Feeling on Edge, Sad and Hurt Living With an Alcoholic

Banner 37 Audio LessonsGuest Post From: Shawn
My boyfriend is a very mean drunk. He always wants to argue and its very hard not to get drawn into it. Every time he goes out drinking I’m scared for when he gets home because how he loves to argue and other things. I’d love to be able to find out how to say the right things to not trigger him. It’s hard and its hard not to believe if what he’s saying is the truth or just angry drunk stuff. i could go on and on but its affecting the whole family. I’m always on edge sad and hurt.

JC:Hi Shawn, thanks for submitting your concerns. I am sure that some of our readers will offer loving support for you.

We have hundreds of articles on our site. You can find something on just about any subject related to dealing with an alcoholic. Please take time to use the search box on the right to learn more about how to handle your situation.

Here are a couple of articles you may be interested in:

Being Abused by an Alcoholic
Insanity of Being With an Alcoholic

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35 comments to Feeling on Edge, Sad and Hurt Living With an Alcoholic

  • Anne

    Hi Shawn, This site is a good one in that it does recognize it is one of the characteristics of an alcoholic to try to push buttons, provoke, ridicule, insult, goad-to try to bring out a reaction- so then that reaction can be used against you as a blame or excuse for why they are the way they are.
    It is a constant cycle, where they want to be enmeshed, blur the boundaries, and put blame on others.
    Sometimes when you ignore them, their tactics get quite extreme.
    There is no easy solution, but a good start is to just recognize that is going on,and also that there are others who have experienced this in a relationship with an alcoholic.
    Mine is a relative-so for me I play the game by locking the door& putting in earplugs while he punches the walls and screams insults.
    For you, as some of them actually do not have much of a conscience in how they have hurt people, to seriously consider whether that is what you want for yourself.
    Try, try, not to get drawn in-get out of the house, bite your tongue, put on headphones, write or talk to someone else. Like the moderater here said, try to keep your side of the street clean, focus on other things, invest in your own life, put good things into other relationships of your life, and a lot of these videos and articles here are very good to help clear out the craziness & aloneness you feel dealing with this. Take care of yourself!

  • Patty

    Hi Shawn,
    I can relate to your story and want you know that there
    Is help for you out there. I have begun attending Al-Anon
    meetings and have found them extremely helpful for ME to
    deal with affects of the alcoholism in my marraige. I do
    wish you would consider leaving the relationship … Even if
    only temporarily. Believe me when I tell you that I know that is
    a difficult decision – but YOU cannot cure his drinking problem.
    You need to take care of YOU first and foremost. When you
    take care of YOU things will become manageable. You said
    something above that worried me tho ‘…and other things’ – I am
    praying you are physically safe and if not GET OUT of this
    relationship now! Good luck – and keep reaching out. You are
    not alone in your situation

  • Bill

    All of these comments are rich with wisdom. I know exactly what it feels like to be walking on eggshells all of the time. Living with an active alcoholic is very stressful, especially when they are argumentative, which the majority of them are.

    You’ve got to take care of yourself. Get help from your local community. As someone suggested, Al-anon is a great place to connect with people in your community who are struggling with the same difficulties you are having.

    It took me a long time to learn how to avoid arguing with the addict I was with. She used to constantly try to get me to fight. It’s just not worth it, arguing and fighting. I had to learn how to protect my sanity by avoiding the arguments.

    There are always mixed ideas from people on this site, people are really honest about dealing with alcoholics here. Some are able to stay with the alcoholic and others are not. You can learn how to live with an alcoholic, it just takes a lot of energy all of the time.

  • Nancy

    Shawn. Oh do they ever know how to push our buttons and pull us into their madness. It is a never-ending game they play.
    I have tried to learn not to let my alcoholic push my buttons, but he always finds something. With me it is my kids.
    I have learned through Al-anon don’t let him get to you, which takes alot of practice. Sometimes, I just tell him how it is. I try not to argue with him when he is drunk, not always successful.
    I pretend I am sleeping when he gets home late, sometimes that works and other times he just wakes me up. Grrrrr.
    I think the bottom line on this is: they think they deserve to be treated badly, thus getting you to argue with them. That is how they justify their drinking.
    Many mornings I have gotten up feeling really bad for the argument I had with the alcoholic the night before. Guess what, he usually doesn’t even remember it. So I try to stop the arguing with the drunk, so I don’t feel bad.

  • Marion

    I am almost 70 years old, my husband 59. During the day when he doesn’t drink and sometimes when he is able to refrain, we have a wonderful life. But I have always heard that alcoholism, if not checked, gets worse as one gets older, and I find this to be true. In the last 14 days, he has been drunk 10 of them (or tipsy (-:) – rude and crude, argumentative, falling and even peeing in our bed. He seems to have less and less interest in having any control over this. Last night, on a date, he denied being drunk, but by the time we were in the restaurant, his talking was beginning to be nonsensical (and boring – drunks are bores by the way) and he kept telling me to drink my water or whatever he was fixated on. His excuses: Having no money; rollin in money, dinnertime, lunch time, just relaxing, anytime after noon. Jeeze. Typical. Typical of an alcoholic. It’s very hard not to be caught up in this and to think about it more than one should, particularly when it happens in front of friends, or the grandchildren. I love my husband, the real man he is inside, and I am not getting a divorce. I’m too old for that now and we have built a life together that is often wonderful. Last night on the way home, he says “No I haven’t reached rock bottom” – disputes that theory anyway – says he’s given up cigarettes, so he can give up alcohol on the face of it, then says he probably won’t give up drinking ever in his lifetime. Nice. Nice for me. Nice for him. All over the map! In my mind, he has a snowball’s chance in hell of doing all the things he says he want to be doing (painting?) unless he stop. Or severely cut back. Which I don’t think he can do, except occasionally. This is what you have to put up with living with an alcoholic. I have been married 30 years, 25 of them with him being an alcoholic. He is usually not violent at all, but very argumentative, And needy. He needs things from me that I could never give him and do not want to give him. It’s deep. From childhood. I try to be as loving and supportive as possible. But I have a life. Thank God! Focus on that. Find and have a life for yourself and be happy in that. That’s what all of have to do anyway whether we live with an alcoholic or not. Good luck! It is not your fault, and though I have yet to fully realize this either (I occasionally do talk about it and keep trying), there’s nothing you can do. Acceptance can be freedom. Now I am going to try again to take my own advice.

  • Brenda

    I’ve been with my alcoholic husband for 25 years now married for 23 years. My husband has never been physically abusive though he has threatened to a couple of times.I know how you feel. Exactly!I’ve been following alcoholics friend for about a year now. Lots of great advice. One thing about not arguing with an alcoholic. When mine is piss drunk I agree I’m better off ignoring him and keeping my distance. But they do remember being an ass the next day. They pretend nothing happened and yet they’re acting all nice. Bullshit they know! Now the next day I confront him. If he starts to act mean and he’s sober or just beginning to drink I tell him off in his face. During these times I also tell him how I know he hides booze everywhere and how booze is his number 1 priority. They are vunerable in these moments. I also tell him how it affects me and our children. I ask him what are his plans for our future. Is this it? If he starts to call me names I tell him to respect me cause I don’t call him names. Whatever else is bothering me out it goes! Sometimes if I don’t want to waste so much energy and argue with him I write him a letter. I hate to fight but I’ve started doing this 2 years ago and he’s been nicer to me and has become more respectful. He’s stopped being so mean when he’s drunk. He knows I won’t take his BS no more. It’s way more endurable for me. I don’t know if I will stay with him forever but I live in the moment. If at some point it becomes unbearable at least the children are grownup and ready to take care of themselves. Best of luck! One of my friends who had just left her alcoholic boyfriend gave me the best advice. She said she never told him how she felt and never argued with him. She hated to fight. She said, ”I ended up so miserable I had to leave. What did I have to loose if I had stood up for myself?” P.S. I don’t now your whole situation if he’s physically violent then this is probably not very good advice. If so LEAVE NOW while you can!

  • He’s an alcoholic. All alcoholics can be mean. My alcoholic is sober for 16 months and he’s still mean. We coexist. Questions I ask myself you have or will ask yourself. Am I enabling? I don’t think so in my case. My advise… Don’t let his emotional ABUSE affect you negatively then you won’t be co-dependent. Your feeling should NOT be dependent on HIS mood.

    My former boyfriend and current roommate contributes to the household. He’s changing his life around. Back to school on Veteran loans at age 52. 2nd year of 3 to get a degree to become a behavioral therapist for those with addictions.

    Am I/you co-dependent? I, too, walk on egg shells. Sex is non-existant since last time he was in rehab (at least 4 times by way of the Emergency Room). Would’ve died from withdrawal if medical attention wasn’t sought. Almost lost him many times. I feel like I helped him help himself to get well.

    He took me out to lunch yesterday. and I ordered a beer with my chili. He ordered chili and an N/A beer. I’a little scared. That is dangerous territory because last time he started drinking was after he was guzzling N/As.

    My friend has high anxiety. I have my own, but I would almost call HIM psychopathic. If you can separate yourself from their anger, turn around and leave calmly when anger comes out of nowhere, never argue back, be a good listener, stay calm and collected. PRETEND YOU ARE WEARING A CLINICIANS WHITE COAT OBSERVING THEIR BEHAVIOR WHILE TAKING NOTES WITHOUT REACTING. Also, have a life of your own and get out with friends and find other ways to cope. No one should judge you. You are doing the best you can.

    The experiences I had taking care of him in his multiple medical emergencies was a cry for help. The experiences bonded us. It was rough, though… having packed all his belongings in his van and leave it parked in the rehab centers parking lot. However, coming out he’d be homeless. The doctors said there was a long waiting list for a bed and we have to think whats best for HIM. Well, I accepted the fact I met the right wrong person for me. We have bonded by all we’ve been through together. I will always care for him. I know he loves me in his own weird way and I do him. Is that unconditional love? I think it is.

  • Pez

    “Know thyself” is the most important thing in this situation! Don’t let what a drunk says get to your self-esteem. If you are solid in knowing WHO YOU ARE the better you will be able to know what they say about you and the relationship is BS. Then you can create your own life or decide to leave the situation.

  • Sojourner

    Shawn, I know what you mean about how difficult it is not to argue back. They can really push our buttons. I used to walk away telling myself, “…walk away…walk away…”, but then fury would rise in me and I’d stomp back and have at it! Did it do any good at all? No. None. So what I’m saying is, this will be a process for you, it will take time to get to where all the above posters find themselves now. And believe me, every word written here is golden wisdom. Alanon was a big help for me, as was/is reading information on addiction, alcoholism, specifically. Wishing you the best.

  • Veronica

    It’s been hard for me because of relationship but this person came to my place saying I failed him I learned in therepy he also hurt me I started noticing his behavior but I didn’t care cause he was there then when he showed up here bleeding from fights lost his job and someone came after his van and put a name on his hood I was like wow he sd he didn’t no who did it I felt protective I started to see the truth then his family said he has problems dont let him drink before work I thought god I gave a daughter oh no I can’t have this for her to see I tried to help him he got another job it just seem like he played on all of are emotions I was done anxiety what i saw like all he cared about if that was himself then the last I heard from him when he showed up here crying mad you failed me thankgod for therepy friends and alonon his drinking failed him so if I was you I get a life cause this ends heartbreaking !!!!! And believe in you and yours don’t let whoever waste your time or life I’m learning from this after2 going on 3yrs unbelievable go on and have faith

  • Veronica

    and also forgot to say he was a diabetic sister sd see you needed to take of it he told me he never went back I don’t no but one thing I do no that’s his problem he could of helped it he chose not to god be with those who go threw this !!

  • Sally

    Shawn, you need to ask yourself a question. Are you willing to live like this for another year? Another 5 years? Another 20 years? You know the truth – drunks only get sober if THEY want to. No one else exists in their worlds. It’s them and the bottle. Staying will only make you feel worse, get you more memories of pain and hurt and meanness. There’s no half-way here. You are a convenience to the drunk. You’re there to dump his hatefulness on, to clean up his mess, to deal with the business of living (like bills and laundry and chores and errands) while he continues to be an alcohol fueled idiot. Are you willing to spend the next year, 5 years, 20 years walking on freakin’ eggshells because you won’t toughen up and take back your life? Are you willing to keep listening to your drunk saying hateful, hurtful things to you? If you are willing, why? Why put up with this crap? Why continue to let someone you can’t possibly respect call the shots in your life? I packed up and left the drunk in my life a little more than 2 years ago, after enduring 5 years of a slow downward spiral. The idea of wasting any more years living like that made me literally sick – with myself. Living with a drunk always comes down to a choice – him or you. Choose and then live with the choice. If you choose to stay, you don’t get to complain about it. If you choose to get out, there’s lots and lots of help out there in the big, wide wonderful world and here on this board. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. If you read the comments on any topic on this board, you’ll see the truth of life with a drunk – it almost never gets better. Never.

  • Mike

    Boyfriend? Say no more.
    You are not committed or obligated to him in any way.
    Leave him. Do not choose a lifetime of misery.
    If you marry him, it will be your own fault.
    What is happening is a warning sign to you, to find someone else.
    I know it seems harsh, but this is the truth that many refuse to accept.

  • C

    Mike is right. Believe it when you hear that it gets worse if you leave and go back when they beg you. It is a life os doing what they want, when they want and how. You will be promised trips, etc., but nothing will happen. They are only thinking of their next drink. If he does stop drinking, you can bet he will still be thinking about how he could drink just a little bit. Leave.

    My father quit drinking for 23 years until he died. My stepmother said the alcoholic personality doesn’t leave them. I did see a little mellowing as he recovered from cancer surgery, but I still had to be careful how I talked to him. He has been gone for over 10 years, I have made it a point to get out and be social. My sons are doing a great job raising their children, and neither of them have an alcohol problem. Our family is afraid to drink – we may end up like my father.

  • Zita

    Marion…..I am 59 soon to be 60 in 1 week. My husband is 62. We have been married 40 years. His alcoholism is getting worse and for the first time in our married life I threatened to leave him at Christmas. I am now making my plan and will be separating from him although he doesn’t know it yet. Once my plan is in effect, I will once again give him an ultimatum and if he does not choose sobriety, I am gone. My daughter is also an alcoholic…worse than he his…dysfunctional. My AH is functional at least for now. He was sick at Christmas and continued to drink and finally ended up in hospital…went thru withdrawal and came out a week later. I was hopeful he would stop drinking as he had a slightly enlarged liver. I had previously not kept track of his drinking as we are advised to not obsess over the drinker. Well I wanted to know how much he was drinking so in a 2 week span, found that he had drinks in the morning and was up thru the night to drink as well. So sad. I am not spending the rest of my life like this. If you are young and know your H/BF is an alcoholic, run away as fast as you can.


    wow. some good stuff there peeps. I am going through and have been going through the i love you and then once they drink even after the first drink you know it. they try to hide it, but we know when they are drinking. I am always the one to blame and I am the one who is always doing wrong in the relationship. I have been dealing with this shit for over 2 years. I guess it does only get worse. I didn’t want to believe it but when they stop whether it be one day or a month, they start where they finished. the sad thing is when one has education in this, it is different when you are going through this. I don’t know where to turn. I do love him. got him out of the city mission and had him at my place without my landlord knowing, but he found out. Had friends and family help me with bills and rent because I was on layoff for the winter but all he did was drink. He fails to remember that I was there for him. He has been hurt in the past, but I am not the people in his past. just worried about him. He drinks, but he cannot stop. He cannot have one cocktail, he has to drink a whole 5th and then keeps getting more until he is going through dt’s so bad. sad. I hate this and I wish I HAD THE STRENGTH to let him go.

  • C


    I hope you have support from friends and family. Please do not feel sorry for your bf. You will notice that in these many posts, people will say they met someone who said they were mistreated so they took it upon themselves to be a caretaker. It doesn’t work with an alcoholic as you know. It gets worse over time. Even when someone does stop drinking, for years there are problems even if they never drink again – the damage done can be extensive.

    Please think of yourself.

  • Nancy

    Shawn does not need to be “beat” up over her love of an alcoholic. People that live with alcoholics are as “addicted” to the alcoholic as the alcoholic is to the booze.
    The alcoholism sucks you in slowly. One day you wake up and wonder why you feel so crazy. By the time this all hit me I was well into a relationship with the alcoholic 7 years. (slow learner I guess) I wasn’t raised in an alcoholic home, didn’t have much contact with people who were “drinkers”. Didn’t know what I was up against until I joined Al-anon.
    You certainly cannot advise someone to stay or leave an alcoholic. You are not in their shoes. Your decision worked for you and your situation is different then someone elses.

  • Lil Mole

    Oh my dear, only you can decide whether you want to continue to be treated in this manner. The feeling of being on edge is anxiety, and it has a way of escalating – I know because I’ve been there. You have a choice to make you can support him, while he gets the help he needs, or for the sake of your own mental wellbeing and for the family, you can walk away. It seems that you are living in fear & I suspect have low self esteem from his bullying & that is quite simply not living, it’s surviving.

    If he’s getting help, then he’ll need all the support he can get and so do you. If he’s not, he’s being selfish or doesn’t consider that anything is wrong with his behaviour towards you. In which case, nothing will change or improve & is likely to get worse. You can’t help someone who is prepared to help themselves. Think about your own needs and that of your family. Does he deserve your love? How much are you prepared to put up with? Do you deserve better?

    You have a difficult decision to make. My advice, no matter how cliche, wacky & silly it may sound, but please humour me, when it comes to making difficult decisions, trust the power of 3 (no, I’m not talking about the TV series Charmed). We make decisions but listening to 1. our head (logic) 2. our heart 3. Intuition. Sometimes, they’ll inconveniently be in conflict – but wait & the answer will come clear.

  • niceguy

    Hi all, im learning a lot from all your comments on here,amazing stories from the heart.I found out the hard way about my gf,s drink problem when she admitted it to me and ended our relationship as a result of this. I had no idea,as youve said in the above blogs ” they seem to be experts at saying what you want to hear and hiding their problem for as long as possible”.My gf only told me as we were getting really close,,shes been single for years with 1 daughter,sooo mixed up,but a lovely woman deep down.As we only saw each other twice a week we were trying to discuss seeing each other more ,,it was difficult due to our working lives etc. I know she wanted to see more of me,however due to our working lives etc it became apparent in her behaviour that i didnt fit,,where would she fit me in,,she probably drinks on other nights,,didnt want me to see all this i think.She became negative towards my suggestions on when we would meet etc,making excuses,,i knew something was praying on her mind,,at this stage i had no idea she was a functioning alcoholic.She finally didnt have the love for me to go through with it,,how could she really love me if she sacrificed our relationship for her privacy to hide and be reclusive as she is,,,,this surely is done for the drink only.. I want to know from any folk out there who are suffering with a drink problem>>>please can you try to help us understand what YOU REALLY FEEL!!!HOW TO YOU THINK ABOUT FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE,,THEN SEEM TO HURT THEM OR LET THEM GO SO EASILY!!Really,,how do you see your life and actions,,its the only way us nons can learn about the condition that makes yours and our lives so unhappy,,where do you think you will end up??i welcome all comments,thanks

  • Veronica

    Veronica to c I never spoke to the one iI loved harshley he spoke to me that way get it wright my love was sincere but his drinking was not thankyou!!


    Niceguy- wow. Sorry to hear about this. I think that people do things and say things one, not to hurt the other, however the lies or excuses end up hurting in the long run. i know that it is hard to deal with an alcoholic especially one who denies they are an alcoholic. just remember to be strong, stay focused and try not to worry about what all the alcoholics think or do, cause that would make us crazy. just don’t interact and tell them if they want to discuss anything they can do it when they are sober. usually shuts them up

  • niceguy

    Hi,thanks for your comments tammy.
    Itried on numerous occasions telling her to speak to me properly when she wasnt tanked up,, i couldnt really tell when she was drunk thou thats the problem,,she had a massive tolerance and hid it very well. i could tell by her texts thou,,they were so different when she,d been drinking. My relation ship was like never knowing which part of her i was going to be with each day,,like a split personality sort of thing,,her moods and characteristics were so varied from day to day,,i notice it more now after having time to reflect on the past relationship,,i must have been crazy to stand for it,,,but i really loved her i suppose.When she is sober however she will not discuss the drinking openly,,so i think im in a no win situation,its hard and i miss her so much but i realize i must move on and let her destroy her own life if this is what she wishes to do so,,or at least she isnt strong enough to try and stop drinking.Im so shocked at all thats gone on between us came right at the blue and hit me right between the eyes,,no warning “just bang” and there it was,,loads of anger and shit because i said a few words she didnt like.Thats when she verbally attacked me,blamed me for everything and treated me so badly for nothing.Showed no remorse and only once said sorry,,then a few days later she told me of her drink problem. Well after all that nasty behavior and twisting things round to make it seem like it was my fault ,ive now grown to realize that i dont want a partner like that,,walking on eggshells for rest of my days “no bloody thanks”If these folk who have alcohol problems were treated like they treat us,,do you think they would hurt inside like we do,,,,however we wouldnt treat them like that because we love them and feel so sorry for them,and we are not alcoholics,,,do they ever show true feelings or regrets,,” i dont really think they do” we,ll never really know either.

  • Julie21

    Niceguy, I hear you. My ex ah has never shown remorse or apologized to any of us(me or the children). I now know he never will so we are moving on. Even after we separated and divorced he is still blaming me. He will never face the truth. It is very sad because he lost a wonderful family in me and the children. BUt he continues to drink and to blame others. I am so glad we are away from him now. Life is so much better for us even with the eomotonal baggage we are all learning to face and move on. Even sadder is the fact that his rejection still hurts us all and i see it in the children even though they are angry at him too. I hear soemtimes how some people live with an A who is kind and gentle and wonderful to be with when they are not drinking. Not such with us. My AH was mean and selfish and now does not care how much he hurt us. When we were going through our divorce all he spoke about was his feelings and what he is going through. not once did he listen to my children or me tell about our feelings. If he had shown that kindness and some sense of caring about us maybe the divorce would not have happened. But even as he blames me for the divorce, he never even tried to make any changes to treat us better and i have finally realized it is because he does not care. When an A is caring they will seek the help they need because they care about their own health and well – being as well as the people they love and they will be willing to seek professional help to overcome this great burden of alcoholism. That is what i have experienced. And a good read from an alcoholic’s point of view on this is Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp.

  • Sojourner

    Julie21, If these A’s admit to any shortcomings on their part, then they may be forced (in their minds anyway) to look at themselves and we know what that means, face the truth about their drinking. Oh, how they protect that menace, no matter the cost it seems. I do have a question for you. Do you have your children in any type of formal support, Alateen, counselling ,etc.? If so, any success? In my area, resources are few. Perhaps a good book for kids/teens? I have read Knapp’s book, as well as numerous others. Suggestions from anyone is appreciated, particularly ACOAs. Julie21, best wishes to you.

  • niceguy

    Hi julie 21,thanks for that story,you sound like you are coming to terms with whats gone on and moving forward a little anyway.I too have learned that people with alcohol addictions show very little concern for anyone but themselves,,what they do and why they do it is usually for their benefit only believe me.To be prepared to loose his family with young children just shows us what we are up against,,,the addiction must be so strong,,we will never understand it properly,but we learn by experience good or bad.I was dumped all of a sudden by my gf,,totally out the blue,,blamed me,insulted me,,i hadnt a clue where it came from,,,then she admitted she had a problem..After a few discussions she said she was facing up to it,,joined aa,,and was doing this for her daughter,,as her daughter does not know,,she is 15.She hid it from me,,so shes hid it for years from her daughter.She is a functioning alcoholic,However i have recently found out that she is still drinking to access,,aa didnt last 5 mins and shes never contacted me for months,,just ignored my texts,,,and this was all because she said she couldnt see our relationship lasting,,,but she didnt tell me before we fell in love she was an alcoholic,,it would have maybe saved us both a lot of heartache i reckon,,The worst thing is she wouldnt let me help her one bit,,just pushed me out and surrounded herself with a massive wall,,then carried on in her own selfish little world,,its so sad.The outcome is clear,,they will die from this progressive disease and we will have to watch them from affar,,a terrible thing for us and your children to go through,,,what more can i say,,we loved them dearly.Best wishes and goodnight

  • Julie21

    Thanks Sojourner,

    I have found that the counseling around here was not helping my children or me. I was disappointed that a lot of the counselors for family counseling of domestic violence and living with substance abuse had the attitude that my children were fine because they were not harming themselves or others and were doing well in school and were not taking drugs. Really? I had 2 counselors tell me that things would work out because they see such bad cases that ours did not seem so bad. However the support and the support groups from the domestic violence organizaton out here was a help. They gave me a lot of information and i read a book called “When Dad Hurts Mom” by Lundy Bancroft that really gave me some good advice on helping my children in the aftermath of domestic violence. In my case it was not just dealing with alcoholism but the violence and abuse that occurred so often in our lives. But this is helpful since a lot of children have to witness or experience this type of abuse or insecurity from living with an alcoholic. i tried Alanon but it was not for me. My support group thru the domestic violence victim program in our community offered me the support and answers i needed. The children were offered Alateen but refused to go and i did not want to force them. I find that not hiding the issues or the facts and listening to the children and their thoughts and fears and feelings did so much more for their emotional well being than forcing them into counseling where the counselors felt that if they did not want it then they did not need it. I also find with the teens that they tend to say “you never listen to me” but in reality they don’t come out and say what they mean or how they feel. I found saying “well now i am listening so tell me” and then sitting one on one with them and not interrupting them until they are completely finished has helped a lot and they have opened up about a lot of insecurites that they haev been struggling with inside that they even did not realize themselves they had. So i guess my best advice is to take time out to listen one on one and turhtfully answer any questions they may have. I have a 10 year old too and the same goes for him. It helps to talk about our feelings and understand so we can move on. Oh and family meetings help too. We try to have one once a week. It is difficult with everyone’s schedules and it takes a lot of supervision to keep the meeting on track and not let them bicker. 🙂

  • Julie21

    niceguy, I know how you feel because we are trying so hard to help them and then we get called the bad guy when things go awry or they wont get help and they are killing themselves with the drink. It is not only the A either. While i was married my father in law constantly blamed me for his son’s drinking saying that i “let ” him do it. But when i finally was able to get away from him and he kept on drinking then it was still my fault because he was drinking because i was being so mean to him and leaving him. Really his alcoholic father is just as bad as he is and i am finding that as long as i stay away from the negative people and don’t even associate with them then i can heal quicker and better. We had been lving with this for years and it took over 2 years to get away from him legally but my children and i are so much happier now. I understand how you feel. It hurts to be trying to do the right thing and then be turned away by the one you love and sometimes blamed by everyone around you. But sound like you have a handle on the truth. You have a good night too!

  • Parisgirl

    Marion – with some minor tweaks, you could be telling my story. I’m 68 and so is my alcoholic hubby. We’ve been married for 45 yrs – he drank thru most of them – beer – and would drink himself to sleep. He was sober for about five yrs and recently relapsed after beating cancer. I understand the emotional turmoil of a life-threatening disease but he actually survived it. Now it’s like PTSD – depression and drinking except now it’s hard liquor and he doesn’t drink himself to sleep. He gets loud, belligerent, mean, rude, and disrespectful to me. I literally don’t recognize him.
    I’m distressed. I went to an al-anon meeting and learned a few things about control and detaching so it was helpful, as are these posts. He blames me for his drinking and now I know that it’s not me – he’s an addict who loves the bottle. He always threatens to leave when he drinks and I want to tell him to stop threatening and just go but don’t want him to leave when he’s drunk. If he did I would call 911 and report him. I haven’t told him that. So good to unload here and to hear your stories. Very encouraging.

  • Hello,
    I have posted on AF many times looking for support, relief and advice.
    I have received all three. It takes me days even weeks sometime to get back and write what has been happening because I get so drained from my husbands ways. I am 33 married to an 52 year old alcoholic with ptsd that knows how to say and do everything we(the sober ones) want to see and hear to make us fall in love and continue to believe they will change and get better. My husband continually leaves home around 1 or 2pm or somewhere around there for some reason to not return home until 2 or three in the am sloppy, pissy drunk. I feel like my situation is a little different because my husband is not physically abusive. He comes home angry and in a drunk uproar but it’s usually at somebody that he felt did something to him on the way home or his family didn’t treat him right for some apparent reason. I feel like I am the abusive one! My husband has been emotionally abusive our whole relationship but has never been as bad as he is now. We have an 8 month old baby girl that he says he loves to no end but he can never find the consideration to call home and check on her when he is out all day and night. He has in the past not come home for days with no call of his wherabouts only for me to become an investigator and find him drunk in a motel with his crack head alcoholic ex who by the way got arrested for getting behind the wheel of MY CAR that my husband took off in 4 days prior. I had to pay to get my own car out of tow while he had nothing to say when I pitifully surprised him at the motel he was staying in and drove his drunk funky butt home! I also just had a baby not even 2 month before this via csection! What hurts is that this is not the only hurtful thing that has happened during his drunken days. I have posted a few of my issues on here under different subjects, but now I’m just lost. I have been arguing with my husband when he comes home almost 13 hours later from when he left! I have been emotionally beaten. I end up forgiving him and making love to him like all is ok and then of course that goes on for a day or two and the promises that suck me in and the brokeness that I harbor all day everyday and the anxiety that hits at night or when he’s drunk goes away and then the sun goes down, comes back up and I’m sick all over again with him gone, missing and drunk! I am tired! He went to inpatient treatment starting October 8th returned home december 8th! I thought I was finally going to be normal again and he was acutally going to try hard this time! He relasped on christmas!!! 3 weeks after coming home from treatment! He had neglected me and a new baby 5 days after she was born and I didn’t see it coming! I was traumatized! I am still traumatized! It made me physically ill when I realized he had relapsed! I felt dark all over again. I was destroyed, scared and felt hopeless. So here we are in February and he is supposed to do inpatient detox, but the VA told him that there is a waiting list and that he can do outpatient detox at home!!! How is this possible? He can’t stop drinking there is alcohol everywhere he goes! He drinks and drives! I don’t see how he get’s away with it!!! I know it’s not right but sometimes I wish he would get pulled over!!! I know that’s not right but what’s it going to take?? I have carried so much hurt pain anger and now resentment and I prayed away the hate but sometimes I think I hate him, but I don’t. I get so emotionally distraught that I find myself going off on him and hitting him and just unloading. It usually comes out after in his drunk mind and mood decides to tell me that there is something wrong with me because I am sick and tired of him constantly disrespecting and using me up. I have a baby to be well for and I have even allowed myself to become so weak that I yell at him in front of her! I feel horrible. I want out! I don’t know how to get out! He pays the rent and when he is drunk he makes it clear that I can’t afford our rent by myself when I am the one with the job! He is just so hurtful! He does get VA benefits and SSD but he just started getting that this past March! I have always been the one to support US! now he acts like the money I make is “peanuts” is what he calls it and like I never carried him all of this relationship. I cut my hours back after baby was born which still is a pretty good income and I pay all the other household bills. All he pays is the rent! and whatever he has racked up for himself! I can buy all the household things we need and all the baby stuff at the beginning of the month but that’s all I do using his card. So technically he pays the rent and the household things we need. I pay the lights, the cable, the renters ins, the car insurance and buy the groceries! But still he makes me feel like I’m not doing anything and that my little money is nothing! He say’s “my bills are paid” why aren’t yours paid? I don’t get how he can be married to me and treat me so divided? I don’t feel love from him anymore. He is not the man I thought he was. He is a mean foul mouthed drunk that keeps me feeling manipulated and confused. I consider myself to be a pretty smart gal but I have been so mentally tired that I don’t think straight these days and I just feel really low. I do everything for him. I care for him more than myself it seems like! He has diabetes and hypertension and has already been told that he has a fatty liver and nephritis, which is an inflamed liver! it worries me! But, tonight during another argument I guess started by me or fueled by his drunken attitude told that I was overly caring! Well, is there something wrong with that? I did call his psychologist and left a message voicing my concern about him doing outpatient detox. I tried to do this discretely but my husband walked in as I was hanging up the phone and he asked me who i was talking to and I had to think quick so I said “oh I was leaving a message for my dad. I felt horribe! I never lie to him, yet he lies to me all day everyday! So, I politely went into the bathroom where he was to feel him out but of course he was looking at me like I had crap on my face had a mean attitude and was talking to me like I didn’t matter. I told him who I had really called and he blew up about that. Mind you he has his cousin sitting in the living room who showed up unexpectantly around 1 in the afternoon. It was 6pm when we were having this argument. Why is he even still here? He drinks and smokes weed and I hate it!!!! His family members are enablers! They don’t care!!! I can’t stand it! My husband makes me feel like I am the monster. I am afraid that if I up and leave he will take my little girl from me somehow… Is this possible? He’s an alcoholic! I think he is using the fact that I physcially slap him and push him when I am really hurt and upset usually after he has pretty much made me feel like he doesn’t care that I am hurt after I have pleaded all that I could. I just feel like there is nothing left to do!!! I don’t do this in front of the baby though… yelling is bad enough and it is not everyday that I feel pushed to that limit. Can he say that I am violent and make the judge take away custody from me? I am the one truly abused! I am lost, confused and hurt! I want to leave but I don’t know how… Does anyone know how I can leave with my little girl without him trying to take her from me? He is not fit to be a parent! I have been doing it all on my own since she was born. I am so torn I didn’t see this coming. Someone, please help. I have gone to a couple of al-anon groups but I just felt like I was getting answers. I saw a psychologist for the first time on Monday and I’m not sure if she can help me yet. I don’t think she get’s that I am traumatized just yet. Please anyone, I need help and advice. I am thinking about going to a hotel for a few days, just so I can relax and sleep without anticipating what mood is coming in the door at 2 or 3 am and being on guard to make sure he doesn’t wake the baby. I caught him in her nursery sitting in my glider chair just rocking while she was asleep in her crib at 3am last week. He reaked of liquor and was just pitiful. I made him get up and leave!!!(quietly) I am just all over the place! He makes me feel crazy and like I am the one abusing him… I don’t bother him I try to stay out of his way most of the time and I still tend to my wifely duties of taking care of him and making sure he is loved. I am a good mom and our baby is happy and healthy! Why can’t we be happy and healthy!! Anybody please help with advice on how to get out or just how to keep my sanity. I do pray and I know putting my hands on him is not right, but I don’t hit him with a fist or objects I just kind of lose it with fast repeated slaps on his chest or arms while “yelling you are destroying me”!! I’m not trying to justify but he is 6ft almost 300lbs. I am 5’8″ still carrying some baby weight which has me at 213 but I am not that strong and he is way more powerful than I am. I just feel crazy… Please help!!!

  • SJC

    Patricia, I don’t know where you live but in Texas if the cops are called (could be by a neighbor)and their is a mark on the other person or if you admit you pushed or slapped him they will take you in. I use to date a cop and he told me this. I also know someone that told the copes they pushed the other person and was arrested. I am NOT judging you. But please stop hitting him, not for him but for YOU. He could always turn on you and call the cops. I understand how you feel but things may get out of hand and besides once you do hit him….nothing changes anyway. I am looking out for you. Try to get some peace inside of you, one minute at a time. They all blame. My father was a dry drunk, xah was very high functioning a and they blamed me for stuff that does not even make since. I have damage from my childhood because of this sh$$. It’s not about you, it’s about him. They write books about this stuff.
    They are damaged people and being around them will bring anyone down….sooner or later.
    Take care of you and your sweet baby.

  • SJC

    Patricia I don’t know alot about custody laws but I really would not worry about that. At this point it’s only his word against yours.
    I heard a psychologist say…if we do things against our core belief we will feel turmoil on the inside.

  • SJC,
    Thank you so much for your advice and response to my situation. I am just lost. I love my husband so much but I feel like I have lost him. Or, he is willingly trying to lose me. I am home alone again. Here it is the night before valentines day and I haven’t heard from my husband since I left home to pick up our 8 month old from her grandmother at 4pm. It’s 10:40pm now. I am just really hurt. I feel like a fool and embarrassed. I don’t want to believe that he is cheating on me. Of course he always tells me that he loves me and that he is not cheating and that he really is out getting drunk! I have pleaded with him to at least call home and check on me and the baby but he say’s “I know you’re going to be mad because I’m drinking so I don’t call” This is just mean to me. He always say’s that he will protect our home and family but he’s not home enough for me to believe that. My husband will leave during the day and will not return home until 2 or 3am! How is that protecting us? I’m torn with filing for either a legal separation or actual divorce. I then have days where I am in love with him all over again, usually when he’s decided to stay home for a few days to dry up. He told me that I was overly caring? What does this really mean? I am his wife and I care about everything that affects him. I think I care more about him then he cares for himself, but it’s my nature, I can’t help that. I thought a man would love to have a wife that cares deeply and is not afraid to submit as a wife who is being loved and respected should… Only difference with me is that I am not being respected and I don’t feel very loved but I can not waver from being a wife. I am just confused. How do I detach with love? This is hard to do… I don’t have it in me. I am tired, bruised and broken. I am afraid to leave because I feel like he will hate me. I don’t know why I even care. He keeps telling me it’s not me that is causing him to leave and stay gone getting drunk, but how can I believe that when it’s me he keeps leaving home. Whenever I think about leaving him and getting me and my little girl a new place to live, I feel peace and joy! I just can’t find the heart to leave. It’s like he knows when I am getting close then he takes time out to say exactly what he thinks I need to hear and will even stay home and help out a bit. I forgive him all over again and then the next day he’s gone and I’m heartbroken all over again. What really boggles me is that when he’s drunk his speech is he’s the man and he’s grown and will do what he wants to do. I just don’t see how this fits into being married? I mean, just because he’s a man that means it’s ok to disrespect his wife and home whenever he sees fit? Now, if it were me leaving him home all the time, and not coming home and lying every chance I got he would tell me I was all kind of wrong! He would not tolerate it! Even now, even though it’s him causing the grief he has found a way to pull out all the things I do that he doesn’t like to make it look as if I am making him miserable. It’s like what he has done, what he does or will do means nothing and that it’s my reaction to his emotional and mental abuse that is causing our tumultuous marriage. I am just torn and I don’t what to do. I wish I could just live my life without caring about what he does but it hurts to sit home alone when we haven’t even been married a year yet. I just feel like a fool. I will no longer allow my emotions get so out of hand that I am lashing out physically on him but the daily abuse I endure feels worse and I am not healing from it very well. When I think I might be ok, I’m knocked down again. This happens everyday. Please help!

  • SJC

    When you see your therapist on Monday, let her help you and also keep going to Alanon. Stay clam and let their words of wisdom help you through this. The woman in your support group have been in your shoes. I hit bottom and went through the Dark Night Of The Soul after my axh left me. All I can say. People around you can help with words, God can help by praying and you have to find the strength inside of yourself. Finding the strength inside has been the hardest but it’s the only place it can come from. I did this by crying for God to help me. I am NOT a religious person but I can say God is helping me.
    If you get this message tonight try to watch Oprah (OWN station) Super Soul Sunday tomorrow. You might hear something that will give you some hope. I also read as much as I could about alcoholics, what ever you read is the truth. It’s not about you. Take Care.
    Love your baby and let her love you, a good place to find strength.

  • Thank you again. I am really tired and just confused in my heart. My husband is home tonight… Though he has had a little to drink while on his home detox meds? I think they made him too drowsy to leave. When I got home from church around 4 he said that he had to pick his brother up from work at 11pm. I was then scared, worried and stuck because my thoughts were, “great, now he’s found a way out and won’t be home until 3am again! Anyway, he is home and sleep. I can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t so tired would he had still went on to pick up his brother and possibly not return home. What am I thinking… Of course he would have. 🙁

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