Threatening To Leave An Alcoholic Worked-Amazing Story

JC: Ashley, your story is wonderful. Getting to the point of threatening to end your relationship with your husband took great courage on your part and tremendous faith in God. I am so touched by your dedication to your marriage, to God and to yourself. Your story tells of a woman who is patient, kind, hopeful, faithful, spiritually strong and determined. I am so pleased to hear that things have worked out for the good. It is so refreshing to here someone share good news about their interactions with a substance abuser.

Please feel free to leave a comment below the article.

angry manAshley’s Story:

I want to start off by thanking the creators of this program for their excellent information. Reading the stories and listening to the audios was a step in the right direction for me and my family and allowed me to have yet another resource while living with an alcoholic. I wanted to share my story because it is inspirational and I know how negative life can feel when an alcoholic is part of it.

My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years and alcohol was a part of his life almost from the beginning. At first it was easily played off as social drinking, but with the stress of life quickly became a daily thing. It took me many many years to finally nail down exactly the problem because he was definitely a functioning alcoholic, at least on the career side of things.

On the inside our relationship was taking a nosedive. We had a child and he was so disconnected from us and everything outside of running his business. I would confront him and over and over again (see: Confronting An Alcoholic)  and the subject got changed and I ended up being blamed for so much. I was so frustrated.

About 2 years ago he agreed to go to counseling with me and I told him I would like to bring up his drinking. He agreed and that day he was officially diagnosed as an alcoholic. I thought we were at a turning point but his drinking continued. Time lapsed and I finally started getting my thoughts together. I began researching alcohol.

I read every book I could get my hands on. I prayed, not that God would change him, but that he would help me. Help me to be wise, give me strength, and help me be the best mom to my daughter.

I asked that God would deal with him because I couldn’t do it anymore.

driving fast1 year after our counseling appointment I went back by myself because I really started to get sucked in to it all and I was just so so angry at him all the time. The counselor looked at his notes and said that the last time he saw me was a year ago. At that very moment everything just clicked. I then realized that I won’t be that woman coming back here every year with the same feelings. I spent the next few weeks just thinking and praying.

I felt a huge urge to contact my husbands family, who had no idea about the problem. I needed them to know what was happening before anything happened. That night changed my life. I called my Mother in Law and in tears I explained the issue. My husbands biological father was a severe alcoholic and caused much pain. My MIL said this won’t destroy another family and we will stand by you no matter what. She said they know what alcohol can do and although they love their son they won’t be enablers.

With my families support and my in-laws support, I finally had the courage to move ahead.

A few weeks later I told my husband we needed to speak. I told him that I love him but that the drinking is indeed a problem I cannot live with it any longer. I told him that I have reached out to friends and family, not to hurt him but to help me. I told him that I realized I couldn’t change him, but I can change me. I told him that if he did not stop drinking then I would leave (see: giving ultimatums to an alcoholic). He was so mad. He said you can’t take our daughter, you can’t do it. I said I always want you in her life, but if you think you are the responsible parent by driving drunk then you go on thinking that. I’m not scared of your threats anymore.

He told me he didn’t like me telling him how to live his life or give him an ultimatum. I said I’m sorry you feel that way (see: How To Communicate With An Alcoholic), but by continuing to drink you are asking me, in essence, to live with an alcoholic for the rest of I told him I was going to counseling and if he wanted to get better then I would be his biggest fan. Long story short he started showing up to counseling and has been sober for 3 months. We go to counseling every 2 weeks an he has a friend who keeps him accountable.

The changes are no less than a miracle ( see: Trust God). It took 7 years but I now have my husband and best friend back.

The reason I even wrote this is to share that dealing and living with an alcoholic is the hardest thing I have ever done.

The lack of support, emotional distance and constant disappointment almost took me down with him.

I don’t know why it didn’t click sooner, but I deserved a house without alcohol, a relationship without alcohol. When I realized it was really about me again, then things started happening. I became more fearful of things staying the same than things changing.

I know that my husband isn’t perfect and that this might be a struggle for him again later, but I’m not thinking about that because I know what I will do. Although the hardest struggle in my life so far, the alcohol has really taught me who I am, and also who I am NOT.

I would encourage everyone out there dealing with this awful disease to keep moving forward and take care of YOU. You can’t change another person (see: Trying To Get An Alcoholic To Change), even if you love them so much but you can change you. And the only person that can force you to continue to be miserable and unhappy is yourself. Not to say that it is easy to change, or leave or whatever has to be done, but don’t let the alcoholic make you feel like you are trapped in his/her messed up world forever.

Thank you again for the encouragement on this website and it was a huge arrow in the right direction of my life. And even though things are going well for the alcoholic in my life, I continue to read the stories here.

50 comments to Threatening To Leave An Alcoholic Worked-Amazing Story

  • Mike

    That is so hard to distance from the one you love.
    The person is the one who you need to be with as your spouse, and then force yourself to stay away is agonizing.
    Alcoholism is a possession by the devil.
    They have let themselves do it.
    Everyone here can testify that the drinker never wants to stop, as it makes accountability too hard to handle.
    I am getting tired of the BS and have already thought to move away or at the least turn it all off and live my life as I am alone.
    Letting my step-daughter make stupid decisions is another side to drinking.

  • Debbi

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story–one with a good ending & I hope things go well for your family from now on. You showed that when the pain of staying in a situation is worse than the fear of leaving you make your plans to leave and sometimes it is at that point that changes happen. You were strong & did the right things: you talked to your husband and then you confided in his family and you sought advice from a counselor and made your decisions to change you, how you react and you set your boundaries. I am glad it all worked out for you. I wish you and your family the best!

  • Coreen

    So glad you were able to make change happen. It was no easy task, and you have proved your strength to your family.

    I always wonder how the alcoholic can turn on us when we try to get them to stop drinking – and, they add all kinds of things they think we have done in the past!!

  • calicee jomes

    I am very happy it worked out for you but my situation is opposite. I’m frustrated and I complain a lot about different things my treatment..I think he does try to appease me at times with other things and this for all the hurt and pain but I complained and it turned into an arguments and he left and threatened me and said if I complain one more time he leaving. Wow.

  • Ashley

    I want to thank you for publishing my post. I am so sorry to hear these hard situations and I know how you feel. Just know this wasn’t an overnight thing for me or my family. In a lot of ways I needed a lot of work myself before I could really look at my husband without anger and just facts. My faith played a huge part in this. It took me a long time to realize that just because I didn’t believe in divorce and did believe in God that I would need to stay miserable. I felt so trapped so many times. The more I prayed and the more I focused on being the best person I could be, the more I realized that life is just too short. I imagined myself in the future if I continued to be ok with the drinking and I didn’t like what I saw. I looked at my daughter and I imagined myself through her eyes. What would she see? I stopped worrying about the alcoholic behavior I couldn’t control and started focusing on what I could.

  • calicee jomes

    Iam listening and im turning to God for help in changing me.I know I’ve turned into a mental control freak..its time to love me..Im hoping for the best. Its a hard scary road..My husband has been drinking since age 13 he 52 yes lots of praying therapy abd al anon

  • It is funny how the alcoholic does turn on you quickly!I’m learning lots about this. I’ve been there for him through thick and they easily forget. .Wow.

  • Ashley

    Calicee, you are headed toward the right train of thought. It hurts to live with an alcoholic but it will hurt even more if you look at your life 20 or 30 years down the road and realize that they not only destroyed themselves but took you down with them.

  • Ashley

    Debbi, thank you for your kind words!!

  • Norm Boshoff

    Ashley: I’m thrilled to hear of your relief. Congratulations. You did so many things right. I hear courage to share the problem with you Mother in Law. Alcoholism is a disease that thrives in secrets, and you tore the cover away by no longer allowing others to think that everything is “fine.”

    Instead of sitting around in self-pity whining, you took action, seeking counseling and getting your husband to attend counseling. Finally,
    you had the courage to confront the disease.

    Alcoholics have tools to keep the family at bay. They deny, rationalize their drinking and blame you. They also issue threats and bully the family member into submission. You confronted the bullying and drew clear, credible boundaries to protect you and your family from his disease. You announced a meaningful consequences if he violated the boundary. You continue counseling.

    May I make a few suggestions? I encourage family members not to make demands that the alcoholic cannot meet. True alcoholics have lost the power of control. Like me, alcoholics will sacrifice money, business, career, marriage, children, health and life. They don’t want to loose these things, but they have lost control so no threat is enough to make them stop drinking permanently. They can stop briefly, but cannot stay stopped. However, we can adopt a policy of “zero tolerance for untreated addiction” and we can demand that they seek treatment, counseling, 12 step meetings etc.

    There is more to recovery that stopping drinking. Alcohol is the tip of the iceberg. There are deep emotional/attitudinal/ spiritual changes that need to happen. Without these, your husband is in danger of becoming a “dry drunk”, one who does not drink but exhibits all the negative, angry, blaming, grandiose attitudes. Alcoholism is chronic(incurable, but highly treatable) and so recovery is not an event but a process. Recovery must be maintained to prevent relapse. Many alcoholics find this support in ongoing 12 step programs. (I have done this for 21 years in my sobriety) Alcoholism is a family disease, and everyone in the family also needs recovery. Many family members find this help in 12 step groups like Al-Anon. You don’t have to walk the path of recovery alone.

    Thanks for sharing your encouraging story with all of us

  • Hey Ashley all the family knows my husband drink but its fine. All his brothers drink..Children don’t mind cause hes there for them whenever they need something so its like this its ok cause I’m the only one getting the abuse they are not so everything is fine..He helps everyone in need so I guess its a great coverup.So again I’m glad you had healthy people around.

  • Ashley

    Norm, thank you so much for the encouragement and the great advice. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on a dry drunk and my husband is doing some specific counseling for that, so you hit the nail on the head with your advice!! Alcohol is so nasty in its power!!!

    Having someone that he meets with, in addition to the counselor, has also been very helpful! Thanks again for your advice because not drinking is just the start of recovery.

  • Tawni


    I’m so glad that you found the strength to stand up and make decisions for yourself and stop allowing the alcoholic to take control of your life. You are right, either you stand up and control yourself or they will take you down with them in time. My husband took me down with him until I said no more and kicked him out. He came back 8 months later but was still the lazy jerk he was before. If I didn’t know any better I would think he was still drinking, even though he swore he was sober. We finally decided it was too much for both of us and he moved to his aunt and uncles to start over. He’s been there less than 24 hours and already is saying he needs a job (which he had never said before) and needs to move on with life. I guess some times the people in the alcoholics life allow them to stay stuck and it takes someone stronger to show them the way. I hope my husband does well for himself. We will not get back together. I’m happy alone and I hope he finds someone that’s special to him. But I can tell he’s already on the right track which is all I want for him.

  • Linda

    This is a deisese call denial. We lisen to words from them when action speak loud. when asking them they just deni.

  • Very inspiring to read. my situation is somewhat different I did find the courage to leave my husband December 2012. He is now 30 days server and living two hours away in a halfway house where he is committed to recovery and a 12 step program of 90 meetings in 90 days. He is working and being accountable to his sponsor. I have my own apartment and I have not been able 2 move on with my life. The anger is still in me from the past.he cheated on me and doesn’t even remember. He has done so much damage to our marriage. But now server at 30 days wants to save the marriage. He has been in an out of recovery for over 15 years. He’s been in treatment over 10 times. So I have no reason to believe he can maintain sobriety. I love him and by God’s graceI have found some forgiveness toward him as I know the disease of alcohol.I plan to go see him soon and I’m not quite sure what to tell him about our marriage. He is a great guy very talented when sober.I do not know how to do a long distance marriage do I wait on him to complete the 12 steps? Do I put my life on hold? I am at a loss

  • Catherine

    It is perfectly okay to say “I don’t know,” that you are not sure what to tell him about your marriage. But that you are sure that you have to take care of YOU and he has to take care of HIM, and each needs to to the best for him/her-self, irrespective of the other’s doings. Perfectly okay to tell others you aren’t sure how your Higher Power will steer you, because, face it, you aren’t. And that’s as it should be. Very freeing when you “let it go.”

  • Leslie

    Thank you for sharring your story. My husband of 17 years is a high functioning alcoholic. I left tge house last year with my boys but returned on promises to be broken yet again. I was just leaving an Alanon meeting and came home to my drunk husband being a verbal bulky to my boys. I used my methods from Alanon and set my boundaries. I dont know what tomorrow will bring but right now I feel strong and not weak. Alcoholism is a disease it is literally sparring with Satan himself while desperately trying to find the man I once knew lost in someone else’s body/soul.

  • Gabby

    To Ashley:
    Can you tell me why you think when you threatened your husband that you were leaving that he immediately stopped drinking and went into recovery to save your marriage and yet so many of us did the same thing as you and it did not work? Was it because he did not want to lose his daughter? Was it because your marriage was only 7 years old–I see some here married 20 years or more and the A just walks off?
    My hurt is horrible because I threatened to leave & left during an argument and have not heard a word–I guess my BF just never loved me. I want answers and I want the hurt to go away.

  • Catherine

    I am currently divorcing my alcoholic husband. I gave him an ultimatum, me or his booze. He said “bye-bye”. As much as it hurts I am moving forward. I had picked up and moved her from another state to be with him 3 years ago. I left my career, family and friends. I feel very abandoned. Everyday he asks me to not leave but when I ask him to stop his drinking, he quickly turns on me and tells me to leave. It’s hard for me to understand how he could let me go. I am an educated woman, good homemaker, cook, and I take care of myself. We have a beautiful home and had plans to travel. He just wants to drink…

  • Pez

    Gabby, this is a game they play–To not contact you makes you feel you have been rejected by them instead of remembering YOU are the one who made the decision!! when I gave my XAB the 1st and second ultimatum he knew I was serious and jumped to another woman and cut me off completely trying to make me feel like shit or it was my fault or something. He never contacted me to try to make it right, Just cut me off. I had to remember I was the one who chose to cut it off. Don’t let him twist your mind and feeling. You know you’d had enough and would have left him. I know it’s hard but just stay away and move on. It gets better daily, but still hurts. Also, all A’s are at different stages and are different people. Some realize what they will loose, some don’t care alcohol is there GOD above ALL else! And NOTHING will separate them from their true love.
    Catherine: I too am educated, classy, business owner, attractive and my XAB left me for a woman who spread her legs for a place to live (several times with different men), Rough looking, 18 year criminal record, low class, ghetto mouth woman. You will never understand it so don’t try. There is only one answer and that is ADDICTION IS THAT STRONG! You MUST know in your knower it is not you. Your X like mine will find someone desperate enough so they can continue to indulge. Take care of you, you deserve better if this is the road they take!! Betrayal.

  • jim

    Deep down he knows whats right and what he really wants,but right now the alcohol is in charge and much stronger than him. To expect him to make a choice between the two i think when it comes to addiction you know what his answer will be..His best friend booze that doesnt have an opinion, and just helps all his worldly pains will win.. I hope for you guys maybe when you leave it will be rock bottom for him and this will give him the boot up the arse and the strength to start winning the battle with booze..Its got to come from him in the end,you can only say something so many times and support so many times before you will get ill.. fingers crossed for you,a change from this impossible routine can only be a good thing. good luck. Jim

  • Pez

    Catherine, I do hope the best for your marriage, for a miracle. But, just want you to be prepared for the worst if it happens. Sometimes they find someone else pretty quickly just to hurt you for rejecting them.

  • Amy

    Very true Pez, very true.

  • Ashley

    First and foremost, my apologies for being so delayed in a response. Life has been busy. The latest update on myself and my family is that my husband has remained sober since I wrote this last post. I cannot even begin to tell you the change that has happened in him emotionally and even physically. He has literally lost 30 pounds simply from the fact that he isn’t consuming so many calories from alcohol. I have seen many posts on here asking the question, why did it work for you? Why did threatening to leave the alcoholic in my life actually work? And to that I don’t know an exact answer but I will give you my train of thought during those times and you can glean from it what you can.

    First, and most importantly was and is my relationship with God. I would consider myself a very religious person but most people won’t hear me yelling it from the rooftops. My relationship with God is what sustained me during the time that my husband was drinking and it is what sustains me now as we move ahead. I would not have had the strength that I needed to send the message that I was leaving without spending hours in prayer and reflection on what I should do.

    Secondly, has been my relationship with my own family and my in laws. I have thought many times over the last few months, what makes my story different? I would have to say that a huge part of that is my family. The amount of support that my family and my in laws gave me and are still giving me is amazing. I think that is a real key in this success story thus far. My husband was given an ultimatum by me and he was given love/support and NON tolerance from my family and his. We all said we would love him but we would not put up with the alcohol. I think it is unusual to run across a situation where every single person in the alcoholics life is not enabling. To this day my MIL and I talk openly about this.

    I want to be honest about our struggles because the only reason I wrote this article in the first place was to extend my thoughts and my hardships so that I could maybe help someone in a small way. For months after my husband stopped drinking we continued to go to counseling. As the time went on our visits became less close together simply because things were going well. My husband stayed away from all those previous friends and told all of his friends that he was no longer drinking. One of his friends refused to spend time with him anymore. So sad, but it really shows you the power of alcohol! After a few more months passed we stopped going because the counselor wanted us to make appointments as needed because we needed to try it in the real world. And things went well.

    But, the one thing I will tell you about alcohol is that it leaves a scar for the previous alcoholic and the spouse that takes a while to heal. The old behavioral problems that the alcoholic was used to for so long still need to be monitored as that is what they have been used to for so long. It takes time. And the scars that I experienced from the loneliness and anger all those years is taking time. When my husband stopped drinking I was so happy but for months after I couldn’t quite figure out why I still felt so distant from him, so disconnected. I believed that this was a change that would stick. I believed that God had answered a prayer in our lives. And very importantly, I felt like I now had the tools to deal with whatever situation might come up in our lives. I felt strong enough in myself that I would never let alcohol take control of my life again, no matter what my husband may choose down the road. With all those strengths behind me then why did I still feel so disconnected?

    A few weeks ago my husband had a serious attitude problem and the way he was acting reminded me of his attitude while drinking. In a very calm way I asked if he had been drinking and he said no but he was upset that I even asked. I thought and thought about this for a long time and then I simply said, I haven’t asked you in 9 months but this past weekend you showed behavior that reminded me of a very sad time in my life. As the days went by I remained pretty silent and I prayed and prayed. I thanked God for making alcohol a thing of the past in our lives but I couldn’t understand how things could still feel so hard, I mean we made it! In the silence of thought, reflection and praying I felt God’s message to me was still the same. Love me, work on yourself and get closer to me because in the end a spouse will never be your only form of happiness or contentment no matter how great your marriage is. After days of this my husband came to me and we had a really awesome conversation about our lives and stresses and the alcohol. After 7 years of alcohol in our lives I was finally able to tell him what it did to me, how I hurt and how those scars are still there. Because of the calm platform that we were communicating on I told him that during those times I lost all respect for him, not just some, but all! I told him that every single day he disappointed me. Every single day! You might think it odd but I had never told him those things. That opened up a great door for us and we were able to really talk, really communicate. And though it might sound strange, we somewhat re-dedicated ourselves to our marriage and our decisions to move ahead.

    I want to tell you all of this because I want you to understand that alcohol is a nasty beast. It leaves scars that take a long time to heal but they can be healed. When my husband stopped drinking it was the tip of the iceberg in moving ahead. We have much more to work on together and with the help of our relationship with God and our families I feel hopeful and confident that it will happen. We are in a good place now.

  • Marisa

    Your story Ashley is very inspiring to me.I have lived with an alcoholic husband now for 10 years.I dealt with it in only trying to excuse and make compromises time after time hoping there was hope he could control this by the amount he had being limited.He would only end up drinking behind me back with each promise made to control it.I myself was in chains 24/7,constantly looking over my shoulder because I couldnt trust him farther than I could throw him.I was always living in a costant state of panic and anxiety.We have 2 children that have had to live threw the arguments when he would get drunk.He would say some of the most awful things to me when he would get drunk.And as time progressed his drinking got worse.He had to drink no matter what we were doing.I was dying inside!!He had cheated on me at one piont wich after he had promised to clean his life up I forgave him.I was hoping that would have been enough to finally change him for the better.But over the next 2 years it only spiraled out of control again.The alcoholic blame game was worse than ever!He started to blame me for his affair because he said I controled him and that made him cheat.So you can amagine the level of pain this caused.I still lived with it for a time hiding at night in my room pretending to be asleep so he would just leave me alone crying myself to sleep on a nightly basis.I am not the kind of person to take my own life because I believe against it and I had to be there for my kids but I deffinatly didnt care about it anymore!I loved him soooooo much! Because regardless his addiction,there was an awsome man underneath the addiction that was kind and loving and just an amazing person!That kept me hanging on so long because I kept hoping that would come out again.But it didnt!He only got worse and started acting out at familys houses getting drunk sneaking whiskey,wich ended in neighbors calling the cops at 11:30 in the morning because of his yelling in the street calling me names and the kids saw it all.At this point I had a braking moment,I saw the horror in my childrens eyes for the last time!My whole family was being hurt at this point because I had allowed this to go on to them.Thats when I realized that there pain at this point was my fault.I was enabling this.I let this go long enough!I had enough!I also gave him a choice.I told him that I couldnt allow alcohol in my life or the childrens life anymore.And if he was going to continue to drink then he couldnt be in our life.So at that moment he in a state of humbleness said he would quite and he new he needed to.It was amediate relief.That was december 2013,and he stayed sober until july 2014,but was a dry drunk the whole time being angry and resentful.I new the green fog was going to roll in again as I like to describe it.And it did!He fell off the wagon hard!One day everything was great and then out of no where he came home drunk the next day from work!I was devastated!I told him that very moment he had to move out because I wasnt going to allow that behavior or alcohol around me or the kids. and he became ignorant but left.That evening he was arrested with a DWI.And had the nerve to call me!I very quickly told him he had done this to himself and he would need to call someone else because I wasnt going to suffer for this anymore.The next 2 days he left message after message that he had screwed up and he had had a wake up call,but I new this would only last so long.The green
    fog wasnt going away that easy!And he begged to come home.But I new I couldnt let him come home.I new I had to do the most painful thing that I would ever have to do and make him stay away till he had treatment and stayed sober for a long length of time on his own.Everyone that had ever been threw this told me I would never see a true change,if it was even possible,until I stuck to my guns.I had to exibit tough love.And it is tough of both ends!i am going threw hell right now.Its the sit and wait game.i am trying to just take care of me and keep my mind off of it but thats easier said than done when your family is about to fall apart.I have got an apt. with a psychologist that specializes in co-dependent marraiges so I am praying that will help.I also have a great relationship with Jehovah God and am trying to concentrate on that.But everyday is agonizing!!!!It hurts so bad not to know the outcome!You find yourself praying all day for strength and for him to get help.but as of yet he hasnt gone.He continues to go back and forth about admitting he has a problem and even needing help.I have had to continue standing my ground but dying inside the whole time.I know theres no other choice but to just go threw this.There is no other answer!So I hope my outcome is like yours Ashley.I pray he will see the light and walk away from the green fog!but all I can do Is wait and see,and thats the hardest part!I love him so much,I hope he finds his way down the right path!

  • susan

    I decided enough was enough and I couldn’t continue living with my husband who was also a functioning alcoholic. So he had to leave, he contacted me constantly just like he always did when we split but this time I was stronge and didn’t respond, for around three months and then he told me he wanted to stop but needed help, I agreed to help him but told him this was his last chance. Now 4 years later we are still together , needless to say he hasn’t touched a drop. He is a wonderful partner a wonderful man, I always new he was in there somewhere. I am sure this won’t work for everyone but I am thankful it worked for us. don’t get me wrong I do get a little nervous if something unsettling happens, but he has dealt with a number of sad occasions since, so fingers crossed I have the real him back for good. Hope others are able to also have a happy ending too. Take care. X

  • Pez

    those of you who had there’s recover I am soooo happy for you! I prayed for 5 years. What’s the difference FREE WILL–they have to want to change and stop with all the conniving an lies. And, as Ashley said, NO enabling from many has a huge effect. Mine had an enabling mother.

  • MCP

    Ashley – is he still sober?

  • Ashley

    Hi MCP,
    Yes my husband is still sober!! It will be 3 years this coming May, and boy have our lives changed. One of the most wonderful things has been the relationship that he has with our daughter. Now that it has been 3 years I can step back and look at the overall picture of the situation back then, adn I am even more convinced that living with an alcoholic should never be put on anyone. Get away, get far away because the only one that can fix an alcoholic is themselves and they will drag you down with them if you choose to allow it. I was very very blessed that things worked out the way they did for our family. I know that it doesn’t always work out that way and I really feel for those people in those situations because it is so so hard. One of the things I prayed and prayed after my husband became sober was that God would give us back the years we lost as a family while he was drinking. I do feel that in the past 3 years God has answered my prayers. This is the way a family is suppose to be and I’m just grateful every single day. You know one of the interesting things that I noticed as the years passed was his realization of the problem. When he first became sober I still don’t think he was really convinced that he had a problem but that he was just changing to keep his family. But as a few months passed I would hear him telling people he had a drinking problem before and now 3 years later he has no problem opening up to people about his problem and it is interesting to hear him talk about it from that perspective. Literally everything changed after he was sober…..our relationship, his relationship with his family and mine. He had always worked for himself when he was drinking and then he got an 8 to 5 job and he is home all weekend with us. Night and day…night and day! So….that was the very very long answer to your question. Again, I am so thankful that I found this website and if I can help anyone out there with my story then that’s what I’m here for!

  • June

    Ashley, does he still get angry, blame someone for his unhappiness on a bad day?

  • JC

    Ashley, thanks for sharing encouraging words, a really nice breath of fresh air. I am so very happy for you and your family!

  • MCP

    Yesterday I successfully got my wife into rehab. No arguments and no protests. I hope, like your husband, she is ready to get sober. Thank you for your story. I wish you continued good luck.

  • Ashley

    MCP, I am really happy to hear that your wife is in rehab and my prayer for you and your family is that she will be totally rehabilitated. I am no expert by any means at all but my suggestion to you would be to work on yourself during this time she is in rehab. I am sure her alcoholism has done a number on you over the years and sometimes it is hard to get back to the you before. I wish you the best of luck! I’ll be checking the posts for some follow up!

    I was also reading through all of the old posts above and I don’t know if anyone is still checking them but I read through Marisa’s post and my heart breaks for her. I remember one of the things that really gave me a ton of strength when I was going through alcoholism with my husband was my daughter. I was praying and thinking one day and it hit me like a ton of bricks that my responsibility to her was more than just to “keep” our family together when it ultimately was not my choice if my husband had kept drinking. My big fear back then was that we wouldn’t work out and that would devastate her but then it was like my brain and eyes were opened up and I started thinking more of what I would want her to do if she were in my same situation. Fast forward 20 some years and say she came to me with the same problem that I was having…what would I say to her. Well I knew the answer to that and it was get the heck out of there! Then I started thinking, what kind of mother do I want to be? Do I want to be helpless and weak and controlled by alcoholism my whole life of did I want her to see that I was strong. I knew what I had to do and, at the time, I realized that she may not understand the circumstances due to age but that she would one day and that is what I clung to. Praise the Lord it never came to that but I wanted to share my train of thought during that time because I remember it very clearly.

  • I Too am in the same situation. I have threatened to kick him out and it seemed to work for about 10 days. Then right back to drinking. He is hiding it now, like I can’t tell over the phone or in person. He is not physically abusive but mentally. Numerous rumours of him cheating as well. Its,almost like he wants me to kick him out. That will be hard but I have my 2 kids to think about. 9 and 7. I’m angry most of the time. Kick the dog, which is my kids sometimes. I have prayed and prayed. I asked him about counselibg. He said, no. He doesn’t have a problem. I need to be strong like you and tell him I don’t want to be married to alcohol anymore. He does not care that were struggling financially. As long as he can buy his liquor. Trying to be strong.

  • cf

    Kick the dog….what does that mean.

  • Nicole


    Kick the dog: I am angry at him and end up being more grumpy with my kids or whomever is in my company at the time.

  • Carrie

    I am leaving my functional alcoholic in two days in a secret move while he’s at work. I moved in with him on the basis that he would keep his drinking in check. The boundaries were set:

    1) No alcohol in the house (broken three time in two months)
    2) Only two drinks in front of me (Broken countless times)
    3) Only get drunk with your friends away from me (broken a handful of times).
    4) Keep it under 14 drinks per week (rare)

    Despite being a caring, fun guy, I cannot step into a marriage with a problem drinker. I can’t bring children into this type of situation. I can’t keep having the anxiety, resentment, smell, money spent, safety issues. He will not go to AA or therapy to treat his underlying anxiety disorder. He gets mad at me for asking him to stop drinking, thinking he has it all under control. Lately, he’s been getting paranoid when he drinks and a little snippy at me. It’s only going to get worse. Last week, he blew $300 on one night of drinking. This past Thursday, he downed a bottle of wine in less that two hours. I had warned him that “I would just leave” if I wasn’t happy with his drinking habits after I moved in. Well, I’m not happy so I’m leaving. This has been a long time coming and is a very big, complicated decision that will effect the rest of my life. I am not taking this lightly. There was a time that he said he would punch me if I ever left him, so this is why I’m leaving in secret. I’m going to live only 2 miles from him, so I will have to be careful for a while that he doesn’t see me. I’m afraid of the fallout, but I have to go. Summer is coming and I want to enjoy it! I want to be free from his disease and my anxiety so I can pursue my dreams.

  • Pez

    Good for you Carrie! I lived with mine for eight months and moved out to my own apartment kept dating him but it eventually ended. remember no matter what restrictions you put on them once they have that first drink they can’t stop it’s not controllable. how long have you been with him?

  • gina schuran-castillo

    Dear friends.
    I don’t need to threaten to leave my alcoholic husband any longer. He left me and died on my birthday 5 months ago. He was 59 and we were married 34 years. The last 5 years were bad, otherwise my marriage was superb and I miss him daily. Now I am alone in retirement, stuck with dreams I had for the 2 of us and most certainly will not look at another guy. My Dad was an alcoholic and physically abusive, my ex husband (married 7 years) was an alcoholic and didn’t like to work. I have forgiven my late husband his/our troubles, researching more of what happened really in him. I had already initiated some distance, while living together. That helps me now.
    I just can’t believe what precious people could discover about themselves
    if they would just not stand in their own path. Love to you all. Gina

  • I am so happy for you.

  • Good luck, and pray. I pray God helps both of u for
    Your sake and your baby.

  • Paula g

    Hi Gina,
    I am so sorry to hear about your husband. Don’t forget that you are still alive and even though you loved him so much and miss him, there is a person very near to you who hasn’t gotten a lot of attention and care and affection. You. Try to be selfish and pamper yourself. Adjusting to being alone can be very difficult, but it gets easier and it makes you stronger. You sound like a person capable of a lot of love, please don’t forget about directing it towards yourself. Then thank yourself too. Power to you.

  • Bill

    Hi Gina, thanks for sharing from your broken heart. I just want to say “things take time”. You will heal and love again.

  • Carrie

    Hi Everyone,

    I would like to follow up to my post written March 27th. I did, in fact, leave my fiancé while he was at work. I got a new apartment and it’s been two weeks since the split. He wrote me an email and some texts, but isn’t trying hard to get me back. I’m taking this as a blessing because the decision was hard enough. I was initially very happy, but then started to suffer from self-doubt and guilt. My therapist and friends helped me pull through. Now, I am trying to work on myself and define my presence again. I’m trying to set up my apartment and get my own affairs in order. I was so involved with him. his alcoholism and my sadness that many of my own tasks went my the wayside. Now, I’m catching up. I’ve not contacted him since the break-up; my therapist and friends have told me not to. This is so against my nature, but I also don’t believe I could handle an interaction right now. It is a big relief that I don’t have to worry about his drinking anymore. He wrote me that he was going to quit, but a late-night sext message proved otherwise. I don’t have to worry about being disrespected anymore and I don’t have to worry about getting a divorce due to alcoholism. He was also quite irresponsible and now I don’t have to deal with that, either. It feels so weird to be so involved with someone for two years and then to separate all within one day. It feels good, though.

  • Paula g

    Congratulations Carrie, I wish you lots of strength during your healing process.

  • Lindy

    I’m not sure if you still check back after so long…but I have so many questions for you!

  • Sophie

    Any way the OP can update us? It’s been 5 years

  • SS

    So grateful to have read this post. I felt like you were writing my story and now I want my ending to go like yours if it’s even possible. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • I know this is an old post but I find it very interesting how often you use the words I, me, and My. Not to discredit you or not acknowledge what you’ve been through, but your argument is so self righteous and self-absorbed. I know you went through a lot but you never mention what your husband was possibly going through to seek alcohol as a crutch. I know you were hurt a lot. But maybe he was hurt a lot too. Alcohol is not a crutch and he did not tolerate his pain in the right way. However, your lack of compassion and understanding is very noticeable. Your article literally says “I” 56 times!! That’s not support, that’s an ultimatum that will not withstand. It’s a temporary fix with someone you’re trying to make love you. He could probably tell that the other shoe was going to fall off sooner or later which made him drink more! I’d be interested to know if the two of you are even still together? However, I highly doubt it. Honestly, this is the worst post I’ve ever seen about supporting an alcoholic. You’re naive and lack compassion. Clearly til death do us part means nothing to you. I understand you went through a lot but did your husband beat you, neglect you, abuse you, or degrade you?! If he did than yeah girl I understand. However it doesn’t sound like he did. He has a disease and his disease to you sounds all about you, your, yours, and how you’re feeling. That’s not supportive, that’s a threat which is also, emotional abuse! You’re not a helpful spouse when it come to alcohol and I discourage anyone from taking this posts advice!!!!

Leave a Reply