The following story was submitted by one of our readers. She has endured many years of being married to her alcoholic husband. Currently she is seeing more clearly how the alcoholism is ruining her marriage and life. “K” is unhappy, confused and doesn’t know if she loves him anymore. Please feel free to leave your comments below the article.
Submitted by: K
My story is very confusing to me. That is why I am submitting it for your perspective. I met my husband 22 years ago. He was 18 and I was 22. At first he seemed to always be the party guy and I accepted that…everything seemed fun and magical. We were living in another country at the time and were convinced to visit the states to check on my very sickly mother. They would have a place for us to work, then we could save up and go back to Europe where he is from. Needless to say my mother was fine, and “NO” job existed. We became stuck. It was suggested that he marry me (neither of us were into marriage). The idea was that if we got married he could stay in the country, find work and we could save on our own, with the intention to leave again. Okay, so we did that.
It took years to save money to reach our goal of leaving and in that time he appeared to drink on a regular basis, but I did not pay too much attention. It did seem that I was the one who worked more and he was the public relations guy who seemed to have all the fun.
Ok, 10 years pass, I break up with him. It was hard because everyone was on his side. He went into some drunken grief over me leaving, apparently tried to kill himself then went missing. His friends even started posting signs that read, “missing person”. It was horrible.
I managed to be away from him for about 8 months. I tried to stay with family, but they were difficult. He began to call me all the time attempting to work things out. I finally decided to give it another try and moved back to his state 15 hours away.
So we both got 2 jobs, saved money and moved back to Europe. But…members of his family are raving alcoholics with some anger issues. So, we decided to go with plan b.
We moved to Hawaii. For some reason everything fell into place for housing, jobs and school. We got into a regular work and school routine. However, this whole time he was drinking every night, about 40 oz or more was his routine. For some reason I did not consider it alcoholism because it was only at night after 9 PM.
Then about 3 years later his routine turned into walking to store at 9 PM then going into his office, shutting the door, drinking and smoking cigars. Then he would either fall asleep with face on then computer, sitting up on toilet or on the couch. I think he basically stopped sleeping in the same bed as me and I began to feel very sad.
When I would discuss it with him he would blow it off. When I would ask him not to walk to the store and to take a break from drinking, he would tell me he does not have a problem because he has seen crazy alcoholics (his parents) and he’s not like them.
In 2008 we had a daughter. I had him sign a contract with me that we would limit his nightly drinking to weekends. He agreed, but did not follow through.
He also go into a graduate college program in 2011 that allowed him to have his own art studio which he could use 24 hours a day, all week. So at first for a year he began leaving at 9 PM for his beer but then meeting up with friends and not coming home until 2,3,5,or 6. I finally told him after 1 year, if he could not be home by midnight, stay at the studio so I know he will be safe.
So he would stay at the studio, come home at 6 AM and help get our daughter ready for school, make food, use the shower and appear as if he lived there, then leave at 9 PM. So the crazy hours of coming home stopped. This went on for 3.5 years.
The whole time we needed to depend on each other financially. I worked more then him and tended to be the one to take care of everything. Okay, so after trying everything to cope with this confusion (yoga, karate, walking everyday, being super busy), I still felt so depressed and stuck.
Family for some reason saw me as not being understanding or trying hard enough. I was so stuck. So one day after our tax return arrived I bought plane tickets to visit my family with out asking him (of course I bought one for him). It was intended to be for a 3 month visit just to regroup and get away, besides he was suppose to graduate that Spring. Right after I bought the tickets there was a sudden complication with his department and they decided he needed to stay a year longer. There was a lot of anger and confusion and I tried to help out. Needless to say, our 3 month visit turned into a move to a state I really don’t want to be in.
My husband is happy to be away from his school concerns and has a job he loves. However, every night at 9 PM he takes his walk up to a store and gets his beer.
I feel like I am not sure what to do. Nothing seems to have changed except our location (which is too cold for me and too close to family). He is a nice guy. Everyone loves him, but over the years I can tell that at a certain hour he gets grouchy and yells more if his routine is disrupted.
I feel like he is the only person in our relationship that attends social events because I seem to be the busy one. I thought moving would help change my feelings towards him, but I feel numb and unable to connect like we used to.
I am not sure how I love him anymore. Besides, he tells me that I am to sensitive and the amount he drinks 7 nights a week is not a lot compared to others. Am I too sensitive? I just feel that this alcoholism situation is only going to progress and not change. What I say to him does not seem to matter.
JC: K, thanks for submitting your story. I do hope that after writing all of this out that you can see more clearly what you have been living in for such a long time. I feel like the last three paragraphs of your story are the most important. Why? They address where you are presently, unhappy, confused, feeling unloved and out of love, isolated, doubting yourself and aware that nothing has changed after you’ve endured so many years of your husband drinking.
What do you want to do K?
In Al-anon I learned that I had only two choices. I could either change my attitude or change my address. I chose to try and learn how to change my attitude through getting involved in Al-anon. It worked! I actually started feeling better about myself and the relationship. The problem was that the alcoholic continued to be abusive. Eventually the abuse got so bad I decided to change my address. You might consider reading this article: The Alcoholic Is Not Going To Change
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