Sent in by: Marcia
I have a question: I understand the not confronting and letting go with love concept as it relates to my alcoholic husband. My question is what if my husbands alcoholism gets worse and he puts his, my dogs and my own safety at risk?
Normally, if I tell him he’s drinking too much or that I don’t approve of him going out to get more beer, he won’t. He will listen to me; he’ll be upset too, but he’ll listen and go to bed. So, if I stop helping him keep it in check, then his drinking will get worse.
I already know it’s not my responsibility to keep tabs on how much he drinks, but I am just afraid if I don’t and I’m not home and he is with the dogs, something might happen to him or the dogs. This has happened before.
He only drinks beer now, but a few years back he was drinking beer and doing shots. I came home from work one day and walked into the house with a lit cigarette and the house smelled really bad of gas. He was passed out and the dogs were in the house. The alcoholic used the stove and forgot to turn off the burners. There was no fire but there was the gas smell throughout the house.
That was it. I told him I wanted a divorce if he didn’t get his shit together. It took him about a month but he finally got off the shots. Now every time he acts more drunk than a 40 oz and a few 24 oz cans should get him,
I am always paranoid that he has started the shots again. He drinks everyday. He has done so for the past 10 yrs. He’s been drinking since he was 15 yrs old, he is now 48.
I am tired, angry and anxious pretty much all the time. I am tired of confronting him. I am angry because he keeps lying to my face and I can’t control his behavior or his drinking. I am always anxious worrying about him killing himself slowly but surely.
Which brings me to my next point. He also has hepatitis c, so his liver is suspect in addition to the drinking. I am not working, he is. I have no vehicle. There are no kids involved, thank God. But my dogs are like my kids so…
I would appreciate it if you would respond to me with an answer to my question: How should I handle this situation where the alcoholic is getting worse and putting people and pets at risk of being hurt or even killed?
Thank you for reading this.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.
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Please take your dogs and leave. If you cannot do that now then go talk to a therapist or alanon support group until you are strong enough. This is for your own safety, You will be so much happier when you can live without this constant anxiety, especially where your pets are concerned. The other alternative is to watch him slowly spiral downward. I know they always lie about how much and if they have been drinking. Just part of the sickness. Remember you cannot control him. If you think you can really, it is an illusion. Please just leave. He is drinking whether you are there or not.
hi , i feel your pain , my husband i also a alcholic, im afraid you must look after way YOURSELF, and stop being his enabler, its hard when you love them , as i do my husband, so i feel the best way is to detach , go to a self help group or look online, and delete what you look up on line or he will see it , and make u feel guilty, have a life outside of him , get a job, even if its part time, you cant help him , only he can do that, but you can make your life better, you cant change hun , but you can change how you react to him , let him drink.. its his problem , i know that may sound hard but ive had 10 years of it , and ive been through every emotion, detach and live for you hun , and the very best of luck xx
I can feel your pain Marcia. My partner use to take my dog to the dog park when he needed to drink and/or use. He would drive with my dog in the vehicle drunk and never seen anything wrong with it. It was a daily if not weekly cycle. If I would even bring it up he would be verbally abusive. It was always my fault but the reality of it was he was an Alcoholic and needed it to continue his day. He would come back and wash my car to avoid having to see me and on several occasions would call people and gossip about everyone so the focus was never on him. It was very embarrassing. I tried to help him acknowledge his drinking. I loved him very much but he was/is in complete denial. I paid ALL of the bills, like a fool, for five years while he fed his addiction and played mind games. After 5 years of him living with me for free, I got laid off of work and instead of helping me or being there for me after all that I had to endure with him, he left. He left me with nothing. He now lives for free with his mother so he can feed his addiction. I am now living in a home that I am close to losing and went more than a week without food, water, or electricity. Not once did he even say thank you for all that you did or I am sorry for all that I did. You can never ever win against an addiction. As your husband slowly kills himself it will also slowly kill you physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have never been this hurt or disrespected by a man in all of my life. Had I known he was this bad prior to living together I would have made different choices but now I have learned my lesson and I will never, ever get in a situation like this again. The sad part is that as much anger as I feel, I still feel a huge amount of compassion for him because I know it is only a matter of time before he dies. It is crazy to me that he doesn’t “get” it.
If your life and your animals life is in danger, you need to try and get out of the house. Its tough especially if you don’t work and you don’t have transport. Do you have any family or friends who can take you in? Maybe you can leave an ultimatum, six months clean or you don’t come back! Its the only way. It took me three or four attempts and I kept returning home only to be let down again because the drinking just kept on destroying both me and my spouse, even though she says she isn’t drinking. half the time. I as a non drinker, struggle to keep my self control sometimes when she is out of it. Anger, fear , anxiety , all of it sets me off and I respond in an abusive way , which is wrong, dangerous and self destructive. Best I stay away as hard as it is. I keep wanting to go back but until I see a long term change for the better I don t even trust myself!
Please put yourself and your dogs FIRST, Marcia! Find some Al-Anon meetings and go to them regularly. You will learn to take care of yourself there. It’s okay to have compassion for the alcoholic; they are sick, they are a mess. But do not sacrifice your own life or the life of your pets to the alcoholic! Your dogs are totally dependent on you; they are your kids. You have reason to be concerned.
I am currently in the midst of a divorce from my AH. However, one evening when we were still together, he was in an alcoholic rage. He threatened to kill me. Honestly, that didn’t scare me much. But when he threatened to kill my cat, I knew he was not the same man. My husband is a major animal lover and rescuer, but he actually threatened to kill my cat! The alcohol was changing him. The next day I got a protective order. We reconciled afterward and he couldn’t understand how I thought he would ever hurt one of our cats. I told him he didn’t know who he was when he was drinking; he was capable of more than he even knew.
The bottom line, Marcia, is TAKE CARE OF YOU AND YOUR DOGS. Do whatever you have to do to live in an environment where you are safe and your pets are safe. Become proactive. Start making small steps. Each step will make you feel a little stronger and a little more capable of caring for yourself. You can do it! Good luck!
Hep C is contagious. Kissing is a risk as it lives in saliva too. This is how alcoholism literally destryes families.
Move away form him and take the family.
Somehow, every time someone posts that the A has endangered a life of a child or an animal we got so upset and rightly so. We as the non-A’s sometimes will take this treatment for many years until we see them finally put an innocent animal or child at risk and so in my case also. I lost a horse to my A overfeeding the wrong feed. I had her 28 years. I thought to myself–If I’m stupid enough to put up with this, so be it but how dare I put innocent others at risk by my staying. Sometimes this is an eye opener and maybe you needed this to start making some changes. Everyone here cares for you and wants you to separate and if that is not feasible at this time perhaps just consider getting a dog sitter for your dogs when you can not be there for them. It is a starting place. Because I’m sure now that every time you leave home you’re sitting on pins & needles worried about your dogs and they should never have to suffer because of the A’s negligence. Hang in there and if you can’t make the big leap start with small changes and definitely seek support, support groups, and friends and family. You need to confide in others. Please keep us posted & you are in my thoughts.
Heather — I really resonate with what you say. I am in the same boat. I finally have fully separated from my alcoholic partner, father of my three year old. I have paid the bills, and supported him. He tries to stay sober, but goes on these destructive binges with his brother. He doesn’t call, I hear rumors of infidelity and he loses everything. He begs to come back to be a good partner and father to our three year old and get help, but it lasts at the most a month. I can’t forgive him the past, and always on edge waiting for the next downslide. He recently started working and all his paychecks go to him. He never helps me, never supports our child. It was her birthday and he didn’t call. He didn’t send anything. Now the day after her birthday he wants to come back and be a good man. I love him. I want to believe him. But I just don’t. It is a one-sided relationship. I feel used because the times he does work before he binges and loses, he just spends all of his money on his addictions. And then comes asking me to help him with his necessities. This doesn’t feel like love. I feel that the alcoholism and dysfunction he grew up with have robbed him of the ability to be a functioning adult in this world.
He and his family blame me for always bringing up the past and not forgiving. It is impossible when the behaviors don’t change. And I worry about my daughter growing up wanting to please males, or becoming and alcoholic herself after all the abandonment she has suffered at his hands. She is only three, but she talks and asks about him all the time. I am angry and I am bitter and rejected. I don’t know what to say to her.
I have found an alanon meeting I will start attending and a podcast on iTunes called “The Recovery Show” that really helps me. I wish you all the best. This isn’t easy.
My wife is now rebuilding her old friendships that seem to have faded as she has tried to rebuild her life.
She feels sad at abandoning her, so she is now trying to make amends for the past feelings. So far, so good, right?
Rebuilding bad relationships causes a renewal of bad relationships.
Life is not My Name Is Earl.
Look at the alcoholic as a flu virus.
The more you get around them, the sicker you will become, and slowly.
It will hit you later on, just like a flu virus.
Of course, the alcoholic mentality is so askew, that it will not see truth.
It lives in a fantasy it created and sees things to prove that false world.
What I mean to say was “wrong” without the question mark.
I agree whole heartedly that you should take your doggies and leave. I know its easier said than done because I have been there myself. Was deeply depressed, angry, anxious and bitter towards my alcoholic and family and friends all kept telling me to leave!! I got mad at them for saying that because they didn’t understand just how hard it was to pack up your three kids, dogs and cats and just leave. Financially, I was scared, emotionally I was confused, mentally, I was sick with codependency. I threatened to leave but everytime he felt remorse, he would promise me the world and beg me to stay and stay I did because I loved him deeply. Well guess what? When he met someone else who drinks with him, he dropped the kids and myself for her very smartly and kicked us out the house with not a care in the world. Not a sorry, not a guilty conscience. Nothing!! We threatened his addiction and he couldn’t have that now could he? Looking back, I wish I had left when I wanted too, I wish I had looked after myself and my kids and got out regardless of finances. Its amazing how when you are forced to cope, you just do. Yes, its not easy but its just you and the dogs, you will manage even if you have to lower your living standards for a while. Don’t leave it too late and end up like me. Bitter, resentful, angry, hurt, broken and full of guilt and regrets and sick from his alcoholism. Its hard and you are going to feel weak and in pain and vunerable but with some counselling, your own research on these sites and self help books, you will get better again. Do some homework and scout around for a job and get self supportive then LEAVE! You, me, all of us are worth more than what the alcoholic offers us.
i decided a month ago to leave my A. actually to tell the truth and nothing but, i also fell in to the pit of alcoholics because it was to painfull to see how he just did not care for me and my kids. i believe i have the right to say that was actually what he wanted. now the both of us were drinking heavily. and whilst i am drunk he is drunk he would bad mouth me and tell me that its because of me that he is drinking and cheating. i am not wife material and he regret ever setting eyes on me. i would defend myself by retaliating but quickly enough decided to get out of the web of destruction. yes i still drink occasionally socialising with great freinds and decided to divorce. ladies its just not worthit. get rid of that man or wife they will pull you down and still blame you for lying there. i know its painfull very humiliating to know your marriage partner is not what he promised to be. but please get out!!!! the sooner you get out the sooner you can work on your pain and get on with your excellent life you deserve. we are married for too long 13 years. and all i can remember is crying myself to sleep.
My heart goes out to you. I had to rescue our english springer spaniel and get him into a safe home. Broke my heart into a million pieces. I had already left my alcoholic husband at the time. He could not take care of himself much less our dog. I moved into an apt with no animal policy. That same weekend my husband took home a couple girls from his within walking distance to his house bar and claims nothing happened. He fell and broke his leg ended up in surgery to repair his tibia. I went by hu s house to get him some clothes to take to the hospital and when I walked in the story unfolded right there in the silence. The letter she left. The underware she left. A piece of me died that week. I got my dog rescued before he was discharged home. I know I made the right decision for me and my dog. Fastforward 5 mths later. I finally took him to a detox and he lives in a recovery home 2 hours away. He picks up his 90 day chip in two weeks. I go visit him occasionally I still have my life. And hes working the steps. I recently started al anon. Ljfe goes on. He wants the marriage as well a s I do but only gods will will be done with us. Hes been trying to get sober most if his adult life. Hes now 45 . We both are and after 20 yrs in and out the rooms like a revolving door hez finally on step 8. Ilove this man. He is a sick man and he has made me sick as well. But im no saint and I dont judge. Thats between him and god. My advice to you is get out. You are going to get sick as he is. Trust me. You can do this with a higher power. I hit my knees the day I decided to leave. Nowhere to go but back to mom n dads. I prayed and cried out to god. I could no longer live with the lies and deceit the pornigraphy everything that comes along with the disease. Before nightfall I had a affordable apt which I still live in. Unreal and amazing things happen when you surrender and let go and let god. I dont know where he and I will end up? Im really not worried about it today. Im happy hes sober and alive…as for me? Roll with the punches and keep on keeping on. Life gets better. And my dog? Well lets just say hes in very good hands and happy. Sometimes you have to let go of things you love in order for everyone to live…..sometimes.
Thank you for the response. I am sorry that you are also going through this. I hope you get a good support group and stay strong. I learned to put myself first and to put up my own boundaries. You sound like you are an amazing mother and I am sure your daughter will adapt these traits as well. Just be honest with her about her dad and about addictions. She too has the gene so staying open is important. I wish you the best! One day this overwhelming pain we both feel with subside.
All of the posts above give us an inside view of relationships with alcoholics. The saddest part is the non-drinker tries so hard to turn the A around so they can live a healthy, happy life but it just doesn’t work. After all these years, you would think there would be a solution for those cases that just can’t quit. The programs are great but people have to attend regularly and commit to a sober life. Our small town has lost some wonderful young people to alcohol.
Please, find any excuse to take the dog away. A dog is pretty much like a child, it needs a grown up for everything.
My dad is an alcoholic and he bought a dog four years ago. My life has been miserable ever since. There’s absolutely nothing I can do. She broke two legs, is sick from time to time, overweight… He takes her to the bar and drived around drunk with her all the time. He goes fishing with her. It’s a nightmare.
Most people tell me to just leg go of the dog, but I can’t. I’ve been taking care of her and it’s very sad.
I can’t take her away from him. My sisters – the only people who could help me – think he is great with the dog, they also take my dad to the bar. They are in denial.
It’s the worst feeling to see him hurt her with a strong hug. She cries, he thinks it’s funny. All I can do is watch.
There should be a law against addicts being able to have a pet. It’s torture.
I have the same problem I recently adopted a cat and love her with all my heart . My girlfriend is a alcoholics and won’t get help .She blacks out and has attacked me before and I am worried she might hurt the cat voluntarily or without even knowing what she did .I am in the same boat as you . I don’t drink at all and it’s driving me crazy so what do you do????