JC: Olga, thanks for submitting your questions about what does the true nature of someone addicted to alcohol look like. We have had many discussions on this site surrounding this very subject. In simple terms, if the person’s drinking habits are causing problems in your relationship and in their individual life, there’s a good chance you have a real alcoholic on your hands. I have included some links below your submission to articles on our site that will help you understand what a real problem drinker might act like.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Submitted by: Olga
Can you tell me the difference between a ‘problem drinker’ or alcohol abuser and an addict (alcoholic)? I am confused as to the difference. My husband shows some signs of having an addictive personality, lack of regard of consequences, risk taking (has driven drunk) and drinking alone etc… but at the same time, when I am around, he can respect limits. These upsetting incidents only seem to happen when I am at work as he has a day off (He can also respect limits for the sake of his work). I do not wish to underplay the seriousness of his issue as I am fully aware that either way he is playing Russian roulette with his life, but at the same time, how I deal with this issue? I will eagerly await your guidance…
JC: Olga, you will find a few answers to your questions about what does a real alcoholic look like here:
Personality Of An Alcoholic
Social Drinking and The Alcoholic
Dale, I don’t understand. You are miserable, you have NO relationship, He is nasty, mean, and has NO respect for you–Yet–you don’t want a divorce? Is this the way you want to be treated for the rest of your life? God does not require us to be a door matt. Do you enjoy being a martyr? A victim? Not to be sarcastic just don’t understand why you would want to live out your life with someone who treats you sooooooo badly. If you had a so called friend that treated you this way would they still be a friend? You MUST start asking youself these questions. Pleas go to the Empowered Recovery site and get the book and see the other side of things. Love is not worth it, A piece of paper that says your married is not worth it, do you really think God would want his beloved children to live a life of abuse and humiliation? That is not a very good God to me. Sorry, but I think some take the God thing tooooo far. God only helps those who help themselves and we have the tools to do so–we are adults now. forgive me, I just don’t understand this way of thinking.
Julie21 said, ” I think when we decide to leave we have to first decide why we stay and if it is actually good for anyone involved to stay. If you are staying because you don’t want to give up hope on a dream you had to live with your partner and share a life, please realize you are living for a dream and not reality. then why stay in the relationship at all? The way i see it you are strong in either case but it is a decision of how you want to live your life. If you do not want to give up hope on the partner i believe you can always go back to them AFTER they change if you are willing to take that risk. In my case too much damage has been done and i will never go back.”
Julie21 I 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th you post! Amen.
While I agree mostly in what you are saying Pez sometimes God uses us in the ugliest of situations to show US the areas we need to work on and for US to fully trust in Him. He is my strength I would have none without him. And I am not without fault either. In and through all of this I am learning where my shortcomings are as well and that has been an awesome eye opener for the areas in my own life that I need to work on. Patience, listening, love etc. My husband has terminal cancer and not only cancer but several other health issues as well and is on 14/16 medications daily and I know the effect those have on his mind as well along with the intake of all the alcohol. Just when I think I have had enough, God in His perfect timing gives me the strength to get through another day. My husbands days are very numbered (all of ours are) it is not likely he will see another Christmas and even in the midst of all of this, I still love him. I know that in there he loves me too and that love is going to be sitting right next to him when he takes his last breath.
Ok, Now I understand. Did not know your husband was terminal. I don’t think I could leave in that situation either. My XAB I would not marry and he is not sick—-yet, and could not imagine a life or many years in that HELL Even though I have love for him. And mine, multiple infidelities==that will kill all hope.
Does it mean I don’t get frustrated…O no..I do get very frustrated and hurt almost on a daily basis…but I can not walk out of here and not live with regrets if you know what I mean…
Dale, given the situation he is in- you need to keep at it. It’s the end of his life and it is the right thing to do. Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy, but its the right thing. Your time to heal and reclaim your life will come soon, and it will be liberating. At this point you need to do the best you possibly can so that you don’t have guilt after he passes- otherwise his alcoholism will haunt you even after he’s gone, and that would be awful.
Thanks Ben…you are so right, I do need to keep at it and try to keep the hurt from settling in my heart. I am trying to just let it roll off my back…that is not easy I have to tell you. He is hurting lately physically and I just need to put up and shut up around here…thankful for all of you…you are here at a time when I need you most…yup…a God thing to be sure!!!
Yep, vent here- we’re here for you. Be as sweet as pie and loving as possible to him. God has smiled upon you, your torture has an end in sight. One of the biggest things the rest of us grapple with is “we don’t want to live the rest of our lives this way”. You have maybe a year left? Hell, I could hold my breath for a year!!! You’re almost free.
I just wish he would make the choice to be free himself so he can really enjoy the time he has left…but we can not go anywhere or do anything where alcohol isn’t involved..that is that sad part…seeing him killing himself faster than what is necessary…that is the frustrating part…..
I always tell people that they have to make the best decision for them and their circumstances and your example just proves that. Sometimes the non-A just cannot leave like in your situation. Everyone’s situation is actually very unique and you are definitely one that is stuck right now between that “rock & the hard place”. But I tell people what I did not receive when going through this that would have made the biggest difference and that is SUPPORT. So please make sure to have one person whom you can call and vent your feelings to at any time, one who knows what is going on. Get involved in some kind of counseling and support groups–Hospice also offers a great support group that might also help you. I needed those things desperately in the last 2 years & I know how they can make a difference while you are still with the A. And Please start to get your financial house in order and in your case (will, custody of children that might be his but not yours, home, cars). Please make sure you have a separate bank account and separate car insurance. If your A passes, his accounts will be frozen by most local laws–please be prepared. My thoughts are with you sweetie!
I still tend to steer those involved AWAY from involvement with an A. Especially if they are being badly affected. I have heard stories of peoples self esteem being so far down they felt they were nothing and felt they could do no better than to stay, and were stuck in hell, mainly women one 65 years old and no scence of self left. This is horrid. Only in extenuating circumstance like Dale. You think you won’t be effected by the A but you will be. I don’t care how strong you are.
Another horrible thing I deal with is I spent 4 years of heart, soul, tears, excruciating emotional pain, for absolutely NOTHING I feel. No one cares, the A doesn’t care, I don’t think his parents care how much I gave to love there son, I don’t even know if God cares I feel sometimes. It was all in vain, empty, non effective, just left me wounded. I will save those I think I can from this horrible scenario if at all possible. So far I have steered 2 women from getting too involved with an A at the begginings of a relationship and I am so glad I did. I just wish someone was that straight with me at the get go to get out. But no one was that bold.
Also, I was talking to one of my customers who’s husband is recovered and doing all the right things to stay sober. She is one of the lucky ones who’s husband loved her enough. she knows a lot about addiction and told me it can take up to a year of recovery for an A to even know how badly they have hurt someone!!! To FEEl! I don’t have that kind of time–I’m 52. And then years after that to fully start enjoying life on it’s own terms! OMG–Just incredible time wasters. I feel my time was a waste of time. But who knows, maybe I did have an influence. But I doubt it.
How are you copying? I am 48 was married for 25 years have two teenage kids and I feel like two steps forward and ten back. My AH lies are out of control I don’t believe a thing he says now. I have had no contact which I find so hard but he just lies to me and our kids anyway. I spent Tuesday with him as we went to watch our son play football and I felt pity for him, he is sad and lonely and his friend is a 65 year old alcoholic. I am in the same situation as you with o/w he has had a lot since we split but tends to go back and forward to a common loud mouth vulgar disgusting barmaid. I agree with Larry on empower web site they go for someone who won’t question their behaviour. The barmaid had on her face book that ‘Jack Daniel’s was the love of her life’ how sad she has 3 kids and 2 grand kids and is only 37 what a catch. I just wish I could get him out my head. He got in my car on Tuesday and the stale smell of drink was awful I know I could never go back to that life but it is very very hard. I am usually so happy at this time of year looking forward to Christmas etc but I am bit down today. No contact is the only way forward I know that but it is so hard, the thing is he just lies anyway. Have a great day. X
One day at a time Tracy, Just one day at a time.
Welcome, no one can tell you when to leave and I understand 100% how you feel. I left 10 months ago after 25 years but I wish I had left the first time he walked out on a drinking binge for weeks, but I didn’t. Hind sight is a wonderful thing. All I can say is read all you can on alcoholism and decide for yourself, but things do get worse as their drinking gets more and more. It is so so hard but my AH is not the same man he was say 5 years ago he treats/speaks to me like I am dirt under his feet and loads more horrible, nasty hurtful things. His brain is damaged in some way, it is so sad but there is nothing I can do he needs to help himself as does you’re husband. Its so hard to walk away but I don’t want to waken up in 10 years and regret another 10 years. I love my husband but I can’t take anymore hurt, lies and cheating. God Bless I hope you find peace. X
I know just what you are talking about. I am not one to be so quick to say leave…others have been through a lot and I can not blame them one bit for leaving!! First of all, you are NOT pathetic. You married this man because you love him, in sickness and in health…alcoholism is a sickness. However, in saying that…abuse is no where in our vows. I guess the question is, is this something new for him? Is there something going on in his life that you don’t know about? Has this been going on for years or has this been a gradual thing? It takes a strong person to stay with the person they love despite their illness, whether mentally ill, an alcoholic or what have you, so pish tosh on your friends for saying you are weak. Have you confronted your husband about his behaviors and the concerns you have? Have you given him an ultimatum, either seek help, quit, slow down or I am outta here?
Just some questions to help us to better understand how to try to help you~
Lois, I can’t believe your friends say your weak if you stay. NO it’s hard to stay or leave! Both are horrible to experience and go through. I think it affects you for the rest of your life. What they may be trying to say is look at your self-esteem, only you know how that is. Do you feel you can’t do any better or is it just because you love him. I had to look at all of this and be honest with myself and that’s not easy. Another thing I would consider is were you deceived? That his problem was not that bad before you married and now he has you hooked it’s no holds bar? To me that’s a breach of contract! ie he presented himself as something he was not, And, if you are Catholic you can get the marriage annulled. If you knew about his drinking problem and married anyway, that is something you have to deal with alone. either way it is your decision. I can tell you this, most will be emotionally effected for a very long time. I know I am a strong woman from a family of strong women and I have been effected horribly, and I did not even live with him for most of the dating. The clash in morals and non-caring is something alien to me and hard to grasp. It still hurt like an SOB.
Lois, It sounds like you need some emotional support from those of us who have been there and truly understand. I know people on the outside looking in do not really comprehend our feelings when they look at our relationship with the A. I was married for 21 years-separated the last year and a half- before my divorce was final. And i have got to say i understand exactly what your are saying you feel and there is nothing wrong with how you feel. I will say that looking back now and seeing my relationship and how we were living even in the beginning of our marriage i realize it was never really what i had hoped and believed it would be. I too was bamboozled by a swift courtship and a bunch of promises and dreaming together about a future that he must have never really meant to have and was just telling me what i wanted to hear. I tried for many years to do everything to please him to “win” back the affection and love and to get him to keep his pre-marriage promises. But to no avail. I stayed for a long time and tried really hard but finally realized that no matter what i did he would not change the way he treated me and our entire marriage was a lie. My point is that I do not consider that i was weak for staying in any way at all. In fact as difficult as it is to leave it is just as difficult to stay and like i said earlier on this post or maybe it was another one, you are strong whether you stay or go. Both paths are difficult and both can be changed at any time too. You must do what feels right to you and you must be true to yourself. I stayed because i had to stay until I tried everything i could to make things work or to make things right. Then it became the right thing to leave for me and my children. So until you exhaust your feelings of hope and you truly believe you are doing the right thing by leaving, do not let anyone tell you that you are wrong and don’t let them tell you that you are weak. You are very strong and you can do this! How you choose to do it is up to you. Godspeed!
Tracy X, How your feeling today. I have decided to try to start thinking (when I start thinking of him) of all the nasty, discusting things I can think of–to turn my thoughts that way. And maybe with time it will change my thought process to being sooooo discusted I won’t even want to think of him anymore 😀 what a beautiful day that will be. Just a few things, like you said the smell of alcohol on his breath & trying to kiss me–yuk, the slurring, the stumbling, Idiotic delusions of grandor (thought he was going to be a rock star at 50),
Pissing the bed & couch, Putting his weenie in a yucky woman and settling for that when he had a woman like me,
taunting me with OW, Cool & aloof very non-giving even in the sack (inability for intimacy in any way), no caring even for his children, Inability to live life on it’s own terms to handle life, etc…..Someone told me to put a rubber band on my wrist and when this happens to snap it, it changes the brain so going to give it a try. I think I’ll make a list cause I’m sure there’s much more!
you guys are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is helping me beyond words! I was told a couple days ago to be patient, maybe he will work through what he’s going through and things will get better. I replied “what happens to my life while i am being patient for months and maybe years? it will slip through my fingers with nothing but regret and i’m not even 50 years old yet and new empty nester and was SO excited to be in love and look forward to my future with a good man; be patient? for how long?” they did not know. I did know he had a past with drinking, drugs, and his wife he partied and did coke with, pot with, drank with for 22 years died 6 months before we met. I started a new job after loosing my nephew who had just turned 25 and was due to be married two weeks before his road construction accident that killed him (a stoned and pilled up semi driver clipped him coming around a corner as he was staning up from jackhammering in a road hole w/ earn phones on) it killed him on site. My step mom had died of a long battle of cancer 5 months earlier and my mother had died by a drunk driver two months after I turned 15 and in my first months of high school. I’ve known sudden death and slow death as a surviving family member – i had moved home to be with my family after being gone for two years due to a job promotion. I was working at this new job and attended a company wide meeting and my husband saw me there and i guess fell in love at first sight. I had been home about three months and felt very lonlie but glad to be home. i was dating casually and had just moved out from my dads into my own little house i was renting and had painted and fixed up – i loved it! He is 13 years older than me and his wife had died right before that last Christmas (about three months before) and i did not want to deal with that new grief when everyone was trying to get me to go out with him here at work. They all wanted to see him happy and knew he had gotten into a car accident because of his drinking – almost killed a woman, and had stopped drinking and was adamit he was CLEAN from pot too..he wanted a new life! Everyone was on board and i had been single for 10 years and was very emotionally healthy, I’m attractive and being asked out is not something i struggle with so I don’t have a low self esteem…I said NO. He’s older, grieving, going through behavioral changes i don’t understand and i’m so far ahead of all this i would surely be his transition person if we liked each other so no. Well i finally agreed to go to lunch with him as he put in for a position change to be here at my facility (new)and said he only wanted a friend, a clean friend. Sigh….RED FLAG!!!!!! I ignored it and knew better. We got along wonderfully and he told me his wife and he were going to get a divorce before she was diagnosed, the had cheated on him and then he on her to retaliate and then they tried and it did not work and they were going to file. She was given 6 months to live and lived 6 years…he said 6 years of hell, she had cancer in her pelvis so he soon had to clean her messed up bowels, they could not make love anymore, she was in a walker and wheelchair, was heavily medicated and mean to him (now i wonder about it all – if he was drinking a lot and she was not able to anything but smoke a lot of dope and be sedated on pain killers – what an ugly mess, i am sure he was miserable for her too.). He said he was OVER her a long time ago and grieving was not what everyone thought because they did not know how miserable they were together all those years she was sick. Point is, he had me believing that he wanted a staight woman, a straight life, to drink some not much and no drugs! He was wonderful and really seemed to adore me and i grew to adore him. His step children pulled their kids away from him when I moved in with him a few months after we stared offically dating in summer of 12. He was devestated to loose his grandchildren and the kids even started spreading in our small town that we had had an affair while their mom was dying (SO not true we did not know each other and i was not even at the company then, i had just moved back home from out of state when his wife was in her last two months.) That is when he started to drink more than i was comfortable with, more than i had seen…every day. I had only seen weekend beers and not many, not any drunkenness! Now, 3 beers a night sometimes 5 and boo whooing about what he had lost and i understood it….for a while. Into our winter months, Feb. March, April it grew slowly….drunk nights started showing up every couple weeks where he was sluring, would fall asleep on the couch with a mixed drink in his hand, the verbal abuse was not there yet, he was just stuck in talking about what he had lost in his grandkids (never talked about his wife or missing her at all, rarely about his step kids – they had been married 22 years and the kids were in gradeschool when they got together). I tolerated it out of pitty but would say something the next day here at work in an email…you have to pull back on your drinking Mark, its getting bad…he would reply Yes, its time. It would change a few weeks, lessen – and then pick up again. I could not go anywhere in the evenings w/o coming home to him drunk, passed out by 8 pm (he said he was asleep). when i would try to rouse him to come to bed he would smack his dry pasty mouth and roll his blood shot eyes open at me and roll over. i started leaving him where ever i found him – uncovered – sometimes he was naked laying on the couch or on the floor with his feet up on a chair to help with his back and i would leave him there; still do. I finally told him in May of last spring that i was going to move out. We were engaged at Christmas and our wedding date was this Fall in October. I said i can’t live like this anymore, your drunk many night out of the week. He promised to fix it, we went on a trip for his 60th birthday and he asked if he could smoke a joint a buddy had given him for the trip! he had been clean for a year and knew i hated it and i was the bad guy for parenting him with a a yes or no! i was pissed! i said do what you want and because overuse of pot ruined my first marriage with my three daughter’s dad and I – i have strong feelings when i smell it, hate it and he knew that. He said well i need something and if i’m going to slow down on the drinking i’m going to take the edge off with pot. it ruined our trip as i had to fake being ok or we fought. i am so sick of pretending to be calm when i am seething or broken hearted inside from mean things he says to me know about my children and our relationships (they are complicated because of their dad and I’s turblulent relationship since i left him 12 years ago). I did know when i married him, he talked me into eloping and our dreams and he had quit everything when we got home from that birthday trip in May and i hoped….knowing better – but hoped he loved me enough, that wanting to elope and not wait till Fall, meant he wanted ME and US. I still don’t understand why we got married like that over 4th of July weekend….we eloped to Michigan. One week after we got home we went to dinner with a best friend of his from over 30 years and that i know sells cocaine and medical grade pot in MI. (we are very close to the MI and Ohio lines up in the top corner of IN. so its not a far drive to where he lives in MI. When my husband went to the RR he used his index finger and poked it against my chest and said “YOU may have gotten rid of everyone else in his life but your not getting rid of ME.” I said NO, those people are users and he eliminated them before we even knew each other. He shook his head and Mark walked up and the evening went on. I told him about it the next morning and he GOT ANGRY WITH ME! Said since he did not see it he was NOT going to say anything to his buddy about laying a finger on me. I was devastated. That is where our trouble really began, one week after getting married. I think his friend gave him some coke to stir things up with us, and the way he acted was so unlike the man i knew i talked to a mutual friend of ours that i have known much longer and he told me it sounded like he was on coke. I had not even thought of that! he cancled our honeymoon for late Aug in late July when i told him i was going to my dads because he was so erratic, anxious, mean spirited and when he got off what he was on i would come home. i was gone three days and he did not call or text me once. he was ANGERY at me and made me miserabla here at work – we don’t see each other a lot through the day but do have to deal with each other some. i was broken hearted back then, shocked, felt dumbfounded at what was happening!!!! Again a man had said he wanted one thing w/ me and chose another way of life and resented me for not going along. I asked to come home because i missed him, wanted to work on things if he did, he said he did – resentfully, and i should not have done that. SO, here we are…i’m emotionally detaching – finally, because he’s getting mean verbally about me and my kids and its EVERY night now, he’s drunk, slurring drunk, every night now. no appology for things he says to me at night and that makes me angery. now this week he talked to me like i was his dead wife. he grabbed me while i was doing dishes after we ate dinner and looked me square in the eyes and said “you came back to me from the dead! Your so damn strong!” …..ya. I said, dead? when did i die? it caught me off guard and then he said “you’ve always been so strong.” i moved away from him and asked him again what he was talking about and he said “what do you mean?” when i repeated what had just happened he said i was out of my F’ing mind and just trying to cause trouble!!!!!!!! That, for me, was the last straw. I just can’t do this anymore. i was going to rent a house and keep it warm enough not to freeze the pipes and wait until we got through the holidays to move (i can’t have the house until Dec. 1st) and its close to my dad who is alone and in the neighborhood where i grew up and very cheap because i know the guy who ownes it, we went to school togehter. he told that mutual friend of Mark and I’s about it and asked if he knew of anyone that would want it. He thought of me right away. He likes my husband but says i need to get out of there- he thinks he used me after that acciednt to appear to be a changed man and stay out of sever trouble with the lady he hurt. He had even taken me to meet her that first summer. she dropped all charges because she thought he had been through a lot and had changed his life and i was testament to that. now that he’s been freed of charges (that notice came in the mail last winter when he started drinking 2-3 drunks a week). He says he loves me, hugs me close when he wakes in the night and whispers in my ear “please don’t leave me”….he knows im miserable. i asked him to talk to me the other day in an email, either that night or on this weekend because i can’t take it anymore. That is the night he was drunk and said that to me about his dead wife. he avoids it and when i talk to him he gets angry. should i tell him i have plans to move? i don’t want to give up the house, its price and condition and location are really unreal and i don’t make a lot of money – if i let this go for a man who is not even promising me to try i would be stupid. i was willing to pay for it and not move, have it in my back pocket through the holidays – see how it goes but is that crazy? he said when i came home before that if i ever left again he would NEVER take me back. At this point i don’t want what he’s offering me back. he has 30 achers and a 7 acher pond and woods and its beautiful out there – i will miss that but there is no peace for me there, not like this. he drinks and drives w/ me, i pray he’s get pulled over and he says he’ll go to jail since it would be his 4th OWI in 10 years or something..he would not do house arrest he would just go to jail for a year. sometimes i wish he would get in an accident so it would freak him out again like before- those are crazy thoughts! i’ve even thought of calling the police when we are about to leave a resturant when he’s drunk so they will know where we are traveling and pull him over. is that bad? i don’t want a divorce or annulment if he chose to change. where we are right now i don’t believe an ultimatum would work. I’m sorry this is so long…..i feel like i’m emotionally throwing up lol. Thanks you guys for taking the time to read and respond to this long response. forgive my spelling errors i just passed them by and typed my heart out.
wow….some of the same things I have been through are written in your paragraphs. In my humble of humble opinions, it may not be a bad idea to rent that house in December. I know it is during the holidays which is always harder, but maybe if the two of you went your separate ways for a period of time, he will do one of two things. Either straighten up and realize what he has lost in you and decide to clean up…or, he will get into it worse. (which would be absolutely NO fault of yours if he chose the later). I think time and distance especially for YOUR sanity and safety is a good option at this point…this rental house sounds like a God send to me…again…just my thoughts..
Hi Lois I have to agree with Dale. And since you stated you do not want a divorce or annullment then you are not ready for that and that is fine. But a physical separation and hopefully less contact will get him to hit a rock bottom where he will have to decide if he wants to make the right changes or not and then you can decide how you want to move forward. Just a caution to remember that he can be deceiving so make sure you see actions and not just words and empty promises and do not go back until he shows change. If you go back too soon the change will not come. I speak from experience. And remember what Dale said whether he decides to change or get worse it is not your choice or your fault. He has a free will and makes his own choices. That’s my opinion. Take care!
Decide what you want for your life from today forward. An alcoholic has no control over his/her life. The next drink is their concern. Watch Iyanla Vansant on the OWN channel. She deals with people who have all different situations – drugs, alcohol, abuse, etc. One thing that sticks with me no matter where I am – she tells people to stop telling their “story” and focus on change to rebuild their lives. It really is amazing to realize everyone has their “story” and they can become stuck telling it and not building a new life.
Please read the above, it is so so true and interesting.
I feel the same as you with the o/w in my case its not just the one its loads! Truth is his love is the bottle sad but true. I am in a good place today as I will never go back to that miserable life. You do grieve for what you thought your life was going to be not actually what it was!
The elastic band thing I do when I fly as I hate flying and its suppose to take your mind of things.
Hope you are well and taking one day at a time X
Hi Lois, I am not sure you should tell him until the day if he may get violent while you are still living there with him before the day approaches. But when you do move out maybe have someone else there a freiend or family member for safety. What would be your reason for staying til January? I think your December may be way less dramaic and chaotic if you separate asap. If you want to stay because you think you can somehow stop his descent into C or drinking becasue of the grief then remember your own words above. You have not been able to stop him so far and you are actually prolonging your own pain by staying. If it won’t really help him is it worth it to you to be miserable to stay one more month? Soemthing to think about. You are not being mean if you go. You have to think of your safety and health (sanity) too.
I found these posts tonite and just felt the need to write. Today was the first date I have had since I broke up with alcoholic boyfriend in April. I found this man online and oddly enough, he has similar coloring to my boyfriend. But we didn’t click. For myself, I lost my parents a year apart within days of each other one and two years ago and my aunt 6 months between their passing. I knew in my heart losing them was the greatest loss of my life. When I said I was done in April to my alcoholic boyfriend, I think I felt that I had already experienced the greatest losses of my parents, so how much worse could it be closing the door on my 24 yr. relationship. Well it’s been awful. Despite many breakups over the years and starting and stopping Alanon, we did the dance. I still feel as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest. I miss him so much and try to keep focusing on bad times. I don’t regret my decision to get away from his drinking. I hit bottom before he did. I found myself standing over him two nites in a row, unable to wake him for bed, when he was passed out from drinking on the couch. I felt I wanted to hurt him and he still would have been passed out. So instead, I said I was done. I think a part of my wanting to date now is because I know my ex boyfriend is dating. He’s been emailing my brother. Inappropriately telling him about women he’s dating and even sent a photo. We think he thought my brother would forward the emails and photo to me, but thankfully he didn’t. I don’t understand why he wanted to hurt me like that. But atleast he has no idea my brother told me, because I have not contacted him. We were infact emailing for a few months and I was distant to him. But it hit me that he was sending me chit chat about himself, and didn’t ask me how I was. When I mentioned that, he didn’t like the word chit chat and told my brother I was the only ex-girlfriend he was not friends with..well after 24 yrs. how could he expect me to be his friend if he didn’t even care to ask how I was. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I met him. I did not come from an alcoholic family. When we met, he was on his 2nd DWI and we met in a bar, he had a drink in his hand. That oddly didn’t click with me until a few months ago. He couldn’t pick me up for our first date, his friend had to drive with him to get me because of the DWI. I relocated out of state for the sake of the relationship, but the drinking was so bad that I moved out after 5 months. I moved to the city he was from and we got back together. I truly loved him, and still do. He’s such a good person, but over the years, we have had so many breakups mostly over the drinking. This was before and after I gave up on our getting married and having a family. We’d break up and both date but kept doing the dance and got back together. I could kick myself now because I wanted children so much, but I can’t change my past and I now know that having children with him would not have changed his drinking problem and would escalated our issues to innocent children. I would date when we broke up, but never met anyone special enough for a new relationship. My ex boyfriend has alcoholism on both sides of his family. So he was doomed with his first drink in my mind. His mother left his father because of her fear on one of his alcoholic tirades. I am glad that I didn’t have to put children through that. I tried Alanon off and on through the years, but never got a sponsor and for myself, I felt that the drinking was his problem not mine. I didn’t understand the ramifications of my own issues. I see now I enabled his drinking just by my staying and going back after breakups, with no boundaries set. During the summer my boyfriend asked to meet for dinner and I said I would if he wouldn’t drink…well he said, he guessed he could have lemonade and said it sarcastically. We never met for dinner. I felt good that I set a boundary, even though he didn’t like it. I have been going once a week to Alanon since April. I too don’t feel Alanon has really clicked with me. I don’t have a sponsor and wonder how does sponsorship work ? I grew up with “don’t air your dirty laundry in public” thinking, so Alanon is not easy for me. Some of the meetings do help me and as they say, take what you want and leave the rest. When I ended things in April my boyfriend had said I could have helped diffuse his drinking by being more active with him (he’s very athletic and I have agoraphobia and can’t hike or downhill ski). But I know in my heart that comment is just laying the responsibility of his getting drunk on me and not taking responsibility. I must say it made me think…what if it would have helped..but he was with very athletic girlfriends before me and it surely didn’t stop his drinking from becoming an ongoing problem. They must have been from dysfunctional alcoholic families or enablers, as I have been. If I could wave a magic wand, I would wish recovery for him. He asked my brother this week “how is your sister” My brother told me he didn’t respond. He wanted to tell him, if you want to know how my sister is, call her. I want to move forward with my life and find a new relationship. But I also wish my ex would have choose to get help and we could work things out…I know the odds of that happening are less than slim. Thank you all so much for being here.
Lois, I have to agree with Julie, if the place you want to rent is ready in December, there is no reason to wait. Do you really want to be there during the holidays being treated like crap? That will only make the holidays much worse for you. Take a breather, and maybe by him being a lone for the holidays will spark something in him, I don’t know. All I know is, that you need space to get YOU back on track…not him. He has to live with his choices, and…so do you…Best wishes!
Hi Bevy how are you doing. I just can’t believe how much our stories are alike. I had a lot of loss too when I drew the 2nd ultimatum. My one “booth rentor” at work was in the hospital so major loss of income, I was also in the process of evicting a second booth rentor and was going through a lot of stress I could not handle his demands so I blocked him. In that time he jumped to the low-life woman. After that I lost 2 of my favorite cats in 3 months. the losses were so much it make it easier for one more loss him.
I also never married him cause of the alcohol but was too old for kids. Alanon was not for me either, did not want that life! I wanted a normal relationship so that’s where I’m headed if I can find a good guy. Change your attitude or change your address. I only lived with him 8 months, couldn’t stand living in chaos, and moved to my own place as well. Left it open for him to move someone right in undernieth me–he punished me for not accepting him as an A. So be it. Have a lovely drunk life with the Ghetto woman. I loved him too but wasted my time on someone who did not want to quit, even though his talk was good that he truly wanted to. Liars and deceivers. He wanted the best, but did not want to be the best.
I like that Pez, “he wanted the best, but did not want to be the best”. Thank you so much for your posting. I am not doing great. I wish I were. I wish I could stop thinking about my ex, wish I could stop missing him. If I don’t find a new relationship that is good for me, do I never stop looking back wishing things were different ?
Lois, please think of yourself and start making happy plans for yourself for the holidays. Think how nice it would be to have your own quiet place, no chaos, you can start to decorate a bit, if you feel like decorating for the holidays you can, if you don’t, just think about fixing up a cozy home for yourself.
Things do work in mysterious ways. An old friend of mine and my brother’s invited us to her home for Thanksgiving. I feel like maybe there are angels looking out for me, my parents. I have plans to go away next weekend with a friend and now I can also focus on having a nice Thanksgiving. I find myself making plans one holiday or occassion at a time, where I would have been with my ex boyfriend. October is his birthday and we always celebrated Halloween with a party at my place. So this year, I bought a new costume, had my party and felt like a widow or divorcee, but I had a pretty nice time. But I can’t help but remember happier times with him in October. I need to make new memories. Last Thanksgiving, my boyfriend joined my brother and me. My brother saw some rude behavior when my boyfriend was passed out from drinking too much. He pointed and laughed at him and I was speechless. So this year, I don’t have to deal with that.
Pez, your positive attitude is wonderful. I wish you all the best and you know when you have a positive attitude, people notice and enjoy being around you.
I still get overwhelmed when I think what a cunning disease alcoholism is. It robs people we love from us, changes good people into babbling, controlling fools. What I find so odd is my boyfriend is a control freak, paranoid. Yet he has allowed alcohol to control him, his moods, his behavior, where he wouldn’t allow another human being to do that. So contrary, as is his being very athletic, and takes vitamins, talks about nutrition, yet he has become an alcoholic and I feel he is so protective of his drinking, as he should have been about our relationship. Well, 6 months and I am still venting, still hurting. But atleast I am aware and grateful I can vent in this safe place. Nite all.
I have been through, in some for or another, all the things that everyone here has been through. When we were first married I knew he was drank too much, but I really didn’t know the full extent of it. Little did I know that a alcoholic’s thought process is ALWAYS impaired, even when they’re not drinking. As a result we fought A LOT. He kept trying to convince me that I was the reason we were fighting, but before long I came to know the truth. The alcoholic’s primary relationship is with booze and prime directive is to get to booze no matter what. Have a good day, get drunk. Have a bad day, get drunk. Have an argument, leave the house and go get drunk. Day off tomorrow, get drunk. When we’re down to our last dollar, he will find money for booze, all the while telling me that I am bad with money. He hides his drinking from everyone he knows, and the few times that I have reached out the his friends and loved ones for help, they all treat me like the problem is ME.
He goes to an AA meeting every Sunday and still manages to get passed out drunk 4 nights a week. It’s the only thing in the 6 years we’ve been married that he’s proven himself to be reliable for. I must say, however, that passed out is a nice change from belligerent. We tried counseling, but it’s pretty pointless when dealing with someone who, at best, has only a vague recollection of what transpires and fabricates the rest. Best thing I ever did for myself was refuse to let him sleep in the same bed with me if he had been drinking. He’s been on the couch for two years now. He is fully aware that I have no intention of staying married to him, but I share a roof with him in the meantime so that I clean up my credit and save money for a down payment on a house in Colorado.
Even though things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, I’m grateful for what this disaster has taught me. I had to learn the hard way that marriage is not a panacea for unhappiness, loneliness, low self-esteem, underachievement, in-stability, or any issue of any kind. I learned to take ownership, not only of my life, but the lousy decisions that got me here, including the one to ignore all of the red flags and marry a charming, handsome, third-generation, full blown drunk. All in all, despite my miserable marriage, I’ve never been happier.
Thanks for listening.
I read your post and thought…”wow u feel so close to her”! Everything you said about your Alcoholic I could have written myself. Wow. I feel your pain. I must say I love this site so much. It has helped me so much.
Hi Bevy, It is not easy for any one of us to leave someone we loved. It’s been 5 months for me 6 for you. The going to the OW helped. How can I love someone who inflicts such gross betrayal. And then he comes up to me in the grocery store like, lets be friends….or trying to keep the door open–Sorry–I’m not a Ghetto woman that will keep coming back no matter what you do to me!!!!!! I still, like you at times, grieve the finality of the relationship–but they chose it!! How can anyone tolerate, put up with, this kind of cruelty? They just don’t think, at the time, what the consequenses of their actions will be because the alcohol is the #1 priority over everything else. Well, the consequenses of you F’n me over is you lost me for good this time. If you ever get sober, don’t come back! All trust is gone. If you couldn’t choose it in the 4 years I endured with you, you will do it to me again in the future with no conscience to it!!! Go away. He seems to be attracted to the low life crowd so go live the low-life. Bars, scanky women, drinking and drug scene because these are the people that will tolerate him! Though I know from my past parting days, it’s EMPTY and unfulfilling full of consequenses.
Gotta start dating though and get back into the scene which I dread. Picking out the frogs from the good ones. But I’m gonna be tough inside and watch their actions. Can’t take too much more of men who just want to play games and use women. But I think I’m prepared now. Want to find someone who treasures me and knows I’m a keeper.
Dale, Siree, Kristi Pez, and Julie…..your words are appreciated and the encouragement to GO much needed! we had a fight this weekend because he took me to buy drugs at a funeral home where his drug dealing friend’s wife was burying her dad! Yes, the showing, we went to the showing and he bought drugs there. I don’t know if it was pot of coke but he was in a tizzy to get his dead wife’s Social security check he gets each month to cash at the bank before it closed on our way home Sat. night. It was like watching a junkie squirm waiting to get the needle! I don’t believe he’s using needles, i just mean it was ridiculous! he was calling the bank to see how late the outdoor teller was open because we had to drive clear out to our country home from our hour away job to get the check from the mailbox and then the half hour trip back into town to cash it before the teller closed. when he found out the teller was open till 6 he relaxed. he got a beer as soon as we got home and between watching what was so obvious (I knew the husband of the woman who’s dad had died was his dealer and 30 year friend so dugh, i knew he was going to buy something he wanted pretty badly to need that kind of cash when he had just been paid earlier in the week. I was so angry! Because of my holding my tongue to have that peaceful life AlAnon teaches – i was making him think i was tolerant of it all. Although i had emailed him since we both work at the same place and drive to and from work together, that i was unhappy and thinking about leaving, he didn’t buy it because i have not left! the only time i could talk to him sober was on the way into work and on the way home and he would get angery and say i was ruining the work day or the evening at home which is where he should be able to go to relax and get away from shit. His great way of not leaving me any time to talk w/ him. i refused to do it when he was drinking and would try. I told him…i told him i have a rental and am moving out at the end of the month. On our way home from the showing i let him have it. When we left the house to go to the bank with his check and then off to she showing he took a beer with him. I laid into him for doing a drug deal at a showing (they did not even leave the room where the body was they did the exchange right in the crowded room!) driving with me while he was drinking and regularly driving with me drunk and on and on….i said i was done. he was mad and took me home and left and came in about three hours later red eyed, drunk, and went and laid down on the couch. I had told him HE could sleep in the other room, I was sleeping in my soft feather bed, if we could lie next to each other and not touch most nights now we can do it while i wait for my place to come available! If he does not like it HE can go to the other room to sleep. I’m done accommodating his moods and drunkenness anymore! I’m not checking his phone, don’t care; i’m not checking with him and his plans for the weekend i’ll make them and tell him what i’m going to be doing, i’m not going to discuss it anymore or fight. I’m going to stay busy packing or at a friends of family until i’m out of there and he can go hunting and stay away in bars for all i care. i have had it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your right, why wait? He went hunting on Sat. and came home that night sheepy….sober, and came to bed later wanting to hold me so tight i could hardly breath. he held me all night w/ every turn i made he found a way to hold me and kiss my shoulders and tell me he loved me. I never got an im sorry though, that bothers me but i refuse to ask for it. i don’t need it anymore. he’s broken my heart, wasted my time, will embarrass me when i become clearly separated from a man i just married 4 months ago and was so revered for being independent and choosey for so many years. He has hurt me deeply over and over and i’m done. I let him hold me, i even let him make love to me (i love sex and miss him and i together so i did enjoy that in and of itself but did not turn it into something it wasn’t for us. He meant the tenderness but it was in the moment, not any indicator of commitment to change or abstinence from any of it.) He woke up wanting to go to breakfast and he brought it up on the way, said he would stop smoking pot but when he was with a friend hunting or if he was with anyone else that smoked of his friends, he would not smoke it at home on his own. (whatever) He said i was wrong about the other night, that it was NOT coke….but did not offer up what it WAS. He said i was not in any danger and then later said i was delusional and that no deal had gone down at all. He said he would not stop drinking but agreed the drunk nights had gotten ridiculous and he would slow down, alot. again…i thought -(whatever. i did not say i was not moving out did not say anything much but i would appreciate that and good i hope so. i am not holding my breath or making any plans NOT to move its just a matter of when due to moving budget now. I also like this post i found, it comforts me to think of myself when friends send me marriage commitment poems or pages or anything that makes me feel for a minuet that because i love him i need to stay as part of my vows, my promise to love him through sickness and in health. God also says a man should love his wife as Christ loves the church! i don’t believe any being as amazing as God would want any of us to hurt and be broken spirited by anything the devil has control over which is our loved one! i don’t believe it.
I hope this is helpful to all or any of you as it has been to me since i found it.
The Pain Stops: when you stop looking at the person you love as the person you love, and you begin to see them, not as a partner, a lover, or a best friend, but as a human being with the strengths and weaknesses and even the core of a child.
The Pain Stops: when you begin to accept that what you would do in a circumstance is not what they would do, and that no matter how much you try, they have to learn their own lessons, and they have to touch the stove when it’s hot, just as you did, to learn that it is much better when it is cold.
The Pain Stops: when your longing for them gets slowly replaced by a desire to get away, when making love to them no longer makes you feel cherished, when you find yourself tired of waiting for the moments where the good will truly outweigh the bad, and when at the end of the day you can’t count on their arms for comfort.
The Pain Stops: when you start to look inward and decide whether their presence is a gift or a curse, and whether when you need them, they cause more heartache than bliss.
The Pain Stops: when you realize that you deserve more than they offer and stop blaming them for being less than you wish. When the smile of a stranger seems more inviting and kind, and you remember what it’s like to feel beautiful, and you remember how long it has been since your lover whispered something in your ear that only the two of you would know.
The Pain Stops: when you forgive them for their faults and forgive yourself for staying so long. When you know that you tried harder than you ever tried before, and you know in your heart that love should not be so much work.
The Pain Stops: when you start to look in the mirror and like who you see, and know that leaving them or losing them is no reflection of your beauty or your worth.
The Pain Stops: when the promise of a new tomorrow is just enough to start replacing the emptiness in your heart, and you start dreaming again of who you used to be and who you will become.
The Pain Stops: when you say goodbye to what never really was, and accept that somewhere in the fog you may or may not have been loved back. And you promise yourself never again to lay in arms that don’t know how to cherish the kindness in your heart.
The Pain Stops: When you are ready.
I don’t know if the pain ever stops to leaning how some people can be in this world. Some or a lot of our innocence has been blown apart to oblivion. I will never look at people the same for there are more of them out there just waiting to take advantage of us. I sometimes wish I was the innocent maid who found the right man early on never having been exposed to this type of cruelty–maintaining my innocence to the world. But I will take what fate or God has put my way and now help others to avoid these pit falls. What else can you do but buck up, cut your losses, feel a bit of a fool, become worldly wise, and move on hoping the future will be better. My prayer is that God would give us all HOPE. Hope is so important and I sometimes struggle with having it. God help me, help us to heal and see all those who love us and are like us in heart & soul.
Lois, So help me, I am married to your husband’s “twin”. We even live on a farm, I think you said y’all do.
I have been married quite a few years to my AH and at this point, have chosen to stay. So just a note from this side–chances are great that he will get worse in many ways, not better. As difficult as it is to leave, it will be just as difficult to stay.
Several years ago I read a book I’ve recently brought back out and am reading again; I recommend it. Marriage on the Rocks (double entendre)
And Pez, I hope you’re planning on bringing any new prospects before the “board” aren’t you? I’m thinking at this point, we should have our own reality show with a talk show spin off.
You’re in California aren’t you? You should have contacts…:)
Kidding aside, I look forward to the day when you find happiness.Karen2
Oh Yes Karen2. No prospects yet but if one comes along they will have to meet my Aunt and Uncle early on so they can give me there perceptions of him! they are older and wiser then me and I value there opinion!
Both staying and leaving are very painful but in leaving we have hope for a better future. Hope Karen2 you have not shut the door on that option if it gets too bad.
I am in Colorado. I think I saw someone else on here in CO. I think we’d have tremendous ratings on TV with all the DRAMA A’s create.
Lois, I’m glad you gave him a piece of your mind! I also agree if we are totally passive they think we are accepting it. At times we must let them know WE DON’T! We just are weary of getting involved with there shit!
Hi Karen, I haven’t found happiness, but I DID find a case of hidden beer in the garage ;).
I think there are twins and triplets here…mine goes NOWHERE without beer, drives with beer even to all of his doctor appointments, drinks after the Dr appointments…has been starting lately at 10 am..because of the cancer he is on long term disability so he has been home since August of 2012…attitudes, sarcasm, blame on me games, secrecy, lies, poor me…perfect example, I have no idea what caused this but I was so dizzy yesterday afternoon, I laid down for a while and got back up and started feeling a little better. Do you think he could ask me if I was ok, what’s wrong, anything I can do for you NOTHING…all day every day I put up with not only the drinking but the pain with the cancer and I am learning you can not expect the same actions or responses out of anyone that you would do yourself. Lack of compassion, selfishness, flirtations with others (even though he is now chemically castrated) never hear you are beautiful, pretty, look nice..nothing..but I do from all of my friends and even people I don’t even know…like I have stated before, there is no way on God’s green earth I would still be here if he didn’t have cancer. I would have been long gone…keep up the good fight…look at yourself in the mirror every day…and tell yourself I am beautiful I AM worth it!!! Hey if any of you are on facebook..friend me (Dale Hilchie Were) xxoo’s
I sent you a Facebook request/message. Great idea you had! I always try to picture all of you in my head…I feel so close to you all. 🙂
@Kristi…I didn’t get it…make sure it’s Dale Hilchie Were and not just Dale Were 🙂
I sent you a message too Dale because there is no place to “invite” you to be friends on your page?
Your dizziness could be stress related. Please take care of yourself and get a checkup if you haven’t had one in a while. You need to do what is comfortable for you. As I have mentioned, I work with head and neck cancer patients. Many of them became ill due to substance abuse. I see spouses sticking with them too, like yourself. You know where you want to be, but if you are feeling abused by your husband, cancer or no cancer, emotional abuse can surely take its toll on you. I also remember one family many years ago, the wife kicked her alcoholic sick husband out of the house. They eventually divorced. He continued to have a relationship with their children, but I never saw the wife him again, he passed away. I don’t know how serious your husband’s cancer is, but do you have a place to go to when you feel you need to get away from him for a few days ? You would be surprised how a few days away may help you and let him see what things are like at home without you there. Just some thoughts. Have a peaceful night.
Thanks Bevy, yes I do have chances to get out and take rides and see friends. I don’t go on over nights any more as he has terminal cancer and I don’t feel comfortable leaving him alone for any length of time. It thankfully was just a passing thing. I have been around a few ppl that have been sick lately so I think it was trying to get me, but thankfully I have a great immune system (knock on wood). I am finding, the more I change MY attitude the better things are. The more we just let things roll off our backs, the better life is, not only in this particular situation, but in other areas as well. We need to pick our battles and that is helping me a lot not to be so bitter and angry. It is what it is for me here for the time being. I have good days and bad days but am really trying within MYSELF to make the changes I need to make so I can feel better about myself instead of walking around being bitter and angry all the time…so in doing so, I am laughing more and just accepting life the way it is right now and I know that I know, it’s not going to be like this forever…One minute at a time 🙂
i tried too and can’t find a prompt to ask you to be friends Dale. I am at Lois Light-Beucler if anyone wants to make friends w/ me there. 🙂
I wrote a poem last month out of frustration. No one else would or will understand it in my life but you guys.
Do you feel the warmth of my heart’s blood laying in your mouth today? Does it choke you sometimes to taste the iron in that blood which you spilled when you tore my heart open again- just as it was healing from the last three months’ worth? That iron is strong, flowing through my veins and it will wage up and speak and act for me, protect me from your drunken mind and your mouth’s waterfall of poison that flows from it when you’re intoxicated by your mistresses, Beer or Rum. With every vulnerable and relaxed moment that you tore into last night, creating chaos as you lovingly took your alcohol in and pushed me out- like water & air exiting a whale’s blow hole, I have built another wall behind the last one w/ you.
You will reach for me, want to scale and concur the thick walls of your own creation someday…miss my arms and body wrapped up close and around you, my soft kisses and adoring words of trust and complete and utter devotion to you softly spoken in warm tufts of air in the dark – against your chilled back – and you will suffer; you will suffer days and nights of mind wrenching thoughts of regret and longing for one more chance – to choose me and us and love and laughter and PEACE. This wall will be what you bludgeon your head on over and over as you scream my name in your drunken head those long, long nights; nights that you will grow to realize will never be shared w/ me again ………………the rest of your life. Because i chose to love myself as much as I loved you -and left.
Wow. Your poem left me speechless. I must say you predicted what he will feel and do with perfection. My A is doing that now…after the first few weeks of freedom wore off. He will either live the rest of his life at rock bottom, or make the change. Either way…he can’t hurt me anymore.
Love your poem!
Dale, Count me in as another who sent you a message on facebook.
And Lois, when I looked for you, your page didn’t pop up, either, although a linkedin profile did. Your poem is deep, I sure “get it”. Karen
Lois, your poem is beautiful and tells the truth. It totally explains how i feel. I get it. Keep writing you have a gift with words. 🙂
And Dale I also could not find a way to friend request you on FB.
Sorry guys, I just changed my settings on facebook…now..you can send me friend requests…so sorry about that I have my privacy settings set to friends of friends only instead of everyone…so now we’re good to go 🙂
For FB..Dale Hilchie Were