How I Interact With The Alcoholic Changed After Support Group Meetings

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Prior to getting involved in support group meetings I was always defeated by the alcoholic’s actions.



  • When the alcoholic started an argument, sometimes it would take me days to get my head back in order…only to be faced with yet another upsetting incident that surrounded the actions of the alcoholic in my life.


  • I use to confront the lies in an attempt to get the alcoholic to fess up to the truth, something she never did. The only thing that ever became of my attempts was me being frustrated.



  • Honestly, from the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep, my subconscious and conscious thoughts were fixed on the alcoholic’s behaviors.


After getting involved in support group meetings, my interactions with the alcoholic changed.


  • When the alcoholic would stay out all night, I learned there was little I could do about it. As a result, I achieved serenity through letting go of the situation and going to sleep.


  • I started to recognize how the alcoholic was starting arguments all of the time and how to avoid accepting  the invitations to fight. This was an amazing accomplishment because prior to support group meetings we argued all of the time. I learn how to never argue with an alcoholic.


  • When the alcoholic would break plans that we had made, I learned how to have an alternate plan. In doing so, I was able to let go of the disappointment and forgive the alcoholic for not treating me as a priority.


  • As far as confronting the lies, I totally realized that is a waste of time and stopped that sort of thing altogether.


  • I can honestly say that the obsession with the alcoholic subsided and I started focusing on more positive things in my life.


If you are or have been involved in support group meetings, for friends or family of alcoholics,  what changes have occurred in your life? Leave your comments below.

80 comments to How I Interact With The Alcoholic Changed After Support Group Meetings

  • Valerie

    I am with an alcoholic who denies he has a problem…he also has anger /rage issues. Early on in our relationship (less than a yr now) I TRIED to talk, make sense and was welcomed with rage and almost physical harm. Once the police were called no more physical stuff.
    I know he lies, cheats???, but drinks and smokes to excess and gambling now too. We never or next to never speak, if I try to ‘discuss’ our issues he gets up angry yells I always want to argue ‘he’s not putting up with it’ no we’ve never resolved anything. Almost weekly I’ve asked him to leave (he moved in with me in NOV) because of his behaviors, much like your x’s. I have been so beaten down and hurt so badly that this time he HAS TO LEAVE. We can’t fix it and he doesn’t want to get help. It’s easy here I carry the bigger financial burden, he has a clean house and clothes and plenty of food. He has money for his addictions.
    I’m so sad I can even tell you.

  • Vanessa

    I too have been dealing with this struggle. Everyday it was becoming harder for me…Never for them.. Ive really had a hard time focusing on myself.. Thats the hardest part. I always thought that being a spouse or signifigant other meant doing things together, mabey even taking on the addiction. Im trying to learn thats soooooo not true.. Keeping our heads up and being strong is hard but I think I can do it.

  • Jenn

    Let go let God-this has worked for me. I cant change him I cant control him and I didnt cause it

  • Jenn

    Hes been an alcoholic all his life all I can do is pray for him and take care of me-Alcoholics are selfish drainging people

  • Denise

    The last 4 days have been hell. My back is getting closer to the wall. Getting all my ducks in a row. It’s amazing how they try to beat you down and want you to be a part of their train wreck. Been married for 34 yrs. he says we’re like roommates. He says he hates all of us. Me and my two sons who are grown and have very good jobs and their wife and girlfriend are amazing.They have my back and I truly believe he hates that. He must be so horribly miserable inside. Do I feel sorry for him? Never!!!! He does not want to be a part of their future so I am moving on without him. I cannot imagine life without my children and no one is going to turn me against them. This is supposed to be the best time. Close to retirement, nice home , a little nest egg and our good health. Well, mine is anyway. Total detachment. It is a learned process and it works. For your own sanity. I too keep telling him to get out but to no avail. He’s got it too good. But like I said my back is real close to the wall. Do what is best for you and take care.

  • Lela

    Valerie – It doesn’t matter how great the place you have is now, if you can’t get him to leave you have to. For your own sanity and safety. No “physical” thing in this world is worth the price of peace and happiness. You just have to get to a place where you value yourself more than you value your home. Please, for you, you’re worth it! You are not the things he says you are, you are smart, capable and strong. You can have better and you will, when you decide you will. Read “Codependant No More” by Melody Beattie. Amazing book and it will help you see yourself as you are now and as you were meant to be.

  • Bill

    Valerie, being abused, verbally, sexually or physically, is unacceptable behavior…at least in my opinion. Do you even know why you are sad right now? It might be a good idea to write in a journal and list the reasons you are feeling sad. Also, consider listing all of the things that are working in the relationship and all of the things that are not. You may see clearly that the relationship isn’t worth investing anymore time in…or maybe it is? Only you can decide what is the best choice for our life.

    Since this article is about how our behavior changes after going to support group meetings, I’d strongly suggest you find Al-anon meetings in your area and get involved, immediately.

    From what you have described, it sounds like this relationship is somewhat unhealthy. For your own safety, it might be a good idea to stay separated for a while. Again, only you can decided what is best for you.

  • Jodi

    I am helping to raise 2 children whose mother is a severe alcoholic. We have 100% custody of her 8 year old, and her 11 year old is living with us while she does yet another (her 18th time) stint in rehab. It has taken me years to learn how to cope with her and I am a adult. She is a single parent, so when the kids are home, they are on their own. Does anyone have advice and/or resources for me to help these boys learn to cope with her manipulative, abusive behavior? Thanks!

  • Mary

    Denise, I can’t even begin to imagine how much history you have made with your husband of 34 years. My heart is saddened for you. I understand completely that it takes two people to make a marriage work. I also understand what it is like living with an alcoholic, especially an active user. Is there any hope for you in salvaging your marriage or are you totally done?

  • Pat

    Going to support group meetings has helped me make better choices. I remained in an abusive relationship for a long time until it became too abusive. When I divorced the alcoholic, my support group was there to help me get through the difficult, but necessary change. I can’t imagine what life would be like if I had stayed in that abusive environment. I am so much happier now that I am not being criticized and berated every day by an alcoholic.

  • Lori

    Denise – When you mentioned “He says we are like roommates.” That struck a chord. My AH too says we are room-mates. that is very hurtful. He hasn’t told me he loves me in over 10 years because “He doesn’t want to get hurt again.” He accusses me to this day of an affair that never happened (Only in his head) and by not saying he loves me apparently protects himself. He has been an alcoholic for decades and it has warped his mind. How he justifies some of his thoughts and behaviors in messed up! He picks ‘fights’ with me about rediculous stuff and I just say “You are entitled to your own opinion” and try to change the subject of whatever stupid point he is trying to get across. I feel for all of you – I feel your pain. I just try to live a happy life and pray for justice daily.

  • Valerie

    Thank you everyone…I see me and this situation in all the response i.e. ‘roommates’ exactly. What I called it is that
    he is just in a hotel with a maid. Yes I feel used and the sad is because I made such a poor choice in getting involved with
    this man. I stated at the start I don’t date smokers or drinkers
    because of the problems and went against my own standard. I
    saw the man he wanted me to see, it was an act he couldn’t
    keep up. I counting down the 30 days he has to leave. Thank you again…

  • Susie

    That’s just it…an act he couldn’t keep up. That’s my AH. He left to live with another A woman. I wonder how long that will last. Yes, he felt the same way, “no love in my heart for you” he’d say. No love in his heart for himself. Every mean thing he says to me, he is actually saying to himself. I said I didn’t date smokers and drinkers 11 years ago and I will NEVER do it again!

    We are fighting in court over equitable distribution of marital property and support for me. I am on food stamps and have been awarded possession of our home. Don’t give up a home you love and have worked for all your life. He’ll move on the move involved you get in a support group. I have a sponsor and have been in Al-Anon for 11 months (since my husband started drinking and carousing again). I made him SO miserable with my new behaviors and actions that HE left. Try Al-Anon. Get a sponsor. You are guaranteed you misery back if your decide it’s not for you.

  • Pat

    Susie and Valerie, I can related to what you are saying, “an act he couldn’t keep up.” The alcoholic I was with covered up the extremes related to the addictive behaviors so well…I recall his sister saying that he used to be a lot wilder until he met you. Boy, was I ever deceived. Three years into the marriage he returned to the party life and started staying out until all hours of the morning. When I reached overload, I started attending Al-anon. I stayed with him for four years after I started attending support group meetings. Eventually, his behaviors became so abusive that I had no choice and the marriage ended after two years of fighting over assets. Ugh…never again!

    I have been divorced for 13 years now and will never, ever get involved with someone who has addiction problems ever again. The pain I endured during those last two years were awful. The emotional wounds were so deep that I will never, ever forget how terrible that period of my life was.

    The good thing that came out of being married to an alcoholic/addict is I found Al-anon in the process. I have continued in Al-anon even though I don’t have any active alcoholics in my life. The program works wonders for all types of relationships!

  • Denise

    He used to tell me he loves me and I looked at him and mentioned how hypocritical he sounds. So I don’t hear that any more. I also don’t hear I’m sorry anymore. I told him I say I’m sorry to people I bump into at the grocery store. I’m sorry?? He is making the conscious decision to be an alcoholic and alienate his family. Now he’s drying out because he is back to work on Monday. How pathetic is that? How can someone drink until they can’t walk and then in the space of a day stop altogether? He sure knows how to play the game. I bet his vital organs are going on quite the roller coaster ride! I had someone tell me not too long ago” don’t let ANYONE take away your joy-ever”.Profound. I thank you for your friendship and heartfelt support.

  • Jo

    I to have been married for 42years alot of the time as been good but he last 7years have gone down hill my husband is disabled and deals with lot of pain but he drinks to help his pain but I know that it makes it worse. I am so tired of it all he can drink over 24 beers or more and not eat all day and at night when he sleeps he wet the bed.

  • SJC

    Denise and Lori…
    My xah use to say we were like roommates too.
    Sometimes when he got mad about something he would say,this isn’t going to work out or I want a divorce. He also wasn’t real affectionate. We were in line at the airport, their was a couple in front of us,the man pulled his wife (?) towards him and kissed her head. I thought to myself later that I don’t remember the alcoholic ever doing anything like
    that. Sex was a lot like…the actions of it.

    I have some questions for all:

    1. Why do you think they would say we are like roommates?
    2. Do most A’s not show affection?
    3. Has anyone else experienced the sex being
    like just sex?

    I have wanted to ask this for a long time. Hope it’s not to forward.

  • Denise

    Roommates because of separate bedrooms. Not doing anything together as a couple.Nothing. Not going for a walk with the dogs, a bike ride,going out for lunch, NOTHING. No friends to do things with. Always making excuses and cutting them down to me.Not being in the same bed for years pretty much makes the sex mechanical when it does happen, of course, who of you likes sex with an alcoholic? Sloppy. I feel as though after an alcoholic has been found out multiple times the detachment begins and sooner than later it gets easier to function by yourself as if there had been a divorce. In my state it is 50/50 unless the judge sees otherwise.I may go to an Al-Anon support group meeting to see what it’s about. He has said some awful things as of late and when he tries to talk to me or brushes against me I cringe. SJC your questions are not forward. They are honest questions that deserve honest answers.

  • Jessica

    Go to Al Anon. GO. I’m on my 8th meeting and already I feel it has changed my life and how I deal with my husband. Read the al anon books too. Totally dive into the program and go every week. No excuses. Commit to 6 meetings before u decide it’s not for you. I was ready to end it all. My life included because I couldn’t stand another day with my raging alcoholic. Today I’m starting to learn life can be better, even if he is still drinking.

  • Susie

    SJC and Denise,
    OMG, did you read my mind?! I could have written what you both did. My life and relationship with my AH exactly! We had sex every 6 months for two years and only when he was drinking. Then the gig was up. He started looking for sex or love or whatever you want to call it. He wanted someone to drink with. Last September I told him his drinking and dry drunk behaviors has to change. I put a 50# concrete elephant in the living room. He threatened to hurt me. Sheriff came. I “had to leave for the night for my safety” they said. I came home the next morning and the concrete elephant had been hurled out of the living room, across the deck and unto the front yard. His legs are broken. A week later I told him to stand the elephant up and he did. That elephant is my reminder (and his) of why he is not in our house today!

    He had a girlfriend he texted all night everynight from Sept. to May at our house. He cut of all funds to me and wined and dined here. In May, he told his ex and his kids that I was making him SO miserable that he moved in with his A girlfriend. Leaving everything here. He came a month ago for his stereo and record albums, beer mug collection, and Mr. Beer maker. 🙂

    No sex, no intimacy, no walks with the dogs, just hatred toward me. I think he hates himself so much that he has to blame someone, so it might as well be me. Yes, he said we were just roommates too. And that’s what we became. His choice. Al-Anon taught me to go on with my life and I am.

    I see him in court every Wed. for support payments that he doesn’t pay. The judge makes him pay or he goes to jail on the weekends. Gee, that sucks for the drinking and new girlfriend. I get his insurance explanation of benefits here. Seems he needs a lot of viagra. I wasn’t interested in sex with him anymore. I cringed also when he came near me.

    I have read that angels come into our lives to mix things up. When we are frustrated, they are leading us to a better life. I did have shame that my husband left me the first 3 months. Now I remember all the disrespectful things he did and said to me and I am truly blessed that he can play this game with the new girlfriend, because I deserve better. AND I DESERVE his entire paycheck, 401K, and the house, because he is so out of it he doesn’t know how to wheel and deal.

    Thanks for your posts! Things will get better. One Day at A Time. Get a sponsor and don’t live in shame. We who have lived with alcoholism understand!

  • Susie

    Just a note to explain “the elephant in the living room” symbolized the problem of alcoholism that the A won’t admit to or discuss.

  • Susie

    I have faithfully attended and participated in Al-Anon. I read the magazines, the books, listen to tapes, do AA open meetings and outings, make calls to others, share my hopes and frustrations, and have a sponsor. It was really weird at first, but now I LOVE the new me and my Al-Anon support! Like Jessica said, try 6 meetings and different meetings before you give up. I was ready to end it all too! I started Al-Anon a year ago and I am so glad I did!

  • myra

    I just married a year ago and my AH drinks crown everyday. Once he starts it doesn’t take long for him to want to start arguing and overall he never makes any sense. I swear he talks just too hear himself. Most of the time the things he says are very demeaning and hurtful. In the beginning I argued with him all the time but now I try to walk away but he just follows me. The other day I locked the door and he knocked down. I really do love him and at this point I know he loves me. When he’s sober things are good but that is little anymore. Not sure what to do…..I’m so tried of dealing with it.

  • Connie

    I could just copy & paste Denise’s posts & it would be almost perfect. God is so weird. This last week I have been devastated that my AH said we’re like roommates now. He’s not attracted to me “like that” anymore. The real difference here is that he does meth with his booze & in the past he has been violent. He went to prison for 3 years about 20 years ago for making & throwing a bomb with gasoline into this guy’s house that owed him money for drugs. We have been married for 31 years. He has shot guns at me over the top of my head & between my legs so I felt the bullet go past my bottom pants legs & shot lamps next to me telling me to shut up & I just yelled at him that he wasn’t going to scare me into doing what he wants like everyone else. I’m saying that & inside telling myself to shut up, but I can’t. I have “issues” myself. I have been clean & sober myself for 36 years & my mom left when I was two & my dad left when I was 12 or 13 & I was on the streets sleeping behind stairs at apartments or sneaking into my friends’ windows at night & sleeping in the closets so their parents would not know I was there. I used to cry myself to sleep in those situations wondering what is wrong with me that everyone leaves me. I met my husband in AA and we did really well the first 11 years, but he was sober that long. Then he went back out & its been insanity ever since. I am devastated & am now seeing a very good therapist who also has 30 years clean & sober so that helps & I have gone to AA meetings, but realize its time to go back to Alanon meetings. I hate myself most of the time because for some reason I can’t leave. He is the only one who has ever cared about me & I guess I must be fixated on the 11 years he was clean & sober & want it to come back. I’ve actually asked him to leave & he won’t. Our house is paid off & I am the one that has practically paid for it myself. He just recently has started to give me money for bills. He keeps saying he is gona get clean & sober again now. I have been barely functioning at my job or anywhere else. I run a hour of two daily for stress I guess. I have been for 35 years. Now being 60 years old I have gained weight & he told me I’m not attractive I thought OMG I better lose weight somehow & for about a week I was focused on how I look & then I went to a meeting & realized that I’m a 60 year old woman trying to look like Angelina Jolie so my husband won’t leave me. LOL. I also mentioned in the meeting that this was so hurtful to me, but the bright side is its the first time we have agreed on anything in 20 years. LOL. Its so weird since he does meth, too, he doesn’t get sloppy drunk & he seems so normal except for his lying & cheating (sex/porn) addiction. I have come home & found him with women in my house & its me that goes off & acts crazy, not him. I hate that I am with him, but I feel powerless to leave, just like booze. I know its killing me, but can’t stop. I got sober & went to school & am a paralegal now & can function & in that part of my life I look like an earth person by societies’ standards. I know I need more than help. I need God & I feel like He has abandoned me, too. Yikes!

  • Hello!

    I’m new to all of this and reading all of your replies and experiences made me want to share my issue as well.

    I’ve been married 4 months and have a 3 month old baby girl. My husband is an alcoholic and suffers from ptsd. I’m still not sure if it’s the two afflictions that make him do all the hurtful things he does or if it’s an excuse to do what he truly wants to do in his heart. I’m really confused.

    My husband relapsed 5 days after I had a csection so I was left to care for myself and baby by myself. He stopped coming home days at a time or if he left home early in the day he wouldn’t return until 2,3 even 4 in ghee morning at times completely wrecked reeking of alcohol and mean as if I spoiled his good time because he decided to come home!

    I’m not sure what really triggered this but has been on going and it has left me broken, confused, angry resentful, hurt, lonely, depressed, low, anxious, nervous, withdrawn, ashamed, embarrassed, unwanted, unliked(if this a word) almost violent with my emotions since I have been coping for months and now I feel plain crazy. My husband lies and says he will stay home, or come home after going to VA groups but he never does. He won’t answer his phone when I call and he never calls home to see if me and the baby are ok or if we need anything. I have caught him twice in two different motels with an ex that he had claimed he couldn’t stand and would never have contact with her again. I guess since she is an alcoholic and drug user he feels better drinking with her. Also, to add insult to injury after seeing the two of them together with my own eyes he still argued that “it’s not what you think, I can’t stand her and there is nothing going on!” Guess I was born yesterday and fell off the turnip truck right after… Anyway, I still stayed due to the fact that I just had a baby and was so depressed and traumatized I couldn’t bring myself to do for me in anyway. All I could do was try to keep it together for the baby which was hard. I still blame him for stressing me so much I couldn’t produce enough breastmilk to feed as long as I truly could have if everything had stayed sane and normal. Here it is 3 months since the nightmare started and my husband is still getting drunk and leaving me and the baby from time to time. When he is home he is hung over and no good to help out. I guess I’m wondering if anyone had any advice as to how you were able to stop letting the alcoholic affect your every waking moment and how were you able to stop reacting to the alcoholic and his disrespectful actions and words. Right now I am really struggling with controlling my emotions which after my reactions I feel ashamed and I continue to blame myself for what’s happening or why it continues. Any words of wisdom greatly excepted here. I would gladly except scriptures also since I am A strong believer in God and know that He will make a way out of no way.

  • ivette

    Dealing with an A is so hard. We are all in ths same place and we need to stay together so that we can live happy. Good LUck…

  • Susie

    I feel sad that you are going through this. But I am relieved to know that others are going exactly through what I have. I am NOT crazy after all. 🙂
    It seems that once the A chooses to go all the way and drink every day they throw their lives down the tubes.

    Go to Al-Anon for understanding. “You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it. You can’t cure it.”

    Wow, my husband has been shacking up with another A woman and he still says (when I see him in court for support he has promised but fails to pay) that it “it’s not what you think.” Gee, he has now idea what I think. He’s spending a fortune on Viagra and it’s not what I think. hee hee hee

    It’s okay that you are not strong enough to make any changes right now. The best way to get your A’s attention is to get yourself well. “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” He will never be reliable while he is drinking and using and even while he is “dry” unless he is working some kind of program and is accountable to others doing the same. There is nothing you can say or do to sway him, except get control back of your life.

    Rage is common among us sober people. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nance

    I so appreciate reading all your messages. My A is away working… which is NOT common. The deal is he was to go up north where our winter time neighbor lives and has a construction business. This was for my A to save to get his own vehicle. He has used the excuse he does not have his own vehicle as to why he does not have a job. I needed the break because often he got angry with me that I would not buy him beer and would say nasty things and have an attitude. He also eats a lot and it is a lot of money to feed him.I have tried having separate food since he gets food stamps. That that is his food, I don’t touch it and he does not touch mine….but he refuses to. He helps himself to my food and if I say something it is a big fight and that I am selfish, a bi*tch, etc. Now there are days he goes without drinking and we have a good life together. The sex is great, he is affectionate, helpful, and many good qualities. Then he wants to drink and he starts a fight. I try not to but it is really hard when someone is breaking things you work hard to pay for or scaring your pets with the yelling. I get very angry back. Sometimes so much I am shaking with fury. That is not helpful or good. Well he went up there and he spends his entire check. He has admitted in three weeks he has managed to save nothing. He is staying for free at the house he is working on. He makes $11 hr and works 40 to 50 hrs a week. How can he not save anything? He has sent me $50 a week to help at home. He has paid his brother back some for the ticket he and his girlfriend bought to send him up there. The rest? Who knows? I suspect beer because he often calls me and sounds wasted. He is all lovey dovey and says how much he misses me. I ask him how much have you saved for your truck? He wants to immediately get off the phone. Also he sometimes won’t answer the phone for a whole night, which makes me suspicious he is with a woman. The very day he got there he said he would call me to let me know he got there ok. He never did! When I called him it sounded like he was in a bar and he was rude to me! I thought if he got a truck and a job here so he is gone in the day and buys his own beer, instead of harassing me for it when I can not afford it, we could get along. That I could enjoy and love the good things about him. He does cut the grass and do things around here. He is very sweet to the animals most of the time. He is charming in many ways. Anyway I am all torn up now. He is saying he wants to come back in 2 weeks because it is too cold up there (he has no heat in the house) and then the neighbor will give him work here when he comes back down in November. That leaves all of October for me to support him and have him want beer and make life hard. I have texted him that he is not welcome back here unless he has money for his truck. That he agreed this is what he was going to do and myself and his brother supported his efforts. This was not about him going up there to party and then decide it is too cold and come back to no job and me to support him. He is angry that I text him. He says he does not even like to talk to me anymore because all I think about is money. Well yeah, because I am the one who has to pay for EVERYTHING most of the time. I have a home, property, car, utilities….all the things adults have to do. And he makes good money and seems to spend it on good times and just come home and sit around waiting for this neighbor to turn up. Who, may I add is an alcoholic. Last year it was miserable because he would start giving my A drinks as soon as work ended and he would stay there and get all drunk. Even on his birthday when we had nice plans last year he went out with this neighbor after work and came home to drunk to enjoy the special meal I cooked, cake and gifts. It was a special birthday. His 50th. He had agreed he would get a truck and get a real job—-not working here and there doing sporadic handyman work for the neighbor. It is not looking good. I am thinking about taking all of his things to his brothers to avoid the drama and to avoid me seeing him and wanting him back. I do love him. I know that sounds crazy but some of you here can understand. When I think about doing that, I get so anxious. We are not married. We do not have children. He has said I can not kick him out because my address is on his drivers license and yes in this state, I would have to pay to evict him and have papers served. He has rights. If he was just moved out there would be less drama. I texted him today to please do some thinking and saving so we stand a chance. That we can not go back to the way it was before he left. It hurts both of us. All we have is an existence. No money to do anything or fix up the house. I have to provide all and there is not much left. It is a battle of survival to pay mortgage etc and take care of him and buy beer. I am not stingy or selfish, I just put bills first. I get so angry when he wants me to put buying beer first. That is the big problem. He needs to have a job and buy his own beer. Yes, I go for days not buying beer for him. Sometimes I buy it if he does not ask so he will relax and stop being so edgey. That is selfish of me. I do it to make my life easier and maybe so he likes me? It is not a good idea because sometimes it does make things nice other times he wants more beer and gets mad if I don’t buy it and throws a fit and storms off and is gone all night. The last time he used his food stamp card, all that was left $50 to get $25 of cash to buy beer! Then he had no money for food for two weeks! I was very angry. I can not begin to understand why beer is the be all and end all in life….thanks for letting me share. I want my man back. He was sober and clean when I met him. I would not date someone who acts the way he does now.

  • Cheryl

    Hi Jodi. God bless you for helping to raise those 2 children!! My thoughts are that you should get full custody of the 11 year old also because nothing good will come for him if he’s left in his mom’s care. 18 times at rehab is strong indicator she will never change. Both children are at vulnerable ages to begin drinking or doing drugs themselves as a way to numb the pain from a neglectful, abusive, alcoholic mom. They should both receive counseling as well to help them express the pain they surely feel. And definitely do not leave the children unsupervised with her. Best wishes 🙂

  • Jessica

    So heartbreaking when they cheat. It’s always with a downgrade, someone who “is fun” and who will drink with them. And we are at home raising their kids. My A cheated when I was 8 months pregnant with our third. The pain from that felt worse than being shot. His fling with her didn’t last long, maybe a month. Everyone said it was unforgivable and i do still think about it here and there. I wonder if it will happen again. Best choice if made was to go to al anon. Oh did he fight me on it the first day I went! But I said I’m going this is not up for debate and week by week he became ok with it. It’s literally vital to my being. It’s amazing.

  • Connie

    The one thing I know for sure after doing this for over 30 years is that when I first went to Alanon way back, I met a woman there who helped me quite a bit. She happened to still be with her AH & had been for like 40 years or so. I picked her because she had been doing it so long & seemed to be fine. She said to me several times over the course of the years I knew her (she has since passed at 90 plus years old) that she wished that she had left back when she first started going to Alanon instead of choosing to stay. I am now the age she was then & I feel the same way. I wish I had listened to her & gotten out when I was in my 30s. I didn’t think it made a difference back then how old you are, but it does. I also noticed how this affected my son growing up in it. He’s now 35 & he hates my AH now & won’t even come to our house. He meets me at other places when he’s in town now. I noticed people writing about their infants & even the infants know. Its already affecting their lives negatively. The one story of not breast feeding the baby because of nerves from this? That has changed that child’s entire life already! I sometimes wonder about God, but I turned my will & my life over to Him a long time ago. I have no idea why things go the way they do. I do know that I didn’t cause this and I can’t do anything about it. If I had it to do over again I would not have stayed after that first time we split up back 20 years ago & put myself & my son through this insanity.

  • Alyssa

    Hi everyone my name is Alyssa I’m 30 years old and I have two sons and one on the way by my AH fiancée of 18 months. He drinks every single day promises to stop to change me and the kids are worth it Blah Blah Blah but honestly nothing changes it’s the same crap over and over. I recently moved back to my house where it’s much more peaceful but I spend every night with him either at my house or his. I don’t go to support groups. Everyone’s stories sound so familiar. A few of you are TRUELY in my shoes. I am due January 5th via C-Section & I already know it’s gonna be my mom to the rescue. Who knows what will happen to my AH fiancée and me by then but I am not happy with the AH fiancée of mine and I’m sick of all of this even if I do love him. I have to ask myself & you all “why are we staying in these situations?” Do we not feel we deserve better?” “Do we not fully trust god to take care of ALL our needs?” Is our self esteem that bad that we have to love these people we are with when maybe God has someone waiting for us?” These are things I ask myself everyday. What’s your take on this?

  • SJC

    Connie, I love your story about your friend.
    I hope that it will inspire someone. Never stop telling it.

    My xah left me. It was the hardest thing I have been through… living with him and the divorce. All the blaming, criticizing and insults can still hurt my feelings. My xah was a high functioning alcoholic and I did not know that alcohol was the problem, thought it was his childhood. I also thought since I have had therapy and went to CODA (use to be in the same building with the AA and Alanon groups) for years I could get us through our problems. We are all human, want our marriages, our life to just work out.
    I am glad I’m out of the marriage and free to have a different life. Not sure what that will be, to scared to get involved with anyone…hoping that will change in time.
    All the stories make me grateful I am not living with my xah, it would of only gotten worse over time.
    You never hear anyone say…my last husband was an alcoholic, hope I can meet another one.

  • Valerie

    Oh just reading all these stories makes me want to run so fast away from this situation. It’s too much stress and drama and I know I have a choice. There are two people in this man, a good
    person and the Alcoholic (who does not admit to this angrily) I identify with much of this ‘roomates’ yes he sleeps in bed WAY on his side on top of the covers fully dressed. No sex or hug or kiss good night. No conversations, doing thing together…nothing…why even be together?? When I give him the 30 days to leave…he gets busy ‘fixing’ things around the house. No conversation, no apology, nothing. I’m not angry, upset yet for a failed relationship (if you could ever call it that) but resigned to the split. Just hate knowing the uncontrolled rage he goes into. God bless us all…

  • Amy

    Does anyone know why they don’t kiss us goodnight or give us hugs or have sex with us? It is because they are getting it some where else?

  • Thank you to everyone that responded to my earlier message.

    I am home and my husband has left promising that he will return. He was so sure that he would be back and that he is not going anywhere other than to the destination he mentioned. I can’t help but to feel hopeless at this time. I am trying not to care if he comes back or not, but it is already starting to look like every other broken promise. I hate how I feel. My emotions are teetering and I’m trying to except the fact that right now, my husband really only cares about himself and his addiction. I just hate that I keep trusting him and believing him. I am crippled in my emotions right now and I feel stuck. I know I have no control but I have lost control of myself and I am truly just stuck. Whenever he leaves our home I become paralyzed and the thought of being home another night alone caring for our 3 month old makes me sick. I feel like I am living under a double standard. If I were to do any of things he has done and does he would have me deemed as an unfit mother and tell me how wrong and disrespectful I am. I wouldn’t be able to get away with any of this. I don’t understand why I feel so afraid to lay down law and stick by it. I have found myself buying him wine and alcohol just to keep my husband home. In all actual nothing I do will keep him home, it’s his choice. I just figured if I give him what he needs that isn’t here at home he will want to stay home. I have gone to a couple of Al-Anon groups and I have found peace going and I look forward to having t place to go where I can cry and say what is on my heart and not feel judged or hear questions of why do I stay or why are you putting up with him… It’s not easy but you know Love and Marriage mean a lot to me.
    My husband is supposed to enter into inpatient treatment on the 2nd of October and I can’t help but to think that he is going to drink and not come home until the day before. I am afraid that he is going to find the woman I caught him with before and spend all his waking moments getting deliriously drunk and do whatever he see fit for his world at the time. I am just so confused. I plan on continuing to go to Al-Anon groups but I still am looking for answers on why he is doing this… I think I already know the answer, but I am looking for someone who has gone through all this to tell me what to do and how to do it… I know it’s not that ease and everybody’s situation is different, but I just feel lost. I can’t wait for him to be gone away to treatment because he has done so much damage and maybe I can finally begin to heal myself. I still feel that I am going to struggle with the thought of how he is going to be when he gets home. I can’t help but feel that he is doing this treatment so he doesn’t go to jail since he is on probation which he has violated 3 times due to his drinking and he has to go to court on Friday. I just feel like he knows how to be patient and go through the ropes he needs to get back to what he wants to do which is drink. I’m afraid that I have lost my husband this time and I feel like he no longer loves me though he says he does love me and that he is IN LOVE WITH ME STILL. I’m wondering if that is just the tactic of the alcoholic to tell me what I want to hear and act out what he truly feels which in turn looks like he doesn’t love me and stopped loving me a long time ago. If any one has any experiences with your husband leaving and not coming home please share with me how you felt and how you got strong and what you did to not care anymore. Thank you

  • Jessica

    Patricia, to help answer some questions…why does your husband drink? Because he is an alcoholic and can’t stop. That’s why. That’s the ONLY reason. It has NOTHING to do with you no matter what his mind cooks up and tells you. He drinks because he is very sick. Mine used to and stil does leave and stay out all night. But he’s running out of places to go as he’s wore out his welcome in so many places. Give it to god and go to sleep. I say this to myself almost every night. What will happen you can handle. How long have u been doing this and you are still here and have handled it thus far! Worry about you and your kids. Let him be and whatever that entails. If he sleeps in a ditch that’s his problem and don’t u dare help him get to a cozy bed either. Don’t make his addiction comfortable. This is what I’ve all learned in al anon so far. I’ve been with my A for a decade and still going. But at least I smile now.

  • Jessica

    The most heartbreaking thing I learned was that his first love is the bottle….then me. He loves alcohol more than me, our kids, his life, friends family etc. alcohol is #1. He does love you, but he loves alcohol more. Understand that. And yes it hurts. Alcohol is a mistress that u want to strangle. The lack of romance and affection I think is because he’s so drowned in his addiction he can’t put the energy into affection. I may be wrong….just what I observe that’s all!

  • Denise

    My AH had been drinking and then went to work his afternoon shift. Got caught.Had to go to rehab to keep his job of 35 yrs. Went 3 times-all better!!!! Yeah right ! Buffaloed his way through that- dam good actor. Mine drinks at home or so I think. When I’m at work that may be a different story. If you think they’ re not doing something they usually are. My point being if they are driving a vehicle and they hit someone……. You will lose everything because of their addiction. Every time I think about this scenario it scares the day lights out of me! To me, alcoholism is like cancer, either you try to get rid of it or it will kill you. They have made alcohol their mistress. Don’t try to figure it out. You are wasting a lot of energy and creating undue stress on yourself and your loved ones. I honestly don’t know how he can face me and try to talk to me.What a foolish and pathetic way to live your life. We have the upper hand. I very simply do what I want to do. I visit my son, go to work and enjoy the “silly drama” that happens every day, love working in my flower beds, going for walks with my dogs, splitting wood,and thank the good Lord and my parents( who are deceased) for helping me get through and enjoy another day. Stay strong everyone.Enjoy YOUR life!!

  • My husband came home after being gone all day and was in one of his “moods” he had been drinking all day and didn’t care to call home. I’m still struggling with controlling my emotions so I asked him where he had been and his answer just sounded like big pink lie!!(the pink elephant that’s always in the room) we had a somewhat ok conversation well, he did most of the talking about whatever came to his mind and I just listened. I started to let my emotions control me and I asked him if he was wishing he was somewhere else or with someone else… I’ve developed a lot of insecurity dealing with all that’s happened. Of course, those questions must have flipped a switch in his head because then he became mean and began to verbally bash me by making me feel as if I have alterior motives and he began to treat me as if I wasn’t his wife. He began to tell me that my church is no good and that I’m basically a dummy for going there and he attacks my religion which is baptist. He believes in God but he was raised Pentecostal so he feels that I’m fake and being baptist is wrong….. When he’s drunk. He is supposed to go to rehab in a few days but for some reason he doesn’t trust me and accuses me of planning to do deceitful things while he is gone so he tells that I better not have anyone over our home when he’s not there and that he’s going to give a key to all his family members so they can just come by and check on his place and see what I’m doing…. Why would he treat me this way? This home is ours together and would he treat me as if I’m not to be trusted. It’s like I’m an outsider in my own home. He talks to me like he hates me sometime. I’m just hurt by all this because we end up arguing in front of the baby!!!!! He starts it and I try not to get upset but as soon as we are arguing then he tells me I’m upsetting “his” baby!!! I’m just really hurt and confused… I feel manipulated and demeaned. He is supposed to love me, and trust me. I haven’t done anything to warrant him being suspicious of me but he makes me feel like a criminal. Why is he doing this to me? I don’t know if I should stay and I don’t know how to leave.

  • He woke up saying sorry…. I don’t feel anything. I think I’m going numb. He has already found a reason to leave again this morning.

  • SJC

    Patricia, I feel for you and the baby. Please continue to go to Alanon and get a sponsor. She will be someone you can depend on!
    The last year I was with my xah, I had to take Xanax sometimes because my nerves got so bad. I never knew when he was going to get mad. It made me feel like he hated me, which still can make me cry to this day. I wanted so much for the relationship to work out that I kept on trying and if he was being nice, funny, kind (acting normal) it gave me hope. I look back now and feel stupid sometimes. I think they have problems that would be their even without the alcohol. My xah said one time, in deep thought. I’m (talking about himself) not a happy person and it doesn’t have anything to do with you. I’m a troubled soul. Then that the was the end of that conversation…I could not reach him. I had therapy. attended coda support groups and am into self help. I still struggle. LOL He also said one time….
    it’s hard to be me and I said, it’s hard to be anyone. They know how they are!
    For me reading as much as I could about alcoholism has helped me alot.
    A friend of mine has a saying about a’s.
    They kill everything around them.

  • Thank you SJC!

    Your words are encouraging… I feel like I need to spend hours in a room with people that continually tell me that everything will be ok and give me guidelines on how.

    I will keep going to meetings I need to. I missed one and wish I hadn’t because the abuse just keeps on coming in different forms. I feel like a zombie sometime because I don’t sleep and my husband looks at me sometimes and says “you look really tired.” I of course want to tell him “thanks its the new my husband is an alcoholic make-up I’m wearing.” But, I just walk away and leave it alone. I will try to reach out to an sponsor. I am really withdrawn and it’s hard for me to reach out and communicate. After I leave a meeting I clam back up and go home.

    This site has been a blessing and I thank God that I do have a way to vent and hear other experience and get feedback. I’m new to motherhood and a new wife and I just didn’t picture my life starting out this way with my husband.

  • SJC

    I think support groups are one of the best therapy. It helps to be with people that are in the same boat that you are in. If you get a sponsor…you WILL be glad that you did.

    You look tired. I think back on my x and he never factored his self into anything.
    It’s like…your walking by them, they put their leg out, you fall down and they want to know why your on the floor. The next time you walk by, they do the same thing. Then, they get mad because you are always on the floor.

    Tried to focus on loving your baby and getting
    the love they show.

    Some articles to read. Copy/Paste
    Learn About Alcoholism and Marriage
    The Truth About Alcoholics and Alcoholism ezinzrticles
    David J Carey
    Alcohol and Personality 123helpme (Written by an A)
    Six Things To Stay Sober wikihow (Written by a man 9 years sober)
    Classic Alcoholic Behavior – Alcoholics Information / Alcoholics

  • Connie

    The reason why all the A’s do mean things is because they are alcoholics/addicts. They are all on a downward spiral & they will take you with them. The problem is they don’t intentionally do all this stuff. It is a byproduct of the disease. I have been stupid in my marriage putting up with the not coming home, the physical & emotional abuse, the cheating, I’ve taken on the task of making sure all the bills are paid, etc. I am an alcoholic/addict myself & have been clean & sober 36 years & I remember how it was & how I needed booze to function at all & I gave him more chances & tried to help him, etc. I am now 20 years into him lying, cheating, etc. & know I have made a huge mistake. Like myself, alcoholics do not stop until they have had enough pain from the drinking & using. When I first got sober back in 1978 the percentage of alcoholics that stayed sober in AA was a lot better. The reason being that back in the day we had to hit a real bottom. Now there are so many programs & help & that attitude of he’s sick, its a disease, that I watch people die from that helping them to death. I worked for Children’s Protective Services for the court. I did the court pleadings to keep or take children & I saw alcohol abuse & drug abuse in virtually all the cases. The treatment centers we sent them to told the alcoholics that it would probably take 3 relapses before they would get sober for any length of time & then we find out that is because the government will pay for 3 times in treatment before they won’t pay anymore. It has turned into a huge business. I don’t like being addicted to my husband. I’m just as obsessed with stopping him from hurting me or what he’s doing, thinking, or whatever as he is with booze. I hate that the truth is that he loves his booze & drugs more than he loves me. He has gone to treatment 4 or 5 times & has been to prison 2 times. Once for over 3 years. I really believed he would be different after that, but within 6 months of being out he was back at it. Also, statistically people who had long term sobriety before (he had 11 years clean & sober) have a smaller chance of getting & staying sober again. I started traveling & having my own life thanks to Alanon or I don’t know how I would’ve survived. I just do my life now. When I see young people in this situation I always tell them if there is any way possible for them to leave now to do it now. Do not wait if at all possible. Do you want to be 20 years from now sitting at home wondering who he’s with now or if he’s gona make it home alive at all? I’ve prayed for him to die & at virtually the same time pray for him to get home safely. Totally crazy. The most important thing is that you get help whether you leave or not. If you do leave you still need help because if you don’t get help chances are you will pick another one even if you think you are getting someone totally different. Its a weird phenomenon how that happens. I’ve watched it over & over. The biggest thing for me is that I lied to myself for many years. Its like living in a coma or something. I know a lot about AA & Alanon & I still had a major problem with denial. Its a funny thing how it works. For the biggest part of the last 20 years in the middle of all this I denied stuff even a baby could see. I wanted to believe in this marriage so bad that I gave up the majority of my life essentially “waiting” for him to get well & get sober again & then it was gona be back the way it was when he was sober. I feel like I’ve been in a trance. I told myself he wouldn’t do this or that because he was sober all that time & he knows better. Not. This is an insidious disease on both sides of the fence. I still catch myself being caught up in his “stuff.” Its a daily reprieve just like alcoholism. One Day at a Time!

  • Connie

    I forgot to mention that back 20 years ago I put our house & anything of value in my name only. Consequently my house is paid off today. If I had left it in his name we wouldn’t have it now & he’s not staying up worry about bills or anything. Protect yourself. In some states, like California, where I live it is a community property state so unless you inherit the property or had it before the marriage he gets half & the IRS can take half or any other thing so I filed for divorce 20 years ago & did a property split me getting the house & in the property agreement I specifically included that if we reconcile the property division stays in full for and effect. That was the attorney I worked for’s contribution & thank God for it. If I were to do it now, I would just file a legal separation even if I stayed with him so my separate property would be mine & not lost. Where ever you live if you live with an alcoholic you should talk to a lawyer NOW. Especially if you are staying. It will get worse. This disease is progressive. Take yoga or learn relaxation things you can do & exercise somehow. Put children in a running stroller & picture his face on the pavement as you pound away with you feet to get the stress out. Walk, something & cry & talk & talk & talk & cry some more & in the meantime learn to let go & let God & laugh & have fun with your friends, kids, new classes or whatever you find you are interested in. If you’re not interested in anything try new stuff to find out what you like to do who you are. There’s Alanon, ACA, Coda lots of stuff especially God.

  • Nance

    It helps to read everyone’s story. I agree with Connie about getting with another person like the one you left even though you truly believe the new man is nothing like the old one. With my A I left my previous verbally abusive alcoholic boyfriend because the new one did not drink at all, and wanted to do fun things together, was kind, affectionate, helpful, attentive, good looking…and I the BIG ONE that really attracted me to him….he said when I asked him “why don’t you drink?” He said “because alcohol always takes more than it gives”. I started to fall in love….wow…a man who SAW that.
    Now he has been working away making good money, with a free place to stay, with the point being to save money to get his own vehicle. No money, no vehicle, but when he calls me he is most always drinking. I guess he spend it on booze.
    I have unplugged the phone for two days now. I don’t want to talk to him. I keep praying he will wake up, but it does not seem likely. Why do we do that?
    Right now I am dreading him coming home. He will have no job here AGAIN, no vehicle and I won’t let him drive mine. He sits around here all the time eating and smoking and wanting me to pay for things. Yes, I do wonder why we put up with it? He is good looking, still affectionate and good in bed, does do some work around here and I live on acreage all alone. It is nice to have a man around here. I get so confused! Part of me says I have to break up with him….the other part imagines that and it feels terrible. Both choices feel terrible. I am glad I am not alone. I am not a stupid woman in other ways….just mainly this way. I pray for all of us. Thank you for letting me express myself without judging me. Thank you all for sharing your stories.
    I did go to al anon, but it was a lot of power struggles for who ran the group and I do have a sponsor. She is good in a lot of ways, except she makes it very clear she does not like my A and why am I with him kind of thing? That if I don’t let him back here, she is sure I will be fine and not miss him. See, the thing is, now I am avoiding talking to her. If she finds out if he comes back home, she will probably be mad at me. She has said sarcastic things to me at times about how I am over him….at other times she is really unbiased and helpful. I went to al anon for two years. I do not feel it helped me very much and the A throws a fit when I go to it, that I go there to talk about him. I am sure it does help if you get with the right people. And work the program. I did learn that his drinking is not my fault, no matter what he says.

  • SJC

    Did your A not blame, criticize… when he was sober? If so, why? When he quit was he young (had not been drinking long)?
    My father quit when he was about 57. He still blamed…..I was his scapegoat.
    Did your x come from a good childhood?
    Maybe that has alot to do with it.
    I just don’t think they change their behavior even if they quit drinking. But, since your a
    RA maybe you have some insight. You seem to have your self together. Sorry about the choppy questions, thoughts are just rolling out. 😉

    Nance, I think you need a new group and/or a new sponsor. You do not need to have a sponsor that you can’t talk to. You already have one person (your a) you can’t talk to.
    Where you are at in your life right now may be triggering something in her from her past.
    It’s not about you, it’s about her.

  • It feels very reassuring to read all your experiences.One common thing in all of us is that we can not predict what next,the desire to make the relationship work is what is holding you.please know that just like you didn’t cause,can’t control or cure the disease you can’t make it work alone.IT TAKES TWO.your efforts and hope that it will work will eventually just add to your frustration the next time you see the Alcoholic/addict in it again!!!
    To protect yourself i advise you to make your decision now without the hope of it will be better tomorrow.
    They too wish that it would and that’s why they keep promising but the addiction is stronger than them.
    I am in a relationship with one,charming,gentle and loving when free but hell will always break loose whenever he enjoys his booze.something has to go wrong and the desire to pick up an argument is so strong even for me not to yield to.

    I know i have to make a decision,It’s been a year now and I am still learning the art of loving dissociation,each of us has a life of their own and i am learning to refuse to be dragged in to the health and social drain that comes with addiction.

    I have played the role of carer when he calls on me through a withdrawal and i am praying and working on how to decline this role in the long run.It can be really awful,,,He becomes suicidal.
    For now i enjoy the normal days if any and face the drunk days the best way i have learnt how.I can tell you for sure i know i deserve better.I must previous efforts to quit were met with threats of “I will kill you if you leave me for another man”.I relate with those of you who are accused of relationships that only happened in the alcoholic’s imagination.I always forget that i should behave like it did.This brings about very erratic arguments.I do not know how to ever close this issue.
    I am a very sociable person and this seems to have created a lot of insecurity in him.He wants to know who called and actually access my cell phone to check my call log and my chats.This is driving me crazy!!!!
    i need intelligent practical advice,When i analyze it all,,,,I should just turn and run away from him for my treasured sanity.I need the inner power to do it.That’s what i am lacking for now and i am working on it.It’s gonna be soon,very soon,,Very soon indeed i tell myself.

  • Teri

    We lived separate lives under the same roof for two years. Prior to that was the 8-10 years leading up to that. The silence in our home was deafening. I won’t dwell on all that as it stresses me out to relive. A month ago I had the peace to leave, and I left. I was not mad, I was just done. He doesn’t have a problem. The last thing he said to me, on my last attempt to talk to him was, “I don’t have a drinking problem or a disease. The only disease I have is this marriage and I need a wife that knows how to act like a wife. Just leave. Just get out.” He is/wasa not man enough to leave and give up his squeeky clean public image that he thinks he has. So, I left. I am unemployed and homeless (living w/ a relative while I look for work) but I don’t have the day to day stresses of living under that oppression. It is not easy but I focus on what I have (God) and less on what I don’t have (job, house). I still pray for him and have no expectations (learned that in AlAnon). If God chooses to heal him or rather he chooses to be healed, and recocilliation is in order, that will all be in God’s hands and His timing. I living one day at a time and only focus on my needs for this day. Give me this day my daily bread…. and He does. I hear, “You are so strong”. No, but my God is. I have to choose to stay in that moment to moment. Last night I had a pity party and a break down, then I got up and decided to apply what I know, not what I feel. It is a discipline, and it is possible, if I want it to be. I am responsible for my own happiness, or not. I had to calm down before I could make such a life changing decision. With the help of AlAnon and God I found peace, and then I decided to separate. Divorce has not been filed, but some financial stuff has to protect us both from the other. For today, I will just focus on today, and on me, and only me. God Bless.

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