcohol use/abuse is removed and psychiatrists that truly believe a patient has a mental disorder will not treat that person until the addiction has been treated first & usually once that is treated for a long time much of the original diagnosis of disorders disappear.

    In my case mine was functioning & functioning well. . .crafty, cunning & continues to do so after the divorce by anonymously mailing me literature of how “I’m going to rot in hell” and anonymously calling my banks and reporting me as deceased. So, I struggle with is it alcohol or is it abuse. I would have never expected this from this man mainly because I did not believe him smart enough to think up these things. . .for 20 years he deceived me and others by telling everyone he cannot read or write & now I guess he tells them a miracle happened because he is reading just fine. Can someone function that cunningly and still have an alcohol or other addiction? I am so confused.

  • Laura

    Debbie and anyone else who has been through some sort of this madness. I went on line today and studied a bit about verbal abuse and learned that a lot of them are narcissist ( sp?) and are very manipulating in their efforts. I remember back when we first got married he would come home with a bunch of groceries and I was like oh how wonderful of you to get stuff for the weekend so that when all our kids where together I could cook. After being a single mom and working hard I thought this was so wonderful. Guess what he would give his mom a list and have her go do the shopping…. are you kidding me. I was in shock as she had a husband with cancer and was at that time like 65. He said oh she likes doing it and it gives her something to do. It went on for a while longer and then he had her getting him underwear and wanting me to tell him what I needed and I said enough. You mom raised you and your siblings worked hard her whole life and now needs to focus on her and your dad no more I refuse to let it continue. He did stop, but the attitude has always been there. This from a man who will not even drive her over to a breast cancer clinic and wanted her to ride the bus when she had cancer for 3 hrs round trip. What a butt now that I talk about it. I took her and made arrangements with friends to help most of the time. Damn I wish I had been wiser about him. but he had it all worked out. I quit my job became reliant upon him and signed a prenup… Buta bing buta bang and now he is playing out in ever way till the end. Thanks for the support and great words of wisdom. Thank goodness I am heading to town to seem my daughter and counselor tomorrow and take a movie too. Love L

  • Pez

    Deb, your comments made me smile. I agree, nice, kind, loving women are taken advantage of by these types of people and we must protect ourselves. That is one of the things I learned with my ex-alcoholic. I stopped being intimate with him “to get my head straight” and he jumped in with another woman. I am glad I held off for a few months. It made it easier to separate from him after that.

  • Tracy

    Hi Everyone, I have only posted a couple of times. I am separated from my alcoholic husband of 25 years. It’s been hard as I’ve been sucked into mind games for the last 2 days and I’m mentally exhausted. I was doing great with the no contact rule and I felt great.

    He just came back from his second holiday to Spain (he needed to get his head sorted out) more like drinking/drug taking in the sun. Anyway I feel so down today. I am selling the family home and that’s stressful and he starts mind games and I admit I am just as bad. He told me to meet someone else… he’s finished with me… to get over it.

    I have been crying all day and begging him to tell me he loves me I can’t believe I have done this. He ignores me, tells me to f-off all the time, tells me he’s very happy etc. Why are alcoholics so cruel and nasty?. I feel terrible really down today. This man told me I was the love of his life 5 months ago.

  • Am sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I found that continued contact only brought worse treatment no matter how much I did. A lot of the A’s act in the same manner – demeaning those who do the most and care the most. Try to focus on yourself.

  • Pez

    Tracy, You have to get away from this man asap! A lot of A’s are mean M F’s! They are convicted inside of their behavior and their mind is not right so they lash out at you and try to make you feel it’s your fault. IT’s NOT!! No matter how hard it is, no matter what you have to do, Get away from him. It Will ONLY GET WORSE. They will not change until they want to. As long as they are drinking THERE IS NO HOPE. He does not care about you. You make him feel bad because you are that convicting factor just by the good person you are. Read Debs comments above–you will get there. Cry, talk to people, a counselor, read, research, anything to distract you from contacting him. If you don’t have any minor kids to him Cut him off completely. Block him on your phone, email, facebook etc….It’s painful but you have to keep contact shut off. You deserve better! We all do!!!

  • Jule Allen

    Tracy, it’s time for you to get constructively busy, day to night. Bawl your eyes out, of course. Your relationship is at an impasse. I can’t say it’s over because many couples reunite … it’s the truth you don’t hear from divorce researchers because reunions aren’t dramatic and chaotic. Remember that life is fluid and your husband is suffering with pain and anger that he doesn’t know what to do with. Honestly, do you think he’s happy? Anyone can tell you that they’re happy. But if he has to spell it out, chances are, he knows he’s unhappy. He’s watching the destruction of his relationship in slow motion… of course he’s not happy! You must practice independence of thought and action. Do what YOU want to do… start working out, enroll in a class, volunteer at a Big Sisters program, help a friend or relative host a large garage sale. The busier you are right now, the more you’ll build self-confidence in the face of uncertainty and upheaval. My prayers are with you.

  • Debbi

    I know exactly what you are going through-I am still in the crying stage even though now divorced from a 15 year marriage. No contact is not enough. His head is in a fog (See Jule’s comment above). In addition to no contact you have to do something called “A 180”. You can google it & find it under Please follow this. If your marriage is to be saved he needs to see you moving on without him & set your groundrules for the boundaries you will and will not accept. I’m hoping yours ends better than mine but either way you need to take care of YOU right now. Focus on things in your life that are not in turmoil, sign up for support groups (Al Anon, divorce groups, abuse groups), keep moving forward and let him see a confident, happy person (even if you don’t feel that way now–act yourself into that feeling and the feeling with follow). Don’t let him control you-live your life to the fullest.

  • Pat

    I know where you are at. I was there with first husband. Jule Allen is right. Do anything to stay busy. That is what my therapist told me and it was the best piece of advice I got. I am not saying that there were not days that I wanted to talk to him but after you get a few projects going it will get easier. The other piece of advice I got is that if something comes easy it diminishes it value. Things that are considered valuable are rare and hard to get. That really hit home to me. He sounds like my first husband because he projected that he was so happy and when he finally got himself thrown in jail I was stupid enough to get him out even tho we were separated. He told me how sorry he was and how much he loved me and I fell for it. Then his girlfriend came to our house ( with a gun) and he said he wanted to go live with her. That is the last time I saw him and I believe it was God getting me out of the way of something I did not need to be a part of. I received a call form an investigator after 6 years of not seeing him and he was looking for him. I had taken my maiden name back and then was living with someone with no phone number in my name when they called. It was really weird and scary that they were able to find me so I figured it was something very serious if they went to that trouble to find me. They were looking for him and I told them I had not seen him for a VERY long time. They said they would take me off the list. I have heard he is in jail and will be there for a very long time. So take care of yourself and trust God that whatever the outcome is that he has great things in store for you!!

  • Ross

    You will make it and you will be ok.Work on recovery for you.I was married for 23 yrs (almost 24 in Dec).
    Husband filed for a divorce after seeing I wasnot going to allow him to move home w/o recovery under his belt…etc…They are not right in their mind.But you need to not be dragged down with them.Help yourself recover and if it can be saved, recovery can greatly help..

  • CC


    You must make it a priority to take care of yourself.
    The A’s only love themselves, but it is hard to realize that they dont really care about you, only the drink. Move on with your life.

  • Ro

    Detachment is hard. I would suggest going to as many Al-anon meetings as possible. Therapy w/a counselor who is sober and who is trained in addiction therapy/codependency. If, and I say IF – you find that you may be addicted to the person with a drinking problem, you may want to read books on love addiction. It helps you to detach even more and put the focus on yourself. Remember the gets. Get off his back. Get out of his way. Get on with your life. If he hollers then definitely let him go. If you are looking for love, go to yourself, your hp, and the al-anon group. Surround yourself with loving friends and family. You deserve to be treated with love and respect.

  • mace


    First know that God is able to change people and is a very present help in times of trouble.

    This is one of those times.

    I agree that I felt much better when I began to focus on me! I went back to doing some of the things I did before his drinking got out of control. Some men DO see that if you go on, that they risk losing everything. I AM going on and now my “A” is starting to get the hint. Now whether or not he will continue to “wake-up” is a totally different story.

    I am doing me, and he is starting to realize that I mean business. He now initiates conversation about AA and when I told him I was going to Al-Anon support meetings, he was in shock.

    No, many situations or relationships don’t work out they way we want sometimes, but if you do YOU, it won’t matter what the outcome is ’cause YOU will be taken care of.

    Just take care of yourself..there is hope.

  • Tracy

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all you’re advice and prayers, I needed them. Today is a new day and I will never let him get in my head again NEVER. You are all right it’s about me getting help he’s chose the path he wants to go down and i’m not going down with him. I asked him to leave when i found out he’d been phoning/texting another woman he denied it even though i had 18 month worth of phone bills with her number on it. Today I feel she’s welcome to him she’s getting what i don’t want, alcohol is his true love not me or our family. My daughter lives with him she was verbally abusive to me like him i have tried with her but she just ignores me he however under minded me for years and i think this is why she lives with him NO RULES what teenager wants rules?. Alcoholics can only hurt you if you allow them too and today it stops for me, i have to be ok with him for 4 weeks until my house sells and then after that i need never speak to him again. My son and i are moving beside my family and i know this is the start of a peaceful life no more walking on egg shells around the alcoholic. Everyone deserves love and respect but we all know you will never get it from a alcoholic. God Bless everyone and thank you all for you’re kind words. Tracy

  • L.

    Tracy, you go girl … you CAN walk this … One Day At A Time!

  • Lizzie


    For some reason, A’s have a wall between them (him + drink) and you. We can try and explain it away with scientific theories, but in the end, the odds are against him having any successful/meaningful relationship- with you or anyone else, and it is unfortunate that you are now caught up in the web. In my situation, I didn’t know much about alcoholism because I wasn’t exposed to it growing up. The man I’m involved with is an alcoholic and it has taken me 3 years to finally figure that out. Like I said, the odds are against us having a successful/meaningful relationship long-term. It’s too bad that I jumped into this relationship- I see that now- because I moved across the country to be with this guy. The minute I got here, things changed. Everything changed. Always, always, he would get drunk, trashed, and I’d say something that ticked him off and he would become the biggest A-hole, belligerent, mean drunk and immediately turn it around making it my fault. He recently accepted the Lord in his heart and I’ve seen real change; except when it comes to the bottle. Every single mile-stone I’ve achieved has been knocked down, ruined- for example, during my finals in school, the last 2 weeks of an intense, accelerated technical course, he has an emotional affair with his ex-wife and goes out of state to hook up with her. On the weekend of my finals. I almost failed them because I was so distraught. As a Christian woman, I know the Lord is with me (and you) in this struggle. Today, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes as it relates to my boyfriend, so that I would be in control of my emotions and not interact with this guy while he is drunk. I don’t want to live in the same house like I have for 3 years and have this horrible tension after a night of his drinking. Lord, please give me your eyes so I can see and love humanity. I’m about to graduate from school again with my Associates, and with 2 weeks away, I’m concerned that he’ll mess this up for me again. Somehow, I’ve got to get graduated, get a full-time job making decent money so I can afford to move myself and my 3 cats back to my home state. Unfortunately, I have to do my time here until that is accomplished. Al anon gave me the best advice: Never, never, attempt to have an important conversation with a drunk. Do not engage. This requires tremendous self-control on my part, and I fail. I don’t want to live this way, having to manage myself when he is drunk. I wish you the best in life, and next time you are considering a mate, ask him how much alcohol he drinks. Mine lied to me, and I’m paying dearly for it.

  • Julie

    Everyone here has such wonderful advice. I come to this site when i am feeling confused or guilty just to remind myself of reality. Like sheila mentioned above I feel so much better when i do not talk to or interact with my AexH. But because we have children together sometimes this is difficult. And like Debbi’s list about abuse, he has done all this to me and continues to try. I will stand up for myself and i am trying to stay focused on my children and their healing as well as my own. And i too have attended a support group for abused women and this really helps me to see reality and not believe his manipulating lies anymore. God Bless all of us going through this and don’t let them into your minds. Just let God in your mind and heart and keep the addict’s /abuser’s words out of your head. Stay strong everyone and thanks for the support you all offer by giving of yourself on this site.

  • Laura

    I really appreciate everyone being so honest and sharing their pain and growth with learning how to have our own lives again as best we can. I am struggling today with husband (who is drinking himself to death)I feel so bad and guilty for the disgust I am feeling towards him now and it seems to be getting worse everyday. He is just getting worse, but still tries to keep on going and is just gross to be around the last two nights he has been drunk and I could not even understand him. I just have about had it with him being in my head and me stuck between being a gracious person in time of need and an idiot who walks on eggshells and feels sorry for the drunk who caused this all to happen to himself and us. I get phone calls now in the am from Hospice (that is how I get to start me day) and it is like being at the dentist and just visioning the pain being over and how you will feel when it is done. Sounds awful to say, but I have to be honest it is emotinally and mentally darining to watch what he has done to himself. He bought more beer yesterday again nothing new, but his fridge and cooler is stocked for the weekend I guess. I just hate the way I feel with him when he is even on the property. Believe it or not he still tries to go to work and just keeps dragging this out. This week they took another 5 litres from his stomach and he is going back on Monday again and is swollen like a ballon. They would not up his diruretics because of his kidneys, but he said he did anyway. My God how crazy can this alcoholism be???
    Prayers and Blessing to all of us strong souls that get sucked into this sick world. L

  • Tracy

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for you’re kind helpful replies.

    I went to al-anon last week and a aa guy spoke. He has been sober for 21 years what he said is a alcoholic
    is insane drunk or sober until he gets sober and seeks a recovery plan getting sober is the first part of recovery then they have to get to the route of their addiction. He said most of their problems stem from some kind of childhood abuse un-loved etc. I feel for the alcoholic but I do not have the strength to stick with a man that threw away 25yrs for a ego boost! because that what affairs are about for alcoholics oh poor me my wife doesn’t understand me etc and the other woman probably has more issues than the alcoholic. I’v spent 5 months going off my head over the affair and why what am i really loosing? nothing worth fighting for! I think we grieve for a relationship/future that was never going to happen As a non alcoholic I don’t understand him and i never will.

    My AH made me doubt everything about myself i’v no self confidence I put on a lot of weight my escapism I’v lost 30 pounds joined a gym and met mew people. I ask the lord every night and morning to give me peace and get me through the day and he has.

    I love my Ah he is the love of my life and I am sad for him but we have one life and it should not be spent being abused.

    I think we non alcoholics try too hard trying to fix/work them out I know I wasted nearly half my life on a very sick man who I can’t fix he is slowly killing himself and there is nothing I can do. I like everyone on this site have tried everything nothing works. I hope and pray he gets help because he has a good side to him but its up to him I have my son to look after and I pray my daughter comes back into my life.

    God Bless Everyone Tracy

  • Pez

    This is the tragedy! What a story Laura. This brings us back home to reality of how serious alcoholism can be. How sad and tragic the addiction/Disease. All you can do is free yourself and put them in the hands of your higher power. Alcoholism is a mystery to me. I don’t get it-probably non of us do. I wouldn’t feel guilty and ashamed of your feelings Laura–any human being would be discusted living and watching this day in and day out. It’s natural. The longer you deal with this kind of thing the more you feel this way. He knows he’s dying–so what the heck he feels–it’s too late anyway.
    The initial separation from the alcoholic is difficult and a process–but it gets easier day by day–thank God!

  • Tracy

    Hi Guys,

    Me again.

    My AH can’t look me in the face, he comes to the house when I am out so does my daughter I think both of them are ashamed.

    I have a large family and they all loved and respected my AH but since all his skeletons came out they can’t believe what I put up with because we the wives are great at putting on a face for everyone, you are dying inside but no one really knows.

    Like to share this with you:


    Guilt Self-Hatred Self Righteousness – Blaming

    Fear Aggression – Anger

    Helplessness Controlling of Others

    Hurt Abusive

    Loneliness – Rejection Rejecting

    Low Self Worth Grandiosity – Criticalness

    Some days when I am feeling good and my AH gets in touch and he is being abusive, angry and aggressive I look at the above and say oh ….. is feeling hurt and fearful today, I don’t know if will help anyone but some days it makes me laugh!

  • Deb

    Dear Tracy,

    If you are going to love someone, you are going to hurt. Its impossible to love without having pain, even in a good relationship. I hope you forgive yourself for the mistake you made. In my opinion, a ‘decent’ person will have certain boundaries. This pertains to Ethics. The ethical way to break up with someone. If they don’t have a boundary, you have to ask yourself is this criminal behavior? It can be considered criminal to treat a living sentient being who has opened themselves vulnerably in the manner you describe. In the Native American culture, it’s considered brave and right to ‘give of yourself truly.’ You did that. Take yourself back and accept his behavior as his free will choice. Karma is created when you make an action. For each action there is a reaction and he is creating karma for himself. Put yourself into Peace. Pull yourself together, though it will take some time. Move on with your life, its ok, we’ve all had to do it. It gets easier.

  • Tracy

    Hi Deb,

    Thank You.

    I find it very hard to love myself because I have been made to feel worthless for 25 years but I am not worthless and I know that it is my AH who has all the issues and problems and I do pray he finds peace. I know I am on my way to finding peace, but it is hard but I will get there.

    It is hard because you make plans with this person but if I am totally honest I knew this day would come because as his illness progressed so did the mental/verbal abuse/drinking. He never drank in the house he went out and I would not see him for at least 3 weeks he stayed with his mum, his whole family are dysfunctional, if I phoned his mother to ask if he was staying with her she always lied and said she hadn’t seen him and he was staying there. I had a family of liars to deal with.

    I usually get money from him on a Friday but its Saturday morning where I live and he’s not gave me any this week. I sent a text but that’s getting ignored he must have a drinking session planned for today. In all the 25 years we were together money was never a issue but since I asked him to go its become a problem. I know its all about control, I am very lucky I have a family that can help so I am not letting this get me down today as I now know it is all games the AH play with your head and it aint happening anymore!

    God Bless, Hope Everyone has a peaceful weekend. Tracy

  • Jule Allen

    I would like to interject this much. We all have a purpose for being here on earth. People talk about praying for others but it’s now PC not to mention God, or Christ, or faith, or purpose, or forgiveness, or loving your enemies…and your enemies include family members in crisis and crime. Ideally,no one should allow themselves to become, or remain, a victim. To whom has been given much, greater will be his or her strength and resilience. To whom has been given less, endurance and fortitude may be granted through grace or rescue. But we are all where we are supposed to be. There are no mistakes because God in his infinite wisdom has given us trials from which to build our faith, wisdom, fortitude, trust, perseverance, spirit of forgiveness, and above all, Love. To love your enemies is as important as loving your Creator. This does not, in any way mean that you should remain in a harmful situation. It means that, even in harmful situations, you should remain non-judgemental and compassionate toward others. Pain and fear are very common. Those who self-destruct are experiencing pain that they cannot bear nor do they have adequate coping skills to endure. You must keep this in mind no matter who you deal with. That is the beginning of seeing others through God’s eyes. Where there is peace, love abides. Where there is pain, fear abides. We are each responsible for bringing peace to a situation. You can do this by bringing comfort to the afflicted, by constructively chastising the wrong, or by separating yourself from the angry and bitter when they are lashing out or living a life fraught with self-destruction. If you have the fortitude and wisdom to maintain your bearing (military-speak, as I am prior-military) despite the chaos your “enemies” create, then God has ordained you to act much like an angel of mercy. If you are more sensitive – fragile, if you will – then you are there to witness the grace of God as others move to rescue or strengthen you in your trial. As Deb stated so insightfully, we are going to experience pain simply by virtue of being needy humans interacting with other needy humans. AA used to be more spiritually-based than it is today, and that may explain the small success rate. Nevertheless, please remember that we are not here to judge the unfortunate, but to share in the divine, even when others cannot accept or trust in the divine. God’s strength is sufficient for you in your weakness and frailty. Some see and others have yet to see. We, in our narrow optical view (myopic perspective), cannot judge those who cannot see. Thank you all for the beauty of your wisdom and perspectives. We are One in God, in Christ, who strengthens and provides, if only we ask in faith. Live in peace, knowing that your efforts, your compassion, outlive and outlast the brief life we live.

  • Karens

    Jules Allen, your comment is beautifully stated.

    Turning my life to be controlled only through God and
    Jesus has saved me from the bitterness that comes from
    being the spouse of an AH. My spirit is lifted over and
    over again and I have learned to value myself. Yes, I
    have learned a lot about alcoholism and daily crisis.
    Learning still not to judge but to find an everlasting
    peace that can come from spiritual love and understanding
    of my Biblical inheritance gratefully received. Yes, I
    have been married 28 years to my AH. Grown in a way that
    comes from being gifted with a life full of problems.

    I value these lessons and find peace and comfort from
    the journey that is provided. Blessings to all and
    a good day walking in your journey.

  • tina

    All of your comments help me, but my situation seems so different although the abuse and lies are all the same. My 23 year old daughter is an alcoholic. She has a 6 month daughter and watching her alcoholic insanity and the things she does as a mother is horrible. She goes off with her daughter n comes back drunk, her daughter barely belted into her car seat. I can’t follow her 24 hrs a day trying to keep my granddaughter safe from her own mother. Family members advise me to take custody. I know I should but too exhausted right now.

  • Laura

    Karen, Thank you for your support and words of wisdom. Julie Ann your spiritual words are comforting too. The hardest ? I have for myself is trying to get out of the mood or depression and doing good healthy things for me. I feel like I am kinding of rotting away with him. I used to workout a lot and enjoy who I was. A self confident career women with a great daughter and HAPPY with dreams of a great future of working with orphanages and forter care here and in Mexico. Now I just struggle to even try and think of doing anything for me. It is like I am in a coma of misery and just go blah about everything. I did pray yesterday and asked God to help me be kind and gentle with him and to help me and guide me in the direction to take care of myself. I do feel a bit better today, but everytime I feel better he always blows it or I let him he hates to see me happy… So I feel like I am waitning for the next bobmb to drop. Yesterday my daughter called from college and invited me to an eventshe is very proud of. I said I would be there and after I would take her and her wonderful boyfriend ( thank goodness she respects herself and chose well) out to dinner, in the background my h yells out you are your father’s daughter it’s all about the food. My dad his passsed, he was my bestfiend and he loved to share going out to eat and having great chats. Wow, my daughter heard it and asked if I was okay. I said yah, but it hurt. She said he is not welcome. He thinks food and family are bad and drinking is great? He has no relationship with his 2 kids and my daughter has always been and still is close to him and loves him so much, but has set boundries with his behavior. I got off the phone and said ” you are rude and you want to be mean, you only make yourself look like a jerk and what you think about me does not matter to me anymore. I have never said that and he is acting different towards me because I stood my ground. He said he was not trying to be mean, how the hell was that nice. Especially since he knows I miss my dad everyday and he can never be half the man he was. In just one mean jealous sentence he tried to hurt all three of us. God give me peace and all of us. L

  • Laura

    Tina, please be strong for yourself with this sad sickness. I know it may be hard for you to want to admit it, but your daughter is not who she used to be and making poor decisions for her is something she will have to be responsible for. Your grandaughter did not ask to be part of this and cannot make safe choices. Maybe the good lord put her in your life so that you are there to protect her from this torture and help you to ease your own pain by helping her. This little angel needs someone to watch over her and if you can help her it maybe the message your daughter needs to get her to help herself and save both of their precious lives. I know it may be hard, but you know you do not want your grandaughter hurt in anyway. God bless you all and I hope that you all find peace. L

  • Brenda Carter

    Sometimes when I read these letters and comments, I feel like someone is writing about my husband!I will have been married 33 yrs June 6, we will not be celebrating because we have not lived together since March 15. That is the day that changed my life forever!

    My AH had addiction issues with prescription pain meds in the past he was able to get off of the PILLS, but what I didn’t realize for awhile was he just traded one addiction for another.He was very, very good at hiding his dirty little secret for the most part.

    He was a truck driver so he was gone most weeks M-F & would sneak & hide his drinking on the weekends.When those times would come up & I would realize he was drinking of course he always lied when I asked him about it & then he would do the whole “make me feel like crap” thing.

    Then 13 months ago his liver function test were abnormal, they did an ultra sound it was not good so they did a biopsy he was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver! The doctor came in and told us both he would give him approximately 1&half-2 yrs and he had to STOP drinking to have that!

    He told me he did not want to die and he would stop drinking. I believed him and thought he did, but I was wrong! 7 months later he rear ended another truck on the interstate the police didn’t do any drug or alcohol test but of course the company did he failed the alcohol test and was fired as he should of been. But he didn’t tell me that he said they fired him because of the accident I only found out the truth because I was the one who got the letter of termination out of the mail.LIES,LIES,LIES!!!

    I feel like the last 15 yrs of my life have been a LIE! I believed and was manipulated into believing so many lies. He is not even someone I know anymore….controlling, abusive, manipulating, dishonest about everything. The drinking just got worse and worse he woke up and started drinking and drank until he passed out, woke up and started again. He went into rehab for 8 days I had such hope for him when he made that step. He came out only took a few days and he started again went to AA 5 nights a week after he drank all day long!

    The very worst thing about this whole mess in my opinion is we have 2 grown children, 1 of them a son from a previous relationship he had before I met him. That son had a son of his own (our grandson)due to some bad choices on the behalf of both of our grandsons parents we have legal custody of our grandson. He is an amazing young man does well in school,plays drums and guitar,plays basketball and is very dedicated to his skateboarding among many other talents! Having to live in all of this craziness every single day is so unfair to him.

    Then on March 14 my AH shot my living room window while he was attempting yet again to kill himself. I told him he needed to leave, he did and stayed gone all night. The next afternoon he came back drunk of course (continuing to drive intoxicated)got out of his car tried to start a fight with our grandson, I tried to stop him from going towards him and he picked me up and threw me, swung at grandson, grandson ducked, this enraged AH and he pulled a gun out and pointed it at our grandson told him he would kill him! I stepped in between the gun and grandson and he told me he would kill me too!

    Called 911 had him arrested took out OP he violated it 15 times before we even made it to court to finalize it he was arrested for violations on Easter got out,was arrested again when we went to court to finalize the OP because they raised his bond on the previous arrest. He is out doing pretty much the same thing still drinking all day every day, driving and reeking havoc in other family members lives and still LIES every single time he opens his mouth. He will change when he dies.

    I have a very strong faith in God and trust that he is in control everyday but I had prayed for months asking God to show me what to do because I didn’t want to give up on my husband or my marriage and I believe on that day he showed me what I needed to do because he isn’t going to change. God bless and be with each and everyone of us touched by this terrible disease.

  • linda

    Hi to all.
    Reading these post in not understanding what my alcoholics behavior is because he has been sober for s year. Same behavior as when drinking and doing drugs. Words say one thing action saying another.

    Let his words bring me back after I left for a year. Believing he would change. This gas lighting and yelling or badgering is bad. Every one here is in my prayers.

  • Debbi

    To All:
    I am literally sitting here with tears running down my face after reading the awful things that have been done to all of you and are still going on. I don’t think giving any of you the standard answer of prayers and God has this plan because deep in my heart I keep rejecting that–some plan HE had for my life. How can life be this cruel to those on this site who faithfully get up every day, take care of their responsibilities and keep things running while all the time getting abuse heaped on us. I got so MAD 2 weeks ago because I am getting mailed anonymously from other states brochures about “sinners & how we are all sinners” from churches–I assume my ex A is behind this but it makes me want to scream–All of us, living with, living separately, from husband, wife, brother, sister, mother father who has to put up with this while getting this abuse should be receiving medals. We are saints–who else would tolerate this. Maybe that is the answer for all of us–learn to walk away at the first sign and stop giving of our hearts, times, talents to those who do not appreciate us. I have a hard time right now believing in any higher power that allows this. I want to reach out to all of you individually and give you all a big HUG–you all deserve to be placed high on a throne for all your efforts. My heart is so heavy for all my toils and all of you–there has to be a better answer to all of this. Sorry just needed to empty my heart–it is so sad.

  • L.

    Debbie, welcome to the dis-ease of patriarchy … as I mentioned earlier it helps, (me anyway), to view it all through the lenses of “alcoholism” and “abuse” … learn all you can about both … when we can see clearly and name what we are experiencing, we can foresee, sidestep, and/or make better choices … simple, not easy … Awareness, Acceptance, Action …

  • Debbi

    Sorry to vent earlier. I am already divorced but still struggling with WHAT HAPPENED? Never saw some of the awful things you all saw but the sarcastic remarks and the dirty deeds & illegal deeds done behind my back still have me reeling as I find out more each day of what he did for over 20 years. No amount of reading about alcoholism can convince me that my ex A was under the influence of this and contrived so many things against me that literally could have cost me my life. I so need a plan right now to (1) stop obsessing (2) move on & find new friends & hobbies & (3) find some health care as still battling major health problems. I don’t mean to take away anything you all have gone through with this condition but I can’t believe for sure my ex A was an A or just some sick sociopath bent on destroying my life & he still seems to be succeeding even after the divorce.

Leave a Reply