Should I Explain To The Alcoholic Why I Ended The Relationship

Banner 37 Audio LessonsPost Submitted By: Lynn
Ending Relationship With AlcoholicHi everyone, Its been 5 days now since my break up. I have a question, I did not give my ex an explanation of why I ended the relationship. I just assumed he would know why. He has tried to call several times and I have blocked his calls. My question is…should I email or call him and lay out the reasons for my break up. I know we cant recover the relationship. I have seen over the years with relatives and some friends what alcohol dependency can do. With a sad heart I choose not to live with someone that loves the bottle first and me second. Just not sure if he deserves to hear why or even if it may help him in the future.

47 comments to Should I Explain To The Alcoholic Why I Ended The Relationship

  • Moni

    Hi my name is Moni and I have been in a relationship with and alcoholic for 7 years. We have no children together but I have a child from a previous relationship. I need some advice on walking away. I am in love with this man but cant continue to allow him to treat me horribly.

  • Carmen

    Lynn: About ending the relationship. You know you can’t live with an alcoholic. I would tell him in a letter. I know this could open the door to the relationship again but if he really doesn’t know why you are breaking up, he can’t know he needs to change something. Alcoholics don’t know what the problem is. We like to think they do but they are gods when they are drinking and don’t really know what is going on here on earth.

    Moni: Al-Anon is where you need to go. Nobody should advise you on what to do to leave because it is up to you. You are showing your child by example what is okay to accept. You need love, support, encouragement, and good friends. You deserve serenity and peace. You can find Al-Anon on-line if you need to.

    Alcoholism is a progressive condition. I married an alcoholic 7 years ago. All was bright and shining until the verbal abuse began. Then his body started to fall apart on him. Next his mind went. Recently he shot and killed himself. Alcoholism is serious. Ladies, you are probably sensitive, loving people who reach out to help heal others. Go to Al-anon where you will find others like you who understand and don’t judge you.

  • Adri

    However you love him, please walk away while you can. They may stop drinking but they NEVER EVER change. You must look after yourself first. Please Please

  • Lou

    I am in Avery similar situation. I am attempting to build my mind and body for upcoming vascular surgery. I established the guidelines and in no uncertain. Terms will leave to accomplish that.

  • Norma


    I would also suggest telling him in a letter. The AA Big Book says to wives that if you must leave, do so without rancour. You are not accusing him, you are simply protecting yourself.


  • Sandy

    I, personally, would not give him the time of day if you have already got away from him. He knows why you left, let him wallow in it, maybe it will help him hit bottom!

  • Good morning. We’ll my weekend started out as usual. My a boyfriend of 20 years started binging on sat. He doesn’t work sun and mon so it will continue,as it does every weekend . I’ve begged and begged but no luck. They do love the bottle more than you. I was just starting my new year off good. Saying to myself that what he was doing wasn’t my fault,that I could not control it,all the stuff your suppose to say. I had a good job,saving money on my own,was looking into buying my own house and getting out. Then I lost my job. Back to nothing and not knowing where to turn. So at 56 I start my year over and hope for the best. Unfortunately right now I still have to live with him. But I continue to pray everyday that I will manage. But I don’t think god performs miracles. No advice needed,I put myself here. But thanks for reading

  • Alan

    The most important thing, look after yourself.
    Visit Alanon and let them help you through these difficult times , you are in my prayers.

  • Geraldine

    Good morning Lynn,Letting him know why you left is the decent thing to do, regardless of weather he understands or not.You are not responsible for how he takes it.You made the right decision to take care of yourself.I am in the exact same situation.I sent an email telling him I loved him and reminding him of all his wonderful qualities.I also told him I could no longer tolerate his drinking and his moods.I needed to take care of myself.
    Take care of yourself Lynn,he wont,can’t.Pray for him and sent him healing thoughts.

  • Carmen

    Terry, my heart goes out to you. Check in with Al-Anon if you can. Miracles are performed daily. No need to believe in God. But, you don’t need a miracle, you need a hug, and a few dozen slogans strewn all over your house. Before my alcoholic committed suicide, I felt the same as you, as if I had to wait him out. He lived in my house on my small farm, so I was not going to leave and abandon my home. I have a small widow’s pension from my first husband. I am your age. It doesn’t matter the reason you think you are still there but try not to lean on believing it depends on you getting a job. For your self-esteem you need Al-Anon. When I found my serenity amidst the crazy making, he finally decided to move out. It took months but when it happened I was joyful. Two months later he shot himself. Now I am a grieving widow. Not grieving for the twisted person he became to me but grieving for the larger than life, charming man, who swept me off my feet. Find a way to laugh! {Hugs}

  • Kat

    Moni, You are right to walk away from anyone who is not treating you right. You will be better for it and happier in time. I believe you should tell him why you left if not for his sake for yours. Being able to say outloud and express what you went through can also be part of the healing process for you.

  • Thank you Carmen
    I keep thinking that great guy he use to be will return,but in my heart I know he’s gone. It’s unfortunate that we own a house together,he refuses to sell,and right now I don’t want to leave with nothing. We have both work worked to build it but I may need to lose all to gain all. I’m trying to just live my life knowing that it’s not really going to change. I’m glad to know that people have the courage to get out and I’m not alone in dealing with this. For years I’ve wandered what I was doing to deserve this but I have slowly found out its nothing. We just need to find our happiness because they will always put their self first. Hugs to you to.. I know that has to be hard to live with but that was his choice. Thanks for listening

  • C

    All the comments offered here are amazing. I have always heard that the alcoholic can stop drinking but the alcoholic personality will remain with them. Luckily, many are not violent or abusive. My father drank and was very easy to be around – we were lucky. He did stop and went to AA to learn how to begin a new life of sobriety. My stepmother was very active in the community which helped him avoid sitting around thinking about alcohol.

    I have seen people separate over the years in so many ways. The cleanest was two years ago. The wife (married 20 years) left for work and did not return. She filed for divorce. The husband waited for months (no contact except through lawyers) and finally accepted the reality. He is now married and has a baby – first child!

    Lynn, He knows why he is on his own now. Each day he is getting closer to maybe making a huge change toward sobriety. Some people think a letter or any contact is a signal for hope. I know the suggestion that you remain no contact seems severe, but remember how you wished he would change and it never happened. Carmen is right – they have no idea what is going on around them when they are drinking.

    Take good care of yourself – join a ski club or any activity you would like. New friends, new opportunities!

  • K

    all their life the alcoholic will be fighting to get the next drink or trying to stay away from it.

    Your life needs to be cherished, a gift from God. You know what you want and need in your life.
    Protect your self from the next charming man wanting to entertain you.

  • Carmen

    That is so true C; all the comments are amazing. Your father showed love in taking an action that allowed him to have a life with his family. That is awesome and it shows the depth of his character. He’s a keeper. Yes, many alcoholics recover. My brother is recovering and I have a friend of 30 years who has been dry nearly that long now.

    Lynn: I hoped my alcoholic would recover and he did not, but I was able to find serenity through Al-Anon and of course reading Al-Anon stuff on-line. I also got myself into therapy. It’s a $30 copay on my medical insurance and it’s been worth it. I’ve been blessed in all the support around me and available to me but I didn’t see one bit of it until I stepped up and made a choice to take an action. Don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with and give yourself a pep talk in the mirror. We love you because you are. And that’s the only reason needed. My husband’s suicide has made things really difficult for me in my head but people have continued to reach out to me and tell me it’s not my fault, that they care for me, and that alcoholics have their own agenda. There is nothing I can do to change him. I’m ready for the love being offered to me and I feel my strength returning. And most of all my self esteem is growing and I’m releasing myself from the burden of the verbal abuse he used to me privately. The action that I took that gave me the most comfort was to walk into an Al-Anon (is not AA) meeting where there were no expectations put on me other than I sit at a table and listen to the others talking. {Hugs}

  • Dear Lynn,
    I am currently in a similar situation, he still lives here, but I’ve already told him that I want a divorce. We’ve been together for 22 years. In that time there were many fights and discussions regarding his drinking, so even though I am not giving him a letter, or repeating my self through an email, or some other form of communication, in my situation he knows, he’s always known he just refuses to do anything about it, and I refused to believe that I couldn’t change it and enabled him in many ways. A week ago I sat down with him and let him know I was not blaming him anymore, not being critical of his drinking or anything pertaining to it, I simply said that I’m not planning on living this way another month, year or 5 years and that I was making a lifestyle change. I am choosing to raise our daughter and take care of my mother in a healthier environment. Your in a very difficult situation, I hope you’ve looked into Al-Anon, I’m a new member, today was my 5th meeting, I don’t know yet how or why it helps I just know it does. Much Love goes out to you and the inner person that needs healing, be kind to yourself and stay strong. When I am feeling weak in my resolution to get out and divorce him I need only look at him drinking to know that I was replaced far before I even realized it, and that he’s made his decision every time he decides to drink. Some people who have been in recovery may disagree that its a choice, but I’m not there yet I’m new to this, All I can do is share where I’m at and why, and hope that it offers up something useful to you. Blessings.

  • Leslie

    I am a sucker for men with addictions. I’ve had nine beaus and each one was addicted to something. It didn’t always start out that way but in the end, their addiction ruled the relationship. With tears and sadness, I bailed each time and wrote letters upon letters upon letters. No letter ever helped to “save” any one of them or bring them sorry & sober back to my loving arms. However, the letters helped ME sort through the madness — my madness. Because that’s what untreated alcoholism and other addictions do to the spouse. It is maddening, cunning, and unfair. Hence I am 50 and single … but I’m sane. And that’s worth gold!

  • Bill

    Hi Lynn,

    If you really feel he knows why you have broken things off it’s not necessary to tell him, deep down inside he knows.

    I was taught to try and keep my life clear of as much emotional baggage as possible. If there’s something you feel you need to apologize for, do it in order to clear out the clutter in you life. I’d do it in the form of a letter though and avoid conversing with him.

  • Janice

    First, congratulations on getting away from your alcoholic. Second, giving the alcoholic the reasons why you left (haven’t you already told him many, many times before you left?) invites him to negotiate with you and promise never to do IT again, whatever IT is, or worse, turn it around and blame you for all his bad behaviors. If you have insurance or can afford it, tell it to someone who cares, like a good counselor. Believe me, he doesn’t care except for whatever service you provided, like money for his alcohol or however else you made his life easier. If you grew up in an abusive household like I did, you need to see a therapist so you don’t replace him with someone else just as bad or worse. I still have my abusive alcoholic in my house but I have an appointment this week with a domestic violence counselor. Yeah, now it’s turning physical.

  • Paula

    Hi Lynn,
    In my personal ideology I would definitely tell him. If you are worried that he will try to convince you to change your mind, then write him an e-mail explaining that your decision is final, but for his sake , a woman can never assume a man knows something, they need to be told. He still has to go on living and hopefully learning from his mistakes. Maybe it won’t make very much of an impact right now depending how badly he is in his illness, but like with a child, some people need to keep hearing things over and over before they can learn, in my experience my alcoholic learns this way….it’s painfully slow, but if they are never told, then they can rationalize their own version of what happened, and for sure never learn from it. When he repeatedly finds himself alone and asks himself why, there should be some answer somewhere that he can reflect on. Just be very clear, keep it simple, and reiterate that you will not waiver. Then if you decide no contact is what you need, at least he has the answer. I think your explanation above is very clear, I would use those words. Good Luck Sister be proud of yourself you are strong.

  • Sarab

    Speak your truth to him once. Then let him go… He deserves to know what the boundry is….its alcohol …that’s it. A change may occur on his parr but it DID on your part.. Congrats!!

  • mmmmmmm

    hi, responding to Lynn’s message from this morning, which came to me via email.

    I would recommend avoiding talking to him, if you can. I like utilizing one way communication like email when i was trying to get distance and clarity from my addict gf. The problem for me was talking to her on the phone usually resulted in me getting sucked by in (some people compare it to a hoover vacuum).

    Calling is always an option but the more delay you can do, and if you must do it on your time, not his time.addicts are so knee jerky impulsive, and dont mean what they say, they want everything NOW, they want answers and they want us to panic and jump thru hoops and beomce dis-oriented.

    So thats my vote, delay if you can, send a one way communication like email, or even postal letter which worked better for me, than ANYTHING electronic. Postal mail, they gotta sit and stare at the paper, which mostly likely will piss them off. email or text they just delete, because they really don’t “care” what we think.

  • julia

    Hi it has been over a year we owned a pet center together and I was so in love with him but not the bottle he was drinking 8=10 beers a day . i could not watch him do this and he began a relationship with someone while I was out of town . i cant seem to move on I cant get my mind to stop thinking about him he saw me through 10 years of loosing my child and my horse and best friend who died as well i fell apart but I am scared i cant seem to pull my head out of this it is insane and Iam embarrassed he never even called or said any kind of good bye to me after 10 years and I don’t understand why we worked all day together so you would think some friendship would still exist something its like what happens how can a alcoholic have no emotions the girlfriend hr hooked up with had alcoholic issues as well and she even called me to on and off ask if I wanted my kids things but neither ever mailed them and they kept so many of my things I have felt so heart broken i just am tired and want to give up .. I cant stop blaming myself because i just could never get my head right after my daughters death and it felt like was crazy. I use to tell him he seemed unhappy iam just loss and wondered why do our brains get so hooked on the whole thing they move on but I have not :{ I feel like a addict my self i just want him to at least reach out with something positive I brought to his life.

  • Paula

    Hi Julia,
    To me, I hear a woman in a lot of pain. I too had gotten to a very vulnerable place and I went to talk to a crisis counselor, it really helped me get moving in a healthy direction. Something like alcoholics, we make ourselves mentally ill, we start to obsess with a person or an idea, but what we need to do is baby ourselves, start to treat ourselves as we would a best friend or child that is sick. What the man you were with did to you is unfortunate and not nice, but you need to let him go and look forward to the future and deal with all the loss you have endured. In your mind it’s okay to be thankful he was there during hard times, and let it be the past. I think you have a lot of healing to do, be patient with yourself and have faith that you will start to feel okay again soon. Try not to be too isolated you need to focus outside of yourself once in a while. Power to you sister, you can do this.

  • Carmen

    Hi Julia,

    Paula is right! Hang in there and know you are loved. Al-Anon is gentle and it’s free. It is similar to AA in that we use slogans and have 12 steps. There is no judgement and if you can find an open meeting you just walk in and sit down. None of us really knows why it works but it works and even though my alcoholic recently committed suicide, I still go because it is my safe place where everybody just gets it.

    mmmmmmm is describing the whole thing really well. The vulnerable side of you is what you are trying to protect so whatever you do, do it when you feel a little stronger.

    Please be more gentle with yourself. Imagine how you might counsel that beloved daughter of yours if she were in your shoes. You deserve the same kindness.

  • Penny

    After all those years and putting you threw so much… What, he don’t know why? I live with an alcoholic and i have been kept up all night long having to work the next day… slept in my truck so many times i can’t count… even in the freezing cold… I have put up with so so much i couldnt begin to tell you.. But if i left him he would know why..even if i didnt verbally tell him.. Mine drinks from the time he gets out of bed till sometimes 2 and 3 in the morning … my opinion if you tell him why your just feeding into his pathetic little game.. Has he ever given you an explanation for his behavior, he probably has but in my opinion will never be good enough. Even if he quit drinking he will still be the same asshole he was when he was drinking.. unless he gets help.. chances of that are slim to none… Good Luck… My opinion.. Just keep doing what your doing and don’t tell him a dam thing….HE KNOWS, Believe Me!!!!! Save your self the heart ache..Your a strong woman and you made a brave choice one of which i still need to make, proud of you and just stay away dont let your guard down, you dont owe him a darn thing..Besides if you did talk to him thats just another avenue for him to try to swindle his way back into your life…

  • Janice

    My alcoholic is unemployed, living in MY house for FREE, so I had to get another job, which makes three jobs for me. Yesterday I did a first day ride-along with my new boss in a small town with only spotty phone reception. When the drunk did get through to me, the first words out of his mouth were “ARE YOU DONE F–ING and S—ING?” which of course my new boss could hear since he was driving next to me. He was a gentleman and didn’t comment on it. Then when I got home he YELLED at ME for hanging up on him!! It’s one thing to have to put up with his insults and criticism and suspicions myself, but to let a stranger know what kind of asshole I have living with me is almost unbearable.

  • Carmen

    Hi Janice,
    Go to Al-Anon even you can only do it on-line or read the books. You deserve the support that is available to you. You are a worker and are trying to take care of business. When you walk into an Al-Anon meeting there will be others like you.

  • Janice

    Thank you Carmen. I will try to go but if Im out after dark, then I’m banging some guy (in his eyes) and he refuses to go to AA. I had a hip replacement due to cancer recently (I have stage IV Breast cancer on top of it) and can’t move without a cane, and I’m 63, but he still calls me a whore. I want to beat him with my cane sometimes.

  • Paula

    Hi Janice,
    I was married to a guy like that, and he wasn’t even an alcoholic, we had kids together and I stayed a lot longer than I should have. I knew I deserved better, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine told me, “It doesn’t have to be that way” that somehow I knew every thing would be okay, and that i had to leave. I don’t know where you find the strength the work three jobs with stage 4 cancer, but you don’t have to. Find the smallest dwelling you can afford on aid, and live your life in a safe space. Remember,he never asks himself about your quality of life…..NEVER, When we are in abusive relationships, we mistake the moments between the abuse as kindness, when in fact our tyrant is just not actively abusing at the moment. My ex husband used to make his 81 year old mother cry, and we were living in her house. Now every day is kindergarten since i left. Even bad days pale in comparison. You deserve to be loved and treated with respect, just remember it doesn’t have to be that way. Sounds like he needs you more than you need him, he should be nice to you, the power is in your hands. Good luck sister.

  • Mary

    I have finally left my functioning AH after 15 years in a relationship (4 of which we were married) to be honest, it doesn’t matter if you tell him or you do, he should probably know that there was something wrong with the marriage/relationship/friendship – ALL OF IT. If you have been in any type of substance relationship the partner would know – although let’s be CLEAR, they won’t agree, blame you and find every excuse in the book to throw you and ANYONE they can under the bus to protect their shame, secret and live in denial. If they don’t know then you wouldn’t have a problem in the relationship (RIGHT??) i left with no explanation (and it took me a while to get to this point) if he doesn’t know why he’s in bigger denial than he thinks he is. I have heard from him stating that he never asked me to LEAVE, nor did I want this marriage to work, and yet I have done EVERYTHING humanly possible to survive this so called marriage to the point where I started to lose my SOUL. NO ONE should ever lose their soul and if that happens you need to reflect on what’s important to you and only you. I am OUT and that is the 1st step – it is still hard and I do hurt and wonder, but when I feel this way, I look back at all of our emails, text, conversations, photos, names that he called me, things he blamed me for (which was EVERYTHING) and the destruction that was caused and realize that I am at Peace. I still have to deal with divorce papers (which he has now again made challenging, but I’m not allowing myself to engage and get back into that cycle that kept me in a place that I truly didn’t know who I was anymore) and I take full responsibility for my actions, it’s a serious disease that causes ALL parties to behave, react, defend and be someone whom we are not. I hope all of you find the PEACE your looking for and never ever lose your SOUL or who you are because when that happens, you need to realize what else do you have left?

  • Carmen

    Way to go Mary!

  • Jim

    Folks, It appears here as at all the Al Anon meetings I have attended that it is the husband who is the alcoholic. Unfortunately in my case it is my wife of 32 years that has this terrible affliction and it has progressed over the last 25 years or more, but I chose to stay with her even though we have two children that were subjected to lots of screaming fights as we live in a very small house. She has gone through lots of recovery facilities and even more detox situations over the years. She is now at a sober residence but appears by her telling me that the group she talks with tells her that I need to seek out a shrink because I am her trigger and why she drinks. After reading lots of Al Anon materials it appears to me that she has still not admitted to herself deep down that she has the problem but yet continues to push it off towards me and others. If any of us try to put this out there at a meeting I have been stopped every time. I frankly am looking for other men that have or have had wives that resemble my situation to hear what they have tried to do to help themselves and their children. We now have a two year old grandchild that my wife claims to love more than anything else in the world, but our daughters rule is simply, you want to see the child you cannot have been drinking for 24 hours or more. The wife now says this is yet another trigger that causes her to drink. Sorry, this is yet (to me anyways) another way of saying that she does not care about any of us but has no will power to stop at all. I happen to have a baby sister that is dying of cancer of lungs and bone and was given only 4 months to live 15 months ago, and she has never stopped trying to do everything she can to stay alive so I am really tired of the attempted connection given when people and some doctors try to say, “you wouldn’t love them unless less if they had cancer. THEY DO NOT HAVE CANCER! They have a choice to either pick up the bottle or not in my mind. Again, I am simply looking for replies back from the men who might have similar situation as I have been attempting to deal with. Thanks for reading this.

  • Paula

    Hi Jim,
    I hope you find a guy who can compare a similar situation with you, If you go to AA meetings there are women there, so in theory there are men effected by their drinking. Maybe fewer men seek out others in al anon, or maybe they don’t usually stay around for 32 years. It sounds to me like you are the rock and probably the glue too. Sometimes we hear from other family members of women alcoholics like sisters and daughters, Someone with cancer you can take care of and they can take care of themselves and it can make a difference, with people who are alcoholics, the more you think you are helping them the more they take advantage of you. Your Daughter has done something very right on, she has laid her boundaries out, and the best thing she can do is stick to them, and not waiver. I know you are looking for the words of other men, but my advice to you if it helps at all is this….never engage her in argument when she is drinking,it is futile, make it clear first thing in the morning or when she is not drunk that she can point the finger at you or your daughter all she wants but that it is Bull Crap, and your not buying it. Give her her space if your relationship is really stressed and on pins and needles, it’s not good for you either. You must have been doing something right to still be together after so long, but don’t forget yourself, make yourself a priority and take care of your needs too. good luck

  • All of our considerate feelings. Should i explain? Should i write a letter? Does he know? Will he be upset.
    Are we kidding ourselves?
    Dont waste any more time, energy, or emotion.
    This selfish, greedy, sick, oneway, alcoholic does not care.
    Only if you are bringing home the booze.
    Turn and RUN AWAY.
    BE free from the pain and weigth that alcoholic lays on you with NOt ONE CARE FOR YOU AT ALL. The truth wll set you free.

  • Lynn,
    If you will feel better sending him a “good bye” letter, then do it. But, delete his email address and absolutely avoid all contact with him after that. It will be best for both of you. No matter what the outcome is for him, you are you and must take care of yourself now and for the rest of your life.

  • Jim,
    I am also a man married to an addict/alcoholic wife. I agree that husbands dealing with wife/addicts have a different set of issues. And, it’s hard to find support. I am trying to set boundaries and stick to them. Women addicts use different manipulation techniques then men/addicts do. “Drug seeking behavior” is at the heart of this mental disease. Humans beings can achieve miraculous things in art, science and humanities for example. The addiction afflicted person focuses all their brain power on seeking their desired drug, alcohol or otherwise. Try to keep this in mind when dealing with them. The addicted person is going to either work toward keeping the disease in check or not. No one else can do this for them. We can only encourage positive behaviors and ignore, or discourage negative ones. And, if it becomes intolerable, we must get away from it. Good luck and I hope you find peace.

  • Mark W

    Good for you. I am the recovering alcoholic that lost everyone. I would write the guy but keep it simple. Something to the effect of “Its over forever because of your drinking. Jesus is waiting to help.”

    I was super blessed. I knew I had a problem but didn’t want to quit drinking. I just wanted to slow down to a manageable level. We all know now. It’s simply impossible. Jesus Himself helped me. I told myself I was going on a 4 day binder and then quit for a while. Two days turned into two weeks etc. I don’t know how long its been now but its somewhere over 10 or 12 years. Maybe longer. Its not important to me. The only thing of importance is Jesus helped me.

    Regardless of anything and everything – if everyone will just include God in their plans everything Will get better. Exclude Him and you are assured of more of the same.

    Jesus saved me and I know it. I am building a guns and ammo business and having an absolute blast doing so. It’s fun but like everything else very expensive. You know what? Who cares? It’s labor intensive but very enjoyable and relaxing. Who knew?

    But back to you. I’d treat yourself and the kid to a nice dinner and a brief optimistic explanation of why you left the drunk. If you can’t afford Disneyland or a cruise then I’d go on an overnight camping trip but get away for three or four days where you can both enjoy yourselves but also spend enough downtime so you can talk and plan your future. Set a long term goal and some short and simple ttainable benchmarks that arent so difficult but attainable. Recognise setbacks are completely natural therefore unavoidable.

    Church and helping pass His word is necessary. Simply do it.

    Choose to walk with Him and He will show you how to fly.

  • Janice

    Paula, I think you have given me the insight I have been missing. He never asks or even thinks about the quality of life of anyone but himself and the damage he is doing to others, beside me. He has set his drunk “friend”s boots on fire while the poor guy was passed out, causing second degree burns on his legs. No consequences to the crazy firebug. Verbally assaulting me is a daily ritual. Currently he is trying to control his behavior and limit his drinking, so I don’t kick him out. He loves his booze so much he has actually lived under a bridge so he could keep drinking and avoid having to get a job. He has threatened to burn my house down if I make him leave. I am glad for you that you left but I see no way out of this.

  • Carmen

    Mark W. Thanks for showing us that people who want to change can find the tools they need. In Al-Anon, I’ve learned that many people have an aversion to a phrase or word due to past experiences and it usually revolves around organized religion and as in my case, abuse in the name of God, ETC. I totally get what you are saying and I agree simply because “Let Go and Let God” has been one of the most successful phrases in my life. I’ve seen it work for people just as successfully when they say “I’ve put my problems out onto the Universe.” God really doesn’t care about sex or name and God certainly didn’t put God in the box that limits his power of healing. All we have to do is ask and it is given. Thanks for posting such a positive message.

    Janice, my alcoholic did a number of things that most people did not see. Mostly verbal abuse and refusal to help with the bills any more. In Al-Anon, I found a serenity that can’t be explained. At first I had reached out to the wrong people for help and I want to make it clear here that just because people are in denial of a problem doesn’t mean they are bad or letting me down. It means they aren’t qualified to offer objective solutions. My alcoholic did eventually leave in a mostly peaceful manner and two months later committed suicide. My situation does not mirror yours in any way other than the sense of helplessness I felt before he left and after he killed himself. The farm is mine. Most of the vehicles were his. I was relieved when he left even though he left me without a pickup to get feed, straw, or take my trash to the dump. I was devastated when he killed himself but not surprised. In my case he didn’t take care of the business of making a new and proper will and I live in a community property State. I won’t lose everything but I stand to lose his share of my holdings to whoever is his beneficiary which might be his family. My point is that either way, you stand to lose. When I turned things over to God things changed for me. I do not go to church. I do not preach. I simply turned a few things over to God and one at a time He has handled them in ways I had not dreamed. Some of those ways have hurt like hell but as I climb over each mountain I am receiving more blessings and comfort than I would have ever thought. Al-Anon helped me to stop contributing to the source of the pain in my life. Worrying about things is like praying for something you don’t want. Picture what you do want and ask God for it. There are lots of us out here and those of us who seek help, find it.

  • Paula

    Hi Janice,
    What if you sell the house? Then move away. People used to tell me i could leave, i said he will follow, they said call the police, i felt i didn’t want to do that to him…..but in fact that’s exactly what i should have done, and it was only in hindsight that i believed it. If I could save you having to learn it through hindsight I would. No measures are too drastic to claim what is rightfully yours. Nice people suffer, because to the people who don’t care about others we are an easy target, and nothing more. If he would live under a bridge to have his booze, let him. You wouldn’t and you don’t have to.
    I remember after leaving all the years of eating bull shit came to a head of anger in me, I was angry at myself for doing it for so long, all that unnecessary time lost. It is never too soon to do what is right for yourself. He has made his choices and his bed. I know you have anger I hear it in you, good it’s there to help you get out. Start by visualizing life after leaving, the peace and the right to do what you want and a space that is filled with your energy.

  • Janice

    Thank you Penny and everyone who is commenting on this page. It helps to know I am not the only one dealing with this type of personal misery. Nice, caring and compassionate people are easy prey for these manipulative, anti-social psychotics. They will feign whatever emotions and behavior works best for them, whether it’s intimidation and inducing panic or playing nice to get what they want. I just don’t know how to get the upper hand and get what I want. I don’t even know what I want anymore.

  • I’m chiming in to say my husband is an alcoholic and I know what you’re all going through. You’re not alone, but it definitely feels that way. I’ve been told in the past that I’m a codependent and am sick as he is. I’ve tried Alnon and read a lot about alcoholism and codependency. But after living like this for 20+ years I never follow through and get help and get out. I make more money than him, our youngest is 19, so it’s getting easier to leave. I need counseling and know what I need to do, but like I said don’t follow through. It has been a roller coaster of hell to relief to hell and back to relief. I never dreamed my life would be like this… It’s definitely a traumatic life and I’m sure we all have PTSD from living like this. I’m praying for all of us in this situation, and if it wasn’t for prayer and my lord and savior it would be unbearable! May we all get the help we need!

  • Paula

    Hi Moira,
    Dare to dream sister. Visualize what you want in your life, you have been in it so long you have excepted it as your fate, but remember the dreams and ideas you had before you met him, and know that life is a precious gift and the only way to honor it and be thankful is to live it as fully as we can, and not to let anyone else get in the way of that. If you have been around al-anon long enough you know already that your alcoholic isn’t concerned with your quality of life, you only have you looking out for you. So you decide what your future holds, or its pretty safe to say, it stays the same. One of my favorite movie quotes is from Shawshank Redemption “get busy living, or get busy dying” It’s your choice. Good luck to you and God Bless

  • mmmmmm

    Hi, I would like to chime in on Jim’s comment above, im a man and had the same problem at alanon. most men who were attending alanon were themselves alcoholics, so i found they couldnt identify, and men who were not alcoholics in alanon tended to be shy, to speak out about the abuse they suffered, at least in my local area, i didnt have much luck. i’d cling or try to chat with some of the older veteran alanon women, who were usually much more informative and supportive than the men.

  • Jen

    I took the first step on Sunday to walk away from the toxic part of my life . Go to a mirror, look yourself in the face and remind yourself this is the one chance at life you were given !
    Trust me I tried to help, I tried to be there, I tried and I tried …..
    Be happy, you are not promised tomorrow .

  • I have been involved with Jeff for 4 1/2 years. He smokes and drinks daily. He has no driver’s license and no job. He lives off of women or he does repairs and accepts payment in cash or in alcohol and cigarettes. He has a son in a psychiatric hospital and a past history of dui, domestic abuse and other various issues. I have Parkinson’s, lupus, type 2 diabetes and after working 47 years full time and losing my husband in 2008 to complications from diabetes I live alone with 2 cats. Jeff helps with yard work and home repairs. He is not living with me at the present time. He helps me but I’m not sure it’s worth the price I’m paying for having him as part of my life. He threatens me and I am frightened of him because I know of his past history of abuse. I am going to church on Sunday and hope to move forward with my life. I have read everyone’s comments and thank you for listening to me. Sally

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