Behavioral Health Consultant, Trainer and EAP Manager

Seattle, Washington

Should I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?

Question:

I cannot bear my wife’s alcoholism any longer. If I stay I’ll perish. But if I leave her I’ll be in the financial pits. And strangely, I still love her!  I’ve been to an Al-Anon meeting but it’s not enough. Most of my friends tell me to leave her, and my family tells me to stick it out. What do I do?

Note: I first wrote this answer as a way to talk about methods to approach tough dilemmas, and since that time it has grown into the forum you see now. 

I’m continually moved by the vivid descriptions of the carnage that addiction causes, and the impossible “you choose, you lose” dilemmas faced by exhausted, isolated partners. Often, finance, children and other circumstances prevent any simple solutions. But, I also notice that many describe their own addiction of sorts – to the partner. A love and attachment you cannot shake, despite the consequences. It’s something like finding yourself holding a hot panhandle and gripping all the more tightly the more it burns.

Please feel free to tell your own story.  I also encourage you to respond to other postings with a few words of appreciation, support and ideas.

Updates are appreciated.  There are many more readers of this dialogue than there are responders – you have an interested group here and we want to know what happens.

Thank you.

Answer:

You have a mighty dilemma. My first suggestion would be to treat with skepticism any advice to take choice 1 over choice 2. In the end, only you can decide. And only you will know just how much sadness and anxiety is going to be inherent with either option.

Try viewing your dilemma as four-pronged: Choice 1 would be that you decide to leave your wife and that you do so in the most careful, strategic manner, doing the most that you can to ensure this unfolds as becoming the right choice. Choice 2 would be that you leave in a way that magnifies the potential for a negative outcome, say by being mean, impulsive or passive, neglecting the care of your self, your social network, financial interests and so on. Choices 3 and 4 would be the most attentive, well-equipped approach to staying with her, vs. the approach that would leave you the most hurt.

In other words, the way in which you select a choice and then follow through on it what is important, and it is where you can make nitty-gritty choices on a day-to-day basis. The working out of those specifics might be where your attention is going to be productive.

There is another general rule in making a wrenching decision. Make the mistake you can correct. That is, whichever course is more reversible might be considered first. In your case, it is much easier to recover from the mistake of waiting a bit more, than to recover after discovering that divorce was a mistake. Naturally, this is a general guideline only.

One more thing. Loneliness and anxiety, among other troubles, are almost universally difficult for partners of alcoholics. Reaching out is good. More reaching out is better. Al-Anon is not for everyone in your situation, but those who do find it helpful would probably say that it’s the repeated attendance that makes it work.

1,115 thoughts on “Should I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?

  1. 14 years of hell and I’m still here. I’ve heard every excuse and promise in the book (which have all been broken repeatedly) there seems to be no easy answer. I tell myself over and over to run for my life, but I’m still here, stress anxiety and fear are my daily companions, there is no easy way out, either way you and I have been dealt a losing hand. The only way out is out, completley out no ties no looking back, I think I’m almost there…………

  2. Hi, I feel for you man. My girlfriend drank her way through pregnancy. As I write, she has finished a half bottle of vodka and is breastfeeding our son. She changes after the first drink. And there is nothing I like about her when she drinks. How can I leave her with my 2 month old baby?

  3. Dan, the short answer is that you can’t leave your baby in the care of someone who’s drunk. I suggest contacting Al-Anon, Child Protective Services and several other support sources. I’ll email you directly.

  4. I can relate to everyone here. I have been with my wife for 18 years. For the past 3 she has become more and more dependant on alcohol, and has become increasingly more violent. I am ready to leave her, but like the first commentor, we will experience extreme financial difficulty, and possibly lose our house. I live a block from the High School my son and daughter love, and upsetting their lifestyle is a real concern for me. If not for them, I would leave.

  5. Tim, I hope you’ve at least had a good consultation with a lawyer, so that you can be sure you know what you stand to lose and what your options might be to protect your house and finances.

  6. Tom,

    My wife is an alcoholic and has been drinking for fifteen years. She’s said everything in the book and does everything in the book that alcoholics do. I’m long past being able to deal with it any longer. Here’s my problem: If I leave I’ll take my monthly disability payments with me which will leave her no way to pay the mortgage, bills, etc. for the home we own. She would leave but she is financially dependent on me, has no other family to go to and has no friend or situation to take her in. She will not seek help for her addiction. I see no solution to my situation. It’s causing me mental and physical harm. What can I do?

  7. Peter,

    What are your options? Leave or stay? Just two? If you put some thought and discussion into it, could you not flesh this out, refine some ideas and come up with more so that the array of choices doesn’t look quite so stark?

    You could keep in mind that you’re already making a choice. Every day, you’re choosing to hold pat. It may be the best choice; I don’t know. But you can think of this as whether you’re going for the more active choice or the more passive.

    Another thing to consider is that your wife will not seek help…under the present circumstances. Many alcoholics who’ve finally made it into recovery will say they couldn’t do it until they hit bottom. That is, not until life became so utterly unmanageable that they hardly had any other choice. Often, this comes only when loved ones refuse to caretake any longer.

    Finally, as long as you’re putting up with your situation as-is, would you say you’re doing the best you can for yourself? Extra stress requires extra coping. Good eating and sleeping, exercise, fun and productivity, friends and support. Spiritual or religious practice if it suits. Adult education maybe, and so on. She can’t stop you from doing your best to maximize these factors in your own life.

    Tom

  8. My wife just gets worse everyday and I am at the end of my rope. The only time she doesnt drink is at work. As soon as she is home she is into her vodka. On her days off she is drinking soon after waking up. I have my boys every other weekend and one or two times during the week. She used to stay sober or not drink much around them. Now I cant do anything with her at all. Weather its a family function, diner out, the boys sports, it doesnt matter. She will seem sober (becasue I am watching her like a hawk) and then slam a ton of vodka right before we leave when Im not watching. Half way to where ever we are going she becomes a nasty drunk. She has fallen out of my 4×4 truck right infront of my sons basketball team. She has past out on the side of the soccer field during a game. These are the minor examples of things that have happened. She has brusies all over her body and her work blames me and I never touch her. Her friends which never come around anymore know the truth. Its only a matter of time before something real bad happens. My biggest problem is if I ignor her or leave her at home alone she becomes very destructive. Anything that belongs to me or my boys with get trashed. I have to hide keys, money, even my eyeglasses. I have a dead bold lock on the boys room so she cant get in it. I have to lock garage so she doesnt destroy my tools or my harley. She will turn all electric on in house and pass out. Middle of winter leaving doors open. She’ll let my dog out with no coller to run the neighborhood. She will hit and push me and has even grabed my gun once that I now keep hidden and locked in my truck. I dont know what to do. Im in a lose lose situation no matter what I do. I need to do something before my ex finds out or before she hurts me, the boys, or herself. She has already lost her daughter this past year becasue of domestic violence. Court order states no drinking at all and she does it anyway. If I call cops the judge could throw her in jail for her suspended sentence of 239 days. Financially I would lose everything. Court would only do what they do best and slap her on the hand and take my money. I know this….If she hurt one of the boys I can honestly say I dont know what I would do and I dont want it to get that far. Ive been to alanon and read everything the interenet has to offer. Ill probably confront my pastor at church, but I really dont want to but it would probably help me. She refuses any counciling and when she goes to the court order counciling its like an assembly line. How fast can we get her out of here we have too many in line and nothing gets accomplised. The legal system is just about money and they havent helped her they have only drained my pocketbook. I cant figure out why she hasnt hit rock bottom yet. I know I am about to hit rock bottom myself and I am a very strong person that doesnt let anything hold me back. I am to the point that I dont have a life becasue if I do go do something alone I worry the hole time if she is hurt, hurting someone else, destroying something, or even burning the house down. Yes she almost burnt house down. We got a new kitchen and then the insurance dropped us. If I stay home then I take the abuse unless she passes out. I am pretty much sure I am screwed and nothing short of her causing someones death with wake her up!

  9. I sure am convinced your wife’s alcoholism in horrendous and the carnage she’s causing is scary as all get-out. I’m also convinced you can’t possibly have any sort of clear-cut pathway out of this predicament. Never mind a pathway anywhere close to painless. Nothing but excruciating options.

    Here’s what I’m not quite convinced of – that you’re completely screwed and can do nothing. You say that you’re at the end of your rope, and that suggests some sort of action once there is no more tolerance. You also say that you’re strong and that nothing holds you back. Here’s probably the most important place in your life to draw on that strengh. I don’t blame you a bit for feeling defeated; it might be that anyone in your shoes would.

    So you might see fit to talk with someone about an idea like this: you CAN’T NOT make a choice here. Desperately trying to contain her damage and otherwise passively waiting for her do self-descruct seems to be your default decision. Are you sure that’s the best option, or is it more that the others seem too complex and forbidding. They probably are, but they may be less cataclysmic. And they’ll permit you to say to your children some day that you took the toughest steps.

    It’s beyond my scope here to say what specific steps you can take. Except this: don’t allow her problem to define you as helpless.

    Call me if you want to talk.

  10. My very soon to be ex-wife drank, and drank for years. In fact I can actually count the times she has been sober in the last 2 years on one hand, for real. She also called me about every name in the book, and even attacked me on occasion. We have two kids, and no matter what I tried to do she did not seem to care. Finally she cheated on me, so I threw her out. My soul is fractured, but I realize clearly she is scum in shoes, and now that she has made the father of her children hate her more than any other human on the planet, she can go die of cancer for all I care. Even if you think the person who does this garbage to you loves you, they do not. All drunks think about is themselves, and their pain. They could not care less how what they do effects others, and if you are in this type of relationship, take some time to set yourself up, and when she gets in your face next time, let her hit you, get a restraining order, and start the healing. The sooner you throw these worthless animals out, the sooner you will be better. No money, or pride is worth the hell they give you.

  11. Maybe she left you with a souvenir, Sean, the hate and fury you’re expressing.

    In any case, as a side note, there are people who kind of inexplicably become self-absorbed, callous and mean, to the point where the spouse can hardly recognize him or her. Alcohol and drug addiction can be causal, in some cases might not be there at all, and in other cases might be kind of a secondary effect of whatever else is going on. Someone hostile and aggressive might blame the behavior on alcohol, but in fact might use also alcohol as a way to get disinhibited and to behave in the ways they want to.

    Sorry your marriage blew up.

  12. hi all

    i’ve been married for nearly 33 years, we have 3 adult children and i have lived with my wifes drink abuse for all these years. trouble is now the kids are old enough i am finding it very difficult to accept and live with her ways. she drinks 4 nights a week on a regular basis. for some time she has been on wine, 13.5% carton stuff. she finishes 3 litres over three nights…..and i think this is too much. we have many rows and verbal abuse is common from her, occosionally violent as well. on a few past times she has used a knife to threaten and cut my wrist one time. she used a phone to hit me across the head with one time too. other times she has ripped the shirt off me and with children present. etc………this is the first time i have discussed this problem in this manner. tonight i am in the spare bedroom again following another break in our relationship, after her latest binge on saturday night which followed the previous nights binge, which followed wednesday night etc……tell me this is normal so i can accept my fate please? otherwise any advise would be great!

  13. Is it normal? Easy question! (And the anser is no.)

    Is it acceptable to you? And if not, what are some steps you’re willing to take, now that you’ve broken your silence? I suggest, at the very least, keep talking. Gather ideas and support. Call me if you want.

  14. I am in my second marraige, we have no kids together, my two kids are grown and i have one step daughter of 16 still living with us. My wife drinks at least 4 nights per week, when she only drinks beer, she is ok, does not get angry, but when she drinks wine she is a totally differenct person, very angry, her whole face changes, sometimes this happens very quickly. we like to go and socialize with freinds, but i am getting to a point that i dont want to go as she will turn angry and then all attention is to her. All of our freinds have witnessed the anger. Many many time the anger is dirrected at my daughter, who she claims has all these secrets with me. This anger or resentment towards my daughter has been going on for years, and always when my wife is drunk. I am 53 and told her the other day I am tired of all the drama and just want a peacefull life, with my kids grown, that is what i expected, i did not expect this. I have talked with her while sober but she refuses to make any positive changes. I also am getting to a point where I am not attracted to her anymore as when she wants to have sex or cuddle when she is drunk it just turns my stomach, thanks fo this forum, it helps me to know there are other people in my shoes. any advise would be greatfull

  15. Bob, I’m always happy to make suggestions but as clear as you are on what the problem is, I’m not sure about your goal.

    Would you like advice on how to break this marriage off? Would it seem better to accept and cope with it as best as possible? Preserve some shreds of trust and intimacy however you can or give up on that prospect? Set up an “in-house separation?” Take a more assertive and powerful stance with your wife and really bring this battle to a head?

    Working towards some decisions on this might bring you considerably closer to some answers.

  16. Hello,

    I stmbled across this website….but I have been searching for folks to let it all out with for a while. I have been married for 10 years….38 years old, wife is 40. We have 3 girls who live with us. The youngest is ours together, and the other two are my step children who have lived with us 99% of the time for the past 3 years. About 3 years ago, my life started taking a turn for the worse…when I started to suspect that my wife was having an affair. The worst part, I guess, is that my wife’s odd behaviour caught the attention of her sister and brother one weekend when we had gone to her sister’s house (intending to stay the night) to help paint it as a birthday present. It is an hour and a half away, and about 5 minutes before arriving, she decides to tell me she is going to go back home for the weekend to clean the house in preparation for our daughter’s b-day party….the following weekend! (insert lame excuse here).

    I, myself, was very upset about thism, and when prompted by her sister to tell her what was going on, I told her that I “expected the worst.” Her sister led the conversation and openly told me that this behaviour was “just like her sister”…that “she has done this stuff growing up…etc.” I was so upset that I drank a lot that night….passed out, and didn’t admit to my wife the content of the conversation.

    Fast forward a couple of months….my wife found out that I had “betrayed” her trust in front of her whole family….and she was angry as all hell at me. In fact, for the next nearly TWO YEARS, I had to live with being blamed for being a coward, betraying her trust, throwing her under the bus in front of her family, etc.

    Now, add the magic ingredient….alcohol:

    My wife has been going through a bout of depression, anxiety, anger, etc….since that point nearly 3 years ago. She points to it as some turning point in her life….as if “I” caused this to happen to her or something. She had, until that point, been a weekend drinker. We both would do that. But, in the past 3 years, she has taken to drinking to excess nearly EVERY NIGHT. A glass or two of wine is o.k., but it turns into a whole bottle….and one or two beers, and a vodka tonic for good measure. Tonight I went to the store, when she had drunk about 3 glasses of wine. When I got home, the wine bottle was empty and she had poured a double vodka tonic.

    I know I am rambling, but her and I have gotten physical in the past. She is a “MEAN” drunk. She berrates me, calls me names, pushes me, slaps me, hits me….sometimes I try to go to bed and she will come in just as I fall asleep and rip the covers off me and start screaming at me. I admit that I have pushed her off me, and yes, I have hit her. The cops were called once and because it was “mutual” and she was so drunk that she refused to even speak to the police, they simply asked me to stay the night away from the home. No charges were pressed, and I have decided to never raise my hand to her again.

    But….the alcoholism continues. The emotional affairs continue. What I haven’t told you is that beginning 3 years ago…what led to all this…is that she was lying to me about where she was going, or where she had been. Come to find out she was meeting old college “friends,” (always male) who she had recently found on FaceBook, etc.

    To this day, she has a number of what she calls “platonic” friendships….all with males. But she has taken to hiding her interactions from me, although I see the cell phone bills and know what has been going on.

    I tried to deal with this over the past 2 years….I thought she needed some sort of physical “excitement” that she wasn’t getting with me….I told her, even, to share her thoughts with me openly….(o.k. guys, I imagine I will lose all respect here)….to the point where we placed ads TOGETHER for another man to join us in the bedroom to please her…. I thought that this would keep it out in the open and prevent an affair….emotional or physical…or otherwise. After a few of those encounters, they all ended with both of us feeling used and hollow. We decided to not pursue that, realizing that that is not the answer, either.

    All the while, the drinking continues….

    In the past year, I have cut my alcohol consumption in over HALF….having one or two beers every other night, on average. My wife, on the other hand…will drink an entire bottle of wine…or TWO….or THREE in one night….on a weeknight!

    Despite all of this….her “emotional affairs” still continue. Right now, she’d in the other room with her beloved iPhone (that I bought!!!) and is texting this other guy….with not a care in the world that I have asked her for the past hour to please stop and come to bed.

    Our marriage is broken. I have been faithful to my wife…..she has not been faithful to me. And frankly, when I think of the fact that we allowed other men in our bedroom hoping to “fix” something….it makes me sick to my stomach. I am broken. I feel that I have lost all self-respect.

    But, I am a proud person. I try to insulate the kids from this…although our oldest has seen it, and has even heard me calling my wife a slut in a heated argument. She (my stepdaughter) has even told me that she knows what’s going on….that she sees how her mom is. I am not sure if she knows about the other men…physically….but I know she has heard us fighting about the “virtual” online friends.

    And what weaves itself throughout this drama- but alcohol. She gets in deep, emotional depression….telling me how she is worthless because she is a stay at home mom….and how I am so important because I make all the money and get all the accolades from work…blah blah. I have tried to encourage her for 2 YEARS to find some (girl) friends…>REAL FRIENDS> but she isolates herself. I have encouraged her to find a job, get a hobby….go out during the day…find a LIFE. But, she tells me to stop trying to “solve her problems.” Yet, she continues to drink.

    It starts out harmless….a glass of wine with dinner- but guess what? There is still a half bottle of wine left…she can’t leave that alone! I try to “casually” ignore it….and then all of a sudden another bottle of wine (or a glass of Vodka) will be “half hidden” behind the toaster oven, or somewhere else. (I think she tries to hide it from the kids….she could care less about how I feel about it).

    I have asked her to stop when I see the tale-tell signs….the wrinkling of the brow….the mood turning sour…..the “woah is me” stuff starts coming out. I will notice her slurring and ask her to please stop drinking….telling her she has had enough (or asking politely…”honey, can you please stop drinking tonight”?). But, she turns it on me.

    The next morning, even if I tell her that she was the Devil to me the night before, she just shrugs it off. I plead for her and I to get some marriage counseling….I ask her if she will get some Al Anon counseling….she says “yes”…but somehow she’s never seious.

    Nights like tonight are painful. I work from home, so I never escape this. I do travel sometimes, and am getting ready to leave for 3 nights soon….and I worry about what she does alone during the day…what kind of plans she makes with other men.

    Am I weak? Am I “enabling” this behaviour? I don’t know what to do. As stupid as I sound, I love her….I am IN LOVE with her….I don’t want to see her in pain, but I refuse to be the target of her anger anymore.

    She screams and yells at me when I ask her to stop texting her male friends….even to the point of asking me why she can’t have any friends. I have even texted some of these guys and asked them to please respect my marriage and stop texting my wife….this just enrages her, and she turns on the “pity me” crap….are you gonna tell him horrible things about me like you did in front of my family? Blah blah.

    It has gone on so long that I want a divorce. But I love the kids….we are NOT in a financial situation that would just let me walk out. Paying HALF my salary, yet taking all the bills would break me. She doesn’t work…and hasn’t for YEARS (except for a short stint when I lost my job and it nearly KILLED her to be working hard jobs).

    If I just left, the kids would be at risk. Their father is not around. They have chosen to live in our household because of the situation with their own father, so that is not an option. He pays no child support, so I support a family of 5.

    I know you won’t TELL me what to do. I guess I just need to get all that off my chest. It is so convoluted, and I think I have enabled it to continue….yet I feel trapped for the very reasons I have just listed.

    Thank you for listening.

  17. Jason, I assume you’ve read the other postings and responses above, and I hope you’ve found some ideas helpful.

    You talk in part about how you have evolved during this difficult period, e.g. becoming a dad to three girls, cutting back on your own drinking, forswearing violence, maybe even the trying before discarding difficult and unconventional options.

    Here’s another to consider. Keep working on being the best dad and husband you can be. Loving (not to be confused with accepting the unacceptable), honest, assertive, healthy, socially connected and so forth. Add informed, which you seem to be developing right now. Resilient and resourceful. Unafraid to stay put if you decide that’s best, and unafraid to take other tough steps if that is the way to go. These are broad terms and you have to fill in the specific meanings.

    And as with anyone who stumbles on this site, feel free to call me.

  18. I did it again, Unflipin believable. I lost everything in 99 when I left my first wife who was a raging alcoholic. I waited searched etc….. for 16 years and thought I finally found a real good woman, but after about 3 1/2 years she too went down the same path as my first wife. How can I not feel it is my fault. I am the only common factor

  19. Is it your fault? That may be a useful question but it’s a question of fact, not of feeling. You probably feel regretful, hurt, pessimistic and so on, and feeling that way while evaluating your past decisions, you’re likely to reach negative verdicts about yourself. Naturally, it’s reasonable to look at where you made mistakes, but I’ll suggest being wary of the human tendency to be black-and-white, “at fault or not at fault” as if the whole issue were so simple.

  20. Man, can I relate to all of this. I won’t go through the play by play, because everyone here knows the script by now (the drunken rages, the projection, the false accusations to the cops to redirect the focus away from her, the hateful name-calling, the “forgetting” the next day).

    I’ve heard lots of people say that being with a drunk spouse is the same thing, regardless of whether the husband or the wife is the drunk. I don’t believe this, because in our society, we are pigeonholed. I will not speak at length about the gender-specific inequalities women face in leaving an alcoholic husband, because I am not a woman. I recognize they exist.

    The biggest thing for me is the assumption, in our society and legal system, that the kids should stay with the mother when the parents divorce. When a woman leaves an abusive alcoholic, nobody questions that she should have sole legal custody of the kids. But when the mother is the abusive alcoholic, these two “rules” collide. I am terrified that my wife would get custody of our little girl. I could not live with myself if I let her bear the brunt of my wife’s insane drunken binges. I am also terrified that my wife would poison my kid’s perceptions of me. When she gets in a drunken rage, she often threatens to leave and take our girl with her. Complicating this is the fact that I am the sole breadwinner, so it would be very easy for my wife to paint herself as the primary caregiver to our child.

    If we didn’t have kids, we would have divorced years ago. If I had confidence that I would get primary custody, I would have insisted on a divorce years ago. Dealing with the irrational anger, the physical, verbal and emotional abuse, and the anxiety, are eating me up. This is the first time I’ve ever unloaded about this stuff.

  21. Not sure if I can ask a question, or if this forum is for replying only. But I will take the chance. I am desperate to get away from my alcoholic husband. I have taken the steps to detach, but have not quite gotten the knack of detaching with “love”. In fact, I am so indifferent and cold, call me Miss Iceberg. I just don’t want anything to do with his lies and his drinking. The smell of booze on anyone makes me want to vomit. So basically, I ignore him. The problem is that I want to get out of this house. If I walk away, he will probably destroy the house, and I will lose so much money. Is there a way that I can legally force him out of the house? He drinks and walks around smoking cigarettes, I am afraid he will burn the house down with me in it. He is constantly getting inebriated to the point of falling into bathtubs, banging into things, crashing TV’s to the floor. All this going on and I am attempting to rest so I can get up and go to work, but he makes such a racket that even sleeping in another bedroom, with a fan on and earplugs stuffed down my ears, I can still hear all the racket. I am exhausted and unable to think at work from lack of sleep. I could care less if he drinks, I just cannot sleep with all the noise and I need rest in order to work. I cannot afford to leave, and pay for an apartment plus the mortgage on this house. He is out of work (what else is new) and therefore does not have much to contribute. My hard earned 401k is at risk, and I am going to lose my shirt. However, let me be clear, I am prepared to lose my shirt, I just don’t know how I am going to sell this house with a drunk man in it. Do I have to confess to my realtor that my husband is an alcoholic and therefore at any given time, when she is to show the house, he might be drunk and staggering around? I don’t know what to do, and I don’t think I can legally force him out of the house. Thank you in advance for any advice. No, he will not go to rehab. He has been there and done that many times and is in full blown denial. He has been lying to me for a very long time about his consumption of alcohol, even when the evidence (ie him staggering in front of me, staring blankly into space, reeking of alcohol) is clearly pointing to his drinking. I don’t care what he drinks, how much, etc. I just want to be able to sleep enough to be rested for work. He will never leave me voluntarily and once I provide him with his walking papers, all hell will break loose.

  22. Was going to put my situation on here. Hell, seems like a mix of all the above. Wife out of control. 2 litres a day of cask wine. Had enough. Seems the only solution is to walk away from these people. There is no truth or care left in them. The booze must eat away the brain area that is anything normal/balanced. The outrageous stories they tell!!!!!!! The abuse is permanent. How about this quote instead “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas.” Translated “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.” If they abuse you and say the horror they say take it as the truth of their feelings, that’s what it surley is. In times long ago wine (alcohol) was used as a truth serum. Let it be your truth about what they really think of you. Then the choice you make is much easier. Who would really live with an individual that hates you so deeply? No-one would, so don’t!!!!!!!!!!!! By the way don’t ever feel sorry for them and go back to “help.” Big, big mistake. It gets even worse. Turn your back once and for all and GET OUT for yours and your childrens sake, but mostly for yours.

  23. To respond to your smaller question about warning your real estate agent – why wouldn’t you let her know? Embarrassment, perhaps? I imagine I myself would have some embarrassment in such a situation, but I also imagine the advantages of being open about it might outweigh. Consider that the more allies you can have on your side, the better. And, the fewer barriers to getting to the resolution you seek.

    I hope that you have or are prepared to consult with a lawyer about your options.

    Also consider that what you are enduring is domestic violence. Why not, right? Your well-being and safety are threatened regularly. Like a battering marriage, it has evolved insidiously over time so that it can be hard to define objectively what it has come to. I’ll advise you to look up your local domestic violence resources, or http://www.ndvh.org/. These are the experts in coping with or resolving a hostage-like home environment. Call them.

  24. I know most of these posts are husbands or wives with alcoholic partners but mine is different. My father is a raging alcoholic. He’s been drinking my entire life but didnt get into the heavy stuff until maybe 5 years ago. He’s lost his job, he’s abusive to me my mother and brother both verbally and sometimes physically to my brother. He has threatened to kill my mother, called her everything you could imagine, keeps her up all nite yelling and cussing when she works 2 jobs to support us. He’s the worst with my brother, threatening to beat him up, calling him horrible names, blaming him for “splitting” up the family. He’s called me a bitch, worthless, gets in my face, fights with all of us constantly. My mom is in alanon and has been getting help with her codependancy but i just dont know what we’re suppose to do. This cannot go on any longer.
    He’s completely selfish and doesnt care about any of us at all. He drinks beer all day with at least a bottle and a half of jack daniels as well if not 2. He doesnt work and cant stay with family or friends so if we kick him out he will have no where to go. He talks about suicide all the time as well, which makes us think that if we do something he’ll either kill himself or live on the street or get killed by someone else. He wont try to quit, he wont go to rehab, he drinks and drives all the time putting innoncent peoples lives in danger. He keeps everyone up all nite, wakes everyone up early screaming and cussing, throws fits about the smallest of things. We’ve tried to do eveything possible. I finally moved into a dorm this past year in college to try to escape from it but now i am back for summer and it is worse then ever. oUR Lives have become like a Groundhog Day nightmare and i fear me and my mom will utterly go insane if this continues any longer.
    Please help!

  25. God, what a relief to find this website. I too live with a person who is broken. Her name is Melody and she was the love of my life, and, truth be told, I still love her. She loves pills more. I know, she’s not an alcoholic, but that’s just semantics. The pills started about two years after our marriage when she had some trouble with migraines and never stopped. Doctor shopping, pharmacy shopping, lies, manipulation, the pity parties, binges, all have been part of my daily life my entire marriage. This last year has been especially tough with 2 DUI’s in three months, 1 overdose, 8 auto accidents, two stints in the hospital etc…. I have tried to shield our two children as best I can, but I am to the point of thinking I and they are better of without her. Her parents have pretty much written her off, and if I do, I am afraid I will be signing her death certificate. I could not live with that so I am stuck. I worry constantly about my kids safety as she is about as responsible as a toddler. I don’t know what to do and am looking for any advise. I know you can’t say “leave her”, but in my case that is all I do outside stay put.

    I know this is rambling, but I truly fear for my own sanity. Anger, rage, infinite sadness, guilt, anxiety, isolation, all of these are what I live with daily and NEVER talk about. What’s worse is that from al-anon to professional counselors i have seen seem to really be indifferent to the plight of a middle aged male in our society. First off, how do I get help for myself, and then how do you come to a decision about the future?

  26. Staying is a valid choice, no matter how miserable it may be. But if you imagine coming to the end of your life and looking back, you will probably want to be able to say, “that was the best choice I could make under those circumstances, with the information I had”. Rather than, “I stayed because I couldn’t decide what else to do.”

    So it may be just a matter of wording in your internal dialogue, but I think it matters if you make the option of holding onto your cards an active choice.

    If you do this, of course you’re still confronted with many other choices about how actively to pursue support resources, how to protect yourself, how to show intolerance for your wife’s behavior while still loving her, how to protect your children and so on.

    I can’t help you much on how to find local supports and resources, but I’d sure support your working to cultivate them.

    Another consideration is that a number of addicts in recovery will say that they were finally spurred to take the tough steps once they hit bottom. Once the carnage was too blatant to ignore. Often, the hitting bottom is the departure of the spouse. Perhaps though, if you’re staying, you can come up with other ways of allowing her to hit bottom sooner.

  27. Amy (May 18th),
    Whew. That’s got to be excruciating. I hope you’re talking to as many people as you can. I hope you’re talking with the others in your family regularly.
    If your brother is a minor and he’s experiencing verbal or physical abuse, look up Child Protective Services and call them. If your father ever does anything the least bit physically violent, call the police. Don’t protect him from the consequences of his actions by avoiding these steps.
    True, he could die if expelled from the house. keep affirming that his own safety is his own responsibility, and your safety and sanity is yours.
    Check in with us again, will you?

  28. I’ve been married to my wife (45) for 14 years and we have 3 great kids. Let me tell a few tidbits about my life living with an alcoholic wife.
    My wife is a long long time partier. Way back to her college days. During the last 5 years become so dependent on drinking that I can count on two hands the amount of days she hasn’t drank. My wife is 1.5 – 2.0 bottles of wine girl per day. Who also likes to sprinkle in some vodka drinking days. She’s the Mom who needs to have a few drinks to make it through any event that her children are a part of. Drinks with kids in the car. As a Nurse (3rd shift) she’s drinking imediately after arriving home in the morning. I know this because I daily check the amounts of wine in each of her countless bottles that are open in throughout the house. When she doesn’t have to work (4 of 7 days per week). She starts drinking by lunchtime and doesn’t stop til bed time.
    In the past 5 months alone. She’s arrived home after a night out with girlfriends at least 8 times so intoxicated that I wonder how she walked to her car let alone drive it home.
    Our two oldest kids are well aware of the severity of their Moms drinking. They hardly ever see her anymore without a glass of something in her hand.
    She loses all touch with reality when she drinks too much. Horrible name calling and becomes so confrontational it’s nearly impossible to be able to reason with her.
    If I knew that I could take my kids with me or have her leave. I’d do it tomorrow. I’ve reached my limit.

  29. Tom, as you may have seen from some of my other responses, I think that in a situation like this where you can do nothing to control your wife’s drinking, perhaps you could at least pursue answers to the questions that can be answered.

    Can you keep the children with you in a separation? You can bring this up with some lawyers if you haven’t already.

    If you could achieve what you want, then how would you begin going about it? It might be that a lawyer would have you begin documenting all the specific incidents to support your case in court.

  30. I just found this website – man does it feel good to know that I’m not totally crazy – the books about this issue are one thing, reading the above makes me realize how textbook my situation is.
    We’ve been married for 23 years, and mye wife was an alcholic from day one, I was too naive to know it. She went to rehab 10 years in, got sober for about 7 years, and went back to daily vodka about 6 years ago. It continues to spiral worse and worse, and I stayed not for money as I work and she doesn’t, but because I thought my teenage daughters were better off if I gave the appearance of a “happy” family.
    I finally snapped a month ago when I caught her drunk driving again, and I’m sick of being told that I’m the abusive one when I’ve never hit her, although she’s raised her fists to me while drunk. It was going to end with injury and/or police, so I tried to get ahead of that and the kids and I moved to a local hotel, which still isn’t rock bottom for my wife who is convinced that this is just a husband/wife thing. I am a lawyer and know the divorce laws and also know that I can’t legally stop her from drinking or driving, so we finally left to try to get through to her. No such luck, she is beyond furious with me that I “abandoned” her, and this is after 2 failed rehabs and daily drunking starting at noon while I work 50 hour weeks. I guess our moving out to try to save her life as a last resort was naive of me. Intervention won’t work in my opinion here, so this was the last arrow in the quiver.
    I think it’s time to move with my kids to a long term apt. and finally admit that she’s an addict with no control, and that I need to live my life in my 50’s.
    Thanks to this forum for being there – I actually found the comments much more helpful than our local Al-Anons. Last thought is that all three of us are in therapy, but not my wife. Go figure.

  31. I am a 35 yr old, considering divorce, my wife is 40, we have one 3 yr old. She has always drank ever since we got together in 1998 or so, she has always had a high tolerance. The drinking became worse 4 months after we had a child, she almost fell holding our daughter once. I have seen her fall down herself more than three different times, once while trying to take our daughter to the playground, sad. She started stashing 1 liter bottles, in our babies crib, and the cars, sometimes in her diaper bags I would find a 5th of vodka, even once at the elementary school she worked at. After I left her and took my daughter to live with my mother, she started telling me she was done drinking and ready to be a good wife and mother. I let her come back as long as she was really through with the drinking, she actually started drinking Listerine, and buying it two bottles at a time. After the Listerine incident we went to a counsler she suggested AA, and no treatment. She attended a few AA meetings, then she just stopped talking about it, and claims she is not drinking. Since then I have suspected her being drunk a few times, stumpling and smelling boozy, but today was very sad I found my daughters sippy drinking thing full of straight vodka, i smelled it and tasted it to make sure. After all this I am wondering if she is hopeless and i should just give up on her, or if she will ever quit. If I leave I am taking my child away, she drives drunk and once almost went off the road.

  32. My Goodness!! I know there are many others with alcoholic spouses, but I didn’t think the stories would be so similar.

    Right now I’m trying to get through the hours/minutes/seconds of the deep depression I plunge into whenever my common law husband, with whom I have 4 mostly grown children aged 16, 19, 20 and 24, the youngest 2 still living here. He has always gone off and left the house on extended binges, and sometimes I haven’t seen or heard from him for up to 1 month or so. These disappearances have become more frequent. I now know where he goes to – downtown with the homeless alcoholics, and very often have gone there and brought him back. Often he refuses to accompany me, however. What a stinking nightmare!!

    There is much more depth to our story, but the bottom line is that I have to learn to live without him. I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish, that everything would turn out to be happily ever after. But after almost 26 years with him, the chasm between us may not be fixable. I, after all, have become allergic or intolerant to alcohol, and can no longer accompany him in any amount of drinking. Even a few sips will make me very ill, and as a result I am of no use to him anymore.

    YES. YOU ARE RIGHT!! Those of you who realize the alcoholic cares only about himself.

    And even knowing all of this, I find it extremely hard to get through each day without him, though the times we spent together when he wouldn’t drink are getting fewer and farther between. I know I’m codependent. I wish there was a magic pill that would make all of this go away. I think of him every waking moment. What can I do? HELP!!

  33. Hello there,

    My common-law partner wants me to move out of our new house because of my drinking. I’m an alcoholic and have been sober before for 3.5 years. I recently went to rehab but relapsed shortly after. Today I went to my first meeting in years and picked up a newcomer chip. I have every intention of staying sober and I’ve done it before with the help of AA. We have a one-year-old son and I love him and my spouse and I know how horrible my addiction has been and I know that my spouse has reached the end of his rope. I’ve promised to stay sober before, in fact, only 20 days ago we went through a very difficult decision of him giving me yet another chance. And I blew it. Tonight is the first time I’ve been sober for days. I told him that I had been drinking in secret from him, I confessed all of it. I got in touch with all of my AA friends and told them the truth too. And I went to that meeting. I’m going to one tomorrow (and the day after, and the day after that…) It’s hard. But I’m hopeful. The only thing is that I wish he’d give me another chance because I need his support and I’m scared that I’m not going to make it when I live on my own. I have never been a violent drunk, I just “checked out” by drinking and I was hoping to get sober again but without AA (I hate AA… I hate it but I will go to meetings, anything to get better). Last night, I drank again and had a minor accident. I broke a toe, I lost my shoes (!), I found myself calling my spouse begging him to get me because I was too smashed to figure out where I lived (I’ve never done this before, I could usually cover up my tracks really well but I couldn’t this time). Then I told my spouse everything when he confroted me instead of lying as I used to. I felt that I was DONE. Anyway, I work full-time, I’ve lots of friends, I’m a good mom I’m just really, really screwed up. I don’t know why I’m writing this, it’s not like any of you can help me but I want you to know that I’m dying inside because I’m terrified of having to move out and doing this on my own. We just bought this house, we just made plans to go on vacation, etc. etc. Now everything’s up in the air and he hates my guts. He used to make fun of AA and call himself an “AA widower” but this is the only way. He says he’s glad I’m going back to AA now. I’m so conflicted as to what’s important, I feel like him leaving me and giving me a notice to find a place to live is complicating things, too much to handle. At the same time, it’s not fair toward him to invest his trust in me again after I broke it so many times.

  34. A good Freind of mine sent me a link to this site.

    It is sad to read thru all of these stories but comforting to know that I am not alone.

    I have been married for 8 years (2nd marraige). When I met my wife I knew that she liked to drink wine. I unfortunately underestimated the extent of her problem. I also was foolish enough to think that I could help change that. Her ex husband was a big drinker. I though that by leading by example (I don’t drink much at all) I could change her habbits.
    I was wrong. Since we have been married her drinking has gotten progressivly worse. It use to be she would drink 2 maby 3 times a week.
    For the last two years it has been 5 to 6 time a week. I started keeping track of the sobber days but stooped. In december last year she was sober 3 times in the entire month. Jan 6 times and Feb 7 times.
    I stopped keeping track becuase It was making me depressed..

    She does not drink during the day, but does start by later afternoon. During the day she is the best wife/mother there is. She works part time takes care of or 6 year old son (who has learning disabilities) and deals with her two sons (16 & 18). Shekeeps the house imaculent and has a wonderfull meal on the table on most days.

    But right around 6 pm the train runs off the tracks. There is a certain point in her drinking (usually about 1 1/2 bottles of wine) where she changes into a different person. She becomes mean, weppy uncofortably overly happy or all of the above at the same time. From that point it goes downhill. If I try to say something about it, she launches into the rant about me not helping enough and never being home. (niether of which is true, I am either at work or at home helping with the family).

    Her relationship with her boys has gotten worse as time goes on. When she is drinking, they do not want to have anything to do with her.
    Since we have been married, I have seen it go from, whats wrong with mommy (the I am just tied excuse only worked for about a year or so), to mommy is drunk again to get away from me drunky.

    I do not want to see my son go through this. He already is getting the the stage where he is noticing that mommy is acting funny.

    If it were not for my son, I would have left a long time ago. I do not want to tear his world apart.

    What can I do?

  35. My husband is an alcoholic. we have been married for 2 years. He quite for 2 months, but is just as bad as he was before. He is not violent, but he is the most agrivating ass hole in the world. It makes me want to beat him to death. I also have 2 children 16 and 18 and they can’t stand him either. I should have known better than to marry him. I stay stressed out. I have just recently started ignoring him and not showing any emotion, because it does no good. Since I have started doing that my depression has lifted somewhat. Financially me and the kids can make it, but it will be hard. I’m thinking about kicking him the hell out or at least calling the bondsman to come get him so me and the kids can have some piece till his court date. He got a dui over a year ago and i signed the bond. I guess that would be better than killing him. He would have to sober up in jail.

  36. I am so grateful to this site.

    I would like to say thanks to Tom for starting this, and for all those who have published their stories here. Reading them really helped me – reading their stories, I knew I was no longer alone.

    I first came across this site last year sometime, after I started to realise that my partner might be an alcoholic. Up ’til then I had suffered in silence and I had no idea that I was so lonely. Then I called the Samaritans. Since then I have read peoples true life stories across the web. Almost all of our stories have similar content. Some mentioned a book ‘Co-dependency no more’ which filled in many of the empty spaces, the areas I couldn’t understand. Al-anon also helped a lot. A lot.

    My partner is beautiful and I love her. I cannot stand her when she’s drunk. Foul mouthed, abusive and unrelentingly awful. She’s drunk most days. Although her drinking has got better (she doesn’t drink as much as she used to) her response to it has got worse (drinks less, gets as drunk, becomes nastier). In the beginning I thought it was due to the pressure she was under (and she was under a tremendous amount). Now I realise it’s the dependency.

    Alcoholism is a disease.

    I was naive then, thinking that I could help (lead by example – as above. offer different opportunities etc). Then I read up on the subject. Now I know that nothing I do while we are together will be of any use. Worse, remaining with her will most likely enable her and in some dreadful twist I would be colluding with her addiction.

    Recently she started physically attacking me, an escalation from verbal abuse. From other’s stories I know that physical abuse calls for an immediate response – stay and risk further assaults, become a hostage, deteriorate further, become exhausted, lose self esteem, lose self value.

    Or leave.

    We stay until the pain becomes too much.

    I looked at our life together and realised that, in spite of the promises, the potential of a fantastic future (always the potential), and the love I held and still hold for her, nothing changed. Our life together was mostly one long dreadfulness – tension, anxiety, grief, anger – interspersed with (rarely) occasional beauty. Then I read this site again. Then I read other sites again. Then I projected forward in my own life. Did I really want to be saying the same things to myself, to her, to others, in 5 years time? In 10 years time? In 20? How much longer was I prepared to be exhausted all the time?

    Alcoholics are selfish. Yes.

    The first love of an alcoholic, their only love, is the bottle. If an alcoholic stays within denial there is no hope in relating. Everything they do is to protect their relationship with that drug. Anything a drinking alcoholic says is a lie.

    Ken, I would say leave her (although I am not in anything like your situation – no kids and now separated. Perhaps I would feel differently if we had children. But for now I am certain I would go).

    Your son’s life is already being torn apart.

    My mother was an alcoholic, my father wasn’t. My brother and sisters who lived with them are alcoholics now. I was luckily removed from the situation (although I didn’t think so at the time). Of all my family I am not an alcoholic. I am lucky. The children of alcoholics are very much at risk of becoming alcoholics.

    A poet once wrote ‘Home is where the pain is’, and I think back now to the times I returned to that place and he’s right. Watching the rows between my parents, being aware of the subliminal anger, suffering the side effects of the malice, yes, he’s right. Watching some one you love destroy themselves is the worst pain, worse than leaving them, or them leaving you.

    We stay until leaving is the lesser pain.

    It’s early days for me. Our separation is recent. I still love her and miss some of it – the (few) good times. I fear for her health dreadfully. And her sanity. I still wish she would get it together. It’s a vain hope, and futile, I know. Still, some part of me wishes for the promise. Realistically I know it will never happen.

    If you’ve read this, thanks for taking the time.
    Thanks again to this site and to the other publishers.

  37. “We stay until leaving is the lesser pain”. I like that. And the dilemma for many is, staying is the pain they know, while the level of pain in leaving can’t be predicted.

  38. The beginning to the end has started – I have finally begun the inevitable. I have left. I have removed myself from the situation. This has been extreamly difficult. I did this several weeks ago. I am searching the questions going through my mind – have I done the right thing? is there anything else I could have done? and then I came across this site tonight. reading these posts I am now very, very, very confident that I have done the right thing. as painful as this has become. I had to even get a restrating order aainst her to protect myself.
    We were married for 7 years.. I became aware of her drinking problem very early in the marriage. I thought I could accomplish anything full of pride and hard work.. I thought I could fix or educate my wife as to the processes she was dealing with to get her well and make her better again. This has almost ruined me.. (Get out quickly do not wait..) What I have realized is that she has been this way all her life, alcohol is more valuable to her than my love for her I am really not a real person to her. i am someone she can abuse and hurt and lash out at when she drinks and pay the bills. Most of the time – The next day she does not even remember her actions. What caused me to move out was the threats were escalating and I finally realized that I was enabling her and that I was part of her abusive cycle and the focus of her anger (before I came into the picture it was her sister or other family members). Now she displays this in court but has to be sober to perform these actions. She still is lashing out at me – we have no children and still wants money from me to assist in paying for her habit. This has been horrible for me and as i read I realize i am not alone. This has been horrible for everyone here too. I am reading all these stories here and I never imagined that this was an existance that people had to endure. I am on the path to a better someplace. i am a bit lost right now. I keep thinking that I want to go back to her to the way things were.. But now I realize; that place is an existance that I wished it was but was never could be.
    Continuously I wished I was in a different situation. For everyone who reads this “do not wish a situation is something that it is not”. This is what I did for many years.. She is in denile and I started to buy into it “that this all really is not happening”. If you get to this stage you are in it deep. “This is when I realized I could not help her – she was making me part of her problem by enabling her alcohol abuse.”
    She went away to visit family on a long weekend (to a party) I moved out to an undisclosed location. it took some planning so the violence did not escalate. This has been emotionally and financially devastating but it can only get better from here. This may cost me dearly for the rest of my life – but money is not everything.. Truely i know what this means now..
    The departing was and has been and will continue to be hard to go through. If I had done this earlier on it would have been easier.

    Thank you to everyone here – i know what you are going through and I feel your pain and frustration. My heart goes out to everyone who reads these words here.. I never imagined I or anyone else would go through this or anything like this or could encounter this level of being argumentative and beligerent – I do not wish this on anyone!! God help us all !!
    RR

  39. I have found a website with men with the same issue that I have in my life. My wife is presently in rehab for Alcoholism and has been there for 20 days and has 8 left. Sunday is the day for visitation and we were there to support her. The bad part is even though she decided to go and get the help she still wants to drink and live the party life style at the age of 47, this has torn out my heart and scared my children. I am glad for the breif time she has been there I can start to see my wife again and mother to our 3 children. Just 5 weeks ago she woke me up and told me that I would miss her, well that night I knew she had a real problem she admitted she tried to kill herself, so I ask where do you go from there.

  40. Tom, thank you so much for this website. I, like so many others have endured the pain of an alcoholic spouse. My husband is not a “daily drunk” and can go for a week, or occasionally a month, without drinking. But when he does, watch out! Suddenly every problem he has ever had in life is somehow my fault and every little thing that he feels I have done to slight him even in the smallest of ways is relived in a drunken rage and made a thousand times worse than it really was.
    He is an angry person whom the slightest things will set him off while sober. But, when he is drunk I actually have to hide from him or take our 7 year old daughter and spend the night at a hotel to keep him from continually screaming, calling my every foul name in the book, and spewing his ugly venom in my face. He doesn’t feel like he is an alcoholic because his drink of choice is beer and he doesn’t do it “all the time.” He says the problem is mine and that I am just against him having fun and being a “real man.”
    He has never really hit me while drunk but he will push me or throw things at me because I refuse to participate in his drunken tirades and he gets angry when I try to get away from him. He has raised his fist and threatened to punch me in the face many times though.
    The next day, he always acts like nothing has happened and if I mention it he becomes irrate and says he doesn’t want to hear it and that I am attacking him and treating him disrespectfully (ironic isn’t it?)
    I admit that I cannot stand him when he is drunk. However, he is a good father to our daughter when he is sober and she loves him very much. She cries when I have talked about divorce before and begs me not to make daddy move out. We’ve tried counseling years ago but now he totally refuses to participate in any type of therapy.
    At this point, I want out of the marriage. However, I am in a very specialized medical profession (not a doctor) and my job requires me to be available 24/7 (I am on call and have to be at work within 30 minutes of being paged). Unfortunately, I have no family nearby and daycares aren’t open in the middle of the night. I don’t know the neighbors well enough to ask them for help and have no close friends because the fear of him getting drunk and acting like a jerk in front of them has kept me from reaching out to anyone else.
    But, one thing you said before really struck a nerve with me. You said, “if you imagine coming to the end of your life and looking back, you will probably want to be able to say, “that was the best choice I could make under those circumstances, with the information I had”. Rather than, “I stayed because I couldn’t decide what else to do.”
    I know what I want now but I don’t know how to do it. Any suggestions on how to get child care in the middle of the night without hiring a nanny (too expensive) and without knowing when I might need the help? There is no way I can afford to pay someone to spend every night at my house just in case I get called in.

  41. Tara, I don’t have a solution to the need for an on-call nanny. I do know that many people living with an addict are highly reluctant to expose to others what is going on in the house. I’d be very private about it myself. But if the reason for your need was different, something you wouldn’t mind sharing with the public (say, both parents are doctors who get called to the hospital at night), then you might cast a wide net. For example, putting a note on the bulletin board of the nearest community college, or in the highschool parent newsletter, church announcements or whatever. Perhaps something like this in your situation would serve a bit of a dual purpose along the lines of “if what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different.”
    Just a thought.

  42. Hi Reno

    I thought I would post a reply to you because in many ways what you said resonated with me.

    To you I want to say: WELL DONE!!!

    Wow, do I feel for you and what you are going through (and for all the other posters here).

    It was very very difficult to leave her. From reading many sites and a few books I realise now that I was essentially a hostage. Being a hostage leads to living the hostage taker’s reality. Leaving that reality is very hard indeed.

    Like you, I wished for a different situation and believed I could make it happen. Like you I questioned myself in so many ways. Questioned, doubted, castigated myself. At that time, leaving her felt like I had failed (and still does). Of course, that was her reality. I had become a caretaker, parenting the alcoholic, and co-dependent (although I most likely was already co-dependent).

    Failed?? Failed what I now wonder. Her health was not my responsibility. More importantly, I did not cause the alcoholism, I cannot cure it and it was never my responsibility to fix it. Instead, I will repeat what I read on another site (written by ivehadit31): We should not view leaving the alcoholic as failure. Rather, view it as WINNING BACK YOUR LIFE. This piece of constructive advice holds much for me. Breaking free is all about winning back my life.

    Other sites also mention how people left their alcoholic partner and after a few months returned to the relationship. 20 years later (at the time of their writing) they were saying that they had wished they had never done it. They left, started over (as I have), left again and started over (me again!) and given up leaving (not me: Like you, I will never go back no matter how hard it may be).

    The overriding sentiment is: The signs are all there, given by God or whatever higher power one might believe in. Don’t ignore them. If you have made a break to leave your alcoholic partner and choose your own destiny, RUN, don’t walk.

    I don’t apologise for the anger in my posts. I am angry. At her, for wilfully destroying our marriage (as I saw it then); for not trying to save it, like I was; Now, mostly, at myself, for believing that her actions had anything to do with me. They didn’t. I was incidental. She loves alcohol.

    Thanks again to all the posters sharing their stories. It was such a relief to find you all.

    Here’s wishing a bright future to all of you.

  43. Hello, I am 37 and have been with my husband for eleven years. When we first met he was the nicest guy ever (and told me he didn’t drink because he had gotten into a bad accident and was trying to stay away from it). I didn’t think anything of it. We dated for a few months and I got pregnant, I know not the best choice I made but what’s done is done. Anyway we got an apartment together (with my two year old daughter from my previous marriage). During the pregnancy everything was fine. When the baby was born I came home from the hospital and he went out to celebrate with his friends. The baby was barely a month old. He came home and was soooo drunk. He became abusive both mentally and physically. What had I done?? I stayed because I thought things would change. He continued to drink and be nasty but never physical again. He straightened himself up and we were good for a few years. We bought a house and moved in. I got pregnant agian with my third child, everything went downhill from there. He would drink all the time and his excuse was that he was depressed because he had gained a lot of weight. I was so depressed I reached out for help and starting seeing a therapist. He stopped drinking again and decided to have a gastric bypass. If anyone knows about this surgery your stomach shrinks and you can’t eat as much or drink. The doctors told him that if he drank he would be very ill and could die. By then I had asked for a divorce already. One weekend I decided to go see my parents in PR. My inlaws lived next door and I told them I would be going and to please care for my two elder children; I would take the baby. They agreed. I left on Friday night, but on Satuday late afternoon,my phone vibrated aleting me that someone had left me a message. I checked the message only to hear my daughter hysterical crying that something was wrong with daddy. I called back several times and no one answered his cell phone. I called my inlaws and they said he had taken the kids to the movies. I told them to run out and check on them because of my daughter’s call. They could not find them anywhere. I got the baby ready and headed back to the airport in hysterics. Two hours later my sister receives a call telling her that my kids were at the police station and that my husband was in jail. He had driven to a theme park almost an hour away and was drunk. He had pulled in to get the kids something to eat and the workers called 911 after he was knocked out on the table of the fast food joint.

    Moving ahead, he did not have to do any time because he hadn’t been physically driving when he was found. It was his first offense and they allowed him to do an intervention program, together with having to take parenting courses. I had to sign the paper in order to allow him to see the kids again. My son had to undergo a long bout of therapy to get over what happened. He was devastated to the point that he blamed me for what happened to his dad. (It was just easier then believing his dad would do something like that) This all happened three years ago and it wasn’t until recently that he apologized and said he knew it wasn’t my fault. We did get divorced but a year later we re-married because he was “a changed man”. He stopped drinking altogether…until… his mother’s birthday. he said he was running out to get something at the market. An hour later his brother and I found him passed out with the car engine running in the parking lot of the market. Again he started meetings but stopped shortly after. Just this weekend my little one runs upstairs complaining that daddy was slurring. I told him that daddy was tired from working so hard. I made the kids stay upstairs while I went to check. Sure enough he was knocked out and would wake up momentarily all confused. I addressed him about it and he said he had taken some valiums and some energy drink.

    Things aren’t getting better if anything they are getting worse. He said he wasn’t an addict and that it was the first time he had done that. Sure!!!!
    I am being cold to him and even told him we were done, I told him to get his act together for the sake of the kids. That is the main reason why I have stayed. When he is not drinking or taking valium, he is the best father and husband. The kids adore him, he is funny and smart. I love him but I am afraid. I dont want my daughter to grow up thinking its ok to be with someone like this. I don’t want her to think that if my mom did it then why cant I. It’s not what I had planned for her. Her biological father left us when she was only a year old. He enlisted in the military and never looked back. We got divorced through the military. She has never seen him or heard from him. This man she calls daddy is her heart. She loves him very much. I feel sooo guilty for her father abandoning her and now her “daddy” being a drunk. I know I haven’t made the best decisions in life but I just hope she understands that it’s not ok. That I have tried my best to give her a good life as well as her brothers. I just don’t know what to do anymore. The kids are 5,10, and 15. They are my life. But will they hate me for leaving their father? His parents just look the other direction but from what I’ve learned, my husband is the one who has to want to change. It would not matter what any of us ask him to do. I have even tried going to meetings with him but nothing changes. I find myslef constantly sick and I know its because I am always worried and thinking. I just want my kids and I to be happy, but I guess its a little selfish considering he is hurting and in need of help. But I tried and even married him a second time, what more do I have to live with. Ohhh I am a mess!!!! Would not wish this on anyone.

  44. Tom, can you please send Ken my email address? My situation is EXACTLY the same as his and I need someone to talk to if he is interested.

    I’ve been married to my wife for 12 years and we have two sons together, 8 and 11 years old. My wife has always been an achoholic but the last 6 months have been the worst. She now drinks 5 or 6 days a week…wine, vodka or both. She’s not a mean or abusive drunk but I can’t let my boys grow up watching and “learning” her behaviors. My oldest son get depressed and my youngest is a prime candidate for following in her foot steps into alchoholism. I almost snapped when he walked by me with a beer on his way to deliver it to my wife at her request. How dare she!

    I’ve read all of the above stories many times and they are very comforting to me. It’s amazing how I can be surounded by great friends, neighbors and family and still feel soooooo alone. I can’t sleep anymore. I can’t concentrate at work. I can’t keep doing this anymore… I still love my wife. When she is sober we have such a great time together, but when she goes for that 1st drink my stomach knots up and I can feel the depression & anger well up inside of me instantly. I have not been to therapy or to Alanon yet for fear that I will escalate what would be the inevitable end to my marage and family. I don’t want to make things worse for my boys.

    After last nights drunkin fall in the middle of our street, while playing basket ball as a family, I have once again reached the end of my rope. I’m sitting at my home office right now wondering how to tell my wife, when she gets home from work, that I’m leaving her. What do I say? Will I actually go through with it this time? Do I show her videos of her sitting at the dining room table with me and the boys while she is completely wasted?? Do I wait to tell her until I have spoken to a lawyer? Do I cancel all of the credit cards and stop direct depositing my paycheck to our bank account and take over the responsibility of paying our bills? (I make 98% of our families income) Do I try and get her to find a full time job first so she can afford to move out?

    I am so confused…

  45. I cannot believe all the postings and how similar they are. My situation is different in the fact my wife and I both drink all the time. We are both professionals in very high stressed positions. We drink wine together every night. We are both divorced and have suffered through many stresses and crisis together. I love my wife and I have become so concerned about her. Our kids, and friends are taking notice of her behaviour changes when she drinks. Sometimes she is OK other times she is very mean, confrontational, and engages me or the kids in conversations that do not make any sense. She turns on me frequently, it gets really bad verbally, a few times I have been locked out of the house, many times I have slept elsewhere for the night. Admittingly I at times have become so angry and frustrated I have yelled, I have punched her in the butt once, dragged her out of bed once, yes I have to admit I have become so frustrated and hurt with the verbal abuse she lays on me that I have retaliated and yelled my head off sometimes. I have so much guilt over this. I drink too so its hard for me to point out when she’s had too much when I’m drinking too. I handle myself better, the kids never really see me drunk or slurring my speech or talking jibberish like they do with my wife. But, I am part of the problem too. I have found liquor hidden amongst the house, I found her on the patio drinking at 5:00 am the other day, after a night out with her girlfriends she was sooo drunk she could barely form words or speak. I took the glass and dispensed it off the patio and raised my voice to her again. She says I scare her but really she scares all of us and I worry so much about her that something bad is going to happen to her. I want us to both stop drinking and I am trying to encourage this, but she seems so resentful towards me and when I bring it up she becomes very angry towards me. She is a wonderful person when she is sober, and a total Demon when she is drunk. She makes excuses the next day, or does not remember, or does not believe me when I tell her what she was like. She got drunk with her girlfriend again last night, came home full of empowerment, and told me “this relationship is the shits” and “you have anger issues” and “we’re through get out!” etc. I guess I argued with her which was a mistake, so she simply got in her car and went back to her girlfriends again for more drinks most likely. I left the house in fear they may invent some kind of abuse thing and call the cops on me or something. I sit here at my office devastated wodering how this got so bad, when I love this woman and I just lost my best friend, and she just lost whatever support I had left for her. My kids are at home alone, she won’t take any calls or emails, she just disregards everything and everyone else when she gets like this. Alcohol is so destructive to so many families, so painful to watch it take hold of the one you love, and so hard to realize I have been part of this problem. I helped her become an alcoholic, because I am an alcoholic too. I always felt I was in control and she was not. The truth of the matter is . . . we both need help.

  46. My wife of 13 years is an alcoholic our whole marriage and at one point got addicted prescripton meds. This was the forst time she went to rehab. She came out and made it two weeks clean. So another few years went by and she was still drinking. This past January I had an affair and admitted to it in February and ask her to leave. She moved six hours away with friends and called me everyday and told me how much she missed me. Finanally after 2 months of this I told her I wanted her to come home and her whole mind set changed to I was pressuring her. She attempted suicide and her frinds demanded she get help for the alcohol or she was no longer allowed at their home. So she did go into treatment and stayed and came out after six weeks. She informed me four days after coming out she wanted a divorce because she met a man in rehab. Is letting her go what I need to do for her to stay sober and be happy? I am finding it hard to let her go. I have told I would but this is not what I want. Is this something that happens to recovering alcoholics? Is she affraid she could not be with me and stay sober?

  47. This site is fantastic, I have searched and searched over the years but never found something with so many husbands of alcoholic wives.

    My story is so similar, been together 17 years, the first 10 untouched by alcohol and those days seem like I must have been living in heaven comapred to now. Her mother was an alcoholic so my wife knew the pain of alcoholism. We had the usual glass of wine with dinner like most folks do I guess and drank while socialising but about 7 years ago I began to notice she had already had a glass of wine when I got home from work. I didnt understand alcolism at all at that ime and thought to myself she knows what she is doing, it’s no problem, maybe denial on my part too. It steadily got worse over a few years until she asked me to help her with all this as she knew she had a big problem by that time. She was probably drinking 2 bottles of wine a day or a bottle of vodka sometimes a mix of both.

    I have been at breaking point so many times over the past 5 years. She can get sober and remain so for 2, 3, 4, 5,6 best 7 months. during these sober periods she is just like her old self, I love has as much as ever but it always comes back to her lifting a drink again and getting herself into such a mess I feel as if i’m going to have a heart attack, begging on streets, looking and smelling like a tramp, trouble with police, neighbours talking, you know how it goes.

    She has been in rehab 4 times, hospital stays, her GP and her addiction councellor who have been fantastic, I’m sure are sick of her too. Everyone, ever her recovered mother, tells me to leave. We have no kids, she doesnt work, maybe that was the problem and I crucify myself with those thoughts for not making things different 10-12 years ago. But I lover her so so much. I can’t bear thinking about how she would cope, homeless, it scares me.

    Another problem outside of all this has arisen now. I need to find a new job as my current position has been made redundant. I have had a lot of support from my work with my wife, they now the situation and have been very very supportive with time off to help her back to sobriety etc. But I cant take this to a new job, I wouldnt be able to hold it together. So my life is currently in such misery. I know I should leave her but keep thinking this time she will be better and stay better. Am I a fool for thinking that?

    Thanks
    W

  48. I thought I was the only one with this problem.

    Here I am at 8:25est on 9/11/2010.
    It has been a tough day a rollercoaster ride from Hell…..!

    I’m full of anxiety and fear. She is getting worse and worse every month.

    We have been together for 18 years it’s just the last 4 years that her alcoholisim has reared it’s ugly head. Let me say that this woman is the the most amazing person when sober and my best friend and love of my life. That is why this is so hard for me to deal with.

    She has been to two rehabs, countless AA meetings , tried every drug on the market , therapy and has read so many books on alcoholisim.

    I’m angry that alcoholisim is taking my wife from me and making me choose between living with an alcoholic or leaving.
    I’m tiered of the manipulation, lies, anger and mental and physical abuse. She has even started to get more violent with her 2 yorkies when she is drunk.
    Like a good alcoholic she blames me for everything and is never happy until she breaks me down.

    I know know one wants to be an alcoholic and I still hold on to hope that one day she will beat this addiction.

    I have come to the conclusion that I have 3 options.

    1) Stay with her and hope she gets it some day and stops drinking.
    2) Pack my stuff and leave.
    3) Take my life so I don’t have to deal with this anymore.

    As a man this is hard to deal with. I have kept my problems to myself because I’m embarrased to talk with friends and family. I tried going to a Al-Anon meeting yesterday, but just parked outside, then left. I’m kind of a lone wolf personality, so this has been my problem to deal with.

    I just will never grasp the fact that my best friend and lover picks alcohol over me.

    When I think I get the strenght to leave , my mind will be triggered by something around me that brings back memories of good times together or she will be sober for a few days, weeks and I think it is over.

    Alcohool is a cruel and cunning disease….!

    To all the people out there dealing with this problem, stay strong and god bless…..!

    John B

  49. Wow, so there really is a whole community of people suffering the exact same thing as me out there! I’ve been with my wife for the past 2.5 years, living together for 2 years, and married for the past 9 months. We’ve been down the detox and rehab path more times than I’d like to admit. I get all kinds of advice to move on. I hang my hat on a couple of things – 1) She wasn’t always nuts. She actually was very successful both professionally and personally previously in her life. and 2) I go to AA meetings with her and see people with equally bad or probably worse stories and they seem OK now. My wife and I talk about options A, B, and C. A is we continue to do crazy. B is I leave and C is she stops being crazy. I’m still hoping, betting, and praying on option C, but that’s the one that I don’t control at all, and the evidence against that being reasonable continues to grow.

    We seem to have a unique opportunity right now. We’re weaning her off alcohol again. A week from today, she’ll be clean. In the meantime, she has a cast on her right foot for the next three weeks, until she gets foot surgery. This is a second surgery from an injury she sustained last December, in surprise, an alcohol related incident. She’ll be in a cast (on her right foot) and can’t drive until January. Since I’m her only source, we can keep her off until January, and then her shrink can give her vivitrol (the month long shot version of naltrexone) and she knows it kills the buzz. She’ll just stop taking naltrexone and then start drinking. She knows she can’t do it with the vivitrol month long shot. I’m thinking I get her through 4 months, as a captive audience. I’ll probably get her through a year with the vivitrol taking over for the next 8 months. However, the key to success is her A) learning to cope with the problems that life throws at us and B) finding something, anything else that makes her happy. A friend of mine says I’m nuts, because I’m trying to force her through artificial means. I agree it’s artificial, but she needs to be artificially forced away from the alcohol to buy the time to hopefully learn coping skills and find something else that makes her happy. I know my friend is right, if she doesn’t achieve these two things, we could go 20 years, and at 20 years and one day she’ll be right back at it. I just think, hope and pray that she’s a smart woman, that’s been successful before, so if we buy enough time maybe, hopefully she’ll find her way. Has anyone had any experience with “artificially” keeping them away, to buy the time to hope they learn to cope and find something else to satisfy them? Has anyone else had any experience with vivitrol? Please let me know.

    Thanks a million, good luck to each and every one of you!!!

    Vern

  50. Never thought I was the only one but am surprised that we all tell such similar stories. Mine? Married 23 years, two beautiful, brilliant children. Both she and me are professionals, she has three degrees. Beautiful house, three cars, gigantic TV, you know, all the “stuff”. But she’s a hardcore alcoholic. Let’s check the boxes to be sure: separations 2, lost jobs 4; DUIs 2; car crashes and fender-benders 9; rehabs 6; hospital stays for ODs and psych treatment 11, affairs 1 (that I know of); ruined Christmases, birthdays, vacations, weddings, funerals (how does someone ruin a funeral?!), kid’s sporting events, dinner dates, golf games, blah, blah,blah… too many to count.
    She is a stunningly beautiful woman whom (during the good days, and there were many), i felt truly lucky and blessed to have as a partner. Now… not so much. We separated about a year ago, and I maintained a healthy distance. The few times we got together as a family didn’t go well; but I always thought/hoped we would eventually get back together. Because I loved her and she loved me, as best she could. But I was always a poor second to her real lover, the one she would do ANYTHING for, alcohol. I will make a very long, horrifying, story a bit short, I never got into first place, never got the gold medal. Anyway, as I said, we’re separated now; but I gave us one last shot. I offered to try again and promised her my support and fidelity (as I had dated someone for 3 weeks in June and this was causing her no end of resentment). My goal was to get her into treatment asap, She agreed on the same terms, Well, that lasted about…oh, twenty hours. I guess she had forgotten she had invited me over to her place because, well, like Cecilia, “I got up to wash my face (metaphorically), when I come back to bed, someone’s taken my place”.
    This was the worst night of my entire life (and there a been a few interesting ones). Yet guess what, it was my fault because I hadn’t been giving her enough attention during the two days since I had made my offer.
    It breaks my heart to see what she has become, so sick and broken, but like all alcoholics, unable to assume any responsibility for the enormous pain they visit on their “loved” ones, Anyway as you might guess, I am done with her. I cannot save her, don’t know if her rock bottom is six feet under. I was with a close friend of 40 years last night, on the third anniversary of burying her alcoholic husband; drank himself to death at 49. a And she still wonders if she could have done something else to save him.
    This is the point of my story. To those of you suffering with alcoholic spouses, I have some more bad news… YOU cannot save them; YOU cannot change them. Stop trying. Find your own path to sanity, with or without them. Thanks for listening; I’m going out to start my life now. Good luck to you all, it’s still a beautiful world out there.

  51. I must agree that this website has been extremely helpful to me, if not for just knowing that I am not alone in this crazy hellish situation. My wife and I have been together for going on 7 years, married for 5. This is the 2nd time for both of us. 3 kids each, though none of them live with us. Mine are all grown and hers choose to live with their father. Especially after witnessing several of the scenes caused by my beloved wife. She has clearly been an alcoholic for the majority of her grown up life, but I did not know anything about this disease. I never saw any of this coming. I love her so much it hurts. I keep wishing I could hate her, so that my next inevitable step would be that much easier. But I can’t hate her. She is my best freind! She has run the same gamut of alcohol exercises including losing her high-pay professional job 18 months ago (still unemployed), DUI, 2 car accidents, losing her children, 5 times taken away by state intervention workers and the local police; 5X in the drunk tank at the ER; 3X in detox; countless thearpy groups, AA meetings (but only for a short stint each time)… and on and on. Oh, and she is a life-long eating disorder (bulemic and anorexic) which she has had inpatient therapy for but still starves & purges herself. Some times she goes 3-5 days without eating, but is fueled only by alcohol. 3 weeks ago, my elderly mother was staying with us for a week long visit. She is the last of my entire family who still “liked” my wife. My children hate her, and our freinds have kind of left us by the wayside because they can’t deal with her either. Anyway, while Ma was here, my wife got repeatedly drunk and started to act in her scary crazy way. She scared Ma so bad that I had to purchase an air ticket home for her early. She was so relieved to leave here. And I do not think she will come back now. Just like everyone else. Nobody comes here anymore. We are literally hermits now. So I said to her that was enough, I realized that my staying and trying to support her thru all of these alcohol situations was only enabling her. I am not the solution, although I stupidly thought I could be. I read all the right things, etc. I do not really drink much at all. An occaisional beer or cocktail when social, but 2-3 is and always has been my limit. She has turned me against drinking in a major way. I run a dry house here, but she has her stashes. Anyway, after telling her I was thru and leaving, she started going back to AA. This was 3 weeks ago. She seemed sober for the past 3 weeks. Then we went to visit some old freinds in a few towns over at a restaurant on Sunday nite. They are my old freinds and don;t really know her that well. She stayed sober thru the nite, as did I. I was proud of her. When she got home, something snapped and she started drinking (from her stash I guess). this was happening while I slept. Monday monring, she is drunk as hell. I go to work. Monday nite, she is drunk as hell still. Only this time hallucinating and threatening to kill herself (she has threatened before… so I just ignore it). The next thing I know, I am awakened at 1AM by the police at my door. She was running around the yards of the neighborhood saying she was chasing “flying people”. One of my neighbors called the cops. They took her away in ambulance to the ER. Now, we don’t have medical insurance, because we can’t get any for her due to her previous alchol & eating disorder issues (pre-exist condition… nobody will cover her). So the bill for this will hit me like a 2×4 to the tune of probably $3K- $5K. I did not go to the hosiptal this time as I told her last time, was the last time! She comes home the next day. Goes to an AA meeting that nite in a rental car (because her car is in the shop from a previous accident). She leaves the AA meeting and totals the rental car!! She is not hurt, and luckily she hit a parked car so nobody else is hurt, but I am now thinking what a week fromhell this has become… and its only Tuesday!! I have a $1K deductible on the rental insurance, so now this week has cost me going on $6K!! Everyone tells me to leave. EVERYONE!! My daughter is having my first grandchild in January and I have already been told that the baby will never be allowed around her. She is not welcome at the hosiptal or any other baby event. And my daughter will not come to my house. I do not blame my family for how they feel. It just makes it so damned difficult. If I leave her, I do believe she will do something, possibly fatal, to herself. She is also unemployed and I am the only source of income. I am self employed and am struggling like everyone else these days to keep working and make any money at all. So financially, there is a prob. We have put the house on the market, but even if it does sell, there won’t be enough money for either of us to start over by ourselves. I’m sorry for rambling here. I know I have a tough decision to make here, and its gotta happen more sooner than later……….. Thanks for giving me my little airtime. Good luck to you all. You all bring tears to my eyes, but I so relate to all of your pain. I wish you all peace in your lives. I hope I find it too.

  52. My partner and I got together soon after she split from her ex (5 years ago). She shares custody of her 9 y.o. daughter with her ex. Throughout our relationship drinking has come up as a problem (we’ve been together for 5 years, married for 2). The first incident involved her mixing anxiety medication with a 6 pack and not waking up. I blamed it on the fact that she was going through a rough separation with her ex. She decided to stop drinking, said she could do it on her own, but I found her drinking secretly one night after she thought I was in bed. She apologized, and I told myself she didn’t really have a problem, that she was just overreacting. She started drinking openly again, claiming she could have one a night, but that didn’t work. I convinced myself she didn’t have a real problem because she never drank more than 4 bottles a night, and often only does have 2 (I think, she tends to always have an open bottle on the counter so I don’t know which one she’s on). But, she slurs her words and can say hurtful things, and make bad decisions when she is drinking. Over the years I have talked to her many times, and asked her to see a counselor. She has always claimed she could do it on her own. She never could. In fact, most nights of the week, she comes home, makes dinner (or I do) and then she drinks and watches T.V. I have repeatedly asked for us to do stuff— go out, have friends over— and she sometimes acts like she wants to, but it rarely happens. She complains about everything I don’t do around the house, and how much she cleans…. though I pick up my step-daughter from school, help her with her homework, drive her to practices, and then end up needing to work (for my job) at night… and I do clean as well, she just wants the house to be immaculate. Meanwhile, she sits and watches t.v. while I’m working. Recently after another talk where she said she would stop drinking, I found her on beer #3, so while she was in the other room I poured it down the sink. She came in as I put the bottle in the recycling and was furious. She glared at me and told me she didn’t want me to be her “drinking police”. The next day she sent me an email apologizing and saying she was too ashamed to talk about it and I shouldn’t respond. The next day she asked me what was wrong and I told her that I was upset about that incident. She asked what I wanted her to do, and I told her I wanted her to quit drinking and see a counselor. She said no. She said she would just start drinking less, and she could do it on her own. A few days later I told her I was thinking of leaving (a very hard decision, as I have been helping to raise her daughter for 5 years)… She was distraught and upset. We talked over the course of a couple of days and finally she said she would see a counselor and quit drinking. Another day or so later she contacted AA and went to a meeting. I still don’t trust her, and have told her I am going to stay elsewhere on the nights of the week when her daughter isn’t with us, so I can have some space to think. She has been very upset by this, saying I am “running away from our problems” and “giving up with out a fight”. She goes in an out of blaming herself, and then telling me she can’t believe I would leave her when she is finally getting help for this disease. She says she feels betrayed, and that all of my promises in marriage were a deception. She questions my sense of commitment, feeling I should stay with her through this (saying she would stay with me through anything). Whenever I am with her I feel tremendous guilt. She tells me she can’t believe I would do this to her child, and that I am not putting her into the equation (though, this kid is the thing that has kept me here, I love her more than anything). When I go out with friends or myself, I feel like it is ridiculous that this blame is being thrust on me? I told her I needed space to see if I want to try to work things out (though at this point I don’t know I have it in me)… she says I’ll just pull away and so it is essentially giving up. Is this true? Also, I don’t know what to do if I DO leave… she is lying to her ex about how much she is drinking, but I feel like there needs to be some way to check in on her to make sure she doesn’t start drinking again when she has her kid at home. I’m confused, alternately feeling guilty and angry. Am I giving up to easy? Will it be better for me to stay for her kid, or will that teach her child unhealthy relationship habits? Our relationship has had many wonderful parts to it, but I don’t think I can live my life waiting to find her sneaking beer again. any advice is appreciated.

  53. I am in the worst situation ever, except my pregnant GF has relapsed, she is 4 months pregnant, this is the second time she has relapsed during pregnancy, the first time I told her dr and some family, the dr. Threatened to call cps so she quit, but I had to go though hell afterwards so I’m not telling her dr again, does no good, she has a min. Income of SSI for bipolar, the apt is in my name, but sometimes I just feel like leaving it all n changing my number one day, I know that would be messed up on my part but I’m going crazy, but scared to leave cause I don’t want her to commit suicide or something, I used to drink but quit. I don’t know how, but she scrounges up money (probably food stamp trading) for something to drink every day while I’m at work, then I come home to “I hate you” type yelling which she swears she doesn’t remember the next day, and she is so loud! We almost got evicted once already, I usually just cruise the block for a couple of hours till she sobers up and so I don’t get in an altercation and end up in jail, while ignoring her 50 or more screaming calls, and she also wrecks the house while I’m gone. She has also had gastric bypass surgery which makes it to where all she needs is a 6 pack and she is in a rage! She is a real sweetheart when she is sober, and I really love her and I want my son, but I’m willing to sign off on the child support now just to get away from it all. We have been together 2 years, she went to rehab right before she was pregnant, no place will. Take her now cause she is pregnant and only has medicaid. If I leave, she cannot go to her moms, she has already burnt that bridge.

  54. What a fantastic blogspot! I didn’t read all of the stories — I was convinced it was the best ‘therapy’ I’ve seen after reading through roughly half. I’ll read more later. My dear alcoholic wife of 23 years has been gradually getting worse over a long period of time. I was too naive and uninformed about alcoholism and its early stages to recognize what was happening until about 10-15 years ago. Of course now I know that her mother and grandfather had the same problem. If I’d only only known then what I know now. We have 3 boys – one out of the house, one 15 & angry and one elementary child which frankly keeps me around.

    My wife is a travels constantly for her job. She is gone pretty much 2-3 days per week. The 4-5 days she is home she is also ‘gone’ 80% of the evenings. She is a ‘hider’ with beer, vodka, tonic and a box of wine hidden somewhere in the house at any given time. I always find the empties stashed in places she has forgotten about. Her consumption rate is typically one bottle (1 liter) one box (3-liters) a six pack of Heineken and a half-liter of Vodka during this 4-day span she is home. Her personality changes the moment the first drink touches her lips. She first becomes ‘chatty Cathy’ and spends an inordinate amount of time on the phone. The next stage is the ‘dumb’ stage which is extremely selfish and irrational, then comes the ‘angry’ spouse that berates me for everything bad that has ever happened.

    She does not pick up after herself and her clothes are scattered about and most are never put away. She does do laundry and wash dishes. I would call her a ‘functional’ alcoholic. She seems to stay sober only when motivated by fear. She stayed sober for 9-months with each of her pregnancies and when on the job, but lately that’s about it. Our kids are highly successful, beautiful children that have been raised almost exclusively be me. Of course I have to work too, although I had to make some difficult, career-disruptive decisions in order to find home-office work over the past 10-years to keep the home life stable. Prior to taking these steps she was driving the kids around while drunk to soccer or baseball practice or calling the coach and telling him our kids were ‘sick’. The coach came to me later in the season and said he was sorry our son was so seriously ill !

    She used to be the social butterfly, however she is now is becoming more and more isolated due to her slide into oblivion. We went out to eat with another couple about a year ago and she secretly drank before we left and was in a ‘stupor’ at dinner unable to follow or join in a conversation. That was the last time I tried that. She has also added about 40-50 pounds and no longer is attractive with the double chin or the blotchy complexion when drinking. I have vowed not to have sex with her if she is drunk, and so it has now been 7-years.

    I, like many of you, am getting to the end of my rope. She threatens to divorce me when she is drunk — and I ask her how soon she can get it done. When she is sober she plays a completely different tune and seems to be concerned about her many of her friends getting divorced (who are all providing her with marriage counseling. She won’t go to counseling because she knows her drinking will become the central topic, and we have covered for her so successfully that we are enabling her to continue her ways.

    I’m hanging in there for my 15-year old to get through school but starting to wonder if we’ll make it that long. Of course I’ve been at this so long now and still need someone in the house when I’m at work late or traveling myself. At least she’s a live body in the house, even if usually a drunk one in the late afternoon and evening. She has been violent with me blingsiding me when angry and punching my youngest recently. She can’t remember — or so she says — any of this in the morning. Her mom won’t help and her sisters have disowned her. Help! Should I start looking for her replacement now or wait for it to end?

  55. I understand all of the responses and feel for all of you. I am a recovering alcoholic, and in the process of doing everything and anything I can to maintain sobriety. It is a lifelong process and it trully is a disease that can kill. I have also been on the other end and have dealt with family and friends who were addicts/alcoholics and it is horrible and feeling of hopelessness. However, they got into recovery, and have very good marraiges (actually, their marriages are better than they ever have been x 1000). And, if they didn’t have the support…who knows…? If your spouses are not willing to get help with the disease, you have every right to give the middle finger. But, guarenteed, raging anger against them will only exacerbate it. I know from experience. Likewise with them, they should not be abusive to you. I was never abusive or mean alcoholic, – but that was just me. But, if they are trying, I’m wondering how you feel? Do you want to leave still? And why? Is it to make your life easier? I just really like to know and am asking sincerely. .

    Just remember, this is a total lifestyle change for the alcoholic (if they get help) and for the better – but if you are married, this lifestyle change has to be done TOGETHER…otherwise, might as well leave your spouse now. It won’t work if you want your souse to completey change and you do not. Many of you have tried and change too it sounds like, good for you. Good luck to you all.

  56. Instinctively, I know there were a large number of persons in my shoes, but it is instructive to listen to the experiences which in many cases mirrors mine. Fortunately, I found Al-Anon relatively early in the disease process and have benefited greatly from that association, along with my Higher Power. As many have stated previously, my wife can be a wonderful person until she registers a blood alcohol level–then the “Hyde” emerges. As expected, her disease is progressing. and quite rapidly.

    In the past few months, I have elected to pursue a contingency plan that would in a about six months, accommodate departing the relationship and relocating if I felt that the situation was no longer tolerable–but I am not at that point yet. I know my legal situation in my state of residence, and my attorney is ready to file if notified. But, I love my wife, and as was stated previously want to be patient enough to allow for God to present the resolution. That could take years or before I am fully prepared. I do agree that it is vital to live your life regardless of your status with the alcoholic. I still attend church, maintain my exercise discipline, perform my charity work, and foster new acquaintances and friendships (yes, it is somewhat awkward occasionally with my wife conspicuously absent). Thanks for letting me share.

  57. Having read numerous comments on this website I realize how not alone I am with my wife’s alcoholism. At the end of my comment will explain what broke her cycle of binge alcoholism and how she is managing a reasonable successful recovery over the past 6 weeks. Four years ago after 18 years of marriage and 4 kids we both decided, for a date night, to go out to a club and have a few drinks. Seemed harmless enough at the time.

    The problem is that, with my wife suffering from major depressive disorder (severe depression) she began to find alcohol – and the night life – as a way to self medicate. We later learned that over 60% of people with depression self medicate with drugs or alcohol. So I learned that, in coping with my wife’s addiction, it was important to find out what might have been behind her addiction. Most people don’t just wake up one morning and say “what the hell – I think I’ll become an alcoholic so I can utterly screw up my life and shred the people in my life that I love.

    After about 2-3 years of us going out she abruptly decided that it was time for her to hit the bars on her own. With the likelyhood of a midlife crisis coming in to play, in addition to an eating disorder, and severe depression my wife was set up like no other to get sucked in to alcoholic hell. Over the course of about 18 months she hit the bars most nights, all night, and drank like a fish. This led to unwanted sex with men taking advantage of a drunk woman, an affair, numerous blackouts with God knows what taking place, lost debit cards, hit and run accident, and finally a DUI. This was actually her saving grace.

    With not even our children’s pleas keeping her out of the bars the 8 hours she spent in jail was enough to begin to wake her up. Ultimately, after her DUI attorney advised outpatient alcohol counseling, was required to go to rehab for medical detox. This, she was told, was necessary as withdrawl from alcohol can actually be fatal if not medically monitored.

    Thank God for our rehab hospital. After 7 days my wife was safely weaned from alcohol, learned all about how alcohol affects your body, brain, and mind (it actually alters your way of thinking so that you are literally not yourself when your addicted and using. They told her it takes between 6 months and 12 months to return to normal. This is important to know because, had I given up on my wife and divorced her like she really, really deserved (so I thought) we would not be here today with the promise of recovery right in front of us.

    She learned so much at the detox hospital and followed it up with daily meetings or counseling sessions. She attends outpatient alcohol counseling three days a week and is required by her therapist to attend AA at least 2x more per week. This has been the only thing that has proven to break her horrendous cycle of binge drunkeness. And yes she got to the point where, after an all-night drinking binge, she would come home to put the kids on the us only to head back to the bars to drink more.

    This actually served to help build the case to get her admitted to rehab. Since insurance can be reluctant to pay unless it’s proven medically necessary.

    And finally, she has begun to welcome God back in to her life. One of the 12 steps of AA is to surrender your problem to a higher power.

    A few more comments: 1) if your wife/husband had had an affair or a one night stand the Bible says that adultry is the only reason for a man to divorce his wife (or woman to divorce her husband) but it clearly does not say that a man must divorce his wife. I say this because promiscuous sex often accompanies the drunken bull shit that we have to put up with and I had to chose more than once to either throw her ass out or forgive and try to move on. 2) Those of us with children know what kind of hell they go through as well. For me it has been worth the effort to try and save my wife from alcoholism and the hell it has put us all through. And I have used this as an opportunity to show my kids that when you’re married it takes commitment. Afterall, I did say for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and in health. I did not say until she hurt me so bad and the going just got too tough. But everyone has there own threshold for pain and suffering and it would be tough to blame anyone for leaving an alcoholic. But if I’d left my wife there’s not doubt that she’d be in the bottom of some shit-hole bar right now drunk instead of 6 weeks in to a so far successful recovery.

    At this point I must give credit where credit is due. If my marriage survives this horrible battle with an alcoholic wife the I must give credit to God and His word. After a preacher and several other people said I should divorce her God’s word told me something different.

    In the bible:
    Ephisians chapter 5:25 says ‘Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church when He died for her to make her clean and holy’. No one has asked me to die for my wife yet.

    As a Christian I have learned to live by Christ’s examples. Is it easy – not always. Is it worth it – so far. And if anyone says that worked for you but my situation is different I would say this – what have you got to lose. I finally came around to God’s way after trying everything else and failing every time.

    I’ve just chosen to do everything I can possibly imagine to not let the demon of alcoholism destroy my wife, my marriage, and my family. Hebrews Chapter 13:4 says about faith ‘that Christ held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him because of the promise of joy that God had in store for him. So do not get tired and stop trying’.

  58. First of all i am very happy i found this website, it helps me a little by the fact i realize i’m not alone in that situation, then i am actually trying to find an answer to my problem which is bothering me at all time. i’ve read some stories quite of similar as mine and probably should find the answer into it, but i rather tell my own and you can give me an advice!
    Ok i have been married for 8 years and we have a little cutie together of 5 years old, my wife has been an alcoholic for a long time (thing i discovered after beeing married at a meeting in a rehabilitation center).She used to be a bartender.
    She would get drunk when i am not home with cheap booze then i will find those bottles hidden every where in house (garages ,kitchen cabinets, our daughter’s bedroom…) and sometimes half empty .It’s a mess ,i ‘ve tried to talk about it with her but it’s not going anywhere, a year ago i just wanted out so i decide to met with an attorney and started the procedure and at half way i just didn’t want to remove my daughter from her mom,( she loves her a lot), that would be devastating to her, so i backed out, and also she has no money and just started a new job, but she got all her family around thing i do not have, when i do not work or after work i never feel like going out or if i do i apprehend the return,she will be screaming my name over my daughter’s head whose she sleeping, telling me she wants to eat, she hates me, and it goes and goes and then if i ignore her saying she would start to be violent, on this i ‘ve in the past called her family on it but i am too tired mentally life is too short to be worry 24 h a day for a 36 years old… here was the sample of my life as a husband exhausted…

  59. I have been married to an Alcoholic husband for 18 years. It was so great before the addiction really showed up. The worst part now is that he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong. He used to at least apologize after a night of raging be remorseful and stop for awhile but now the older he gets the more stubborn he is and now says he will never stop. He calls me every name in the book and the C word numerous times. He scares the kids we have 3. He passed out on top of our 8 yr old and lies and says he didn’t. He answers my cell phone drunk and bad mouths me to whomever calls and then says that I do something wrong when I throw his phone ? its so crazy now i can’t even talk to him anymore without screaming at the top of lungs because of the lies and the blame he does to me. He blames everything on me and I still want him back it sounds so bad. we own 2 businesses together and the one i run we just started so i would not be able to financially stand on my own. it feels so good to talk it out here and know that i am not insane.

  60. I am to the point where I’m realizing that my husband may never change. We are in our 50’s, have been together for 6 years and have been married for only 1 1/2 years. He was sober when we met, but has been an alcoholic for probably 30 years.
    He is on probation for felony DUI (third offense), and one of the conditions of the probation is that he can’t drink at all. Last night the probation officer showed up at our house and he blew a positive result. He has to go report tomorrow and will find out what happens now. He blew positive once before and had to go to outpatient rehab, which cost us $3500 and was useless. He has been to rehab so many times in his life that he already knows it all and they have nothing new to tell him. He could probably teach the classes! I went to some of the family sessions and finally quit because they were stupid and useless even from my point of view.
    I realized in the last few weeks that I actually thought that I could keep him from drinking. That if I loved him enough, or supported him enough he wouldn’t have to drink any more.
    He has been hurt deeply be women in the past and didn’t want to let himself care about me. But when he finally did let himself feel, he let himself love me probably more than he’s ever loved before.
    He understands that our relationship is on the line and he still drinks.
    My main problem is that I don’t want to hurt him and I feel like I need to take care of him. He has no driver’s license and I have to provide transportation for him. His parents will be devastated if I leave him.
    I don’t know how he would survive without me. And he loves me so much. We are extremely close. Really soulmates. He is never abusive physically or emotionally.
    But, I do have a survival instinct and realize that I need to take care of myself. The thought of a breakup makes me literally ill. But I’m getting sick of this roller coaster. It feels like we’re making progress, then we slide back and start circling the drain again!
    I would appreciate any observations anyone has about my situation. I don’t ever talk to anyone about this because I want everyone to think he is doing ok. I guess I feel like a failure if I can’t fix him, and I know that’s not right.
    I can read what I’ve written here and can think of a lot of flaws in the reasoning that I would point out if someone else had written this. But it’s different when it’s yourself.
    I guess it’s good just to vent and verbalize these feelings. Thank you.

  61. Hi Annie,

    Have you looked into Al-Anon? One of the informal tenets in the organization is that when co-existing with an alcoholic, you did not Cause the problem, nor can you Control or Cure the disease. Al-Anon will indeed teach you to focus on maintaining yourself. It has not solved all my problems nor neutralized every worry,concern and frustration about the alcoholic in my life, but it has helped me to set the boundaries that properly assign responsibilities for both of us.

    Hope things work out for you.

  62. Hello,
    Well I quess Im not alone in the struggles I face every day. My wife and I have been maried for 13 years and the last 3 have been a challenge. Not even thinking about the signs in front of my face since we met 16 years ago, I know am watching my wife slowly getting worse, she was sober for 3 months this year, but the last 2 months she is back drinking. I dont even feel like a man for leeting this get out of controll, not for her but for me and my kids. The damage done to the relationship with my 10 yr old daughter and wife might be irreversible by now. I have thought about what I can do and were we can go but never get to the point of leaving. I can’t even bare the thought of hurting her, she is a very sweet and careing person more than anybody I have ever met. she will just not get help for her harsh childhood and her addiction. she just can’t deal with everday life. Is it my job to force her? or just take care of the kids and me and let her fall?

  63. I am thankful to find this site. I was looking for answers on-line on the subject of leaving or staying with an alcoholic spouse. My husband is an alcoholic, he always has been, I suspected it when I married him (5 yrs ago), I thought he would change.

    He is not abusive or violent when he is drunk, just emotionally needy, irritating as hell, and of course drunk. We have a 2 yr old son and he is a great father, he watches him 2 – 3 days a week, he stays sober while watching him. My husband would only drink at social gatherings (not much) and did his heaviest drinking by himself at night.

    His drinking started to get really bad, he would drink before work (night shift) and I was afraid he would drink while watching our son. So I told him I would leave him if he doesn’t get help. He decided he would get help and go into rehab. After that, he was clean for 45 days, with meetings. Then he started drinking again. I caught him drunk one night, got into an argument and told him again I would leave. He promised he would try again and said that people will slip along the path of recovery. Well, we are into his third slip up now. What am I suppose to do? How many more chances can I give him?

    I want my son to have a father, I want to have a dependable husband. Do I stay until he drains me emotionally or leave now while I am still intact (barely) and while my son is still too young to know what we are arguing about?

    From what I have read above, it seems leaving is never easy and I understand how sometimes staying is easier. All I want to know is, is there people out there that have stayed with their alcoholic spouse and made it through the recovery process?

    • There certainly are couples who’ve made it through, Thuy. Whether your marriage is one of these is up to your husband, it seems. And how much time he has to determine, is up to you.

  64. I have always known I was not the only person dealing with an alcoholic spouse, but there are certainly some days when it feels like it. Today was one of those days, and to stumble upon this website was a bit of a relief to me.

    We’ve been married for almost four years now, and the alcoholism just seemed to come on all at once a couple of years back when we moved from staying with my parents, to a town a few hours away so that we could both finish up college. I can’t say for certain what caused the drinking, but I do know what it has done to both of us. I’ve watched my wife go from someone who cared about school and was passionate about her field of study, to someone who leaves the apartment to go to class, yet never actually attends the course. She takes money set aside to pay bills and uses it to purchase bottles of cheap vodka and will down them before coming back home.

    I asked my wife to marry me because I love her. I’ve stuck it out for what seems like an eternity, and I still love her. I hate to see her continuing to travel down this path, and I’ve reached out to her to go talk to someone. She has used our schools counseling services, and for a week she was doing ok. Since then, it has been back to the normal routine of daily drinking.

    I suppose it would be “easy” for me to leave.. We have no kids, we’re renters, our vehicles are paid off.. But I don’t want to leave. I want my marriage back. I love her, and I certainly don’t want to get a divorce.. I just want to help her get through this. I suppose since my part of the choice has been made, the rest is up to her.

    Thank you so much for having this part of the website.. It felt really good to vent and type that out.

  65. I’m 25 years old. I’ve never met my sober mother–all I’ve known is a drunkard for 25 frustrating, wasteful, and useless years.

    My father is battling with leaving his wife of 35 years. He doesn’t believe in divorce. Her body is slowly dying….we like everyone else in the world of addicted loved ones, have tried everything.

    What do we do? Let her die? How can anyone live like this?

    • Kelle, I suppose you may not be able to prevent her from dying of her alcoholism. What you can do is take good care of yourself and be supportive of your dad. No matter what you decide with your mother, if you still have love for her, express it. You can be as tough as you want but you don’t have to take love away.

      As for divorce, I myself view it as a tragic last resort. But marriage is not an unconditional contract. Violence and abuse, for example, is clearly a cause for divorce. A self-destructive addiction which directly and indirectly harms others, may be another.

  66. Oh my life this is a good website! You just think your the only one going through this its awful, I being with my partner 8 years and noticed is been an alcoholic for about 4 years, not sure what to do any more its wearing me down, he promises he’ll stop but never does, his counciling will start in 3 weeks I’m just hoping that will change things but have a very negative mind of it all! I say and he to support him and whatever, but with a 3 year old and a 3 week old I cannot cope when he’s staggering around the house then trying to pick up the newborn, please help any advice would be great.

  67. I knew I wasn’t alone, but I was surprised at how many men are living my life – the abuse, the neglect, the lies, the embarassment, missed events, public drunkedness, lost friends and I could go on. Suffice to say, we all see and experience many of the same things. After two rehabs, she drank again and I told her to leave. That same night a DUI. I put her back in rehab, but had enough. I refused to let her back home to the kids and I and will not until I decide that things are under control. She needs to find and keep a job, she needs to pay all the bills she has racked up and neglected, she has to prove to me that she can once again be a responsible parent and loving spouse, and of course be completely sober. Hopefully the damage to our marriage is not irrepairable, but that is a risk I was willing to take. Robby said it best… “we can not save them”. We all have to learn from the AA process… they have to want it themselves and the only way an alcoholic will do that, is after they have lost it all and we can not enable them (which we do whether we know/admit it or not). I know it is easier said then done, especially with all the pleading, the resentment, the frustration. I hope I have the fortitude to stay with my convictions. As I think about my kids at home (not to mention my own sanity), I don’t think I have a choice, I have to find the strength. There comes a time when we have to think of ourselves first and not our alcoholic spouse…. at least that is where I am at. Thanks for the website and the chance to share.,,, if nothing else, I hope this helps someone to find the courage to break their cycle too.

  68. trying to stop being the enabler….im 41 my wife is 35…we have 3 girls….2 wrecked cars….2 dui’s….she works part time….as a housekeeper…..i as a chemical operater….very good provider she has nothing to want for or the kids…all the missed events..ruined holidays…..after 5 pm…cannot schedule anything as this is her drinking start time…..at a minimum she is at 3 30 packs a week….and i buy none…i have a hard time turning my back i do still love her…but not her mean ways when she is under the influnece…..is it my duty to pay for her 2nd dui??…i helped her through her first….how do i stop helping?…so she can see her distructive path

  69. Hello
    I have been maried for ten years.my wife is 47 and i am 47 we have no childen together i have boys 16 and 21 from a previous marrage. We are both mental health care professionals in Sweden. Three years ago i discovered that my wife was hiding drink around our flat. I confronted her and she made some lame excuse about it .I was angry and she could not explain why .The same thing has happened again three times after this she has promissed to stop after every time .Yesterday i found a vodka bottle in the bathroom .I confronted her and she admited that has a problem. It has taken me three years to relalise this i did not want to admit it for myself. I feel betrayed ,angry and bitter She told me she has been drinking in secret on and off for about four years she has lied to me before so i believe it must be longer than four years .I cant rearly say that i have ever seen her drunk at home but she admits that she has taken vodka when i am at home .I feel so stupid.I have told her that i will do everything i can to support her but that she must get help now, and that if she does not i am going to leave .I have also baught a breathaliser unit and told her that she must consent to random tests.I have flushed all the alcohol in the flat down the drain.I am still totaly in love with her,but i am teriffied.My father is an alcoholic i meet alcoholics every day i knowe how they work. My instincts are telling me to get out while i can but my body and mind wont let me. She says that the worst ting about the situation is that she has caused me so much pain.Should i believe her.?There is the possibility that the worst thing for her is that she got caught again.

    • Andrew, I see no reason to believe she feels badly about hurting you. But the pull of addiction can trump everything.

      Some would say that while disposing of her booze and testing her with a breathalyzer might prevent drinking in the short term, it also relieves her of doing the needed work for herself, in order to learn the lessons and build the skills she needs to keep herself sober. Instead of policing, you (and most everyone else writing here), could do some research on all the treatment programs that are available.

      And by the way, the research does not generally support the effectiveness of inpatient treatment. Some may need short-term inpatient detox – a potentially dangerous period of withdrawal for a few days at most. But for the long-term, inpatient treatment is an artificial protected environment that doesn’t permit the patient to experience the real-life “laboratory” that they have to learn to live in without their chemicals. It is also much more expensive. It has worked for many, to be sure, then the key is in the follow-up environment, treatment and support. Ask about programs featuring “intensive outpatient treatment” featuring group therapy, classes, individual counseling and the like. Before enrolling in one, a patient should know whether it is based on the 12-step model or something else, and understand what this means. Finally, a good primary care physician should be able to advise on whether a medication such as disulfiram (Antabuse), or naltrexone (Revia, Depade and Vivitrol) could be a helpful adjunct to treatment.

  70. Tom

    Thanks for the advice .I think i will wil stick with the breathalizer for a while i think it has more to do with my own need to control my own situation ime still in shock.I have dicided to enrol in one of the local Alanon groups i dont think i can handle this on my own .I will look into all the different treatment options with her.I Have already told her to book a consultation with a GP god nows what her insides look like.! .Do you think i should go with her to the GP .? Thank you so mutch for replying to my post i feel so isolated and afraid.

    • Meeting others with your kind of situation is a great idea.

      I think seeing her primary care doctor is a great idea also, at least for the beginning of the appointment, as long as she can agree to it. A compromise option would be for you to write a letter to the doctor with your concerns and observations.

  71. My husband and I have been together for 7 years, We have been married for 3 years. Two children, the eldest is mine from a previous relationship, but he calls him dad.

    We both drink, we met at a bar, and basically the only time he and I share alone together is at the bar.

    Since the beginning, my husband has been going to the bar daily after work and having a few drinks with his buddies. He and they all work construction, all of whom I know and trust and I figure, “hey, that’s just what they do”. But he would almost always forget to call to tell me he was going to be late for dinner etc. I told him how it made me feel . Sometimes I would be sad and cry, others I would pull the silent treatment and sometimes I would be buzzed myself and start going off on him….
    Finally, I stopped cooking and would make something easy for the kids and I, and just stopped caring.

    We both acknowledge that we have drinking problems. We have both agreed we need to quit for the sake of our kids, our marriage and our lives. We go a day or two and we are back to square one. Usually its he that comes home late and buzzed and while I wait for him, drink myself and it just leads to an arguement..

    His ATM withdraws in BARS alone equals about $34,000. this year. YES< $34,000 ( a little bit more money than we are behind on the mortgage.) I know this because I do all the bank recs for his company account.

    Bottom line is: NOTHING has changed.. What can I do?

  72. Tom,
    When does one know they are done? Do you just finally know and move on? I’m a strong person but can’t believe that year after year I’ve put up with my husbands drunken behaviour. I keep thinking it’s not been going on long but then I look back at family milestones and try to remember if he had a problem then and he did… Hhmmmm, I just don’t understand why I’m still here. I’ve done many things over the last few years to begin protecting myself financially. We have separate bank accounts, separate bills (except for the mortage which I pay) but it’s still bad and will be difficult financially or will it? Am I just finding reasons to not make a decision? Here I am another New Years Eve feeling like I can’t go anywhere with him since I know how the night will end. I really don’t want to live this way! I’ve gone to Al-Anon but I think I probably need to go back and also get individual counseling. I’m becoming more depressed and anxious everyday. Maybe I’m not as strong a person as I thought I was….
    Thanks for this site if for no other reason but to get my thoughts out and share with others.

    • I have no idea how we would determine how “strong” someone is in your situation, Dawn. Wouldn’t any normal person become depressed, anxious and exhausted? Does it take more strength to stay, or to leave? I don’t know. And is being strong a good thing? What if it caused you to enduring something you should not endure?

      As for how to know when you’re done…there may be no definition there either. It does seem that some people find something has “clicked” and they are suddenly determined. I also know that form many others, that slightly magical realization never comes. For others, it may be a particularly catastrophic event that prompts drastic action. You might plan some days where you “pretend that you know”. Go about life as if you’re making the move, and try it on for size.

  73. Yeap, just more cannon fodder. I cound not bear to read everything. Just read the top. My wife has killed our relationship. The only thing I look forward to it a year from now…with out her. Yeap. I love her. The alochol is a flame consuming the every once of oxegen. I am sorry Keisa I love you, but I want to live too. I am so sorry I cannot live every day wondering if you are drunk or did not go to work or are you passed out in the shower swaring you did not have a drop to drink. I cannot pick you up druck from another bar again after you peed your pants and passed out. It breaks my heart in so many pieces. Just more cannon fodder. Yeap. Still I love you.

  74. I write this with my wife in bed at 4:15 p.m. Arlene has been an alcoholic for sometime, her father died of it 15 years ago, I’m not really sure how long but she always drank alot and often at inappropriae times, very drunk at parties, presentation evenings. Stopped going to parties with her years ago, drink drives (never caught….how long). I’m so angry.

    Christmas was a disaster. Arl was diagnosed with secondary sclerosis of the liver and warned not to drink. This was in October. Since then the path back to regular abuse, inactivity and hidden bottles has been rapid.

    After a row about a trivial matter on the 30th December she disaperared and came back four hours later full of vitriol. Cancelled a get together that evening and carried on drinking. I took my son out. By 7:15 she could hardly stand and by 8:30 she had retired to bed. In the middle of the night she woke my 11 year old son and threw a glass of water in his face using abusive language said she didn’t care about bullying, him I assume.

    This is one example of many where her alcoholism has caused chaos in our families lives. I have done my best to keep it going. This I believe to be the final straw (said that before). Ruined holidays, events, celebrations. My father died earlier this year so I would have appreciated extra support at this time.What can you do? I can’t leave her or can I? she can’t even look after herself?

    I think she blames me, says I drive her to drink, isn’t prepared to accept she has a problem albeit she has been to AA once and I sometimes think I’m wrong or is it me?

    Thoughts any one? Am I alone? Making a fuss over nothing?

    • Mike, living with an addict can make anyone feel crazy, like it’s hard to know any more what’s correct and what’s not. And so checking with others, e.g. “am I making a fuss over nothing?”, is a good idea.
      And the answer is clearly “no”.
      As to whether you can leave or not, of course in the end, only you can answer for yourself. And that’s where the sense of solitude can come back.

  75. My wife is an alcoholic and she’s just run off with our nearly 3 yo daughter.

    I do not know how long she’s been alcohol dependent, could be years, but I noticed it about 2 years ago when I found an open gallon jug of wine stashed in a closet hidden behind a vacuum cleaner. A friend of mine was there at the time and he saw it too.

    I asked my wife about it and she laughed it off. Then things became more and more difficult, she became very argumentative and stubborn and her drinking increased. Several dozen “nip” bottles were found behind dumpsters next to our home. Bottles of rum and other drinks started to mysteriously empty themselves.

    I even went so far as to mark some of them and note the differences in the levels. Quite a lot was disappearing over shorter and shorter periods. I stopped buying any alcohol myself and I would find she would still be slurring her words every few days. I didn’t know what to do, so I started to ask the local hospital staff what was going on and they told me it sounded like she’s drinking on the sly.

    Well, in Feb 2009 she went over the edge, got very belligerent an angry, hopped into the car and attempted to drive off, I was on the phone to the MP’s and they caught her before she could get out of the parking lot and arrested her on the spot.

    After that she would attend her AA meetings, take her meds, yet still there were periods where she’d act like she was plastered, but she didn’t smell like she’d bee drinking and she blamed it on her cocktail of meds or claim she’d hit her head earlier in the day.

    Now we’re back from Europe and she’s not taking her meds, acting irrationally and being emotionally and verbally abusive to me again and just ran off with our little girl to her mother’s in the only car we have!

    I know no one here, I’m not from the area and have no idea what to do or where to turn for help. All I do know is this: a very abusive, angry, alcoholic just took my baby and I’m alone without any support to turn to.

    I want to get my daughter back so I can get her out of this area (mother-in-law is also abusive) to someplace safe and far from the clutches of my abusive wife.

    I can’t afford an attorney without sinking what little financial resources I have available to get my child and I out of harms way.

    I’m very confused and worried sick about my little one’s well being.

    Please, any advice would be welcome.

    • So John, this must be agonizing. Your wife might be alcoholic, but running off with your daughter is not really an issue of addiction. Nor isn’t an issue of mental health. It’s an issue of safety and legality. Conduct which is criminal is just as criminal whether the person is impaired with chemicals or not. To focus on the addiction may be diversion from the most immediate problem.
      You might do some quick research into getting legal help. Start with the police, then the state bar association.

  76. Interesting but sad reading.My partner has always been a drinker since she was 18 i met her when she was 30 10 years ago. We now have 3 kids together aged 2,6 and 8. Everynight she drinks 2 bottles of wine but somehow remains functional albeit miserable during daytime,taking kids to school,shopping etc but lately ive had enough of her abuse shes angry,depressed,paranoid and emotional, while drunk and the next day. Should i leave and hope kids be ok or what?

    • You can start by breaking down this big question, Bob. For example, “If I stay, how will I work with her addiction and how will I protect the children? If I leave, what are all the other considerations and what are the steps toward sorting and figuring them out?”
      You might guard against the human tendency to get a bit frozen by indecision. No matter what, the “normal” your family used to inhabit is no longer. And so your role has to be reshaped significantly, starting now.

  77. My first husband cheated on me so when I re-married I made sure it was to a man that would never cheat or lie. Unfortunately he turned from just a social drinker to a full blown alcoholic over the course of our 22 year marriage. He’s been to rehab, jail, had multiple DUI’s and is a nasty drunk. Of course he always apologies, it won’t happen again, I’m the best thing that ever happened to him…..blah blah blah. Been there, done that, heard that.

    My kids are grown and so are his. They all support my decision to divorce him. Why? Because his last drunken stuper (after being sober for 14 months) landed him in the intensive care unit for 10 days. You see, this time he drank so much and passed out, nobody knew where he was. It took 36 hours to finally find him and by then he had laid in his own body fluids for a day and a half, was hallucinating, and could no longer walk because of muscle wasting from his kidneys shutting down. He did this while travelilng on business.

    His drinking has poisoned our marriage. I no longer trust him, respect him or even like him. We stay at different corners of the house because we cannot sell the house right now. Heard all the apologies, the crying, the begging to take him back. IT IS NOT GONNA HAPPEN THIS TIME, NOT NOW, NOT EVER, because I know the next time he drinks he will either drink himself to death or get behind the wheel of a car and murder someone or an entire family.

    Some people can stay with an alcoholic the rest of their lives and just look the other way. I’m not going to allow my entire future to be swallowed up by this toilet bowl of verbal abuse, emotional turmoil, and financial crap he has put me threw.

    I have friends, I have family, I have support. I socialize, I do volunteer work and take Yoga classes. I work full time and have a home business to run as well. I’ve got grandkids I adore. I’ve got 3 great danes that never lie to me or say horrible things to me. My dogs are therapy dogs and I love life and appreciate what I do have. The alcoholic has nobody but himself and his booze. May they live happily ever after.

    I’d rather be at home alone with a good book, my great danes then spend the rest of my life trying not to get flushed by his irresponsible and unacceptable behavior.

    Whew – thanks for letting me vent. I feel a whole lot better!

    • I’m glad you feel better! I appreciate the strength and resolve in your statement.

      I hope we can get an update from you later. (I yearn for updates from everyone who’s posted here, actually.) Just as the addict feels committed and confident regarding sobriety right after an especially bad episode, the partner too may feel furious and clearheaded enough to leave at that time…and then feel muddled again when the routines start back up and the actual complexities in leaving look more daunting. For this reason I may not be the only one who would love to see you write in again after some time has lapsed and you’ve been able to carry through with your decision.

  78. I first just want to thank everyone that has shared here. I have been coming back to this site on and off for the past year to gain support when I need to remember that others are going through the same things I am. Not easy to find a place with so many men sharing their experiences with an alcoholic wife. I learned of my wife’s alcoholism about a year and a half ago when I found an empty vodka bottle under the sofa. I was shocked at that time, and still am, to learn just how long she had been hiding her drinking from me. She has been through detox twice and continues to drink. There was a point in time when after a day or two of her sobriety I would fantasize that this issue was behind us only to have that dream shattered a day or two later. I no longer think a day of sobriety means much, not even sure I can trust that a day was sober. She has been taking antabuse and I just found out she had replaced that medication with Vitamin C – I had been asking to watch her take her meds. Lesson learned here, she has to do it for her not me otherwise the lies and deception will get bigger and deeper. I can’t stand the lies! I used to think, when times were tough, that at the very least we had a trusting honest relationship – not sure what if anything we have any longer. I have a 6 year old daughter and more than anything else I want to protect her from the collateral damage of this disease whether it be misdirected anger, frustration or neglect. Marriage is important to me but when is enough enough for either myself or my daughter. I don’t want to look back upon these years thinking that if I had left life would have been better, especially in relation to my daughter. This is the issue I am grappling with now. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting last night. Hopefully through the support of others battling the same issues I can better sort things out. About the same time I found out about my wife’s alcoholism I started running and I’m almost certain that has kept me sane. Running allows me to expel a lot of the built up stress and anxiety and enables me to jump back into things more level-headed. This was not the life/marriage I envisioned…

  79. I really appreciate this website. I feel so alone and helpless right now; however, enjoying this very moment because he’s passed out in bed. My husband drinks at least two to three 30 packs of beer a week and drinks 6 to 7 days a week. He has somewhat acknowledged his alcoholism, but seems to have exceptions to the rule. Such as it’s ok to drink beer. If he touches anything else, like wine or liquor, it’s that much quicker he is drunk because he only has one rate of drinking . . . chugging. Plus, he believes that he has anxiety and takes pills. I think he has withdrawals when at work which resembles panic attacks. He’s stopped the anti-depressants, but consumes Diazapam like it’s candy. This of course aides in making it that much quicker he is intoxicated. I don’t understand why a doctor would prescribe someone that much narcotic to someone. Especially, when he’s frequently had high liver readings on his physicals. I know he lies to the doctor about how much he really drinks. I’ve been tempted to call the doctor and tell him myself!

    In the beginning of our relationship, I enjoyed to let my hair down occasionally and have a few too many to drink with him. I thought that is what you do when you are young. Then you grow up and take on responsibilities. Sometimes I even tried the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” theory, but that never worked. I would try to drink with him and just end up feeling horrible next day while doing whatever needed to be done. He does nothing, but work, sit on the couch and drink. I fear that his drinking will eventually cause him to lose his job, get a DUI, or worse.

    I’m so protective of our 2 year old that I feel that I cannot go get a job. I do not trust him alone with her let alone picking her up from a daycare intoxicated. I tried the ultimatum. He quit for two months and then in his own mind softened the ultimatum to say that he was only proving to himself he could quit. But, he’s right back where he started except now he thinks he’s hiding it from me. I let him just to make it that much harder for him to drink, but he finds ways. When he gets home from work and quickly becomes drunk, I cannot stand him and think about how this is so unfair for our daughter. But, every morning when I wake up and he’s at work I think everything is ok and that I was overreacting. It’s a broken record going around and around and around . . . I’ve been trying to work on making myself a better person in hopes that he would follow my example, but no luck. I sought out Mom’s groups for companionship, but always end up recoiling back to the house because I’m so embarrassed to let anyone know about my drunk husband. My next step is church. I’ve always wanted to go, but again am embarrassed to show up without my husband and make excuses why he doesn’t go. I’ve looked into Al-Anon, but my husband doesn’t want me to go and it is at night which would mean leaving my daughter with him. I am actively seeking a job, because I feel like I need to prepare myself for what seems like the inevitable. I worry about how the decision I make will affect my daughter and my husband (he has brought up suicide a couple of times in the past).

    • Thanks for writing in, Chris.
      Here’s a small step which might seem excessive but which can help. When your husband is drunk at night, write yourself a little note about how it really is, to read back to yourself the next morning. This might disrupt the natural inclination to want to think that it’s manageable.
      A harder step which I’d urge you to take is to push past the embarrassment. It seems to block you from getting the church, support and community involvement which would be so helpful. Keep in mind that it’s your husband’s behavior which is embarrassing and isolating. It needn’t infect you as much if you don’t let it.
      I imagine most of those who’ve contributed stories here were, like you, drinking along with their partner early in the relationship, when it seemed harmless and controlled. As difficult as these stories are, my heart really breaks in thinking of the couples who’ve spiraled into addiction together, and have no one to tell the story from a standpoint of sanity.
      Don’t let yourself be struck silent.

  80. I have been living with my alcoholic boyfriend for 2 years. It is becoming absolutely unbearable. He is drunk every single day and every night. The non-sense arguments he starts keeps me up at night, makes me retreat to the upstairs bedroom, he shouts out loud in the middle of the night – very ashamed to even think what the neighbors might think. He has been through rehabs after rehabs, refuses to maintain his sobriety through AA and other treatment programs. He has broken his promise to me to seek further help, he has gone into medical detox 3 times this past year only to relapse this past time even 3 hours out of medical detox. i am currently 2 months pregnant with our child – he says he wants to get sober, but I don’t see action, it’s all talk.

    I am considering leaving if he does not get help. There is no way I will split custody and leave this child after he/she is born in the care of an alcoholic who is tanked all day.

    • Thanks, Jane.
      You’re saying on one hand, “There is no way…” You’re also saying, “I am considering…” I don’t think there is a single person here who hasn’t expressed feeling torn and ambivalent about what to do.
      I hope you’ll let us know what you what you decide and how you’ve done it.

  81. I too have an alcoholic wife.

    She’s had the problem for about 10 of the 11 years we’ve been together. At one point when times were tough, I struggled with Alcohol too, as an escape. As the kids got older, one bad incident did it for me and I quit cold turkey. She however, continues.

    Unfortunately, my wife has had a very difficlut past, wrought with emotional torture, but she uses the bottle as her shelter. She quit work, no longer likes to get out, attaches herself to the teenage friends by children bring home and generally finds drama constantly. Everybody is done.

    3 years ago, it got so bad we did a family intervention, to no avail. I have threatened to leave her on countless times, nothing. 3 trips to rehab, don’t work. AA she tried like twice, then came the excuse making.

    Finally, last week I come home and learned she had completely lost her mind with my 18 yo daughter and that was too much, but really it comes back to the drinking. I try not to enable her, but do little to stop her from it. Usually it’s wine, but when she’s cycling (she cycles through binges), she eventually hits the vodka. Of course, she sneaks out and hides it from me, though it’s never “hidden” becausue we all know.

    My biggest regret has been that I let the children grow up around it and be exposed to her insane alter-ego. But last week was just enough. She made a “veiled” threat to hurt herself last week because of course, we always accuse her and gang up on her when actually all we ever do is plead an beg her to seek help to quit.

    She had pancreatitis two years ago in the hospital, and that’s when rehab started, but never lasts. Now when she “cycles” it ends with her in bed for four days because she drinks so much it makes her violently ill, yet she doesn’t stop nor will she go to detox to do it properly. She is litteraly killing herself.

    I’m at my end. I just can’t take it anymore. I told her last week I wanted a divorce, and I do. Of course she has promised the sun, moon and stars but we all know it won’t last – it’s all lies.

    But it’s hard. I still love and care about her deeply. She deserves the love I give her, but her alter-ego doesn’t. It’s all so incredibly depressing, but the hardest part is just knowing when enough is enough.

    If we end it, it will be ammicable. I love her very much, and to her I am her world because of the emotional support I provide. I am afraid if we break up it might kill her one way or another, but I can’t be hostage to that.

    Where do I start?

    • Todd, I imagine you could make a list of steps you would have to take, and start with any one of several.

      If I may suggest, a way to get ready psychologically would be to watch the tendency to think on one hand, “I’m at my end”, and then a moment later (as you say here), “If we end it…”

      If your aim is to be more determined, then use more determined language, for example, “when I end it.”

      You might keep in mind that many addicts in recovery talk about having needed to “hit bottom”. Hitting bottom means reaching the level of consequence that finally creates the motivation to turn things around. For some, the first hangover does it, and the turnaround is easy and painless. For others it may be a DUI. Or ten DUI’s plus bankruptcy plus liver failure and a visit from child protective services…and the turnaround is much more difficult and painful. Some will say that what it finally took to force them to hit bottom was to lose their marriage.

  82. I have an alcohlic wife,

    After reading some of the post here, i would have tought some of you were living in my home. My wife and i are high school sweethearts, we’ve been together 28 years, three years ago my wife started to drink heavily. we have 2 grown children and a 7 year old, i can not continue to live in a home where this is a constant thing. I never know what i’m coming home to? she has caught the house on fire, ruined appliances , flooded bathrooms…..so on. Recently she has gotten her first DUI , I thought this would have had some meaning or consequences for her, NOTHING!! . The world was promise for about a week and then right back to the drink. Where does this become a problem for the drinker? I feel like i’m handcuffed to this person and i can’t get away , as i write this ,she is passed out on my bathroom floor. I so want to take my child and run but why does she have to give everything she knows and loves up ,to
    suit this uncaring witch. My heart aches for anyone in this position , man or woman or child. Please be good to yourselves .

  83. First of all, thank you Tom for your dedication to this site. And thanks to everyone who took the time to share their stories. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. The stories are so similar and sound so familiar.

    My wife and I are 32. We were together for 10 years, married for 7. No children (thank God). She is a problem or “binge” drinker. The alcohol addiction really escalated in the last 3-4 years as we went through one hard time after another. We lost our home and the devastation pushed her over the edge. She just completely climbed inside the bottle and my life as I knew it changed forever.

    My wife is a beautiful and radiant young woman. Someone you would never look at as a drunk. But like so many here have said, drinking was all that mattered to her. She would make any excuse, any rationalization to drink. And once she started she couldn’t stop. It got so bad that she had to have a drink in order to do anything.

    Over the past few years there has been one incident after another where she’s made a scene, embarrassed herself and me, injured herself, lost her phone, purse, even the car! I found myself constantly making excuses for her, always picking up the pieces. Special outings and vacations were always problematic. I would cook dinner, only to have her pass out in her plate. I would wake up at night and feel her side of the bed cold and empty, and find her passed out somewhere in the house. She was always covered in bruises. I once found a spot in the hallway where she fell and hit the wall so hard she left a blood trail. She was no longer my wife, my lover, my best friend, my partner. She was like a child that I took care of. A child that I always worried about.

    Resentment began to build and I was hard on her. Always nagging at her
    about drinking. Always wondering if she had been drinking. It was constant
    paranoia of the next incident. Because it was never long in between. I found that I was mad at her. I blamed her. She would wake up from these benders and have little memory of what happened. And never would she accept any responsibility. I used to think it would make a great first step if she would just apologize. But in her mind, she’d done nothing wrong.

    The binge drinking eventually escalated into violence. She would become hysterical over things that made no sense. Screaming, ranting, raving. She directed so much anger and hurt towards me. Everything was my fault. I would always find myself apologizing just to calm her down. Which rarely worked. When she was upset she would cry hysterically to the extent she would hyperventilate. When she had these fits there was nothing I could ever say or do to calm her. When she was on an angry drunk she would verbally attack me with anything under the sun. Old issues would come out for a visit. She would hit, scratch and bite. Many times I had to grab her and hold her to keep her from hurting me. And I ‘m ashamed that I’ve been rough with her in self defense.

    Things got so bad that we were fighting more often than not. When we fought it was getting worse and worse every time. I got to be scared of her. She just wasn’t the woman that I loved. But I still loved her so much. I knew it was a matter of time before someone was hurt and I knew it would be hard to explain. So I left the love of my life.

    I knew that as long as I was there to enable her, the problem would get worse. Leaving my wife was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but I truly believe that my decision will save her life. She wouldn’t accept the help she needed as long as I was there to care for her.

    We have been separated for 4 months and I’m more lonely than I’ve ever been in my life. Mostly because I just recently learned that my wife is “in love” with a man she met at Alcoholics Anonymous. That’s right folks! As hard as it was to spend the holidays without her. As much as I’ve struggled, learning this news was absolutely heart wrenching. Deep in my heart I had not let her go. I still had hope that she would get better, our love would prevail. I knew this affair wasn’t really love, but it didn’t matter. It was more about knowing that my marriage was really over and that I would have to let go of the love of my life. And so the mourning begins.

    That’s pretty much where I am now. Mourning. I have so much I still want to say to her, I’d die to hold her one more time and whisper into her ear like I used to. But it’s time to let her go. This is her journey and I respect that because I love her. My only wish for her is health and happiness. I ‘m working on coming to terms with the fact that our life together is over, but life goes on for each of us. It’s a long and painful process that I have only just begun.

    I very much appreciate what I’ve learned from other people’s honest posts to this forum. I look forward to spending more time reading them and hope to find peace here. Thank you all for your contributions.

    Chris

  84. Tom. One very consistent theme I’m seeing is that the drink of choice for most alcoholics described here seems to be vodka. That was my wife’s go to. Have you found any reasons for this?

    • I haven’t noticed this theme. You may be right, but I know that on a statistical level, alcoholics can lean on any form of booze. Sometimes a switch to beer or wine is attempted as a way to gain control, but the ethyl alcohol is identical, no matter what drink it’s in. Perhaps vodka is cheap thought to be a little less vile-tasting or hard on the breath, being generally comprised of just alcohol and water.

  85. I am so lost. I am so broken. Married for nearly 24 yrs. He’s been drinking since before the age of 10, so that’s where his maturity level, as well of his coping skills stopped developing. I begged, pleaded, cried, threatened and gave ultimatums. Told him that the day would come, when I would wake and know that I was “done.” Begged him to not let me go to this place. We have two children a boy, 19 and a girl, 15. The last two years have been hell. Addictions involving alcohol, weed and coke. The disease is escalating. I gave him one last chance after he cried and begged and promised to get help. Same result as all the times before. It’s happened, the switch has been flipped, I’m there…done. The love is gone, all that’s left is “care taker’s love.” Like a mother, but I am not his mother, nor do I wish to be. No element of physical attraction remains…I see a sick, weak, broken man. Never raised a hand to me, excellent provider, never lost his job because of his addictions, generous to a fault, I have wanted for NOTHING, materially, nor have my children, but we are bankrupt spiritually. I have spent their childhood making excuses for Daddy’s foul behavior and unpleasant disposition, but my oldest, he knows, he gets it and he is almost a man and he has been changed. I pray for him. My girl, I would drive day and night to rescue her from a relationship as toxic as this, yet this is all she knows. So what hope is there for her. The cycle is likely to continue. I am sorry, babe. I didn’t mean for you to be changed, either. I did not recognize the toxicity of the environment soon enough. Forgive me, please. Dear God, forgive me for failing them. The switch is flipped, I’m over it. The love has left. I pleaded, don’t let me get there…I know myself too well. I am here. Now, that he realizes that I have arrived, he has somehow hit bottom. Gone to detox, actively attending aggressive out-pt therapy 4 nights per/wk, 3 hours/night, AA meetings on the other days…but the switch has been flipped, I am here and I am done. I do not love him. I want to leave. I want him to leave. I have spent the better part of my life dealing with the addict, do not want to spend the rest of what’s left dealing with the recovery. After all, I know that life, my own Dad was addicted to alcohol and then he dried out. Why is sobriety so elusive? I am done, I have arrived, and now he is promising the moon and the stars. I don’t need them. I need clarity. I need peace. I need to sleep in a bed with out a man so drunk that he can barely breathe. Making sounds so guttural in a desperate attempt to sustain life that my stomach turns. He has left our bedroom and now he has left our home. He begs for me to leave the door open…just a crack…because he loves me, can’t think of life without me…I begged him to get help, before the switch would be flipped. Now, I am the evil one. The one without compassion. The one not acknowledging that he is “sick.” That he has a disease. Am I wretched because I know longer care. I do care, just not enough to stay. Am I selfish for dreaming of a life not tainted by the evils of drugs and alcohol. Am I a horrible wife for just wanting to disappear? I loved. I was patient. I endured. Now “my pace” is alarming…what does he expect, the switch was flipped….I have arrived. The bell cannot be un-rung. At the very least, perhaps I was the catalyst that may have saved the life of the father of my children…but not the life of my husband.

    • Terri, your story, like others’ here, is just so poignant and well-stated. I believe you’re providing a strong model for others. Including, by the way, your daughter who is seeing her mom going through this and she is learning from it. That is, she will be learning if you share with her what you have learned. It’s not a foregone conclusion at all, that she will continue a cycle.
      I imagine that one of your many challenges now will be to identify and dispel guilt where it is unwarranted. Regret, yes; guilt, no.

  86. Greetings all…our situations are the same and different at the same time. My husband is our only income. He’s in the military. We are home/property owners in a remote area of the California mountains. No children, but 5 cats. I’ve been looking for work for quite a while now, and employment is beyond difficult especially in this rural area.

    We married in 1994. He was 12 year sober. I left him in 1999 due to his complete inability to communicate which left me frustrated and alone. I returned 6 weeks later due to promises. The relationship got better. He started drinking again in 2001, but I didn’t learn of it until 2003 when he returned home completely drunk. I’d never seen him this way. At first, his drinking was only occasional.The last 4 years his drinking has become more and more prominent. He will not confront or address any issue, the IRS, neighbors, car problems, nothing, leaving all the heavy lifting to me. And it was this way even when I worked full time. He’s sober at work, and drinks when he gets home, right around 6:30, becoming drunk and passing out in bed. Many times losing control of himself and not making it to the bathroom. On the weekends, he doesn’t drink during the day, except maybe a beer here or there. But come 6:30, it’s Rum, Vodka, Scotch. Whatever poison he prefers that evening. I used to have an occasional glass of wine every few weeks, but stopped several months ago. I don’t much care for the taste of alcohol and have never had an addictive personality.

    I have no family. I have no friends who can help with a place (for me and 5 cats) or money, but many who give moral support. I do not yell. I do not scream. He smells of alcohol and cigarettes constantly and I cannot even think about being intimate with him after he’s attempted to pee on me in my sleep at least 3 times. I want out. I’m done. But I have no money, no job, a poorly running vehicle and 5 cats. We don’t talk, I don’t complain, I am indifferent. If he falls down drunk, I step over him. If he falls in the bushes and cuts himself, I do nothing. He will not seek therapy for the childhood trauma he suffered regardless of my prior support. And now I don’t care. And while I do love him, he stares at me with black, cold dead eyes that terrify me although he has never been physically abusive.

    I find this disorder incredibly selfish. The alcoholic is selfish while they’re drinking because it’s all about them, and their recovery is equally selfish since it’s “all about them.” People clap for their attempts at sobriety at AA meetings, while people who’ve never hurt others with their behaviors are frowned upon and called “normies.” The entire alcoholic bubble makes me ill. So much attention paid to the “sick” one while their loved ones are tossed aside for loving them and trying to help. Before you tar and feather me, I do not see myself as a victim, but I don’t see him as one either. While I do love this man, I feel badly for his choices and have lost all respect. But I am stuck, so I must make the best of it until I can find work in another area, and then move somehow. Al-Anon is not an option.

    If I could obtain my 1/2 of our house, I could leave and find a place with my cats and find work easier in a larger community by already living there. This is my plan for now. Thank you everyone. Your stories have helped a great deal. =^^=

    • I appreciate your story, and your perspective on some of the others’ perspectives on the disorder.

      Whether we call this thing a disorder or a disease can make quite a difference in the connotations. For instance, some say that if we call it a disease, we may be excusing the addict from taking full responsibility for his or her decisions.

      It’s also tough to say whether the addiction is the complete cause of antisocial behavior (being mean or unconcerned about another’s suffering), or whether the addict actually has a tendency to be antisocial and then drinks in order to be able to express it.

      Donna, if you haven’t already, look up legal and support services for abused women, like this one and also here. Even though you don’t experience violence, your experience of entrapment is similar, and these organizations are the experts on helping someone make it out.

      Thanks, Donna.

  87. I am currently living with my boyfriend of 5-6 years and both our names are on the mortgage. I sadly cannot continue living with the negative effects of his drinking and want to move out… i should re-phrase that by saying, I feel forced to move out for my own sanity. He lies about his drinking, hides alcohol, disappears for hours upon hours…leaving the house at 11:00 a.m. and returning at 1:00 a.m. the next day. I am always suspect and anxious about his drinking and certainly he is not present in our relationship. The problem is he doesn’t qualify for a re-finance of our mortgage with just his salary so that my name can be removed so how do I or can I force him to sell the family home, where he grew up? It’s not something I want to do, but I feel trapped otherwise living in an environment that I have no control of and it is not how I want to be living my life. This disease/addiction is really tragic for everyone involved in it.. I can’t believe I am in this situation and feel for everyone who finds themselves here as well.

  88. Reading all of these stories, it’s so hard. The choice and I guess what I’m looking for is an answer I already know. I am 43 and don’t drink other than maybe one at Christmas, grew up in a house of it and have no use for it. I live with my fiancée (marriage has been put off due to the alcohol) and his now 8 yr old son. We met online 3 yrs ago after my 10 yr prior relationship ended due to alcohol and cheating on their part. and met in person a few months after that. I started making the 8 hr drive every other weekend, it seemed so different when we were talking on the phone, I told him all about everything and the ONE thing I was not going to do was get involved with another alcoholic………he assured me he wasn’t. I moved in with him a yr and half later.
    He’s a functioning alcoholic, he holds down a job and does all of his responsibilities outside of the home. He’s not violent, he’s getting more aggressive lately verbally, but usually just stupid and annoying when he’s drinking. Until I moved in with him even his parents say they didn’t realize how much he drank. On a good day a 30 pk will last today and tomorrow, for him he’d like to drink it all today but can’t if I’m here. He works midnights so when he gets home he drinks 1/2 case in 2 hours before bed and most times finishes it before he goes to work, he’ll start about 15 min after he gets up.
    No I didn’t realize how much he drank on my visits here, he’s good at hiding it. I left a great job (15 yrs) with great pay and benefits, my two grown children and my grandkids to come here. I had a job the day after I moved here but working 60 + hours a week gave him all the time in the world to drink, My step son used to call me at work when he got home to tell me dad won’t get up, I’d have to call the neighbors to see if he could go there till I got home. I have even came home to video chats left open with him talking to girls that are naked. He told me it was nothing and my fault for reading it. He’s been sober and not had a drink 2 times in the last yr and a half since I moved in. The last time I went to visit my children he got so drunk he didn’t go to work. He’s great when he’s not drunk.
    I’ve tried ignoring it, monitoring him and…… he’s gotten really good at hiding the cans, now when he’s out he’s started drinking whiskey, to fighting with him and none of it works.
    My problem is I worry about leaving him with his 8 yr old, and I do love him, financially I’m not worried about it, so what I start over, but the step to leave is so hard. It means moving back by my children and not having anything, a job, home nothing. Mentally I’m drained, and feel so stupid to have myself in the same situation I was before, wondering how I can be this dumb. He’s told me that if I leave everyone will tell him how stupid he is and didn’t deserve me anyway, he likes to make me feel like crap. I’ve told him I can’t stay if the drinking continues and he says he doesn’t have a problem and enjoys a beer so he’s not going to quit, he can control it. He’s 36 and has been drinking like this since he was 18. Has had 2 dui’s and wrecked a number of vehicles.
    I’m so torn, I want to go home ………… but to go with nothing scares the crap out of me, but to stay is killing me slowly inside.

    • It’s a heartbreak, Tina. And it must be especially hard to think of how you’d thought you were determined to avoid this trap. It’s interesting and frightening, how sneaky and powerful the forces are which can draw someone to repeat living with an addict. It’s hard not to think that “stupidity” is an explanation, but of course it’s not helpful. And it’s never too late to quietly look inside to find and harness your own wisdom.

  89. I am so happy to find this site. I am not alone.

    Diana, I, myself, is also living with my boyfriend for 6 years. I always knew that he drinks. But before we start living together, I did not know that he drinks so much.

    He does not necessary drinks everyday, but if he starts to drink, he can easily finish a case of beers (24) within 30 mins. A giant bottle of vodka within couple hours. He would start getting drunk at 11 am…. and when I ask him what’s going on? he said he is ok. and his eyes all cloudy and talks non-sense. (but he thinks that he is smart.) and he would start calling his friends… and calling them names if they disagree with him (cox he is the smart one here.) Then, he will drop and sleep anywhere… it could be in the living room.. kitchen… bathroom… and then the next day, he would be like nothing happened. And when he drinks, he does not eat which makes it worse. I used to have some drinks around for cocktails when guests around. I eventually hided them from him… and when he was out of drinks, he searched around the house to look for the drinks that I put away. His drinking situation started getting worse since last summer…. and now, he just drinks every other day…..

    Last Christmas, we did not even get celebrate because he was drunk the day before. New Year Eve, he was drunk by 1pm when I was out shopping for dinner… My birthday, he was drunk the day before and he did not feel good for my birthday.

    I talked to him about it many times and everytime he would be in denial — he did not drink or he is under lots of stress or he needs to stay up by keep drinking (which is the opposite of that coz when he is drunk, he gets sleepy.) or he needs to keep drinking cox he is working for his company…. never his fault never his problem.

    He has been hiding his drinks now. and try to look not drunk but you can tell by his breath…. and his cloudy eyes….

    I am very tired of it.

    Sadly, I am current out of work… I had an injure 2 years ago and it kept me out of work. I have little benefit every month but it is not enough for me to live alone. I have no family and friends around.

    He does not even seek help coz he is much better than those people. and he does not have problem. I tried to talk to him. I tried to get drinks out the house.. nothing works.

    I talked to him about why he drinks and things can help to stop this drinking issue if his work is stressing him out …. etc… but then it is my problem.

    I am currently trying to get myself better so I may able to go back to work or at least do some jobs so that I can make some money on my own.

    I have to leave him… but I cannot right now and it really sadden me. My doctor has been giving me Zoloft because I have been very depressed because of my injure and I think his drinking problem increase my depression…. I had think of ending my life so I am not sad anymore.

    I don;t know what I can do anymore…. right now I can only live one day at a time. I really want to leave him.

    and of course, I am not important enough for him to even try to quit. Or really think about the situation. I am sad that I am with such a bad person. I don’t know why I would be with him in the 1st place…. and I am trapped now coz of my own situation.

    He does not even care about my injure …. he never cares…

    I want to leave. I am very sick and tired of him

    But thank you for having this website at least I know I am not the only one facing this issue.

    For all of you here who also facing your other half’s drinking problems, I feel for you too. what we’ve all been thru and how hard for us to live thru…..

    • Thanks, Diana.

      Like most others here, you talk of the many things you have tried to do, finding that nothing works. Many talk of the single, agonizing solution that can be so hard to approach, leaving. But apart from that, there is another common thread: that the most important thing to do is to stop doing all the things that don’t work. Pleading, explaining, getting angry, careful watching, hiding booze, etc. Before you can start finding a solution, you have to quit doing what has proven not to be a solution.

      You are one of the few people here who mention what must cross most people’s minds: suicide. We could say that this is another possible “solution” on the list of options, but it’s important to think clearly about it and perhaps talk about it so that you can be sure you don’t start keeping it on the list.

  90. My wife is an Alcoholic, wine seems to be her thing. She is so manipulating, and twisted. My mind right now is in a fog from it all. She has been to the emergency room 4 times since sept 2010 and in treatment for 30 days, she got out and in a week started again. She has been to only a couple of AA meetings and was drunk when she went. I have no children with her. A few days ago she got public intox and was taken to jail. She is not a public drinker she hides it around the house and drinks at home. She lost her mother Dec 10 2009 then her job july 2009. It got much worse after her mothers death. My problem is she spouts out terrible things when she is drunk, then she loves me when she is sober which is not often. There is no way for me to get through to her and when i try i am the problem. Our house will be forclosed on and I was trying to save enough money up during this time to move out. She constantly baggers me says I need to go, but i do not have the funds currently. Any help regarding the constant drunken, repeating slander, and put downs and how to cope with it all day everyday would be appriciated.. Thank you for your help!

    • Mike, while fully leaving might not seem workable, simply going away ought to be. In other words, stepping out, for 10 minutes, an hour or two or a day or two. I imagine this is the advice you would give a woman who’s being beaten: protect yourself. Go next door, to a friend, to a cafe or whatever, but do don’t fall for the idea that you must tolerate abuse because there is no other choice.

  91. What a relief to read all the posts and all of Tom’s comments..Thank you, Tom.
    God, I am so exhausted from trying to live a manageable life while my husband of 15 years continues to drink, spend money he does not have and basically be a lying drunkin BLOWHARD. I mean how bad does it have to get? For many years he earned very good $$$, so I will admit, it was a trade-off for me. I “overlooked” (yeah, right) his alcoholism in order to be financially comfortable, makes me feel like a prostitute.
    But the last 3 years have been financial HELL…foreclosure, IRS lein, bankruptcy to the point where I don’t even care anymore. I guess I was as crazy as the alcoholic. The really strange thing is that I had gotten sober when I married him, still am sober, 17 years and lots of Al-Anon, church, therapy, but I don’t know did it work? I am still here complaining about the same thing.
    But now we are in our 50’s and his health is declining, diabetes, high blood pressure and he keeps pouring down the booze. I thought the low income job problems were “the bad economy” but the truth is it is him….he has become a lousy employee and most likely his reputation in his business is dirt. At present I am supporting us, not very well though. If I stay it will be more of this and worse…I have moved beyond the delusion that this is a temporary state, this is not temporary, this is my life, right here right now and it SUCKS.
    I feel finished, I feel if I don’t get out my life will be complete misery…I mean he has gotten to the point in his alcoholism that he lies to everyone about how great he is doing, so he believes it. And I am NOT allowed to be angry or upset, the wrath of verbal abuse that gets thrown my way if I complain or bitch. How delusional and unrealistic he has become baffle me.
    Enough babbling….now the important stuff…How do you leave? Do I take my 14 year old and move although the lease on the house we rent is in my name? HE WILL NOT LEAVE. We are his ticket so he can tell himself that he is OK.We make him look good on the outside. Do I sit him down and tell him? And subject myself to insane ranting and raving and god only knows what after that. Or do I leave in the middle of the night or some insane thing like that? Do I find a temporary place to go that is furnished? When do I tell my daughter?
    All these questions are the reason I am still here, I do NOT know how to go, I know I want to go, I know I need to go but I DO NOT know HOW to go. If some magical group of people would just swope down and take me from this place to the next place I KNOW I will be fine in the next place I just DO NOT know how to transport myself there. Help??

    • Even though your using the word “prostitute” makes me wince a bit, you’re raising an important, tricky point: the partner of an addict cannot help but participate in the system that supports an addiction. In some small, subtle ways (or sometimes not so small and subtle), everyone nearby will inadvertently contribute to maintenance of the problem. It may mean initially protecting or excusing the addict from the consequences until they become extreme. The “enabling” might consist of trying to do the work which only the addict can do for him or herself, like pouring booze down the drain. The important thing is to identify this as normal, and an issue of responsibility, not an issue of fault.

      Maureen, your questions are all answerable. Write them out. Put them in order. Begin listing brainstorm ideas for each one. Consult with some others. It is a big, overwhelming move which we might compare to the complexity of starting up a small business. Most entrepreneurs will start by charting out a business plan prior to taking concrete steps. They will seek out advice, run numbers, put together files, spreadsheets or a binder… Not that you have to be quite so methodical but the point is, organize first, sort out the questions, put them in writing, then begin to answer them and make preparations.

      Finally, make sure the initial operating assumptions are correct. For example, is it really a foregone conclusion that you have to be the one to move out just because your husband will be resistant?

  92. I dont know what to do with my husband. He has been drinking the who time I have known him. We have been married 27 years but when I first met him i drank too. I have since grown up and he has not. I now see that i think he has an issue. He drinks in a certian way to try to prove he doesnt.
    He does hold down a job and pay the bills. but he drinks every other day and alot of time he comes home so drunk he cant see straight and passes out. He doesnt rememeber stuff and you cant talk to him like that, hes obnoxious and that becomes a wasted day in our marriage. So 1/2 of our week goes down the drain. not to mention everyday life. So if I am lucky to get one day a week of real time i am doing good. Its not that he is like that all the time everytime, but you never know. I love the man that doesnt drink but i cant take this. My son says this is him and I need to accept him as this. I think accept him as a drunk, wow. He doesnt live at home and see it. I am sure this is not helping his health either –he has high blood presure and one kidney due to kidney cancer. I feel like I am watching him kill himself. Part of me wants to leave but I dont know.

    • “Accept him as he is”. Advice that’s dispensed often. Sometimes it’s given to women who were battered too.

      As seriously as I take marriage, it is not an absolutely unconditional contract.

  93. My wife has been an alcoholic for 30 years, and all these so recognizable stories here move me to tears, but… one year ago she hit rock, rock, bottom, as did I, and now she has finally stopped. Not a drink for a year, I’m sure. No booze in the house at all. OK, there may be a relapse some day, but I do feel a corner has been turned and now even a relapse would be a temporary thing. So change can happen. Did I do anything to make it happen? No. She just had to sink so low that finally, something seems to have clicked inside herself, I hope. I stayed with her because the crises were intermittent, and we had children, and when she’s sober she’s lovely. But if there is a secret to coping I think it’s a hard one. It is to become hard in your approach to it, to disengage, to just let her hit the bottom and try not to care, or try to kid yourself that you don’t care. The help we try to give and the rescues we pull off may often just be delaying that final awful crisis that may be the one that finally makes things change. I don’t know, but I wanted to say something to give the people facing what I faced a few years ago some sense of hope. Good luck everybody.

  94. It’s amazing that there are so many people going through with their spouses what I go through with my wife. But I don’t know what level she is at. I feel like she’s in quicksand and I’m reaching out to her and sometimes she just slaps my hand away, sometimes she makes desperate appeals to me to reach out to her. I always try to help but she often doesn’t care, as if she thinks she won’t sink further. She is now drunk every night and before it used to be just night, but now it begins in the day and often in the morning. Her staple is wine, but often she binges on something harder, usually vodka, which she hides. She doesn’t work but for two half days a week, whereas I work five days, sometimes five and a half. My shift is 10:30 a.m to 7:30 pm, so I usually don’t get home before 8 pm. I know she resents that I don’t come early and sometimes I think she drinks herself into a stupor to show me I’m ignoring her. But then again, that might just be my subconscious desire to find reason for the destructive habit she has. She often says she knows her drinking is destructive and that she wants to stop, but after all this time, I realize that she is just talking, maybe to convince herself, maybe to convince me. When she is drunk, she gets angry, but never violent. It’s impossible to talk to her when she’s drunk. Because I work, it’s very difficult to me to find her sober enough to talk. Often, when she is drunk, she wants to be intimate, but as everyone knows, being intimate with a drunkard is no fun. And I’ve found she doesn’t even remember it, and later complains that I don’t make love to her anymore. When her drinking started getting out of hand, I used to be angry, even controlling, but I found out that NOTHING can cantrol her need to drink. All the literature says not to enable her, but what does that mean? Not to try to help? Not to show that watching her destroy herself and our relationship is torture? Not to pick her up off the floor when she’s dead drunk and urinating on the carpet? How am I supposed to act, not to enable, when she falls on her face and hurts herself, which she doesn’t feel. More and more lately, my daily thoughts are for her safety. She’s gotten to the point where she thinks being drunk is normal and now even thinks she can drive in that condition.
    We’ve talked about AA, but she hasn’t made the move except to agree that it should be made.

  95. To Jay (if I may). It’s hard Jay, but as one who has been there for many years, but we seem out of it now (see my comment from March 3rd), have you tried just leaving her in her mess, stepping over her in her urine and vomit? Letting her find herself in the mess and make her realize nobody can help her or will help her but herself? It is very hard. But it may be right. I did it, and had to lie awake worrying about her choking on her own vomit, but by that stage I was so low at times I wished she just would do that. But by brutally disengaging like that, it seems to have made a switch click in her head, and now, after 30 years of intermittent nightmare, it’s been a year since she took any booze at all and life is fine. Different people react differently, of course, but good luck and whatever happens don’t blame yourself. You seem to have reached a stage with her that brutally induced realization by herself seems the only hope.

  96. Like everyone else has said on this site… This is truly amazing and eye opening that this problem effects so many like me. I know I’m not the only one, but it’s great to hear a lot of different points of view on the subject! I have been with my almost- fiance for 8 months. We are expecting my second child and her third, so, yes, she’s pregnant. She has many issues stemming from her provious marriage where her ex cheated on her and it ruined her life. Well, the life that she always wanted. To want for nothing, boat, house, cars, etc. So now she’s been on her own and solo for a couple of years. I come into the picture and we fall in love… She is the most beautiful person I have ever met. Yes, when we first starte dating, we would drink together. No worries because the kids are taken care of or weren’t around. Then it starts to get E.V.I.L. I told her when I moved in (possibly too quickly) that I have major debts that I am paying off to get my credit back in order. She knew that I am financially strapped. She said it was ok. NOW it’s all about her being sober most of the time and then drinking once or twice a week and UNLEASHING on me all of the ills of the weeks or past few days. I feel like I walk on egg shells around her, lest she get pissed and drink. She and I have had numerous fights that are caused by her drinking, that make absolutely no sense, that include extremely derrogatory statements about me, my family, my friends, my ex and that last well into the night. I have a job and so does she. In fact (shoe drops here) we work together. But she will yell at me until 1 or 2 in the morning and then pretend to go to sleep and then start right back up again. I have told her to go to counseling. She has twice now. She was told that she is an alcoholic and needs to work on it. She had to go in for a piss test, which she passed because she hasnt had a drink in three or four days, but then she went to friend’s house. She had a drink, maybe two, then came back to the house with her and then continued to slam 7 or 8 more beers. The friend “cares” about her, but that doesnt help. She wont listen. She bitched at me about dinner, which I tried to explain, but she too busy yelling at me. She yells at me about our relationship, but these are all fears from her previous marriage that I can’t help her with. PLUS, did i mention she’s freakin pregnant! I have tried and tried, but now I have a son to look after and one more on the way, but I feel like cutting my losses now and creating a better life for me and my son. GOD I need help…

    • Tony, your story, like everyone’s, is unique and at the same time there are these terribly common elements: the insidious development, the relentless destructiveness, the painful entrapment and so on.
      Another of these themes is the profound irrationality in an interaction with a drunk. Whether it’s silly and benign, sputtering bluster or toxic, hurtful blame, when coming from someone that impaired, it doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t respond to sense. The person who is sober and rational cannot turn the interaction to a productive one no matter what. I always recall a statement a friend gave me: What reason didn’t put there, reason won’t take away. In fact, trying to inject sane talk into crazy talk simply may serve to reinforce the talk.
      The advice many will give is to do less, not more: refuse to participate in these interactions. I know that the specific details in how to disengage can be sticky. For instance, you may not be able to leave the house if it makes children vulnerable to harm or neglect. But I’m curious to hear what you and others think of this general guideline.

  97. I’d say to Tony, she has gone for counselling twice, so there is hope, but to turn the hope to real help you need to be hard. Being hard now may just avoid years of disaster. Hard? I mean, do not condone her drinking. Don’t collaborate or try to control. It has to stop. Tell her when she is sober that as soon as she takes a drink you will refuse to engage in any conversation, although explaining why, and stick to it, no matter how hard she yells (and she will yell). She obviously realises deep down that she needs to stop, but as Tom says, you need to disengage from her when she drinks to try to get the gravity of the situation to sink in. But try to be there for the children. With a real tough stance now, hopefully for a short time, I do believe there may be hope for you to avoid so many years of torture. Of course I don’t know that the above will help, but as one who has been there and finally emerged from the tunnel these are my thoughts. Just knowing you are not alone, can also help. Good luck. There is hope.

  98. For the last 10 years my wife has steadily fallen into the bottle. My experience is similar to many related here – its a Jekyll & Hyde transformation – every aspect of my life and behavior are put under a microscope. Everything about me is up for criticism – its to me to prove a negative. If you fight back it just makes her more angry. The verbal abuse is shredding me. She believes that she has a drinking problem but justifies it by saying it helps her deal with being unhappy. She also likes to have a few “cocktails” with her girlfriends and will often come home (drive!) slurring her words – my only hope in those situations is that she will pass out in front of the TV. I have pleaded with her several times about drinking and driving – I worry that she will either be killed or kill someone else in an accident. I pray that she gets picked up for DWI – its probably the only thing that will change the situation. What makes this worse is that I grew up with an alcoholic Father – no abuse – but plenty of anxiety over where he was and when he was going to come home. Like a lot of children of alcoholics I can tell a drunk the minute they walk in the room. This is destroying me. She was drunk again last night – berating me. I was so frustrated that I pushed her. That is not me. This is killing me. I keep resolving to leave and then like last saturday she pledges not to drink anymore. I am on the knife’s edge of leaving.

    • Thanks Ron. I would suggest that your pushing her is an event a little bit like a DUI – a profoundly important warning sign. It is disturbingly easy for good people to evolve slowly toward violence in this escalating sort of situation.

  99. You are so right. Its not me. I just want the drunken abuse to stop – even when I tell her to leave me alone she just keeps it up – telling her to stop just fuels the anger. When she is drunk she uses words in her conversations that she would never use sober. She is a highly educated woman but when she is drunk she talks like a cheap tough guy. I’ve tried everything – al-anon meetings for myself. I’ve offered to go to AA meetings with her. I feel totally alone and afraid. It is consuming me. I know I need to leave. Is that the right thing? I love the sober person but I hate the drinker. is that possible? I feel like I am 10 years old again trying to figure out if I am dealing with drunk dad or sober dad. I know I would be happier on my own but I worry about her – does that matter anymore?.

  100. Tom,

    Great site.
    As many have said here, the parallels to my situation are uncanny.

    It’s also the first thing many folks will probably learn in Al-Anon meetings.

    I am married. My wife has been a problem drinker for many years. She has threatened to leave at each drunken episode (including events where she’s been out alone and taken to de-tox). In those six years, I’ve been through most of the types of incidents others have described on this site. From my perspective, my wife seems to acknowlege she abuses alcohol, but believes she is not addicted to it.

    In the 6 plus years of our marriage, she has been arrested for DUI once almost three years ago. She hid a prior DUI. It came up when I put her on my auto insurance policy and they kicked out the coverage. Sharp attorney got her into diversion on the second DUI. She’s gone through the motions with the diversion-ordered therapists and then relapsed to the behavior (though she’s avoided a DUI in the last three years). She is a highly accomplished articulate and aggressive professional. She is skilled at advocating her positions and manipulating others for her own ends. The drunken behavior brings out her nasty side.

    The cycle of anger (sometimes with violence, always with oral abuse), remorse, then denial is very common. I experienced it hundreds of times over the period of our marriage. She also talks about affairs, but I don’t know if it’s fantasy or reality. That’s part of the denial schtick the morning after.

    Al-Anon sessions have given me the framework to guide me to a hopeful resolution of the problem. It’s clear she must be forced to either leave our home or go to rehab. She threatens the former but I wonder if it is more than a bluff. She has gamed all attempts at the latter. The gravity of the situation will force one or the other.

    I’d like to focus on our four year old son. I protect him whenever she lashes out at the two of us in one of drunken furies. He expresses his disappointment to her. He is also starting to tell others about his mother’s behavior. Her reaction is, not surprisingly, to avoid direct responsiblity for her actions and blame others, mostly me, for his concerns. Earlier this week, he mentioned his mother’s drinking problem to his pediatrician at his annual checkup. My wife was not present for that appointment.

    When my wife is drunk, at times, I’ve made the mistake of carrying on a conversation with her. Fortunately, I usually turn it off after I see it is only harmful. In one of those recent conversations, she said some very distrurbing things. She said that, if we split up, she’d fight for custody, and would lie under oath, concocting abuse stories. I pointed out to her that plenty of on- the-record evidence exists which points to her problem drinking.

    Aside from reassuring my son that I will protect him from his mother’s drunken behavior, and working through resolving whether my wife goes to rehab or treatment or leaves the home, do you ahve any other suggestions?

    • Reading your story, Marques, it’s hard to know whether it’s the addiction that makes your wife a little cold-blooded as you describe, or whether she would in fact be able to follow through on vile threats even when sober.

      As for rehab, I myself am partial to intensive outpatient treatment programs over the inpatient or residential settings. Sometimes inpatient treatment is needed for acute detox, which takes only a few days at the most. Otherwise, my own bias is that residential treatment removes the patient from all the environmental stresses and triggers he or she needs to learn to manage without using. It’s not that it doesn’t work; it’s just that the key is in the quality of the outpatient follow-up care after. Insurance companies, reading the outcome literature, are less inclined to fund residential rehab, and I don’t want people to think that therefore there is little hope for recovery. Of course, the outpatient resources are not rich in all areas. But in the hope that someday your partner will agree to treatment, it may be helpful to prepare ahead of time by researching all the options so that you’ll know where to turn.

  101. Thanks, Tom.

    On the vile threats, looks like it’s a question of whether the drunken Hyde behavior carries over to the sober Jekyll. A couple of years ago I would’ve said there would be no carry over. In the last couple of years, my wife has harshly and forcefully cut off family who have tried to make her address her drinking problems.

    In any event, I have to proceed by, unfortunately, assuming she might carry out these vile threats.

    She’s flat-out rejected the inpatient and residential treatment options. Only because diversion was required by the courts has she dabbled in the outpatient treatment. In those two episodes, she’s done the minimum required. She agreed to go AA after one ugly event, but never followed through. She has, for short periods used antabuse and other drugs, but always finds an excuse to not follow through.

    I’ll do a bit more research on each of the options.

  102. I have been in a relationship with my wife for ten years. I regret that I believe that there have only been a handful of days when she has not had a drink. My wife will stay sober all through the day and in then in the evening will start to drink. She does not see this as a problem but will regularly drink to excess and sometimes to the point of total inebriation. Over the years she has had several accidents, directly as a consequence of her drinking and has collapsed in public on more than one occasion. Once she starts drinking, it seems on some days that there is no stop mechanism.

    I have been unable to attend many business and social events as a result of my fear that my wife will be unable to control herself. I had a high profile position in our community and continue to fulfil many civic functions. I find myself declining many invitations and my circle of friends has diminished over the years. I have done the usual round of excuses and apologies and found it easier to simply ignore the invitations until they stopped coming. I sold my business, in part because the stress of home life was simply sapping my energy and moral.

    My wife clearly has a dependence problem and has just added the cherry to the cake by presenting me with credit card bills in the sum of $145,000. What this has been spent on I have no idea.

    I do love my wife (sober) and care for her enormously. I can afford financially to maintain her, but emotionally and physically I am beginning to buckle under the stress. If I leave her, I am absolutely terrified that she will simply spiral out of control and decline in both health and mental stability. This plays hugely upon me in terms of guilt and I do contemplate the desolate future she may have. I am torn as I can also see the miserable future that I face if I stay.

    • Thank you, John.
      I’d like to comment on the idea of guilt. It’s an appropriate emotion when we’re in fact guilty of committing a wrong. Problem is, we’re often inclined to feel guilty in situations where we really haven’t done anything wrong. I’ll suggest, if I may, that you could be talking to yourself as if you have more responsibility for your wife’s decline – or for protecting her from it – than you really do.

  103. My wife was sober, didn’t touch alcohol for the first 8 or so years of our marriage. We had other difficulties with her paranoid insecurity and jealousy issues. Finally, we wnt to counseling. At the 3rd session the psychologist asked to speak with my wife alone and then called me back in and that is where I learned that she was severely abused as a child. Molested, raped, and sodomized. Since then (for the past 7 or so years) she has been diagnosed with PTSD, agoraphobia, and has become pretty much a catatonic alcoholic. She’ll quit for a couple of days here and there but that is about it. She has ruined several job advancement opportunities, our children’s school lives, wrecked cars, but luckily has escaped DUI. I find myself just hoping to find her dead when I come home every day. I would leave her except for the money issues. She has been arrested for domestic abuse and been investigated for child neglect except that CPS found my children 8 & 11 self sufficient. I find myself wanting to kill myself except for 2 things: my kids, and my righteous indignation in that she needs to go first. I went to one Alanon meeting wand the message of the meeting seemed to be to find my own happiness. There is no happiness in hell. I might have gone to another but it is too difficult with my 10 year old daughter who has ADD/OCD/Tourettes and nobody can stand to watch her.

    • It does sound hellish, Randall. What a cruel turn this sort of thing must be, from the first days of a partnership when dreams for a great shared future are still bright.
      I hope that some time you’re able to take active steps toward a positive life worth living for your own sake.

  104. Wow! It’s amazing how many people are effected by someone with a drinking problem. At least we know we are not alone.

    My situations is tough too. My husband of 13 years has been addicted to something his whole life. He is 50 now and drinks every night to the point of passing out. I have gotten to the point where I can’t stand to be around him when he drinks. We have grown apart and our marriage is in a terrible place. I am trying to separate the disease from the person but it’s hard sometimes. He tells me that he does not love me anymore and then says he loves me more than anything. We have 3 children and I can’t stand watching him slowly kill himself and thats what this is and what it will do to them eventually. I don’t know what to do. We are in business together and he’s okay during the day and then at night he starts drinking. He says he will stop soon. he even has medicine called Anabuse that he can take to make him not drink but he will not take it. For some of you, you might want to see if your alcoholic will get anabuse. If they take it and drink they will get very very sick. Like have to go to the hospital sick. I know if my husband takes his medicine, he won’t be able to drink but he makes false promises all the time. I can’t stand the way he is when he drinks. he also falls into things, urinates on our things and drives sometimes while like that. He is sometimes mean to me while he’s drunk.

    I hate that feeling of resentment that I have towards him but it’s there and I can’t help it. I find myself not being as affectionate or getting aggravated at him over other things that I may just let go if I was not mad at him for drinking all the time. I am very clear with him that I don’t like his drinking or what it is doing to us. he says why would I let that ruin our marriage. Our life is more peaceful if I keep my mouth shut about what he does. I do that sometimes and then as a human being would, I get sick of it or he does something stupid and I go off! then I’m being mean to him he says.

    It sucks so bad but I have started going to church and getting involved with my faith which I would recommend to you guys here. It has helped me a little and I will continue to pray and hope that he gets help.

    • Thanks, Michelle.
      Antabuse (or disulfiram), can help prevent drinking, but only for someone motivated to stay sober. There are other medications too, such as naltrexone (or Revia/Depade/Vivitrol), which can reduce the craving for alcohol and also reduce the rewarding effects of narcotics. Nobody would recommend one of these drugs as the only component in a treatment or or relapse prevention plan.
      I should mention that while the addict’s physician cannot give you information about the addict without permission, you are free to give the physician information. Whether in the form of a letter or perhaps insisting on attending the first minutes of an appointment, your observations and concerns can be of tremendous help in the doctor’s effort to attend to your partner’s health. I encourage everyone here to consider doing this. There are solid reasons why we have the word family in family medicine.
      Finally, Michelle, what if you imagine that the severity of your husband’s drinking is at a 5 on a scale of 1-10? Now imagine the severity has shot all the way up to 10. What steps might you take then? Perhaps you can think of steps you would regret not having taken earlier? Maybe this is a glimpse of a worst-case-scenario future that could be in store, for which you can begin to prepare now? If anyone in a partnership like this has the capacity to get ahead of the curve, it’s not going to be the addict. This is just an idea I raise for perspective on seeking solutions and resources.

  105. WOW! How I relate to the pain in these postings. Husband spent our spring break at his mom’s house this past week. She came and got him after he feel in our ditch(first day of spring break after leaving and drinking all day) out in front of our house. He looked like a Junebug that could not right itself. MY 20 year old went out and helped him out of ditch and tried to help him clean up the blood from the sticker bush he’d fallen in- broken mirror, holes in walls, bruises on me, and it was either call police or his mom. She came from Seattle to get him and he spent week helping her around her house and cleaning out her storage locker,etc. There are no consequences and I told her she isn’t a rehab facility and if she truly wanted to help she would find a therapist to put him with so he could work through his issues and not drink anymore. He had a Heart attack last Sept. the 14th, then on November 30th they put two stints in his heart. All the while unbeknowst to me he has been buying little bottles of vodka-was always a beer man before this but I know of the escalation that drunks go through. So the sober people in this family; me and my 20 and 16 year olds are paying for the sins of one person who refuses to quit drinking. Oh yes the last phones calls were full of sorries- do i once again have to let him sorry his way back into our lives. 16 year old has never known him without either alcohol or pot in his system. My husband is a teacher and for many years was a functioning alcoholic and coach. Last Monday he said it was all my fault- what, keeping our heads above a bankruptcy, yep that is my fault- what, taking car of the dogs, house, bills, boys, schedules,meals, etc. -yep that is also my fault but I refuse to take any responsibility for his drinking. He is so afraid I will call his principal but they have also seen the changes recently. I survived ovarian cancer 15 years ago this July, this is not what I was saved to do, watch my husband disintegrate before my eyes. He could have killed someone last Monday, he is no longer driving anywhere but there again that puts more stress on my sons and I to cart him around places-but that’s better than someone losing their life. I am a problemsolver by nature, grew up in chaos and was determined not to pass that on to my own sons. I taught school for 20 years before leaving classroom to raise my own kids. I am turning 50 in June and I know there is more for me in life than this – there is more for my sons to experience. We have been to Australia, Europe, and at least six trips driving cross country, each of these places were tainted by his sneaking off to drink.
    On some level now that he is sober he sees the destruction of the past 30 years together- first ten were great. That Monday he looked me in the eye and lied-just like when we were on Kauai and he wouldn’t let boys and I go fishing with him at 6:30 in the morning. He said I promise I won’t buy beer-the beer receipt shows he went straight to convenience store and purchased a half case of beer, three hours later the rented hummer had be confiscated and he wanted me to somehow get to Lihue’s police station to pick him up- boys were 9 and 5. First time I refused to come somewhere and pick him up and told him to find his own way home. That night he was back. I wanted so much to be his wife, not his keeper. My sons are suffering and they deserve my full undivided attention.
    OMG as I am writing this I see your address -in Seattle no less. Very cool I am going to stop and send your contact info to him – my skills lie in helping, counseling, nurturing, educating,inspiring, motivating; but I cannot be the outside objective voice of reason that you could be. Thank you and bless you for a place for the people at wit’s end of dealing with a drunk to say HEY I MATTER TOO, not just the drunk.
    He says he will never drink again- I cannot count the times I have heard this. My heart is broken but the boys and I are continuing to move forward.
    Continued Success to you!

    • Thanks for your story, Dana.
      I would be happy to see your husband once or twice. But although I cover addiction quite a bit in my practice, I’m not a credentialed chemical dependency counselor, and most of the advanced-level addicts in these stories would probably be served best with an intensive outpatient program of some sort.

  106. My wife drank all of our 11 year marriage and abused legal and illegal drugs. I stayed with her foolishly and would find her cheating online with exboyfriends. In the end she had so many complaints that it was impossible to make her happy. She wanted to go to counseling – this is a red flag. The party wanting to go to counseling has decided to leave and is trying to convince the other to end the marriage. She would drink every day to the end. I contacted the doctors to see about putting her in the hospital. They decided to do an involuntary hospitalization. Then she agreed to go on voluntarily. I checked her Facebook and she was having an online affair with her ex boyfriend. That explained her miserable condition which of course they blame on you. It wasn’t her first either. I caught her with another guy a few years earlier. After I discovered her Facebook affair she filed for divorce. By that time I could hardly recognize her. Her behavior was so bizarre. It wad scary being around her. She divorced me after her 1 month rehab and moved to another state to be with her new lover. Now her Facebook account has a great photo of her and her new lover have announced their “relationship” online. They look like a happy couple and no one knows of the true Hell

  107. I am feeling very sad today. I lived with an alcoholic wife for ten years. Tomorrow will be two years since she passed away.She was only 42 years old and died of liver failure from the drinking.In the last couple of years she was a bottle of vodka a day.drinker, I lived through all the hell the the others on this sight have talked about but this blog has helped me gain some perspective that only those in a similar situation can provide. I do not regret any of the decisions I made but I can’t get over the feeling of losing several years of my life.Even so I still miss her.

  108. I’m both happy that I found this site and sad that there are so many people struggling with the same problem as I.

    Married for 27 years, my wife has been drinking steadily for more than a decade. She drinks a 6-pack (or more) every night, until the weekend, when she’ll drink ten. She takes one day ‘off’ a week. Normally that’s on Sunday and she usually stays in bed all day. She holds a full time job and only drinks at home.

    Whenever I ask her to talk about it or to seek help, she becomes angry and just says, “I know – I know, leave me alone!”. I dread coming home from work because I know she’ll be well on her way by the time I get there. She always has dinner ready – as if we’re making some kind of deal. You eat, I’ll drink. I’ve told her that I only want her to stop drinking – nothing else.

    There’s always a reason that she needs to drink. She either has to get through a tough time at work or with us. “I jut need to get through this, I’ll stop right after the holidays” or “after I get through this project at work”, is something that I constantly hear. But it never ends. I’ve had a couple of surgery’s recently, and she blames that for her drinking. She makes promises but never follows through.

    We have no kids and I’m the main bread winner. I can see where this is going. Nowhere. Her Dad is a recovering alcoholic. In fact I spoke to him about this last year and he said I have to leave. He said “that’s the only thing that’s going to wake her up”.

    I love her but she’s not the same person. I can see the old her way down inside but that may just me hoping for the best. She has no real professional or personal drive. She’s happy playing with her iPad, getting drunk and chain smoking cigarettes every night while I go to bed alone. I can’t do this forever.

    I miss my wife!

    Thanks to all for sharing your stories.

  109. I’ve been married to an alcoholic for a little over 10 years. We have a 5 year old son. He is a great man, a wonderful husband and father. I want for things to get better. It just makes me wonder if it’ll ever will. I’m losing hope and I’m starting to think of letting go.

    We come from two completely opposite backgrounds. I’m from a big close family, traditional, religious, keeps in touch with each other and doesn’t necessarily have to have alcohol to enjoy a family event. His is everything my family is not. His deceased parents were both alcoholics – father drowned trying to swim across the Mississippi River drunk. Mother was in AA and was unfortunately killed from a robbery when he was 12. None of his relatives offered a home after the death of his mom, but he ended up living with his step sister for a couple of years, which didn’t work out. He was emancipated at age of 15. He had a rough childhood, but managed to raised himself the right way. He finished college. He has two masters degree and a great job. The only problem he can’t seem to overcome is his alcoholism.

    Every night (only at home) I go to bed alone while he goes into his office, play a video game and either have straight vodka or rum with a sleeping pill. He has had three DUI’s and two of which with accidents. Luckily no other people were involved. The third DUI happened last March when he found out that he was getting laid off. I had to stop him three times from getting a bottle of alcohol from the store but he wouldn’t listen. He drove to the store in the rain intoxicated; came back and each time he’d come back with a bottle, I’d take it and dump the alcohol in the sink. The third time he went out wasn’t such a charm because he had an accident on his way home. He drove over the median and wrecked our car. He walked out of the car and to our house physically fine. The police came to our house. I was going to cover up for him, but I didn’t have the conscience. He volunteered to check himself into rehab after that. I was happy because he finally saw the light. I was wrong! It was all just a game and a strategy to get himself ready for his trial. I got him an attorney (stupid me) and so he got off very easy with an ankle bracelet, rehab which he already completed prior to the trial, plus two weeks of jail time. He completed everything just three months ago. A month after that, he experimented on pot. He stopped that. Now, he is back again on his old disgusting habit – alcohol and sleeping pill. It never ends.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve waken up in the middle of the night because of all the noises he makes trying to find our bed or toilet or from stumbling because he can’t walk. He would get really obnoxious and would pick an argument about something stupid that would turn into something big. When we argue, it isn’t pretty because we start saying horrible and hurtful things to each other. Since he only drinks at night right before his bed time, my nightmares happen before I go to sleep or just right before I hit the REM stage of my sleep. It is horrible during the week when I have to wake up really early for work the following day.

    He has not physically abused me, but he has emotionally. As awful as it sounds, over the years, I’ve developed resentment and a bit of hatred towards him. I’m disgusted. Even when he is not drunk and times are good, there’s a part of me that says, “Oh, this joy is temporary.” So, I feel that I need to stay angry at him to keep me from getting hurt too much. It’s my shield.

    My son sees and hears our arguments. I don’t want him to grow up in this kind of environment. I also don’t want my husband’s cycle to to continue with my son. I don’t like what I’ve become after 10 years of nightmare. I’ve turned into a bitter wife. I can’t handle it anymore, but I will never be able to forgive myself if something were to happen to him if I leave. He has no one in his life but me and his son.

    There’s a lot great things about him. I don’t want to leave just because of his alcoholism, but it is the only problem that is pulling us apart and ruining our family.

    • Ms. Rocks, I like your description of how you’ve been developing insight regarding your own participation in the marital system, just a step behind your insights about his alcoholism. It seems to be what almost always happens. It sounds as if in some ways, you’re already letting go.
      Thanks for writing in.

  110. Martini on the Rocks,
    You are doing what I did…….day by day, step by step, hurt by hurt I started “leaving him”. I have divorce proceedings moving forward after experiencing many of the same things you have experienced. I’m sure he is a good man when he isn’t drinking and doesn’t remember the pain he causes you when he does. However, that being said I’ve FINALLY learned I don’t have to put up with his poor behavior anymore. I’m so done with that and the relief I feel as I put my life back together is incredible. His crying, pleading, flowers, or whatever mean nothing to me anymore. He allowed the poison of alcohol to poison our 21 year marriage. My thoughts are prayers are with you. Stay safe! Don’t enable, don’t lie for him.

    Barbara

  111. My wife has in the last two years slowly started drinking more and more heavily.
    We’ve been married for 18 years and have one 8 year old child. Only recently has she started drinking in larger volumes, getting drunk overtime she takes alcohol. Mainly lots of wine followed by very large and strong gin and tonic.

    While not getting violent as such, she does feel as if she can.sexually.assault me when drunk. And cannot be reasoned with. This obviously leads to physical confrontation, as I try to defend myself from sexual assault.

    All the other commented scenarios are there, denial of the problem, and now we don’t buy alchohol with the weekly shop, she buys it separately and drinks in “secret”. But it’s no secret to someone who is sober, and I still come across hidden empties around the house.

    The problem is not as bad as some of the posts I’ve read here, BUT it’s clearly worsening and deteriorating to a point where my child and I are really going to start suffering.

    Promises to seek councilloring have never been carried through. I don’t know what to do to save her, our marriage and stop damage to our child’s life.

    • I’ll suggest, Murray, that while you work at this, you might focus on avoiding a potential disaster: in my state, if the police respond to a domestic violence call, an arrest must be made. If they arrest your wife, this could be a good thing, leading her closer to “hitting bottom”, for example, or to court-mandated treatment. On the other hand, you could find the explanation of protecting against sexual assault from your wife to be a hard-sell. I imagine it could be that you need a better safety plan, e.g. leaving the house, with your child if needed, to avert any such confrontation. You could also initiate a call to the police to complain that you fear for your own safety. Just, for several reasons, please no grabbing, pushing or whatnot, or you may find yourself defined as a batterer.

  112. Tom,

    My common law wife of 6 years is a drinker. When we first met, she never really drank herself into stupidity like she does now. It isn’t a constant thing either – she goes three blocks down the street to the local bar about 5 nights a week immediately after work (which is across the street) and doesn’t even come home to see me or our 8 year old son.

    I can’t stand the “Russian Roulette” feeling anymore of whether or not she’s going to come home happy or demonically possessed. She’s recently started driving to another town to go out to the bar (all of this is done under the guise of joining a pool league) with another man that she says is just a friend from her team.

    I know he’s on the team, but what I don’t know is the real intention of their nights out and it is eating me alive. Our son has began hurting himself when angry and when we were called in to see the school district’s psychologist, she cried and wept and did all the things that a concerned mother should do, but glossed over the part where he had expressed hurt over her never being home.

    The bad nights are the ones I can’t take anymore: she screams at me (normally she waits until we are somewhere where the neighbors or passers-by can hear because she knows I won’t yell back in front of other people) or she stomps around the house destroying anything and everything that isn’t hers until godawful hours of the morning while blaring the radio (at full volume) the entire time.

    The next day, while sober, she doesn’t even apologize but instead points out that I argued back, fought back, etc.

    Please, God, take me away from here. I am so worried for the well being of our son and our animals and I can’t bear the thought of having to leave them or my home, (He is her child from another man, but we are fairly close.) She never cleans, picks up, etc, and if I allowed her to, would live in her own filth. I work about fifty hours a week and always have – she acts like her 25 hours a week are simply going to kill her. This is the first job she has had since we met.

    If I don’t rub her feet when I come home from my 10 hour day or wait on her like a maid, it’s another temper tantrum followed by another trip to the bar and I don’t see her again until I’m getting ready to leave the next morning and she’s coming back from (god only knows who’s) house either hung over or still drunk.

    I can’t stand alcohol anymore because of this. I try to drink and it makes me sick (definitely a “symptom” of dealing with this) and when I do suggest that she goes out too often, she will scream and rail that I don’t let her leave the house ever and that she has no friends.

    I have fought back physically before… I regret it, but there it is. I have even been the agressor: she was in my face with the name calling, the insults and the constant dribble of how pathetic I am, etc. and I simply…… cracked …… is the best way to describe it and decked her in the side of the face. She now constantly (and this was 2 years ago) threatens to call the police and sob that I beat her and injure herself to produce bruises to have me taken into custody. The law favors women – I simply can’t fight that.

    I still love her – I still remember what we used to be and I cry even now as I am writing this. I can’t let her see. The last time she saw me break down was while she was drunk and for the next few weeks I had to endure being called a “faggot” and “pussy” in front of friends, family, anyone that would listen to her.

    I almost wish I could be gay because of this, but that would only be because I cannot bring myself to find her attractive when she’s drunk and when she’s been drinking, that’s all she wants to do. She now fervently claims that I am since I want nothing to do with her in the bedroom and it has made my life just that much worse.

    Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the Russian Mafia and the Japanese Yakuza could torture me for hours for information and it would be nothing compared to what I have endured on and off.

    To this day, she still claims that she doesn’t have a problem and that I just don’t want her to have any “fun”

    This very moment, she is at a bar in a distant town with another man from her “pool league” after a huge fight about her not driving my truck while drunk. (she came home that way before deciding to leave again.) She took the keys and left while I had my back turned taking the dogs outside.

    Do I call the police and call her in as a drunk driver? I have already told her that if she ever gets pulled over, I’m not bailing her out. She won’t learn anything if I do. She has already been to court and found guilty of “Contributing to the delinquency of a Minor.” (She went through a phase where all of her friends were at least 9 years younger)

    Will someone just please help me make the pain stop?

    • Ethan, you’re describing abuse. If the gender roles were reversed, I imagine many would advise the person in your shoes to do whatever it takes to find refuge.

  113. sunday 5th june….hi ,i’ve lived with my commonlaw wife for 20years we have two sons 19 and 15 and a daughter 10 .a few days ago i walked out(jumped over our back wall to avoid her) she was verbally abusing me again and physically preventing me from trying to go upstairs to get my shoes.at the bottom of the stairs while i was getting past her she flung herself on the step and accused me of hurting her.i can honstly say that im not violent in any way and i feel very hurt by this (my 15 year old son was there) over the past 10 years i’ ve developed a pattern of going to the pub after work to avoid going home to her.she is either asleep or drinkin.her choice for now is bottles of beer ave.15a day.couple of weeks ago it was wine 2 bottles daily.her pattern is drink in morning ,sleep,drink in evening,sleep,drink at night.she always leaves some drink for morning. her mother passed away in june and her aunt before that she was close to both.so im riddled with guilt for leaving.i havnt slept in the same bed for 10 years.actually her drunkin slobber sickens me.but i do still love her very much.i’m going to look for cheap rental accomadation because i need to get out of this terminally destructive relationship.i understand to an extent alcohol addiction as i myself am a compulsive gambler .i attend G.A meetings regularly.this prediciment is complicated as i feel i’m a contributing factor to her current status.i can’t live like this anymore as the abuse mostly verbel is progressively worsening and becoming physical.

  114. Hi
    I am glad I found this site. I would like some help with trying to figure my life of rollercoaster ride out. I met Terry 4 1/2 years ago, come June 7th we will be married for 3 whole years. I grew up with an alcoholic father, and thought I would recognize the signs rite away, I never allow drinking in my home. I divorced my girls father in 1998, I have three teenage girls, 19, 17 and 15. I have built my own home, 7 years ago. Well anyway I spent 12 years figuring out who I was, raising my girls. I met Terry, and fell head over heals, he was an awesome man, very loving, ect. Looking back now, I can see where he would disappear for days, thought he was playing hard to get, I know now he was on a binge. Shortly after we were married, (actually our wedding nite) I noticed Terry so drunk he couldn’t stand, I said it was just a fluke we had the rest of our lives. Then a month later, drunk again, trying to fight for the car keys. Bad went to worse, I witnessed him telling his own 12 year old daughter to shut her **cking mouth. Well i couldn’t take a little girl being talked to like that, thinking of my own daughters, I stuck up for Nickole. That anger and hatred turned to me quickly. I have and my girls have witnessed Terry, abusing his daughter, threatning me. I have picked up his kids, drove them home, because Terry was too drunk to drive. Walked five miles home, for being belittled in public. Things again have gone worse. For the past almost year I have only seen Terry about 12 times, i sit and wonder who he is with, what he is doing. If he is going to hurt someone or himself. I can not belive that his ex wife still allows her children to go with Terry knowing that he drinks and drives with them. I have to tell you that we have never had a normal marriage, we have never lived together. Well Terry stayed at my house, stayed, but never really moved in. Anyway he has his house I have mine, I have been trying to ask for 2 years what he wants from me, If he hates me so much, doesnt want to be around me, share, do… ect. I am sure you have all heard this. I shorty cut my way from going out to his home, I got sick of cleanning up friends and families beer bottles, and messes. Terry’s home is the ‘party’ house. I origionally agreed to move into Terry’s home. After I seen what was going on. Mommy had keys, alcoholic brother, friends stopping by at all hours. I would hear basically make this your home, but don’t touch anything. Dont say anything, dont do anything, I was embarassing, fat, stupid, retarted. I found last year myself in Al Anon, I thought I was going crazy. Once Terry found out, he quit coming around. Anyway, Ive held on out of love, asking will it ever change, Terry calls me a liar because I didnt move into his home. My kids dont want to leave their school, anyway, I triedd to expalin. Terry says he can’t leave his friends, I say your 42 years old, and cant leave mommy and friends, imagine how my teenagers feel. I dont think he cares, only about himself. We don’t talk, dont do anything together, the little bit that I see Terry\\\\ he acts like I make him sick. It is so hurtfull. Last Tuesday, Terry finally called and said he went and filed for divorce, I still have not recieved any papers, not sure how this works. My Al Anon friends think Terry was just trying to control the situation again. What I wonder is they say you can not get rid of a drunk, unless they find someone else. I have wondered over the last year if Terry had someone else, or just his Miller Lite. I am now finding out, that this has been a problem for Terry for years, why his first wife divorced him. A year ago Terry would not allow my step kids to speak to me, because I hate a attitude and I am a bad influence. While he is passing out, drooling on himself, pissing in corners, thinking he is in the bathroom, beating his daughter, it’s all my fault, my mouth, my this. Just tell me I am not wrong. I love this man, but I can’t help him. His whole family is drinkers including 63 year old mommy. I understand that is who he would rather be around, people like him. I am told he is now into making his own beer, with his 12 year old son and 14 year old daughter and his mother. It’s sick! I feel like I should turn Terry and his ex wife in, key his new truck. ect. I won’t do it, I am just mad. I just keep praying wrapping Terry in a blanket, and handing him to God.
    Sorry about the spelling errors. I hope you understand. Anyway, how do you get over the hurt? Embarrassment. resentment, frustration, aggrevation, distrust, loss of self respect? I am down, I am broken. I am unloved, not respected…

    • Glad you wrote in, Denise.
      I’m not entirely sure you want to get over the frustration, aggravation and distrust. They are normal reactions to being mistreated, no? And I wouldn’t want you to begin accepting mistreatment.
      But loss of self-respect…that you can control. Remember the serenity prayer (about changing what you can change, accepting what you can’t change, and recognizing the difference between the two).

  115. After 20 years of excessive drinking,I have asked my husband to leave the home. The turning point for me was when we went on a family vacation.My husband went to the bar and drank for hours . He woke up in the middle of the night and urinated on me,claiming he was “turned around” because he was sleeping so soundly and couldn’t remember where he was. I have given him every opportunity to come back home,but the qualifier is that he goes in patient. He apparently does not get it, calling me a bitch and blaming me for the problems in our marriage, which relate directly to his alcohol abuse. I feel very sad that he has choose to continue drinking,suffer financial loss,and choose to end our marriage rather than get help. I intend to get trough this and carry on with my life, and finally be happy.

    • Strong step, Mary. I commend your determination.
      If I may make an uninvited suggestion…I myself think that inpatient treatment is a little overrated. It may be necessary and I doubt it could hurt, but I tend to have more confidence in longer-lasting intensive outpatient programs. The allow the patient/client to practice what they are learning within the context that prompts them to drink.
      An alternate ultimatum for your husband would be to have him get a full evaluation, to allow you to give the evaluator your observations in a letter, then for him to share the full results with you, and to adhere to all the treatment recommendations for at least a year.

  116. Thank you for this forum. I needed to hear about others’ experiences and to talk about my own.

    When I got married, 14 years ago, I thought I was so lucky. I was marrying my best friend. I slowly realized that he was a profoundly unhappy person. His childhood had been less than ideal. His father abused him verbally and physically. He witnessed his father abusing his mother.

    Perhaps because of his childhood, perhaps because of his genes, he does not love himself. He is often depressed. He lacks self-confidence. He does not take care of his health and has become very overweight. He is impulsive. He spends too much and drinks too much in attempts to feel better. He is distrustful. He often perceives people’s reactions as critical of him.

    I am not attracted to him anymore. I feel drained by his depression. He says, “I love you” and “You’re my favorite person in the whole world” all the time, and I respond robotically. I don’t think I love him anymore. He’s not my favorite person. I care about him, but I mainly feel tired. I find his woeful attitude increasingly difficult to bear.

    I need him to help take care of the kids, who are still quite young, and to contribute financially. But I also want my own money. I want my own space. I want to feel more control over my own life. I don’t want to take care of him all the time. I don’t want to be the rock. I want a partnership, not a dependency.

    When he drinks during the day, I hate it. It reminds me of several occasions where he has gotten terribly drunk and behaved badly. He hasn’t abused me physically. It’s just unseemly. It’s disrespectful to me and to himself, and of course to our children, to be drunk in the afternoon. Once, when our younger son was an infant, he drank so much that he could hardly stand. He vomited in the diaper pail and passed out on our bed. His mother was there at the time.

    He hasn’t been that bad lately. He is functional. He says, “I got all this stuff done, didn’t I?” He does get stuff done. He makes dinner and gets the kids dressed. He does errands. But I still hate to hear the slur in his words, to see his intensified emotions, to watch him pass out in the chair.

    He has been on and off antidepressants. He has seen a few therapists. He always gives up on them.

    Is it bad enough to leave? I guess not. The children need both of us. And I promised to stick by him when we got married. Isn’t this just what people do? But I just can’t help thinking that I could be happier, that I could be alone for a while, and that perhaps I could find someone who would not be so draining. I am getting older, almost 40. I won’t be as attractive in a few years. But then, is the possibility of a different, more satisfying life worth the upheaval and risk involved in leaving?

    • Tough questions, Heidi.

      And your description is one of those where it must be hard to know whether the alcohol abuse is the problem from which the other problems stem. Oer, ia the primary problem is more ingrained in his personality and his depression, meaning that the alcohol abuse is more of a symptom than a cause. Rarely is there a clear answer, though almost always, the problem can’t get much better until the chemical use is under control.

      You might be interest in reading material by Michele Wiener-Davis. She writes for the person who is trying to come to accept a highly flawed marriage, or who is working to improve it without the cooperation of the other. Take a look at The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage.

  117. I’ve been in a relationship for 4 years with the love of my life. From the beginning, I knew she had anger problems but I was able to deal with them and calm her down. However, when she started drinking heavily after her parents divorce she became impossible to reason with. Infidelity became a huge problem but once she came clean it seemed as if things were looking up. Now, 3 years later the drinking has become even worse and the arguments have this violent air to them as if one of us was about to snap. Since January she began incessantly lying about simple things that managed to blow up into much bigger problems. About a month ago, she came over so drunk that her eyes were completely bloodshot just looking for a fight. Sure enough it quickly became one and also became a physical fight. I never thought she was capable of that seeing as how she watched her mom undergo that kind of violence by her father. I know better than to sit back and be hurt by someone so I began to hit back and once she realized what happened she started bawling. To summarize the rest of that night she vowed to quit drinking but to start a month at a time. She lasted a week, and we had another argument with no physical contact. Last Thursday she took it upon herself to go to an AA meeting and when I saw her afterwards she was just glowing. She was so excited and so ready to start this journey. Things were sickeningly perfect all of a sudden. I finally felt like we were getting back to where we were when her drinking didn’t affect us and she didn’t lie. Yesterday when I was at work I was on the phone with her and I got this feeling that she was lying about something and sure enough she began arguing about something petty to change the subject as she routinely does when she’s lying. It was a day of bickering and hurtful words and then she disappeared around 9:30 last night. Around 2:30 I received a text message from her saying that she had relapsed and was with some of her friends (including the woman she lies about/her roommate) at a bar we frequently went to. I felt paralyzed and still do to some degree. To say that I love her and want this to work is a gross understatement. She says that she understands the pain she is putting me through, but her actions prove otherwise. Admittedly having this happen at such a young age isn’t healthy for a relationship, but I somehow always have hope that things can get better. I’m only a senior in college and am moving to Florida for a 5 month internship-needless to say, its a long way from home. Can this become a stable relationship once more (before I leave in August); or should I just say goodbye and good luck once and for all?

    • Thanks for writing, Angela. Naturally, nobody can predict what sort of relationship you could eventually have…but you can see a number of potential outcomes just by reading other stories here.

      I imagine that one thing you could do is to be careful about labeling anyone as “the love of my life”, while you’re still at a pretty young age to determine such a thing.

      Sometimes I wonder if there is something in the volatility and push/pull sort of dynamics in yours and so many of the other relationships described here, that creates an attachment which feels all the more powerful. Anyone have thoughts on this?

  118. I am lost. My wife’s drinking problem was brought to life in September of 2010 when we went to San Francisco and Napa. The last day of the trip she doesn’t remember because she didnot sip and sample she drank her way through Napa.

    Then in November of 2010, I discovered her sexting with some random guy. Instead of divorce, I sought reconciliation. However, since the the drinking has gotten worse and worse and now nine months after her infideilty. I am at the edge.

    Her behavior has cost me my job, it has put fear, anxiety and other insecurities in our family. I am done. She keeps claiming “I am trying to be a better person” but I am to the point that she needs to stop trying and BE a better person.

    The alchol use is primiarly white wine, and she hides it and hide-drinks it. For example, today there was a full glass hidden in the cupboard, and I found the bottle hidden in the coat closet.

    Please any thoughts or suggestion would be apperciated.

    • Hi NH. I hope that others might chime in, or that you find some of the many ideas her to be useful for you.

      Here is another. A general strategy in addressing relationship problems is to “make the covert overt”. This means, to voice out loud what is otherwise communicated in an indirect and unclear way. It may also mean to voice out loud what you see.

      I’m thinking about the second meaning here, that you would speak to her about your observations.
      “Hey, look – I found your wine in the coat closet. Silly, huh? Here you go.”
      “I recall that your speech was all slurred last night and that you were ___ “. (Fill in the bank)
      “Have you noticed that on the nights you drink, ___ happens? It least that how it looks on my end.”
      “I find that for a day or two after you drink, you appear as if nothing is amiss, while I feel ripped up inside. What do you think about that?”
      “I’m not sure you’re aware that while I still love you to pieces, I’m about losing all hope here and I think all day long about the advantages of having you move out.”

      These things are simply stated as what you experience. They are meant to be statements that cannot be disputed, and they are not made with judgement or condemnation.

      I’m curious what you (and any other readers), think of this. And, what are some statements you would think of in your case?

  119. “Hey, look – I found your wine in the coat closet. Silly, huh? Here you go.”
    “I recall that your speech was all slurred last night and that you were ___ “. (Fill in the bank)
    “Have you noticed that on the nights you drink, ___ happens? It least that how it looks on my end.”

    These in the past of brought hostility and lies, however, when I took this route yesterday: “I’m not sure you’re aware that while I still love you to pieces, I’m about losing all hope here and I think all day long about the advantages of having you move out.”

    This seemed to have an effect. I think for too long I have been too nice and she seems to respond to direct threats.

    We will see she has claimed that she will stop in the past, maybe now that she knows I am serious about it stopping maybe she will stop.

  120. After six years of being abused by my alcoholic, very angry wife, have finally decided to see an attorney and force the situation. Mine is a blended family situation having been a young widower when we met. She had some tendencies to be angry when I met her but I felt she had gotten out of a bad marriage and that things would be okay. What a mistake. She’s quite attractive and fun to be around when she’s not angry or been drinking but for the sake of four kids, two mine, two her, it’s time to absorb the trauma and get out. Unfortunately, she’s only working part time, having lost a number of full time positions due to what I know are anger and self-esteem issues and as many have also found, a very risky financial situation. Could lose the house, have an office in the basement so how to get her out, or leave while still trying to keep things functional is a challenge. Anybody had any experience with forcing somebody out of the house who’s abusive and really doesn’t want to quit drinking short of having social services involved or the police showing up? Hope this new attorney, who comes highly recommended with experience working with local social agencies, may be able to end this without turning it into any worse of a train wreck!

  121. Hi to all, I see I’m not alone in this journey.. I to feel like I’m taking care of a child. My husband is in complete denial and last weekend was were I drew the line. Hubby was so verbal abusive and harassing me. I asked him to take a walk hoping he would calm down. He took a walk alright straight to the liquor store. He continues to become more quite annoying that I finally had to call the police. They talked with him and he laughed in their faces and my face saying that I would never go thru with any of the threats to have him removed.

    Here Monday comes he is sober and sorry. I don’t know why he’s sorry when he always says he hasn’t done anything. I go to our local courts as planned and have him removed from our house temporarily until we go to court in 2 weeks. He has contacted our minor child and our young adult children and told them he was okay and that he was in the park. I think he wants me to feel guilty.

    It was time for me to take a stand as we now have a 5 day old grand baby in the house. He is more than welcome to return to our home if he wants to get some sort of alcohol treatment which I’m hoping the courts will order. He was arrested in 2005 when no charges filed and 2009 where he was put on probation and had to take a domestic violence class. He completed both successfully. However he knows how to manipulate the system.

    I’m at a loss I’m not sure if I want to salvage this marriage or not. I not even sure if I have feelings for someone who is so cold, refuses to communicate and is verbally abusive and sees nothing wrong with his drinking.

    • Jana, you say his drinking is unacceptable to you, and that he sees there being nothing wrong. It seems to me that you’re describing something pretty clear-cut.

      In any case, you have managed to draw a very clear line in that he must be in treatment if he is to return to the home. And I think you’re saying that, even then, you may find he still has behaviors that are unacceptable to you.

      Please don’t overlook any of your supports and resources, and stay strong.

  122. I really need some help. I love my husband very much. I found out how much he was drinking when I spotted blood on the toilet and empty bottles in the house. He’s not physically abusive towards me, but I couldn’t take the loneliness and lies anymore and filed for divorce. I thought that would a wake- up call. He came back to me and I accepted him. We scheduled an outpatient appointment and he went to a couple of aa meetings. Then he flipped out again and left the house. He never made it to his appointment. I was so angry and just wanted to live my life. He insisted on staying in the house but I didn’t want to talk to him. This put him over the edge and he tried to commit suicide. I feel trapped. If I leave him he will kill himself. He’s in the hospital right now and they won’t force him into an inpatient program. I don’t know if I’m crazy or scared but I’m willing to give him one more chance. I’m afraid of what he’ll do if I don’t. We’ve been together 14 years and have no children. Please help.

    • Hey Linda, if you’re crazy, then so is every one of the others who have written here. And I highly doubt this.

      I hope you’re getting support and ideas from every place you can, including Al-Anon.

      You may consider, if you’re letting him back, how you can protect yourself from consequences if/when it fails again.

      You could make a promise that you won’t blame and kick yourself later.

      You might keep in mind that it may only delay – not prevent – the inevitable crisis he must confront some day.

      If and when you decide not to allow him back, you might think about how you can expresse all the compassion you have, without buying the false idea that you have to rescue him from himself in order to do that.

      And above all, please keep taking care of yourself as a high priority.

  123. Hi all, need some advice, i’m well aware that my situation may not be as serious as those listed above but i truly do need some help and support here. I’d spent four years in an abusive civil partnership with a woman that cheated on me who physically and verbally abused me, two years into it i met someone who gave me the courage, eventually, to leave. I’m with her now and at first liberation from a lot of rules was intoxicating – to be able to buy what i want, do what i want and join her in a few drinks in the evening meant a lot to me. However, over the last six months her vodka drinking has impeded her rational behaviour, her libido has disappeared, she can be a little selfish and self involved, her attitude is i’ll give up tomorrow… you’ve all heard that but when we went on hols last month she didn’t touch a drop. I’m massively worried as i know i’m not that assertive and quite a pushover. Any advice would be really appreciated

    • T, I hope some others weigh in here. My own two cents might be to think about what would it look like if you were just 10-20% more assertive. Try to generate a long list of ideas about various ways in which this could be shown. Then, you have some good advice from a knowledgeable source. The next step is to act on some of it, watch the results, modify your plan and act again.

  124. My wife and i have been together for 19 years, married for 13. her occupation requires her to carry a firearm. Over the years, she has been caught drinking on the job i mean drinking drunk. on two occasions her superior brought her home blitz ( while on duty ) her co workers are also drinkers at this level or on there way. Recently she had an off duty OT job, this was a choice cake gig that payed very well, two of her co workers brought her home drunk in uniform and told me that they had to hide the evidence or else the city would cancel their contract, needless to say they replaced her for good. We recently went on a friends boat on a family outing, she drank two bottles of wine and snuck 3 small bottles of vodka with her, as the day went on our sons were sick and embarrassed by her, she fell overboard and that was the final straw with our boys, they yelled at her and were ashamed. Over the years it’s always my fault, the kids fault, never hers. She has put on at least 60 pounds , not caring about her appearance or anything, it’s to the point where i just go out with our friends with out her, my wife was a beautiful fit woman at one time, i want to go but i”m not one who gives up…My sons tell me i should just file for divorce and move on, they would understand, my sister, brother, parents, friends, are now finding out that i have been covering and hiding this issue for all these years and are offering support. Not sure yet what i will do, but i am at a cross roads.

    • You’re “the one who gives up” if you go, RM? That is an interesting way of casting things. It sounds like the way your wife could describe it, perhaps. It sounds like you’re saying that other members of the family would not. At any rate, I’m glad you’re apparently no longer working to hide and cover for her.
      Thanks for writing.

  125. I think my fiance is an alcoholic. We’ve been together 7 years & have 2 beautiful kids, aged 1 & 4. I never noticed anything funny about him till my 1st pregnancy, out of nowhere he was drinking a bottle of vodka 3-4 times a week. Now its 6 times a week. He changes into an irritable, condescending bore & everything is my fault. He’s never hit me but came close twice, which terrified me. When I confront him about his drinking the arguments that follow are horrible. He ‘punishes’ me by not speaking to me & being horrible till I back down. We’re due to marry in 2 months. I can’t afford to leave him but no matter how much I hope he’ll change I’m starting to see that may not happen. I don’t know what happened to the funny, affectionate guy I fell in love with. I feel bullied & scared of him but I’m not sure if thats all in my mind?????

  126. Hello all….I have read all these articles numerous times to keep reminding myself I am not the only one in this situation.
    I am 51 yrs. old (wife same age) with twins 7yrs. old. I did a lot of traveling with work and did not settle down until I was in my 40’s.
    My story has a lot of similarities to Jason Says: April 8th, 2010 at 9:49 pm which really hit home.
    We have been married 8 years with the first 3 being fantastic having our twins,buying new house and just being content on where our life together was going.
    I can put over ½ of the blame on our troubles on that miserable website “Facebook. About 4 years ago she found it and has not been off since. Reconnecting with old friends & high school people has been the downfall. 2 years ago I was looking at her pics on her cell phone when I found her taking pictures of herself in bra & panties….went back into phone records to see that she was sending to some guy from hometown she met on Facebook. It was devastating to me (and still is) to find this out. I am still dealing with it silently.Also, she went to high school reunion where to this day I am sure she met him.

    Now, to the alcohol.
    When I met my wife she drank wine casually and I would buy her a bottle on occasion when I came home never thinking she had a problem. I should tell you I am 20 yrs. sober.
    She now drinks 365 days a year starting around 5pm. to ??? I go to bed around 9pm. after we put the children down because we really have nothing to talk about. There is really no respect for each other when at home together…we pass in the hallway without looking at each other sometimes. She sits on her computer (works from home) from 9am.-6pm. everyday than going back n forth till 9pm. till she goes to bed with her daughter…we have not slept together for over 3 years. I try to tell her this is not good for our daughter to have her in there every night.
    When my wife drinks ie; wine,vodka, beer she gets mean and mad at me & daughter….the boy is her angel because he is a good boy…which he really is.
    My daughter acts up and does not listen because she is reaching out for attention. My wife is so engulfed in her work email & websites that she neglects her. Mothers are supposed to be role models. If I ever told my wife this there would be yelling & screaming. I take the children to their activities every day (gym,baseball,karate etc…) because she has to stay home and cook ha!. By the time we get home being away for about 1 ½ hours I can see she has been drinking….this is why she does not take them anywhere to be home in the kitchen where the booze is hidden.

    Once again last night I was stupid enough to say something and the meanness started…she say’s LOUDLY with statement s like: I can’t take this anymore- you are controlling-I want to beat you with a baseball bat- I want to shoot you.
    My son heard this and asked me if mommy is going to shoot me (crying)…I ask her to quite down and says she does not care.
    When we go on family day trips or weekends no matter where there is alcohol!!!….being the little screw off wine bottles or beer. Can’t even go out for a day without this stuff.

    My dilemma is I have the young children and my wife has never touched them, but the yelling and meanness and neglect towards them is devastating. She needs help and will not consider going to see anyone. Blames it on hormones and change of life…Alcoholics can justify anything…amazing. I do not doubt this has something too do with her moods but not all.
    My question is if there is no physical abuse and she is a functioning alcoholic what do the courts look at from your experience…I have not been to a lawyer yet because I do not want to split up the family. I CANNOT leave my children with her if I decide to leave….she is a mental wreck.

    Sorry about all the run on sentences and punctuation in this rant….so much more to say and was in hurry.

    D-

  127. My wife is an alcoholic. She is in-and-out of sobriety. Currently, she’s out.

    In many ways, my experience is like everyone else who has posted here. The similarities are incredible. But I have, what I think, is a fairly unique issue.

    My wife is adamant that I not tell anyone of her disease. Yet, that leaves me with no real outlet. Not that I want to–or ever would–broadcast it from the rooftops. Nor would I talk about her situation with anyone she is close to. But on occasion it has been a great relief for me to share this issue and seek comfort from three very dear friends–two of whom don’t even live in our state. This kind of comfort has become very important to me, and these are people my wife never comes into contact with.

    Needless to say, the fact that I seek this kind of comfort from my small group angers her no end, while I, of curse, feel it is perfectly ok, and absolutely necessary.

    When I received a call the other day from one of these people, she asked if we talked about this issue…I told her we did…and now the anger and vitriol from my wife is nearly unbearable.

    I’d love to hear opinions on the appropriateness of a spouse discreetly seeking their own comfort through close friends. To me, it seems like a no-brainer. But to my wife–it’s the worst breach of trust imaginable.

    Thanks for weighing in on this topic.

  128. I am engaged to a person that is an alcoholic. We have been together for five years. His father was an alcoholic. He is the best when he is sober, but that is hardly ever. He drinks everyday; of course, the worst is on the weekend because he does not work during this time. During the week, he probably drinks 6 beers every night. The weekend though, he probably drinks more than 12… he starts drinking early in the day, like when he wakes up and does not stop until he passes out. He also smokes heavily and will take any other kind of medication as well to make him feel good. It bothers me, because i do not want to have a child in this environment but he thinks it is completely normal. What should I do? By the way, I have already talked to him about my feelings and about his problem. He does not see it as a problem. He grew up watching his father do the exact same thing so it is not a problem to him. It is normal.

    • John, D and Alice,

      The three of you all describe your partner as someone who goes on the attack when you communicate about the truth as you see it.

      This could have several effects, one of them being that it’s so punishing that you’ll be cowed into silence. If you envision this outcome and imagine years of living with an elephant in the house which nobody acknowledges, you might not like what you see – now two problems, the elephant and the pretense.

      Another effect is that if you fall to silence in order to avoid the punishment, you might say that you have rewarded the behavior, in a certain way. Accommodating what you don’t like will often elicit more of the same. Think of the tantrum-prone child who becomes a tyrant.

      Thirdly, the abusive anger has the effect of changing the subject. Immediately, you are following your partner’s agenda. Your agenda – the drinking – has been hijacked. Eclipsed. Again, there is an elephant in the room and you’re discussing communication, rather than what to do about all that poop.

      To Niki as well as to John, D and Alice, my suggestion is to find a way to keep making your point. If your safety is endangered, then that is the new elephant. Otherwise, stick to your guns.

      One strategy by the way, is to steer away from trying to convince that the alcohol itself is the the direct problem. Point instead to the problems resulting from the alcohol. Make objective observations. “When you drink, I see that the kids are confused by the second personality that comes out.” You should be able to create a long, long list. Think about matters of relationship (“I experience no connection with you when you drink, and sex is out the window”), money (add up the costs), legal matters, health consequences, social isolation, lost dreams, lack of productive activity and so forth.

      Thank you for writing in, and please stay in touch.

  129. I can’t believe I’m typing this for the public to see, but I got nothing to lose. My wife is a binge drinker. Has been for 18 years. When times are good, she’s good. When the weather gets cold or she gets depressed, she drinks heavily and quickly. I, too, have been called every name in the book. I’m starting to believe that she is right about me. She says she drinks because of having to deal with me. Over the last few years, I’ve brought the alcohol (vodka) into the house many, many times. It is strange as hell, but it’s the only way she’ll have sex with me (if both of us are drunk). This happens 2 or 3 times a week. I feel like I’m fueling the fire and I hate myself for this. But, I love my wife and feel an overwhelming desire to be with her sexually. This sucks. Last night was bad. She was drunk when I got home from work and wanted me to drink, too. I went and got vodka but did not drink anything. This pissed her off and she yelled at me for 3 hours.

    I feel like such a piece of shit. I’m embarrassed for my situation and have no clue as to what to do next. Oh yeah, 2 kids (14 and 16 years old) are in the mix.

    • Thanks so much, Henry. It’s refreshing to get an honest note from someone who’s embroiled as you are. I know there are many, many partners who embody “co-dependency” in a manner like this.

      I would worry for you more if you didn’t feel like shit. Hang onto that. It means you’re not giving up and not disclaiming responsibility.

      As to what to do next, any of us could give you clues, and I’m pretty sure you could think of some too. The real challenge is, are you willing to line up some action?

  130. Wow…this is tough. I’ve been married to my wife now for almost 25 yrs….32 years if you count our courtship out of High School. Her father was an alcoholic who died from cirrhosis at 53. Her aunt crashed the car and became a parapalegic…but even that didn’t stop her from drinking. She died at 53 also. Now my wife has become the same thing…and I wonder if she’ll even make it to 53. I can only pray she doesn’t hurt someone along the way. Her sister died at 31 from alcoholism, there were multiple empty bottles in the bedroom when they removed her body.
    Although my wife hated her father’s drinking and participated in ACA meetings, she has become “him” all over again. I can’t help her….if anyone knows the outcome, she should! She falls asleep in her food, pukes on the floor and can’t stay upright in the shower. I would think she’d have figured it out when she tried to come to bed and ended up sleeping on the floor between the bed and nightstand….but no.
    The only thing I can hope to salvage are my 2 sons by educating them to their gene pool and inherent risk they must deal with as they become young men. I fear for them even though they are witness to the slow death of their mother. Meanwhile, we suffer a slow death of another kind, that of being completely and totally helpless. I could go on and on, but it is just too painful….

  131. I’m surprised to see the responses of the people on this site. I too am dealing with a woman who once was healthy, strong and beautiful, but is now sick. I have been through the wringer and continue to live in a daily hell. But understand that my wife became sick at the hand of another, almost dying twice, and battles horrible illnesses beyond and way before she ever started this additive behavior of getting f’ed up every day. There is always a reason they drink, it’s your job as the husband to help her find her way to those reasons, and you want to investigate yourself to, many men are the problem and are to “whatever “ to get it, admit to it, or let their own pride down long enough to help her. (not saying that is every case, but the fact that we get mad at them because they drink, causes enough shame that the issues worsens). Even if you have to leave, this doesn’t mean you have to leave her. With that said I would like to give this advice to all. The fact that you are asking should answer your question on what you should do for yourself. However; I see a bunch of men who are giving up. (Understandably, I feel that way every day). The only people who have any true reason to leave is when a child is affect or in danger. I guess I’m the guy who is willing to spend the worst day with my friend and wife who is very very sick, and do the home work required to support her in an honest non enabling way. Allow me to reassure you, I am a very strong man, who is by far fooling himself. I hate this and in that I hate the life I am living because of this sickness. However I am not concerned with money or what she does to me. I am worried about her health, I am worried about her safety, I am worried about our future. But I certainly will not sit back and let this happen to her or me. Here are some suggestions. Try living your life as if you were alone, meaning you cut all access to money off from her. You make all the appointments and insure she gets there. You clean the house and you take care of the children. And yes do it while you are working. The person you married isn’t dead, she’s scared, ashamed, confused, hurting, and lost. Think of her as being possessed. She is in there and she wants out, she is just being controlled.
    You may be surprised to find out that she has a reason for her problem; it’s up to the professionals to figure it out and you to help. Don’t get mad, talk to her, listen to her, and let here tell you what is wrong. How about you bring her family together once a week if they will and let her face them. But most important; how about you educate yourself so that you can provide the most supportive environment without causing more damage. Take some of your money, sell your second car (she can’t use it) pay some counselor to come to your home and work with her. Hire a baby sitter to empty the house of booze as it finds it way into her home. Have them follow her, and when she tries to drink, she can tell the bartender, “Shes already drunk” even if she isn’t yet. Ya know be creative, but be honest. Recovery is a lifelong commitment and you will battle this as long as you’re with her. Hopefully the major portion of that can be without her drinking. But don’t give up unless you have tried everything under the sun, then look above it. If it was some other guy stealing your woman, would you give up. I love my wife enough that i would spend 1000 worst days with her, than to not have her at all. But you gotta do your part or she will die and you won’t have her anyways. If you leave for good, and something happens to her, you will carry guilt that might lead you to have issues that make you drink.
    Sorry this is just another prospective that I am not seeing here. Seems that most men here are concerned with what this is doing to them, but ask yourself what you are doing to it. Don’t give up, your beautiful friend, lover and wife is in there. Don’t leave her. If she were at the bottom of a pool, reaching out to you to save her, would you walk away? Well she is at the bottom of a pool, looking up at you to save her. So reach in and pull her out.

  132. i have tried to write this one thousand times. In 2006 i discoved an affair via cell phone and blackberry emails. He had episodes of drinking prior to this. I asked him to leave which he did. While he was out, i really did not know the extent of
    his drinking. He moved backed 2 times. His most recent move back home in 2009 brought him back drinking 2 of the big bottles of vodka in a week and perhaps a case of beer a week. Hard to say how much pot because being drunk along with being high is difficult to separate. Myself i drink maybe 1 to 2 glasses of wine twice a month and no pot. Here is my dilemna. I did file for a divorce in 2009 but he wanted to return. I told my feelings about the drinking and he said he understood responsible drinking. He said it was me that i did not allow it and it is my attitude. He openly drinks the beer. I have walked in on him chugging it. We have been to counselors but he quits before we can get ahead of this problem. I set up a weekend in Seattle at the Gottman Couples group weekend. At the last counselor we saw this July he said he would stop drinking but did not. So now i have to change because she cannot see me individually. I went to Al-non last summer and liked it but he would make comments about his disapproval of that. He says he just wants to do what he wants to do but never explains this. When i ask him to rethink his drinking, he says he does not have a problem. The National Institute of Health has a great website regarding this and i printed it out for him to read but he does not want to this. Last week i went to the attorney to discuss separation and divorce and she noted that i still love him and that i should have another session with a counselor to help me become unstuck. I find myself crying so much lately. I have expressed to him that if he does not have feelings for me anymore, it is better to be painfully honest.
    I have tried what i think are a multiple of avenues. I have read that one can live with alcoholism but you have to detach. I have to be honest that i have failed to detach. We have been married for 30 years. There is so much more to tell. He says i do not get it. I am controlling and attacking when i discuss the fact that in the early years of our marrige, we did not have this issue. I am now at a point that looking ahead 10 years from now, taking this problem out of my life would bring peace. What do you think Mr. Linde?

  133. I have been with my girlfriend for four years now, and the last two have been horrible. She constantly lies, breaks promises, she will literally do anything to end an any kind of argument or discussion — because I am cutting into her drinking time. I don’t know what compells me to stay, did some reading on being a co-dependant.

    I think the worst thing is how great she is sober. But man, once she is rolling it is unreal the damage she does. She won’t pay any attention to her 10 and 12 year old kids (not mine, thank god) and has passed out/fallen so many times when she is drunk I hardly am surprised anymore. Well, was surprised when she passed out in the shower and cracked the toilet bowl cover with her head. Jeez.

    I have moved out into my own apartment a few months ago, but I still keep her afloat financially. Now I see her once or twice a week and things have gotten worse. The house is disgusting, roaches/mice/insect infestation to name a few. I guess it is all about the drinking.

    I just can’t seem to cut her off. I don’t know why I have this compelling urge to keep her going. She drives my extra truck, I pay for insurance, phone, bills, etc. I think a part of me knows that once I cut her off totally — then that will be the end of the relationship for sure.

    She is really a great person, just not when she’s a drunk. The kicker is, my father had made it a point when I was growing up not to hit women. And this drunk woman knows that I won’t hit her, and the things she says to me are just unreal. If she was a man, she would have been knocked out by anyone on the street for saying these things.

    Ah, I don’t know why I feel guilty. I do know one thing for sure, if I cut her off she will still find a way to drink. Regardless of the consequences.

  134. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote a post on this site.. August 31st, 2010. I thought I was at the end of my rope then…

    Since that post…
    Car Crash, Check
    DUI, Check
    Broken Promises, Check
    Guilt trips, Check

    What a crappy year. Here’s an email she sent to me last night. Why do I still let her make me feel sooo guilty. Why cant I just leave??????

    “You know, I had what, maybe 3 or 4 paragraphs ready to send to you. Well,
    it’s all gone & deleted. Basically, I have been trying. Trying every
    freakin day not to get high, or drink. I have been drinking since I was 10
    & drugging since 15. I think about it all the time. How I can get it & how
    I can hide it. I feel I need to hide it because you look down on me. You
    make me feel like such a loser. Man, even if I have 2 or 3 drinks, well,
    I’m a fuckin alcoholic & deserve a refresher email from you on how to act.
    You know what, maybe you should just refridgerate any beer you “find” &
    leave me the hell alone. Why the hell should you tell me how to act? I am
    doing the best I can. Which, well, is not good enough for you. So I was
    drinking several times a week. Now I am drinking every week or two. I am
    trying. Give me a freakin break. Do you really think I enjoy this? Man,
    it sure would be nice to have an ally in all of this but I guess I am on my
    own. What a shocker. I can’t say that you have ever been in my corner. I
    am all alone in this. Poor you. If you just can’t stand me anymore, than
    just get rid of me. Get it over with & move on. I can’t stand your
    criticism any more. I might always crave alcohol. I might cave to it again
    & again. I don’t think you will always be there for me. You don’t support
    me & can’t accept that I have needs, even if they are wrong. Why do you
    take it all so personally? I feel horrible enough w/out you telling me that
    I suck. Really, do you think I enjoy this? It is not about you. I guess I
    don’t really know what it is about. I’m lost. You’re not there for me &
    that’s that. I know I need some guidance. So there. Can you at least
    admit that I am willing to try? Stop judging me. Can you or should we just
    call it quits? I can’t change overnight. I don’t want to be like this for
    the rest of my life. I would love some stability. So well, just keep
    ignoring what is going on. It will all just take care of itself, right…”

    This is what I said to get her to send that email “I am begging you not to drink anymore tonight. Please. Also please just put
    the rest in the fridge. I don’t have the energy to deal with it tonight. ”

    This was of course two days after finder her passed out at her computer when I got home while my two boys were playing in the other room with a friend that was sleeping over.

    I am so sad and lonely…

  135. What ever happened with Dan from 2009? As a mother of three and wife of an alcoholic, I hope he was able to get his infant out of that situation.

  136. I’m struggling with something and would appreciate some input. My wife has been drinking the whole 6 years that we have been married. We have 2 foster kids ages 10 and 12 that have been with us for almost a year. Before getting our first placement I sat down with my wife and asked her if she was sure she could handle this and she assured me that she would never drink with kids in the house. It wasn’t long after we got the kids that she got drunk and when I confronted her about it she said it would never happen again. It has happened again at least once a week and sometimes more. They just think she takes this “medicine” for pain that makes her loopy. Sometimes it feels like it is a no brainer and I should just call the social worker and let her know what is going on but I know that will most likely result in them taking the kids away. They have already been through enough and for the most part they are doing well with us. Prior to being with us they were bounced around to about 4 different foster homes in less than a years time. On the other hand it’s not healthy for them to be in this environment.

    I have also thought about going to counseling for myself but I’m afraid that if I mention the foster kids they would feel obligated to contact DCF. Going to Alanon doesn’t seem to be an option because I couldn’t go without my wife knowing about it and when I mentioned going to Alanon she gets very angry. I could always go to a counselor during work hours so she would never have to know about it.

    So does this sound like a no brainer? Should I talk to the kids’ social worker or is there some other path to take at this point?

  137. I had posted back in December of 2010, asking if I should stay or leave my alcoholic husband. I chose to leave him. I made up my mind in March of 2011 after he lost his job for drinking and got into an accident without remembering it, thank go no one was hurt. I moved back to Canada to be near family on May 2011. It was difficult to make this move, especially since he knew I was leaving and made everyday till the end miserable. I had to leave a very good job, great friends, not just mine but my son’s too. I had to deal with daily emotional abuse and drunkeness, guilt of taking his son away from him, verbal accusations of how it was my fault we were in this situation, etc.

    I am now in Canada, living with my mom and looking for a new job. It continues to be difficult, starting over that is, but nothing as bad as living with him. We skype so he can talk to his son. But as soon as he starts talking about us and getting back together I get angry. He calls me a bitter person and the past is the past and I should let it go. Yes the emotional abuse continues, even across the country. I continue to put up with it for the sake of my son, who loves his father. He is now living with friends that seem to keep his problem at bay, but has gotten no professional help and I know he will go back to drinking if he has his own place to do so.

    You may ask why I am putting up with him still, why don’t I just ignore him all together. This is for my son’s sake. I am worried of losing my son to him if we go through the courts. I would love to think that no court would give an alcoholic father custody, but I am not going to risk finding out. As long as he is sober and living with his friend’s who know his problem and I talk to if I have concerns, I am willing to let my son and his father have a relationship and even visitation.

    All I am saying to those out there that want or need to leave, it isn’t easy, but it will be better than the situation you are in now. Change is hard and during the process of change, it is just as hard, but I have hope that it (my life and my son’s) will get better, which I didn’t have before. Good luck making the changes you need to make.

  138. My husband has always had addiction problems. I never really stuggled but being weak and in love decided to smoke with him. That made his depression worse, I stoped, he didnt. Now because of his work he no long can do that and thats when the drinking started. Its been progressing for 8 years. It got really out of control when I ( again) started following in his footsteps and started binge drinking with him on the weekends. The fights ended up with holes in the walls, kids crying the whole nine yards. Now after moving and him home again( he left for deployment) the cycle has started up again. Now that I clearly see how destuctive this is I have to a stand and stop drinking all together. I can only ended it on my part since he will not stop. The drinking is draining us finically and emotionally. I cant get him to stop drinking from friday night to sunday nigh. I dont know how much longer I can be in this marriage when I am constantly having to pull away from his and his destuctive behavior, or when I seem to get so consumed in it as well. I want to be health and happy.I will start going to AA soon for my own part in this.

  139. Wow … reading all of these posts has, as odd as it sounds, has made me feel less alone in what I feel has become an unending battle. My partner and I have been living together for 4 years now. At first I was blind to, or just refused to see the signs of the addiction for alcohol. I am dealing with anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD and when he has been sober, my partner has truly been there for me. I now feel horrible that his drinking problem has gotten so much worse, and more violent and I am not in a mental position to be able to be there for him to aid him in to recovery. He absolutely refuses to seek counselling or addiction therapy and depends on me to tell him when he should stop drinking. I put faith in that idea as a first stepping stone, but after I tell him he needs to slow down, he ends up just sneaking drinks in the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom, wherever I am not. This problem has become a huge issue in my own suffering mental health as it aggravates and compounds the anxiety and panic.

    I’ve tried various community support groups/systems, all which seem to fall short, but I feel like I have become a prisoner in my own home. I love him with all my heart and it hurts so much to see him abuse himself like this. At the same time, I don’t know what else I can do for him, or for myself. It has become a dead-locked co-dependency.

    Living here has made me so afraid as my previous partner started out this way, but became physically violent and a major part of my PTSD. All can think of each time he drinks is, “Is this the time that he is going to hurt me”.

    Friends and family are not really an option for support right now as they live far away, or are no longer in contact with me because of my mental illnesses. To be clear, his problem was around long before we were together, from stories he or his friends have told. Although, I feel like my being with him may have caused the problem to become worse because I am in need of help and support daily just to get out of the house sometimes.

    I feel somewhat out of options or answers …

    • Friends,
      I regret having fallen so far behind in replying to your stories. They are so compelling, but I’m coming to believe that my replies are inevitably going to be too simple for these complex situations. Please let me know if you want a specific response. Otherwise, I will let these postings stand on their own.
      Thank you.

  140. You are right about that Tom. These situations (I am in one myself) are so complex, and in many cases have decades invested into the relationship, there is no simple answer. My wife of 32 years won’t stop drinking, won’t seek help, won’t stop lying, stealing or denying. I have been trying to cope for many years, I don’t know if the marriage can be resurrected. I don’t know that it should be.

  141. Hi Rick,

    I initially contributed to this thread in October of last year. After also a long marriage of 26 years, I have been compelled to file for dissolution. Other than the stealing, I endured all the characteristics of the alcoholic that you described and finally reached the point this summer that I could no longer tolerate the behaviors. It was a sad but necessary step, and my Higher Power has been by my side during this journey helping me to overcome almost every obstacle in this process. I firmly believe that He also has a plan for her that I may never see but would be gratified to hear.

    I do not offer this story as a recommendation for your dilemna, but just to let you know there are many of us in your very situation.

  142. Hello I’d like to start by thanking all of the previous people who have posted. I found lots of good information, but just not enough.
    I’ve been in a serious committed relationship for over 2 years with a great girl, only her drinking changes that girl into someone who is night and day to the girl I know. I’ve seen her through 2 rehabs and Countless troubled spots. Her drinking now is way out of hand and I’m on the verge of kicking her out. Slight problEm is she’s burnt all her bridges and her family lives several states away. So she has really no place to go? Help! I’ve even considered leaving my own place and just renting a studio for myself to live until she can figure out that lifes worth living. Thanks again.

  143. I have been married almost 27 years, and even though my husband drank some for stress relief and relaxation since he was a teen, it has become so much worse for the past 5 years when his amazing great paying job ended. He has never had a problem finding another job but is on the 2nd job in 5 years. Every day since his job ended, he has drank at least 1/2 bottle of jack or gin every night, his personality changes, he has tried to kill himself, kick holes in walls, and screamed names at me. Everything I do is wrong according to him. There is so much more, but you have already read it in the other posts. The worst part is him keeping me up at night while calling me names and threatening to leave or trying to make me leave. I love him and it is worth it to me to go through the bad just for the 3 days a month or so that he is sober and almost happy. I feel I have to work from home because it is better for all of us if I clean up his messes, pay bills, clean and have meals ready, transport kids, etc. while he is gone, since when he is home, he is very distracting and demanding from everyone until he drinks enough to where he is comotose on the couch for the rest of the evening. Only then the kids can take homework out and work on it, I can clean or communicate with the kids. The whole atmosphere is very unhealthy. We can’t have music on, smile or even appear to be happy, as my husband starts on another tirade of how much money I spend, I should find some work to do, even though it may be 8pm and most people consider there work to be done at some point at night. I know he is sick and that is how I have communicated his actions to our kids, who are 15 and 17. I worry about the kids and how this is affecting them, however, they also have a comfortable lifestyle, cars with gas, organic homecooked meals on the table and the ability to take trips and go to college. If I leave, they wouldnt recognize the lifestyle they would have. I do feel that he is struggling internally and wants to recover. Some days he will try to go without alcohol and then it calls him back. So unbearable yet God never promised any of us a rose garden either. Some people deal with cancer or lose a spouse to an accident early. I feel that I still have my husband for a few days each month, and I love to see him sober. He is so happy and nice and wants to do things like take walks or play tennis. I wish he would release the bottle and let god into his heart, and just start seeing things in a positive manner. My action plan for the past 5 years has been to stay strong, which is difficult. I have also gone back to school and gotten my MBA and have been working part-time temporary jobs…not easy to find a good paying full time job in our seasonal area. Feel like if I work fulltime, I cant be there for the kids enough, and the house gets messy, and I have always been the one taking care of repairs, landscaping, re-modeling, etc. on our very large home and grounds. I use all my energy trying to keep everything perfect as possible because I dont want to let anything go to pot. Life is hard work regardless of your situation, and I would love to keep mine built around family and home as long as my husband can be the main breadwinner. I just dont know if that is what I am meant to do anymore. Thanks for listening

  144. After reading each and every one of the previous posts, it seems everyone shares the same dilemma, i.e. should I leave or should I stay. Interesting topic, for sure. My wife, whom I’ve known for about 10 years, and married for 3, has always drank excessively. In the beginning of our relationship, I immediately recognized she had a serious problem but, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is our 22 years age difference (yeah, I’m the older one) I have remained by her side in spite of the lies, violence, etc. Not much point in going into detail, everyone’s story is a variation on the same theme; alcoholism and a satisfying relationship are diametrically opposed. No two ways about it. She’s currently taking a varity of anti-anxiety, anti depression drugs (when she is sober enough to remember to take them) and the person with whom I share my life is totally alien to me. I know exactly what she does and where she goes, (thanks to technology!) but I only do so to prevent her from hurting herself. I actually called to police one night to report her drunken driving but the cop let her go! Unbelievable! I really can’t stand her but she works and I don’t and i need her insurance. Life really sucks.

  145. i say my wife has a drinking problem she says she doesnt, this is my second marriage and my wife will come home and drink a beer right after work, she doesnt cook a meal, but goes straight for a beer. I hate it when i have my children for the weekend and she has to drink, she drank seven beers in one night when i had my son for the night, she says theres nothing wrong with what shes doing, every other weekend we have to spend it at the bar and she has to make sure shes right up to the bar , a table is not good enough for her, she cant just have one or two when we go out, she has to drink to the point shes intoxicated and the night always ends into a fight, she begins to make rude comments towards me when she drinks, I enjoy going out for a couple drinks, but she just cant stop at a couple, she wont eat anything when drinking because she says it fills her up and cant drink then, she doesnt care if were down to the last penny in the check book for the week, but she still goes out and brings home a case of beer from the store. she will even pick up a case of beer when we dont even have milk in the house. she continue to state she is doing nothing wrong and shes 51 so if she want s to have a beer shes doing nothing wrong, i want her to cut back but she dont get it. Im to the point im so frusterated and dont know what to do. Her parents back her and gives her money cause she tells them how broke we are, but when her parents give her money she uses it on alchohol, we go out and spend over a hundred dollars just drinking alone and this happens every other weekend, we spend like 500 a month just drinking and she sees nothing wrong, help me what should I do?

  146. Jim, 18/8/2011

    My god, i feel for you. I am on the other side from you – in terms of drinking – except my partner cannot articulate the reasons for her behaviour, yet you say it so well. I know very well i can’t solve it for her and that there will always be a need for her to do an excessive amount of vodka the moment something gets to her and as you say ‘why the hell not?’ Here’s why, every now and then we all feel that we cannot cope, life is a pain in the a**e and nothing you do makes it any better and having a drink obliterates that sense of futileness – i get it – but for the poor schmucks that aren’t in your zone are by your side, helpless and waiting for something so simple, a kind word or a considerate gesture or just one action that puts them before the bottle. I love a drink a few nights a week yet never, ever do i let my behaviour make someone else feel inconsiderated and useless. I spent far too long with someone that beat me and made me feel like c**p every waking minute and even though I’m struggling with my partners excessive drinking i still count myself lucky. As you are lucky to sill have your partner nearby (if nagging), make her feel appreciated and loved, she’ll back off and you’ll calm down, don’t be lonely, self pity is the underestimated biggest killer

  147. A lot has happened since I last wrote on March 25th. In some ways, things are better. The boundaries I’ve established with my spouse are being adhered to. For instance, if she is having drinking issues, she is removed or removes herself from our son’s presence. She also seems to be settling well into work and local community events through our church (though she hasn’t taken the formal steps to join). She is also picking up a small part of the financial burden of raising our son. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is the disease continues to progress. A trip to a local hospital confirmed that in early June. The physicians diagnosed her as an alcohol dependent binge drinker. There have been other serious events flowing from heavy drinking incidents, which, on average, occur once or twice a week. There are also hints of infidelity on her part. The lying about alcohol-related behavior has become routine. The lies are easily discovered and almost pathetic.

    The behavior pattern continues. Most of the time after an event my wife either apologizes and/or mopes around. Sometimes action is taken. for instance, she took antabuse for several 10 days. But the corrective action is never sustained. She refuses to follow the doctors’ advice and seek treatment.

    Here’s where I’m at and where I need some guidance. I’ve come to the point where I am trying to force action on her part. Either leave the home I’ve owned many years and separate herself from our son and me or seek treatment (with our full support), She is a master at resisting action. She slow-walks against a decision through muddling, delaying, and hostility. When forced to confront the issue, she either resists or engages in a phony way. I don’t want any of this to unfold in front of our son and she uses that concern as leverage against engagement. Right now I can’t even get a sustained one-one conversation with her about this situation. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • How about, Marues, if you inform her of what the default action will be on your part, unless she makes – and follows through on – one of the two choices by a certain time?

  148. I am amazed by how many people there are like us. You know, I grew up with an alcoholic father and was certain I would never let myself get involved with someone who was the same – I guess, as they say, never say never. I have been with my fiancé for almost two and half years. We have lived together for the last year. We were supposed to get married a couple weeks ago but a month before I put it off until Spring. I am at the stage of gaining my own strength to do what I know needs to be done. I have two children and I cannot do this to them. As their mother I have to protect them. My family has no idea of the situation as I do feel ashamed of myself for being where I am. I know I should tell one of them – just for the support – and I am working towards that. Once I’ve done that I know that will help me gain the strength I need to take the next step. No point in going into detail – you all know the stories, lies, manipulations and emotional abuse that comes with the package. I guess I just needed to say it to somebody. My thoughts are with you all.

  149. I stumbled across this site after googling ‘leaving my alcoholic wife’, I’ve just read through about half the posts and am amazed at just how many people are experiencing the EXACT same pain and trauma as I do with my wife. I’ll come back and discuss more, in more detail, later, but some of the highlights:
    *Last year, on the way to the airport for a family holiday (which was supposed to be some kind of ‘sorting everything out’ break) she threatened to jump out of the car onthe motorway at 70mph unless I pulled off and found somewhere to buy her a half-bottle of vodka. this was at around 9am.
    *on that same holiday she repeatedly threatened to collapse or throw a fit unless I got her some vodka RIGHT NOW – this happened first thing in the morning, while out in town in the daytime, even in a bar with a beer in her hand.
    *She’s been hospitalised at least three times – the last one she was in for a week after suffering severe seizures after a sudden withdrawal. But of course was back on it soon after being discharged.
    *Last week she had a disciplinary hearing at work and was given a final warning after turning up at the office badly drunk – yes this was in the morning, and yes she had driven there (she’d been sober when I left the house earlier that morning). Best of all – get this: what’s her job? social worker!
    I could go on – the verbal and physical attacks, the sudden mood swings, the aggressive behaviour, the self-pitying, the broken promises…. now she’s on another of her periodic bouts of being determined to change. She went to her doctor and got some meds (Campral) that are supposed to reduce the craving. That was four days ago, the pack is still unopened and she’s been smashed every night since then. Every night i get the same promises, and the nonsense explanation about how ‘things’ have to be just so, how she has to ‘get her head right’ before starting. Itry to be supportive by assuring her, when she asks, that yes of course I have faith that she’ll do it this time. But of course I don’t.
    phew, wrote more than i intended there – still more to say but I need to work, so that’s all for now – but i’ll be back. thanks for listening all x

  150. You can only try to be the best person you can be…there is no way to change the alcoholic. My husband is attempting to drink only beer right now. He is such a nice person when he is not drinking jack or some other hard liquor. If anyone laughs or exercises or seems happy, he will always start to yell or say nobody does anything around the house. I can’t even open a book on a Sunday afternoon because he will start a rampage about how nobody does anything. It seems like there is endless work to do, but with kids, home cooked meals so we can stay healthy, teenage girls who do projects and make little messes everywhere without realizing it, and a large home with woodburning stove, there is little time left over for anything. It seems as if every month money is tighter, bills are slightly larger and we are not able to have luxuries such as weekend trips or dinners out. It all contributes to my husband thinking the world sucks, and he takes it out on me. Doesnt even look at me anymore, and thinks I am the reason for everything wrong he can think of. On the other hand, I see some of his reasoning is valid, however looking at life like the glass is half empty is not the way I choose to see it. There is nothing I can do about the furnace repair we werent expecting, the new tires we need on one of the cars or the hole in the wall that he put there when drunk one night. I am so tired of covering everything up while he does things to break or ruin our house. I am surprised he still goes to work everyday. He is highly functioning most days. He isnt too embarrassing in public, but really doesnt go out in public…likes to stay home all weekend and drink and sleep. When he is awake, he is screaming at everyone to get some work done. What a life but at this point I love him and know that he wont change, but I am in this for better or for worse. The last few years have been the worst. Hopefully he will turn himself around somehow. It seems like most people have some sort of problem…he could’ve been in an accident, or committed adultery or put in jail and I would have to live with that. That is how I look at life with him…it could be worse.

  151. Wow! I am a God fearing woman, and when I get a hold of that alcoholic demon…….!!!!!!! My father is an alcoholic and I maried an alcoholic. After 8 yrs. I am leaving. I found out he had an afair. I’m sure not only one… We have 3 kids. I am not afraid to leave. I have complete peace about it. I have the support of my family and friends. Thank you to my pastor who said “enough is enough” to her own alcoholic husband. The devil is out to kill steal and DESTROY you! And he will destroy one spouse in order to destroy the other. You are not doing alcoholic any favor by staying. Even if you try your best not to enable them. Staying IS enabling. Staying says “ok” and it is NOT OK! I’m am not trying to tell everyone what to do. Follow the peace of God in your heart and in your particular case. God knows that persons heart and He knows when the right time is. i PRAY blessings on you all and your families. Always look to Jesus!

  152. My husband is the alcoholic in this case. I have been with him for 91/2 years now 8 of those years married. You probably wonder why i even married him after living with him for 1 1/2 years first, The drinking was always there but not as bad, It progressed thru the years as many alcoholics do. He has been thru 2 differant long term treatment programs, In and out of the hospital and in and out of detox centers so many times i have lost count. I have often said he is like Jekyel and Hyde from days he is sober to days he is drinking. I have been through many bad times mostly mentally and i’m sure all of you understand and have been through the same things. We have tryed everything out there that you could think of to cure this disease. At first we had alot of trouble even finding help but we pushed and pushed and then the help started falling into our laps. When i turned 50 i said that i needed to find happiness for the few years that i have left to live as i am sure i am at least 1/2 way through with life and my husband turned 53 at this time and he understands this, He doesnt want to be an alcoholic but he is. Now i am 51 and he is 54. We were talking things out about a month ago, We were searching the drug naltrexone, And also understand that i can not live like this for the rest of my life and it needs to stop, He also can not live like this as it seems whenever he drinks now something happens, like a fall, a broken bone, etc. He also found out he has diabetes a few months ago. He also asked me what was the fondest memory that i had since we have been together, I couldn’t think of a fond memory, We have been living such a sad life. I don’t dare to do anything with him as i do not know what tomorrow will bring so we can’t make plans. This is all so sad what alcohol can do to everyone around it. Anyway my husband started Naltrexone yesterday. We are hopeing for one last thing to send this demon down the tubes along with the help of God. Pray for us as i do for all of you that have to live with this disease.

  153. Wow, Just wow, cant believe i found this site,, my wife is the alcoholic, we’ve been married for 31 years. My wife didnt really have a drinking problem until her mom died back in Jan 2000. Since then her condition and our marriage have suffered greatly. Now that I am retired, (but still working), no kids at home, she lives her life and i mine mostly. My wife drinks a big bottle of scotch(750ml) a week,, not sure how much longer she will last. She also had a weight loss surgery, and she has had Alcoholic neuropathy for a few years now. I’ve had her in the hospital a couple of times and she comes around until she is healthy enough to walk again. When I confront her I receive the wrath of a sour pissy old woman. So I dont anymore,,,, her favorite phrase is “I am old enough to do what I want’.
    So,, sadly I will allow her to do just that. Someday she will be gone,
    sad, so sad.
    I ask God to guide me daily,

  154. Addendum to my first post…
    I empathize with all those who posted before me. The choices that lay before me are huge and difficult. Sometimes I want to have someone to confide in, but the last time I did that I made wrong choices that led to an affair. So I feel guilt as well. I admitted it, confessed and tried to move on. I feel like she will never forgive me. I cant help but think some of why she is drinking is because of my actions. She started drinking heavily when her mom died, and my affair didnt help..
    If I decide to get help, it will be a professional next time,,
    Any helpful suggestions are welcome, but I am through beating myself up.
    I know I have to live with the consequences.

  155. Hi

    I put the alcoholic out 6 months ago he stopped drinking for 2 years but was a dry drunk ,,, we had no life if he couldn’t drink hd resented doing any thing , I miss having a partner but I know I will get over it ,, I find it hard to trust any one ,,, but I know the only one I have power over is me , good luck to u all , run miles away from an alcoholic they are bad news

  156. Does anyone think about finances much? It takes all my husband earns as an engineer and all I earn just to pay our bills and raise two teenagers and have a halfway decent lifestyle. Right now it is the weekend and my husband has been sleeping since 6pm. He most likely will get up when I come to bed and start hours of verbal abuse. I usually hope that the alcohol wears off in a few hours and can finally get some sleep. It does get worse. Kadie, I agree with you to keep trying. Even in the best marriages when one person doesnt have a disease like alcoholism, there are unknowns. I know women whose husbands wont work at all, and even though they dont drink, I wouldnt trade lives with them. There are other things that can cause abuse, and if you can enjoy your life as much as you can and keep your marriage intact, I feel that is what God wants us to do. i worry about him dying a lot now. He is 45 and drinks a bottle of Jack on Saturday and one one Sunday. Anyone have thoughts on how long he might live? hashigh blood pressure and clutches his heart a lot. Wont go back to doctor.

  157. I have been married only a few months and I don’t know what to do. When my wife and I first got together she was a major alcoholic. Shortly after we moved in together she quit drinking. So I asked her to marry me and we got married. Well shortly before the wedding she started drinking again very heavily and continues still. As a matter of fact she is drunk as I’m writing this. Anyways the day before thanksgiving we got into an argument. Because she was drunk at three o’ clock in the afternoon when I got off work. She doesn’t work so all she does is sit around the house and drink. Anyways she didn’t take too kindly to this argument and she attacked me and in the process of self defense she wound up with a few bruises on her arms from me trying to get her off me. She went down stairs and had the. Eighbors call the cops on me. I got arrested for domestic violence. So I am sitting here probably going to lose my job, just spent my last penny on a lawyer to defend me on this charge that I’m guilty only of self defense. I have lived with alcoholics all my life: my father, my mother, my grandfather, my step father, and my stepmother. I love my wife but I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how to approach her about it or whether I should just file for divorce. Any advice or suggestions?
    Thank you

  158. I have been in my relationship/marriage some 18 years. Nothing new or different except me. I have changed. I don’t want this lifestyle any longer. I use the same reasons as most everyone else but, mostly finances. I have considered the “in-house” separation and wonder how to go about it. This may be the best solution for now. My husband goes to work, comes home, sits down and does not move until time to fix another drink, smoke a cigarette or go to the bathroom. He gets bothered if I do not fix a meal in the evening but, I don’t need to eat in the evening. My 3 children are grown and out of the house. All three are out of state and one is in rehab. I work full time and go to school full time. I do not have time or energy for his problem. Cold to say perhaps but, there it is. I have made 2 trips alone to south Texas to see my child who was, at that time in jail, now in rehab. I have no support from him period except for his criticisms of how I am handling the situation. I am in therapy which helps. It is just the day in and day out that is burdensome.

  159. Hi, I didnt happen to see any information or recommendation on here(unless I overlooked it)) for an intervention. I suggest you at least look into it as an option. I am married. I have been married for 22yrs come this Dec.22..
    I had an intervention on my husband in 2007 and he went into treatment.
    One should get a professional and not try to do this on their own. Get someone from a reputable organization.They are a great help. Good luck to all. My husband relapsed again after almost 4 yrs of sobriety. He is currently out of the home, unless he agrees to go into treatment.I hope he does. But in the maentime, I must and my kids… work recovery for ourselves.I drew the bottom line and must keep it. And I wont say that I probably wont get legal help if I have to to get him placed into treatmnet if I can. I will.Love to you all and the best of luck…
    Ross

  160. This is the first time I have truly spoke about my husband to other than family. We have been together for almost 10 years, we have three girls all under 6 and to top it all off my husband was finally diagnosed with rapid cycling bi-polar last year. When I met my husband he was in the middle of his 5 year probation (alcohol related b&e) so he wasn’t drinking. At the time I was the bad one and talked him into drinking at times, in my defense I did not know about his probation until we got engaged a year into the relationship not knowing the details until after we got married. But he still was on probation and drinking wasn’t really a problem until we got pregnant for our first daughter and he found out his estranged mother died, that’s when all hell broke loose. The moment his probation was done he went out and bought a 30 pack and hasn’t looked back. He is what I would consider a high functioning drunk. He never lets it cross the line where he drives drunk or interferes with his job(well until this summer anyway). But that said he doesn’t seem to care about how our small children view it. Before I never even considered it Alcoholism I just though he had a small “problem”. I used to like alcohol myself but growing up in my family my dad taught me how important it was to never lose myself in it. So I was always able to stop myself from completely letting go, I think that is why it took me so long to really see my husbands problem. There are too many issues to list so I will just list the recent ones. He went off his meds for his bi-polar in June/July first missing doses then completely stopping not going back on until Sept. Then his drinking really increased and has worsened. The first kicker was when one day this summer my 5 year went up to go to the bathroom and started screaming bloody blue murder when she got to the top of the stairs. As anyone would, I freaked and as I ran to see what happened she started crying telling me “daddy just peed in the hall!” Like most normal people would have thought that’s not right “it was probably the dog hunny, I don’t think daddy would have peed in the hall” I was wrong as she told me she saw him do it. I was freaked out I didn’t even know he had beer in the first place.HUGE HUGE FIGHT. As cliche as this sounds the second time that got me was when I asked him to get milk for our children, we were out of $ and only had enough to get the essential food for the next week for my kids and he went out and bought beer instead.Big Fight. Then next time was when he took my 4 yr old with him to the store and bought beer, a huge no no with me I told him before we had kids I never wanted my children to be present when alcohol of any kind was purchased- I had only found out because my little girl told me daddy bought soda, which he didn’t. Another big fight.

    My husband is constantly hiding his beer, because when I find it I dump it out. When he is drunk he can be a lot of different things, the beer enhances his current mood. He has hit me once, grabbed my throat once and once when I was pregnant threw a large heavy picture frame at my belly. I don’t know how many times he has broken a door in because I got mad and locked it while he was outside- even though our other door was unlocked. I have several holes in my walls because he gets so mad at me and that’s just in our current house. For the most part I think my children are somewhat blind to what goes on but my oldest has anger issues herself , plus they are all very smart and getting older and more perceptive. I love my husband and do not want to leave but I am scared how this is affecting my girls or will affect them. Both our families know about this and some of what has gone on but they are not supportive. My family wants me to leave him and his family is just plain not helpful. His step mother calls his alcoholism an allergy. I am a stay at home mom so I take care of my kids 24/7 so I try to shield them as much as humanely possible. I am scared of many things mostly with our children. For me the scariest thought is that if I try to leave he will get custody of my girls just in spite of me. It scares me the most because sometimes I feel that if I were not there he would let things escalate to where he could beat my oldest daughter-he has never hit her out of rage it is just a thought I have. Right now they adore him and he is their daddy. I can see the path we are on and I don’t like it, I need help but don’t know where to go.

    On one hand I think I should leave-it’s the smart thing to do. But on the other hand I feel I should stay so I can at least control the situations that my girls are in with my husband. If we got a divorce I feel that would be worse because then I couldn’t be there and act as a shield of any kind. My husband has at least gone underground with his habit lately only drinking when the children are sleeping, so far anyway. My husband is actually a good guy when he is not drinking, he is more than good he is awesome.
    He is back to work for now and is sober foe a few days anyway. Maybe we can get past this weekend for now.

    Thank you for listening and sorry for rambling.

    • A.L.A,
      I made a reply here some time ago with links to support resources for domestic violence. You may wish to look into these, for help on how to deal with the sense of staying for fear that leaving could bring even worse behavior from your husband. I don’t imagine you would want to have the status of a hostage in your marriage.

  161. I have been with my boyfriend for two years. I didn’t notice the problem til 6 months in. I’ve carefully talked about his alcoholism ever since and for the past few months I bring it up more and more. Lately I’ve been noticing tremors that he has before he stops drinking for the night,( well 2 in the morning).I’m really scared for his health. Overall he has a big heart , works hard , but when he drinks it limits everything in our relationship. I can’t have certain discussions with him cause he gets mean and defensive . He has blacked out several times, pissed in the garbage can in his room. Otherwise our relationship minus the drinking is great.his drinking is all we fight about anymore and he calls me a bitch every time I bring it up. It’s destroying me inside. I would like a future with him but not if he’s drinking. His father was an alcoholic .He drinks 2-5 shots of Bourbon and 4-5 beers after he get from work everyday. He drinks more if he thinks I’m being bitchy. And to be honest I have worked out alot of personal issues and I would say that I’m a great girlfriend and when I talk to him about anything I make sure I am calm and that I bring things up in a nice manner so he doesn’t have an excuse to drink more shots.I’m 30 yrs old and he is 29. I don’t know what to do . He said he’ll stop drinking in two months for 30 days and if he starts up again it won’t be as much .he does this every year right after his birthday . But he said this time if he starts up that it won’t be everyday and as much and possibly no bourbon.. I don’t know if I can waittwo months or if I should be with an alcoholic in hopes that he’ll get better.we don’t live together and I have a 9 yr old daughter . When she’s over his house he doesn’t drink .So she’s not exposed to it.what should I do?

    • “Otherwise, our relationship minus the drinking is great.”
      Liz, pardon me if this is blunt and/or off the mark. but you describe some dire stuff and the “great” part is a little like the joke, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” I don’t know how a good deal can be a good deal when there is a deal-breaker in with the bargain.

  162. Well , I’ve been reading alot of situations where people stay with their lush of a partner for several yrs and even decades then decide to leave after all that wasted time of no positive outcome but getting out of the situation itself. I don’t want that. I hope he gets better and stops drinking soon. He keeps on telling me after his birthday February 15 , he’s gonna stop for a month or even for good and maybe have a drink once in a while. I already know it’s not fair but I love him and I know it’s a disease but should I stick by his side and be patient for this day to come … If your an expert ,please give me better advice .

  163. I’ve read many of the posts that are here. My situation isn’t much different. I did say “much”. My wife and I have beenmarried for almoost four years. I’m 52 and she’s 46. We actually met in church. She was a leader and I became one.Her history reads like a Tyler Perry movie. She comes from an extremely abusive, disfunctional family. By the time she was at high school age, she was experimenting with drugs, alcohol and promiscuous behavior. She admits to seven abortions, juvinile drug rehab stints,suicidal attempts, displacement of her home, and sent out of state for counceling. All before the age of eighteen.
    As an adult, the pattern escalated to include, jail time, prostitution, fraud, more drug abuse, and alcoholism. She tells me that every relationship ( both male and female) has been tumultuous( to say the least). She was beaten by many, turned out by a couple,but always “kicked to the curb”. She has two daughters who bothare very disturbed.
    When we met six years ago, she was totally sold out to the church and was (as she said) delivered from her past demons. To me, this made her so attractive. You see, I’ve always been attracted to strong women. You know, the type who are overcommers. At that time, she wasn’t really looking for a husband. But ” God” led us to each other.
    After a relativly short courtship, we married.
    About me:
    I come from a solid, nuclear family. Father worked to provide a stable home environment. Mother was a homemaker. No drugs, no alcohol, no illicit activities
    ( that my siblings and I ever knew of). We were’nt Ozzie and Harriet, but we feared God and respected our parents. My relationships were about as normal as normal was. But when I got to themarrying age, I found myself drawn to women that had children from previous relationships. 3 times, exactly the same scenerio: I was a few years older, she had two kids at school age.
    Here’s where it gets weird: my wife finally had a good job for the first time in her life. Me, I’d always held good jobs. As many as three at a time. So when we met, finances were’nt a issue. So if she wanted a tall can of beer, I didn’t have too much of a problem with it.But, along with my pastors’ encouragement, it was suggested that I let go of a really lucrative job. I was told it made her uncomfortable working where Idid. So I did. Then the bottom fell out. The second company closed, and being older, employment became scarce. So for the first time, I found myself unemployed. I have worked sparaticaly over thepast four years, and I have always contributed whole-heartedly. But in recent years, her drinking has increased dramatically. Then the drugs re-entered the picture. With limited financesin the house, she doesn’t see a reason to curtail her activities. She attributes the increase in frequency ( and I mean DAILY) to my lack of employment.
    What is sad is that we actually bought a house about a year ago. Now her car is on te fritz, I drive the kids to school everyday, her to work, everyday. And of course, I have to pick everyone up, EVERYDAY.
    Her demeanor has become increacingly abrasive and verbaly abusive towards me and my step daughter. So much that my step-daughter was sent to a juvenile mental health facility for threatening to jump off of a roof . That alone set us back tens of thousands of dollars.
    All of this being said: she still finds money to drink, do drugs and use a lot of gas to get it. The house is in her name ( for tax purposes), so she feels she has the power. The power to put me out whenever the “demons” creep into her mind. Or when the voices get to loud,or the stresses get too much for her.
    You might say I’m making a great case about a mental.disease. I’m convinced that it does exist in her case. Oh, I didn’t mention that she recently underwent a “womens procedure” of which was postponed several times be cause of her polluted bloodstream.
    I really do love her. But she continually accuses me of “living off of her”. I know that this is so untrue, but because of this “ECONOMIC DOWNTURN”, she seems to only believe I’m taking the easy way. The defree of rational thinking is soooo deminished by her consumption. It gets so unbearable sometimes. And her hypocritical attitude is really tearing me down.
    I’ll keep my faith, and hold out for better than this. And either way, my resolve will be stregthened to either seek good times through the bad, or never be with a woman who drinks.

  164. Another fun weekend at my house – my wife was drunk every evening (in fact most of the daytime too) and her ‘drunk person’ really came out. It’s like a complete split personality, when she drinks every emotion is massively amplified – unfortunately most of the emotions she feels are negative so what i get is amplified agression, verbal (and sometimes physical) abuse, and confrontation. Friday evening was spent with her seizing on anything I said and challenging it in order to kick off a fight – this is a regular pattern and I believe is basically a way of channeling all attention in the room onto herself. My way of dealing with it is usually to avoid speaking as much as possible – but of course that is also something she can use to try and start a fight. On Saturday afternoon I had to go out, to attend a function – as I was leaving she actually apologised for her behaviour the previous day, but around ten minutes later as I was on my way I received the first of a series of increasingly abusive phone calls and text messages, when she realised that the shopping I’d done earlier did not include any wine. Messages included a wish that I would get seriously injured on the journey, and a warning that I should not come home that night. When I did get home she had locked all the doors and blocked the locks with her keys from the inside. When she eventually let me in, and greeted me with another torrent of abuse, I told her my life would be better if she wasn’t in it. that was a mistake, as of course it took her to an even higher pitch of temper – she got so mad she grabbed a large and extremely sharp cook’s knife from the kitchen drawer and started slashing the air, threatening to stab herself and me – luckily after several minutes I was able to take it from her, without hurting her, and only receiving a small nick on one hand myself. On Sunday she had no clear recollection of what had happened – just knew that she was mad at me and therefore it must be because I had done something bad, that deserved her madness, so yet more abuse, shouting and swearing throughout the evening and night.
    There is no way I can leave her without it ending badly – I honestly believe she would try to kill herself and me if i walked out.

  165. He left on the 27th of November, i didn’t let him back in on the 28th, I filed for divorce on December 13th, got into counseling on the 17th, and am feeling SO much better on the 21st. Codependent No More! – great book, life changing. I strongly recommend it. You couldn’t find a more codependent person than I, and I some how thought it was “love”. Some days I still do, but now I know better and remind myself that love really shouldn’t hurt. I’ll never get what I need from my alcoholic, I can admit that now. I used to hold out for “hope”. Now I know that I’ve always had hope, I was just looking for it in the wrong places and in the wrong way. I am my hope, I am what can make me happy, and I am worth having a great husband, marriage, and life. Now that I realize that, it’s so much easier to see what my life was really like; a constant struggle to keep my head and his above water. Now that I’ve stopped wearing his troubles; i can float effortlessly. I still have my moments where I think what if…but they are fewer and last night I didn’t cry. I think that’s something. Those of you who have lived through this and still are I know what it’s like and I know the overwhelming feelings of fear, guilt, anger, worry, and “love”. I just want you to know hope is still yours whether you choose to stay or leave. The hope you need is inside yourself make your life what you want it to be; you are worth it.

  166. Even though the alcoholic in my family is my brother, I decided to keep reading because the exchanges at this site are jaw dropping, but painfully familiar in various ways.
    My brother has been an active alcoholic for approximately 25 yrs, he is now in his late 40’s. He has a wife (a classic enabler) and 3 grade school age children.
    Between his enabling/co-dependent wife, (though a non-alcoholic, she was raised in a family where alcoholism is more than tolerated) he has also been a high functioning alcoholic for most of the 25 years. Coincidentally, his life’s work has been in high level law enforcement and counter terror. Of course, the ‘code of silence’ from his professional counterparts allowed him to continue drinking.
    In any case, over the past three yrs things have gone from bad to worse. He ended up 2 yrs ago in the ER for ACUTE alcohol poisoning, to the extent that the Attending Physician said his blood alcohol level was off the charts, recommending to his spouse to admit him to in-patient detox. She refused, babbling that he would be angry at her for doing so. Mind you, his spouse is NO shrinking violet, she can more than hold her own, and he is not physically violent.
    Six months after this ER horror show, unbeknownst to me, he drove me and one of his children while in an alcoholic blackout. Suffice it to say, had I not realized in time that he was drunk, none of us would be alive today. His wife still refused to give him a choice-the alcohol or the family. He has driven drunk with the entire family in tow for yrs, his wife behaving as if this is ‘normal’ behavior.
    Suffice it to say, he is now exhibiting the classic signs of either alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis, yet his wife claims that he is in good physical health, that he only needs AA, some talk therapy and some out-patient rehab to assist him.
    HOWEVER, only a blind person would conclude he doesn’t have liver damage.Consider:he admitted (6 months ago)to severe body itching, itching which has now manifested itself into one arm looking atrophied, the other swollen looking and red and scaly. One of his eyes looks abnormal, somewhat sunken. He has lost body mass, has had gastric issues for a while causing him to lose weight, no longer having to diet to take off the extra pounds which always plagued him.
    Interestingly, he has been able to continue-at least according to his wife-exercising and running, however, he looks like the walking dead, even his skin color is ashen looking.
    Having been very close to my brother all of my life, trying many times to get his wife to agree to a family intervention etc, I decided to separate myself from their family psychodrama over the past few months. Everyone has their limits. I reached mine.
    I also know, from recent pictures of him, plus other family members, that he is in bad shape.There is MUCH more to the story, but time and space doesn’t allow for more.
    Any input would be appreciated.

  167. It’s XMAS night. I married a woman in 2007 who has turned out to be an alcoholic. The past almost 5 years have been hell. She seems to want to stop drinking, but it only lasts a few days. She is also a gambler and has lost a lot of money. She will disappear late in the evening, sometimes returning at 7am from the Casino. Most of her family have distenced themselves from her, so there is little support. They dont want to know, they have all been through it all with her, the abuse, the meanness, the broken promises. I also have to put up with times like tonight where she also gets violent, throwing things at me like scissors, saucepans, then trying 3 times to stick a cigarette in my face because I told her no more to drink when she was starting to get nasty and abusive.

    I wish I hated her but I don’t. It would make breaking up so much easier and by nature I find it hard to “break” things, so she keeps getting another chance. I just can’t believe the words that come out of her mouth when she is drunk and sometimes that carries over to when she is sober. We visited a Counsellor for a while but when he started to make comments that she did not like and told her in front of me that my efforts to help her had been amazing she cancelled the ongoing appointments.

    We also work together and when she is sober she is a great asset. We have a great business, a great home and it would be so sad to destroy all this.

    I was widowed in early 2003 and was at a very low point in my life after that, including an almost successful suicide attempt in 2005. I am again feeling I am approaching a similar low point in my life.

    Despite the hurtful things told me during my wife’s alcoholic binges, I believe I am a good person in all respects. I am generous and forgiving, probably too forgiving and I am starting to believe she will happily drain me of my total self respect and anything else she can destroy to satisfy her own shortfalls.

    Tonight was brught on because her brother and sister in law want nothing more to do with her even at XMAS. It was really ugly and totally ruined XMAS. She knows this is an impoertant time for me, my brother who passed away, his birthday was today. My parents are now both gone and Christmas was an important time to our family. My wife who died always made this time special. This has been my worst Christmas ever.

    I wish I could find the strength I need.

    • Warren,

      Your mention of vulnerability to suicide sure catches my attention. To take care of yourself does not take strength. It takes willingness.

      Please show your wife an example of the willingness needed to take a difficult step, by getting the help you need to ensure that this time, you will have the support and tools needed not to succumb to the false appeal of suicide.

      Thank you.

      Tom

  168. Wow! I had no idea that this type of place existed. I have been reading everyone’s stories for an hour or so and I must say that it is somewhat comforting to see that there are others in a similar position as me.

    I have been married for 15 years and we have 2 children that are 9 and 8. They are the love of my life. I wish that I had never married my wife, but then I wouldn’t have them and they do nothing but give my day/life purpose and joy. They are the SOLE reason that I am still married.

    My wife developed her drinking problem about a 7 years ago (a year after I confessed to having an affair), and 5 years ago when her father died she really went downhill. We have always been very active in our church, and we have been surrounded by good, loving friends and family through this situation for that time. We have been in various forms of counseling since my affair, and I have always been hopeful for the rebuilding of our marriage. However, that hope is now completely gone.

    We have tried everything within reason to help support my wife through this including taking away all money, watching her every move, checking all receipts, having a friend “stay with her all day”, a breathalizer and anything else that you can think of. 16 months ago she went to her first rehab facility and she was there for 12 weeks. Within 18 HOURS of getting out she had manipulated the situation to get drunk again. We tried to help, threaten and protect her again until a few months ago at which time she went to a 2nd rehab facility and completed a 10 week program. This time it took her 2 HOURS to get her “drink on”.

    I decided while she was in rehab this time that if she came out and got back into it that I would remove her from my/our lives. I feel at this point (and have for a while) that I am being a negligent father to allow her to remain in our house and have any responsibility over my children. She is a drink all day, hiding drunk and there have been a number of times that she has passed out and didn’t pick up the kids from school, etc.

    I have an appointment to see a family law attorney next week and I am beginning to lay the ground-work for my/our exit strategy. I am scared to death that since I am the father that I will not receive sole custody of my children. This is the only thing that has held me off to this point, but I feel like I have to remove myself and my children from this situation.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has faced similar situations and has any insight into the custody side of this story. Again, I would rather live with my wife and all of the crap than live without my kids on a daily basis. Thanks.

  169. She admits and says – I am a mess. I have been dating a girl now for 1 and one-half years and she is a major alcoholic. Major vodka drinker and she has now blacked out in the last two months breaking her nose and brusising her head when she blacked out and just fell down on two separate occasions. I found out why she has been blacking out and falling down. She told me that she is taking her anti-aniexty drug (clorazapam) and drinking heavily. It is very sad to see. Has anyone else experienced this type of mixing?? I am sure that this mix could lead to death one day.

  170. While searching the internet for answers, I found your site. I do know I am not alone, but I feel as though I am. My second husband is an alcoholic. He was when I met him, but his life was such a mess that I thought with some stability, he would be ok. I was wrong. He cannot be “fixed” because he doesn’t want to be. I do not know what to do. I am financially dependent on him. In mounds of debt, barely hanging onto the home we have. I have two children from a previous mess of a first marriage and one from this one. The kids are the absolute lights of my life. Great kids. My husband is a nice person with a big problem. I cannot count the holidays he’s ruined, the family Sundays he’s spent drinking cases of beer and passing out. Any time he isn’t working, he’s drinking. He is a hard worker and remains sober at work, but as soon as he gets out it’s party time. And he drinks alone, not at bars or with friends. It’s so incredibly sad, yet makes me furious. I just don’t know what to do. I’ve thrown him out for the thousandth time. I can’t move in with my mom, she’s an alcoholic too. I’m beginning to think I’m the flawed person because I attract to such damaged people. I am so scared, confused, heartbroken, angry, afraid, disappointed. His drinking problem is beginning to break my spirit. And I don’t want to live my life this way any more. I deserve better and so do my kids. But I can’t see any logical way out of this mess. Any suggestions?

  171. Warren, does your last name start with an M? You sound like a friend of mine. I am sorry that living with alcoholics seem to be something kind people attract. I am burnt daily by my husband, but giving up on him seems like a failure on my part. I cant change him, but I can live “around him” when he drinks. He works the daily job and I raise the family and take care of all other household items. In order to have a full life we have to work together, but he has chosen to “relax” himself with alcohol and it affects everyone in the house. For example, tonight is New Year’s Eve and he wouldnt speak to me all day. When I tried to talk to him, he stared at the tv and then gave me the finger. Then he said if I didnt have anal sex with him, he was leaving. He went to bed at 6pm in order to prove he didnt think we were important enough to watch the new year festivities on tv with. Of course he wont go out because he cant drink himself into oblivion if he is in public. His newest thing is sex demands. I refuse the anal stuff because I have been abused enough, and that is one that I can refuse. I just keep trying to live a good life and hoping he has more good days.

  172. Why do I feel like the one who has hit rock bottom? Im sitting in my bosses mechanic shop, cold, little money before payday, not a thing to my name except the clothes in my suitcases, filthy from not being able to shower for days. Only difference is SHES the alcoholic, in the warm house with our dogs. Shes a totally functional alcoholic and THE MASTER at circling the wagons and manipulating our environment and me to where she is the victim of my anger because she knows exactly what buttons tons to push and when. I can take all of these sitiuations Ive read here and combine them and tell you all, this is my life. I do not and will not be going back but as I sit here with my feet burning from athletes foot, overweight do to emotional eating, unhealthy and desperate, I ask wht the hell do I do now? How did I end up like this? WHy was I soooo Stupid and why did I give this relationship a try over 20 times with her? We dated for 6 years and married a year and a half ago and now that im out I want to stay out. ITs hopeless with her and I have made my choice but I tell you people, I feel so bitter and resentful towards her right now. IM tired, worn down, look like hell and im only 43. I let her walk all over me everytime and when I do stand up for myself she cries abused by a man and plays that to the hilt with all around us. Im always the “big bad man” whos oppressing the woman if I stand up to her. GOD SHE PISSES ME OFF. I PISS ME OFF TOO!!

  173. My husband’s drinking is out of control. We have an 18 month old daughter that I can’t trust him with- he passes out while watching her or leaves the room “really quick” to drink and smoke while he’s responsible for her. He’s made countless promises to stop and I can’t take it anymore- for my own sanity and my child’s welfare. He “works from home” a lot but sleeps half the day, he hides his alcohol around the house. Not to mention he is on prescription sleeping pills, anti-anxiety and depression meds which intensify effects. I can’t wake him up without practically hitting him as hard as I can. He thinks everything is fine and I’m over-reacting. Aside from this addiction and related effects, he’s a good person. I want to leave, but know I’m leaving a good man behind and don’t want to take my daughter’s father from her- she adores him…

  174. First, i would like to say thank you to those managing this site and all previous posters. It’s amazing how helpful and cathardic it is hearing similar stories to your own and advice from those who have been down this path.

    I am just now i.e. tonight leaving a 6 year relationship with a woman who has quickly progressed to being a full-blown alcoholic. Initially, it was just occasional binges: we are in our early 30s so i thought this normal as we were still outgrowing our halceon school/post-school days. About a year ago, however, there was a marked change in the frequency: she is now drunk almost every night. 1 bottle of wine + a martini or two is the standard after work weeknight line-up – much more if we go out. She becomes a different person when drinking, not the woman i love: agressive,embarrassingly loud and often abusive. We’ve lost friends, missed functions… all the hallmarks. I think the anvil that broke the camels back was she became visibly drunk while playing with her young nieces and nephews over Christmas. I took her aside and made her put down the glass, asking her to stop… three minutes later when she thought id left the room i saw her picking it up half empty glasses of wine and chugging them… in front of two 7 year olds. It was then i knew she can’t stop. I’ve given her ultimatums, removed alcohol from the house, tried to get her therapy etc., all met with admissions of the sickness, but ultimately broken promesses. – something that has been of huge detriment to my self-esteem because I’m not “man” enough to make her stop. I have come to realize she needs to want to get better. I still love her like nothings else, but it’s tearing me apart watching her deteriorate like this.

  175. Thanks to those sharing and to those who have provided this forum. It’s ironic that reading all of these horror stories is actually comforting, isn’t it? We know we’re not alone, and that means something.

    I am 47. My alcoholic wife is 45. We have been married 19 years and have 2 good kids, both boys, 17 and 14. I am a hard worker and have provided a comfortable home for our family. I am at the point where I fear it will all soon be lost.

    Wife entered a residential treatment program in April, 2011. She was there for 21 days, and I proudly attended her “graduation” along with her mother. My boys were supportive.

    Well, she is drinking again, even more than before she entered treatment. She is verbally abusive, very verbally abusive, mainly to me, and thankfully not so much to the kids. Her mother died in our home of cancer on Dec. 13 after a couple of months of hospice care. My wife was drunk and verbally abusive to one of her sisters as they surrounded their mother who was taking her last breaths. The target-sister has since routinely contacted me asking if I and the boys are alright….she can’t understand why we don’t just kick her out, and until recently, that was my plan as she has been ugly-drunk pretty much every day since her mother passed. She had relapsed prior to her mother’s illness, but she now has seized on this event to justify her drinking, which by the way, would horrify her mother who was so hopeful for her daughter’s sobriety.

    Christmas Day was a disaster. She got drunk and started flipping me off in the presence of my 14-year old as he and I sat and watched a basketball game on TV. Just out of the blue. I called her on it. She got louder, and I told her not to talk like that in front of our son. She made some remark to him, and he replied basically “What is the problem, Dad was just sitting there.” That infuriated her and she packed a bag and left in the middle of the night (not the first time by the way). I gathered my sons on Christmas Day and told them I didn’t know if I could take it anymore and that I was thinking about divorce. It was the first time I had ever used the word in speaking to my boys. Tears streamed down their cheeks. My 17-year-old asked what would Mom do, she doesn’t have a job (she’s been a stay-at-home drunk since we’ve been married). I told them I loved their Mom even though I didn’t like her right now, and that no matter what happened, I would not leave their mother destitute. They were shattered at my suggestion of divorce, and I realized it instantly, and so I promised them that I would never divorce their mother as long as they wanted us together. We prayed for my wife and for our family. I texted her to let her know the boys were distraught because they didn’t know where she was and that we were praying for her…..her response was “take care of it.”

    I’ve “hated” my wife for a long time. Her drinking has made her one of the ugliest people…actually the ugliest person I have ever been around. Recently, I have “hated” her because of what is happening to my kids’ lives. I texted my brother, the only person I could talk to since my wife made me promise to never speak to my parents about her problem, and suprisingly he said he was “disappointed” in me…not exactly the response I was looking for, especially since I had supported him in his recent divorce. He thinks I’m too judgmental and am hurting my wife by being so, and he also remarked that I was acting like a “victim.” (By the way, I am 5 years older than my brother)

    Anyhoo, I find my wife sober the other day (she returned home after 2 days at a friend’s house) and tell her we need to talk about what we’re going to do. The only “light” moment of the conversation was when we agreed she’d get the dog and I’d get the TV in the event of a divorce. She told me my smoking was just as bad as her drinking, and that I was just as screwed up as her because I am overweight and haven’t done anything about it. Conversation fail, and this was her talking while sober.

    So, I find myself stuck with a mean drunk of a wife who seems intent on ruining her life along with her sons’ lives, not to mention mine, after promising to not take action to divorce.

    I got to thinking. Even though my brother was a jerk, he was right about one thing…I was being a victim. I was drowning in victimhood and it wasn’t pretty, and I decided that no matter what, that was not how the rest of my life was going to play out. Also, my wife is right….I’ve got issues that I need to deal with and “dealing” with her problem was a nice out for me to not focus on my own problems.

    So, I have forgiven her and am trying to come to terms with the fact that I made a vow including “in sickness and in health.” I will teach my sons what marriage commitment involves.

    I have also decided to actively try and stay positive…..as bad as I’ve got it, they’re are others in the world who have it far worse, and besides I don’t want my kids having to deal with 2 messed-up parents. So, I will continue on, enjoying them, and enjoying my friends, and enjoying life without her.

    Having said all that, I will set boundaries. I will not be with her in the same room when she has been drinking, and will not engage in any conversation with her either. I will not bother with trying to hide her problem from my kids or anyone else, that’s her problem, not mine. She and her bottle on on their own.

    It’s not easy, but since I’ve decided to shun victimhood and actively train my mind to put a positive spin on things, my days are much more peaceful. I came home last night planning on taking my wife to see my son play basketball and she was drunk, so I told her she wasn’t riding with me and that if she drove I would alert the police. All in front of my 17-year-old.

    Got home late, and she actually tried to get in bed with me, drunk and crying. I told her to get out, and she did.

    Work in progress, and I do hope and pray she gets better, but I’ll be d***** if I go “down” with the ship.

    Thanks for letting me vent. And prayers for all of you who are hurting. One way or another, get your life back!

  176. I was married to my alcoholic husband for six years. We had one child together.
    I left almost a year ago but he continued to drink and get himself into trouble.
    My problem is that I still love him. I left the house and now struggle financially to keep up with everything. My daughter is almost four now. I wanted to leave before the affects of growing up with an alcoholic parent sunk in. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I still love him. I think that something must be wrong with me mentally to still love someone that has done so much to hurt me. I’ve decided to get into counseling.
    There is still the part of me that hopes he will change. Every time he gets himself into some sort of trouble with drinking he goes through the usual array of guilt and regret. Saying that he wants to change his life and get help.
    I know that he does not like drinking and he hates himself. Most alcoholics hate themselves which is why they can not put any one else first before the drinking. How can you truly love someone else when you don’t love yourself?
    I deeply empathize with what all of you are going through. I went through it, and I still go through it now even though I left. In some ways I think that I should have just stayed. That while I was lonely at times there, I am still lonely. I still worry, and now I have a financial burden that weighs heavily. I have taken on even more responsibility as a parent because I have had to make the tough decision to tell him he can no longer see his daughter until he gets help.
    Sometimes I miss the happy times we had. It wasn’t all bad. The hardest part about it is that I love the person he is sober but hate the drunk side of him. But that is the side he let take over, and I can not change that.
    In the end I know that I did make the right choice. While there is a void in my heart that I do not know will ever be healed, I did the right thing for my daughter by taking her out of that environment and doing what I felt would be the best thing for her emotionally and her safety.
    Its not easy. There are no easy choices. And there is no one that can make them for you. I don’t know if I will ever feel ‘normal’ again. I just pray I can give my daughter even a fraction of the life she deserves, and in the mean time I will continue to pray for her father and his salvation.

  177. I’m done. Now it’s just a waiting game……have to get back to work and get myself together a bank and a place to live. I’m very lucky…..I have great friends and a terrific support system.

    I’m at a point now, after all the BS, that I’ve decided to work nights so our paths don’t even have to cross. I can’t look at him anymore, let alone speak to him…..he’s still a very handsome man but all I can see is the drunk. And the resentment he’s built towards me……WTF!!!!! I feel quite indignant about this fact and this has spurred me on to the point that I’m now at.
    Mid-way through last year (seems funny to think it’s a new year), we had several issues occur, all to do with his drunkenness, that involved the police, an AVO and the courts. He nearly went to jail. He stopped drinking for 3 months (I think) and late November started up again. With all of the previous dramas, I decided I’d had enough.

    On the 9th of December, my father was having a liver cancer operation and it was my last day of college. Needless to say, I was stressed out. What did my partner do? GOT DRUNK!!!!! THAT’S WHAT!!!! As per usual!!!!

    I went to stay with my brother while dad was recuperating in hospital and then when dad went home, I went with he and mum to help out. I’ve just come home in the last couple of days. Dad is fine and recovering very well. I’m angry that my so-called partner was not there with me to give moral support and you know what?…..I don’t buy this crap that it’s a disease!!!! It’s a lack of strength and intestinal fortitude……he is WEAK and I don’t have to let his weakness drain me anymore!!!!
    Also, the day before Xmas, my father was readmitted to hospital with an E-Coli infection that nearly killed him. I rang my partners’ mother (who, coincidentally is an alcoholic too!!!) to ask if she would let my “partner” know what was going on (because I couldn’t speak to him) and she was just putting the finishing touches on a suicide note!!!!
    This was the icing on the cake for me. In a sad way, I’m happy that all of this happened…..it’s given my feet wings and I am the hell out of here!!!

    I figure it will take me a couple of months. The funny thing is, we live in a rental property and the landlady and I have become good friends. I spoke to her yesterday (she knows what’s been going on and has seen him in his drunken stupors) and she reiterated to me that if I leave, he will have to move also. He doesn’t realise this, as I have not and will not tell him. It’s time for him to stand on his own two feet and MAN UP!!! He doesn’t understand that just because he works and pays his way, that he can’t just treat people as he chooses. He’s not mean and nasty (unless I really jack up about his drinking), he’s just absent. Oh, and he cries if he’s loaded enough…..just what I need…..a 52 year old crying drunk!

    So…..I’m DONE!!! (Also, I passed all of my course!!! Look out world, HERE I COME)!!!

  178. What can I say but wow. I’ve been living with an alcaholic wife for 15 years. At first I didn’t know she was one. We have four children and she doesnt work. I catch with a cup of wine or a beer as soon as she wakes up. From the minute I wake up till the minute I go to bed I’m told that I’m a horrible person and that I don’t respect her, how can I respect someone that can’t respect themselve. She drinks 1.5 plus bottles of wine and a 6 pack of beer per day. She also smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Besides all the craziness the financial accpect is hurting our family. We had CPS to our home and she was told to stop drinking when taking care of the children. To boot I was labeled an unfit Father because I let her take care of the children. I don’t want to risk losing my kids to a bad divorce. I also can afford it on a one income family.

  179. I see a lot of posts pertaining to the misses and vodka. I’m going through divorce now due to her consumption. The past six years have been nothing but one detox center, rehab or hospital visit after another with her. It took a very long time to fully figure her out but I suspect her drinking has been going on for a decade and she managed to hide it reasonably well for a stretch. These days, when the vodka sneaks back into her life, it’s 24×7; I’m talking slurring drunk at 8am.
    We have been going through tough financial times (or at least I believed we were) and almost lost the house. Turns out, she was just stealing money to continue drinking and wrecking our checking account, credit and mortgage payments in the process.
    As others have stated, I still love the woman, I truly do. But she is going to kill herself at this rate and I dare say she will be drinking again during the divorce. Thankfully she is out of the house. Now it is time to get the attorney’s involved and to be honest, I hope there is enough of a paper trail to prove just how much pain she has caused through abuse of vodka.

    Wish it didn’t have to be this way…

  180. I just saw your response. Thanks, but she is still alive and now I just plain hate everybody. I CAN’T TAKE HER ANY MORE AND I CAN’T TAKE WHAT OUR KIDS HAVE BECOME!!

    • I have contacted Randall privately.

      Everyone, safety is the highest priority. As hard as it may be, do not allow another’s addiction to take you away from your own values, principles and reasons for living.

  181. I am 46 years old, I have been married 16 and a have years, I have 4 children 13, 12, 6, and 5. His drinking controls my every waking second. I pray that he will not come home drunk, but he always does. Because of his addictions we have lost a family furniture business worth millions, and started other construction related business with no success. He gets all gung-ho and says he is going to stop and everything was going to be good. He is incredibly talented, can build anything from a blank slate to the final finsihing touches. We could be wildly successful but we can never get past is issues with alcohol and drug abuse, more so alcohol.

    I don’t want my kids to think this is normal. I get so upset I lose complete control and all of a sudden I am the crazy one with the problem.

    I pay all the bills, take care of the children, take care of all his needs, and try to make a paycheck every month. We barely get by every month. I can’t afford a divorce but I can’t keep going on like this. We have no quality family life what-so-ever.

    All my children know is him coming home drunk and me angry, mad, upset and screaming at him. I don’t want this anymore and I don’t want it to be too late for my children to know Normal!

    I ask him to leave, please leave just leave, he will never leave he says that it is not what I really want, if I scream he tells me to call the police and have them make him leave. He will not leave till the police come and take him away. what should I do?

  182. I did it! I left the alcoholic. I am so proud of myself. I am a 58 year old female. I do not have a job, I am in financial ruins, I have no support group, no home, no insurance…but, I am free of the insanity. I do not have to wake up every morning in a panic and worry about what the alcoholic is going to do today. Will he be the abusive, ugly, nasty, beligerant, embarrassing side of him or will he not drink and be the intelligent, kind, loving person I once fell in love with? What a sick roller coaster ride I was on emotionally.

    It is about me now and, I know I have a long road ahead of me for my own healing and recovery from the emotional abuse associated with living with an alcoholic. Are there any books (besides Al-Anon) that anyone can recommend?

  183. This is my day my wife gives me altamatums. If I don’t buy her wine she will make my life miserable. I give in and buy it just to stop her from telling me how horrible I am. She needs help but I don’t know where to go? We had a court date with CPS about us being unfit parents. She drank before we want and the judge told her that she smelled the alcohol on her breath as soon as we walked in to the court. Did this stop her, no she still is drinking. She says I’m the problem. I want her out of our house untill she stops drinking. She wants our 16 year old son to get a haircut. How does she go about it for the past 2 days she did nothing around the house. Which is what she does everyday. She say she is not going to do anything till he gets a haircut? She is destroying our family. She doesn’t think she has a problem. I’ve gone to alanon meeting and listened to stories of people how have an alcoholic parent. The stories sound like my life. I don’t want my children to live like this.

  184. This website is fantastic. Thank you Tom and all who have posted. Many others have said it but somehow hearing others stories makes us feel less alone, although I would not wish this on anyone there is comfort in hearing others speak.

    I am 3 years with my partner but only living together 1 year and I only discovered the level of the drink problem 6 mnths into living together which makes me feel really dumb and also angry at the deception. He is so sweet and loving and charming when sober, and to ALL other people but me. He doesn’t drink all the time but when he does he is a mean nasty drunk but only to me. I find myself asking who was he mean to before I came along?

    I have been contemplating leaving and trying to detach but was totally thrown today when after another nasty argument he suggested I leave and take my children with me but that I had to continue to pay all bills until the rental contract on our accommodation runs out! He is currently working very little, I am the main earner for now and his bright idea is that I and my children move out (he doesn’t care where to) but that I continue to pay for him to live in our home – cause we both signed the contract!!! His level of delusion and denial really floor me.

    I still do not feel strong enough to leave him but I feel the time is coming and I really hope that I can find it in myself to leave and take my children out of this situation and be a good strong functioning role model for them. I know behind the drunk there is a good beautiful man but it is getting harder to see him and I miss him but I am fooling myself waiting for him to come back. I think he may be gone for good.

  185. Afternoon everyone
    My experience is extremely similar to many others here with the nasty abuse etc. Her drinking started in our case soon after the birth of our first child. We now have two wonderful boys who we both adore.
    The very strange thing is that she only ever drinks when I go out, almost without fail and generally on her own. The drink is always hidden from me and denied.
    It is now at the point that I only work two days a week and feel like I will have to cut this down further. I also hardly ever leave the house and feel like a prisoner. I would say that when she is sober our relationship is extremely good.
    Does anyone have any thoughts and advice on this?

  186. My husband has been an alcoholic for a long time.
    We have three beautiful children together. I have
    been unhappy for over 8 yrs. About 8 yrs ago, my
    husbands father past away, he didn’t share his
    sadness with me. He went out drinking the night
    before our children’s birthday party, to which I get
    a phone call from the police saying my husband
    almost hit a police car head on. As I am sure
    everyone has heard their spouses say I am sorry
    and will never do it again. I like most of you believed in my
    spouse. Things calmed down but never got better. Eventually,
    in Dec 2010 I told my husband if another drink touched his lips
    I was done. That didn’t matter to him, for he has heard me
    threaten before. This time I meant it, so in March 2011 I took a
    trip to Florida to figure out of divorce was the way to go.
    I decided it was. So I informed my husband and decided to
    go with mediation, my husband had other ideas. He got drunk the day
    before Easter that year and hit another car, got arrested . I was
    completely besides myself. After picking him up from police station
    he kept saying he wanted to kill himself. Figured after he sobered up
    he would snap out of it. He didn’t n I had to call 911 and have
    him committed for observation. After that he went to Salvation Army
    for in house treatment. In the meantime, I took control like I always
    had before and dealt with mounds of paperwork on his behalf.
    Since we were both employed by same employer it created more
    problems. I made a huge error by quitting my job to help my husband.
    By Sept all efforts to save his job were futile. I filed for divorce in July 2011
    but my husband kept insisting we work it out since he was in a program now.
    I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I don’t want to be that person anymore
    who feels the need to watch her husbands every move. I have three other people to consider besides myself. So now my husband is succeeding with his
    recovery and I am still buried in paperwork, disgust, mistrust. I can’t guarantee
    he won’t put me and our children through this hell again. I just can’t take that
    chance for my own sanity and the well being of our children.

  187. I’m married to a beautiful woman that is chemically dependent on alcohol. We, myself and her mom, got her treatment two years ago after a suicide attempt. She’s been treated for dual diagnosis in the basic health care reform system here in MA. Upon entering a halfway house she was raped and never reported it. She holds resentment toward me and her mom for that because she feels we made her go for treatment. Now, shes drinking vanilla extract w/ alcohol and I’m finding empty bottles of vodka.I’m at my roots w/patience, and dream about living a insane free life.

    I’m about to lose my license for two years cause of an OUI 2nd offense. I had gotten away one evening from the stress and pressures dealing w/ and alcoholic and over indulged. I don’t blame her for this but it was the ingredient as to why I went out to release. I really don’t want to lose her to alcohol nor do I want to make a hasty mistake and divorce her to only find out I was wrong in doing so. I’m at the point where I’m debating to re-enter into the military just to escape. I really don’t have nowhere to go. I’m lost and confused as to how I should deal w/ this. Any suggestions? Adivice? HELP!

  188. Alcohol Addiction vs. You
    You are losing and will continue to lose because alcohol doesn’t give up. The answer is to reinvent your life, suck it up and next time stay away from alcoholics. Life’s a one time event and there is nothing more powerful than the made-up human mind. So make your mind up. Think about that last sentence.

  189. Hello,
    It is not my wife, but my boyfriend. I found your answers helpful Tom, and so hope you may be able to answer my questions.
    I have a boyfriend, who i think is an alcoholic. He drinks plenty, on days i come home and he has had a bottle of wine and 12 beers as well as plenty of hash. This has gone on for ages. He quit a while back after he cheated on me with a younger girl and i left him. He then promised to sober up. He did for about 3 weeks with no problems… he doesnt have a physical dependency on it. And so we thought everything was ok. We began to have a few drins here and there under control, thinking that our problems were over. A month or two later he is back to his old habits. He drinks plenty when he is nervous and stressed. As it now stands he has no friends, has isolated his family, and has a string of people who hate him because of verbal abuse and such. I am not sure if his problem is psychological – causing him to drink to alleviate the stress, or if he is an ‘alcoholic’. I guess it is the same thing… in some way or another.
    I am not sure whether to leave him. At this point who has cheated on me, once forced me to have sex with him when i didnt want to and was quite hurtful in his force, and recently hit me across the face. I dont know whether to have sympathy for his situation still… he got divorced a year and half ago from an abusive relationship (we have been together for just under one year) the place we live in is currently high on unemplyment, particularly in our field, we both work from home and so only see each other 24/7, we no longer see our friends as they have all had fights with my bf or resent him for his divorce, and with I it is similar as my friends have isolated me in some way, for dating him (his ex wife was amongst a group of friends). The city we live in is full of stress. Im not sure whether this is situational, or specific to this person.
    He has promised to quite many times and does not manage anymore now as the environment is getting worse for us. I have also perhaps not been easy… pressuring him at times and blaming him for wanting too much love from me, wanting my attention all the time such that i cannot do my work at all. I am not able to help him as i myself am not in the best situation.

    • Rebecca, you asked me for a response, but I don’t see any questions. I don’t mean that you didn’t write any questions, I mean that I don’t see any question as to what sorts of actions you should take.

      On one hand, you, like everyone, should be the best spouse you know how to be. On the other hand, marriage is not an unconditional contract. You say he was abusive in his last relationship and he’s abusive with you. You have been cheated on raped, hit in the face, have put up with plenty of drunkenness, and are now left isolated as well.

      Much earlier on this page I posted some links to sources of domestic violence support. I encourage you to look into it, and to do what you need to protect your safety and dignity.

  190. I am so glad i found this site. everything i have read has happened to me. i have been married 30 years we both did drink but for the last 5 years my wife drinking has become worse. these last 2 months have been hell. we have 2 children 27 and 23 and our first grandchild my kids and i have been trying to get my wife help for years with no luck. same thing 24×7 drinking with her our kids love her but they have given up. in in dec my wife beat me with her own vodka bottle i call the cops she went to jail got charged with a class d felony she was released with out bail and went to live with my mother 2 weeks latter my wives mother passed away. 2 days before xmas she broke into the house and was well really drunk my daughter was here
    i asked my daughter not to leave because i think this is not gonna to be good. but she had to go. a few mins latter my wife took out a butcher knife and cut her self up took off in the van the police got her and took her to the mental ward and then went to rehab. and now going to a halfway house. but since she has been gone i have had no contact with her and nobody will tell me what is going on. every night i had to go to bed and i would bring my phone i have been recording the fights. but now it seems every thing is my fault nobody wants to hear from me we go to court in a few more days and i want or need to have ppl listen to this.

  191. can some give me advice on this
    my wife got charged with a class d felony she is a nasty drunk and smashed my head in then she tried to kill her self she spent 2 weeks in rehab then another 4 week in the phys ward now she went to a half way house. i am letting the charges to be dropped to an ach we have been married 30 years.but i want some things if i do this. 1 i want to know where she is and how to get a hold of her 2. i want to go for marriage counseling for the last 2 years i have been recording her fights with me and she has to live up to them which she don’t think happened 3.i want 300.00 a month to help pay for the bills. 4 she is not allowed in the house without me or my kids with her. should i bring this up to her lawyer or just to the da and do you think i should be able to get this. funny thing is she has the counselors believing that i was the one that was doing the abusing i was never able to talk to them

    • Kevin, while I can offer general comments and suggestions here, I cannot give direct advice. In fact, one suggestion is that you not take advice from someone you can’t talk to in person, and follow up with – in other words, a qualified counselor or perhaps a lawyer.

      I can say that in general, a drunk cannot be expected to uphold an ongoing agreement, no matter how sincere they may be when the agreement is made.

  192. BRAD…I have read this comment probably over 30 times…allot to be said about it…Thank you for posting.

    Brad Says:
    January 28th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Alcohol Addiction vs. You
    You are losing and will continue to lose because alcohol doesn’t give up. The answer is to reinvent your life, suck it up and next time stay away from alcoholics. Life’s a one time event and there is nothing more powerful than the made-up human mind. So make your mind up.

  193. I like what Brad said. He is right we dont have to stay with the alcoholic listen I am to the point of leaving but I have four kids to take care of. I should use the money she spends on wine beer and cigarettes and higher a nanny. My wife is what you call an educated drunk she has all the answers. The other reason I don’t leave is because of the unknown. I don’t want to go though a divorce and wind up with nothing and have to pay her alamonly and child support that she will use to buy more wine.

  194. I’m struggling daily with my wife’s alcohol “affinity.” A few years ago she admitted that liquor was something she needed to eliminate ~ nice concession, but she’s replaced it with beer & wine. I hate it, it makes my stomach sick to see her with her constant companion of a wine glass or beer bottle. If pressed, she couldn’t possibly give you the date of the last time she had NO drinks.
    She’s a narcissist as well (I can pick ’em). She’s attacked me & tried to belittle me in front of our kids before to make sure I stay in line – if I could leave tomorrow & take my boys, I would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we know that’s not how it works.
    I don’t know what to do, but it’s coming to a head very soon.

  195. I’ve been married for 25 years, have two sons living at home going to college 19 and 21, one out on his own, 25. My husband is a non-working general contractor, combination economy and I think drinking. I never know for sure if he’s a raging alcoholic until I tell someone he has typically a 12 pack of micro-brew (beer) a night and it costs us about $400 – $500 a month. I had to put the stop to him stopping at the local brewery bar a couple times a week which added another $20 – 30 a week. He’s has not had a real job for a couple years. However, he did work a very physically difficult job for years and years and I know he’s just tired psychically and getting older. I GET that and I know he sacrificed a lot physically over the years breathing in awful pressure treat dusts and other terrible chemicals to make money for his family. I get it. I get it. But…

    Sigh, I don’t know what to do anymore. This all gets so confusing because one doesn’t know what to attribute to the alcoholism and what is just that person’s personality. Maybe they become one and the same. When we first met we were partying young adults in our mid 20s. We had a kid and I pretty much stopped though we would have great drinking fun with our friends on special occasions. I would drink with him here and there and then I just eventually lost the desire to really drink at all. I do now and then with siblings, when I’m away from everything and no one is depending on me for rides, etc, maybe once or twice a year do I “party”, but haven’t really been super drunk in years, who knows how long aside from the occasional beer at a restaurant when we eat out. However, he never stopped, I think I remember 15 or 20 years ago it might have been a six pack a night. He would send me out to get beer no matter what, 9 months pregnant in the middle of winter. And I would do it. That tapered off and now he only asks on a rare occasion because he knows I hate it. He however goes out every night and buys beer.

    I have a good job, make good money, I work from home. I can’t stand seeing him do this routine everyday of finding a reason to go out — we needed milk, he brought back returnables, whatever. It’s always about going to get a 12 pack ultimately. If we do actually go out and do something together or plan to eat out, it’s all about stopping to get beer in the end. I”m a big disappointment when I don’t want to stop at the bar/restaurant after one of our jaunts. Back to the routine, it sickens me to watch it.

    The boys at home have a lot of anger toward him. He can be a mean person and he is very quick witted, unlike me, in an argument. My 21 year old tells me I am too passive, his friend told him I was “passive”. My 21 year old wants me to tell him to leave. He just stays in his room all the time, allll the time, avoiding having to have chit chat with his Dad. My 19 year old keeps himself away as much as possible and wants to move out first opportunity. He left a good private college to come live at home and save money. He seems to be the target for a lot of irritation from his Dad. He tends to needle him (the Dad needle’s the son) whereas he leave’s the older one alone for the most part because the older one will just do what he says, wash the dishes, bring in wood, take out trash. The younger one is less tolerant and will snip back at him which aggravates the situation. But it’s not as simple as he just doesn’t pitch in “like a good roommate”. There is a lot of underlying anger for both kids toward their dad.

    Meanwhile I’ve always been the peacekeeper. I try not to tell him things that will upset him or set him off. MInd you he’s not a monster, there are lots of nice pleasent times, but in order for those to persist, I must just allow him to sleep as late as he wantes (often to 2 or 3 in the afternoon), let him buy his beer, go along with what he wants, etc.

    He finds small things to make into big things. I don’t push the stools in at the counter, I don’t rinse my coffee mug (‘but it’s important to ME”), I leave a bread twist tie on the counter. Now it’s, I haven’t rearranged the pantry so the baggies and foils are in a more accessible place and why do we have all these blankets in baskets, what about the blanketss in the hall? See I never do anything I say I’m going to do. Granted these are the picky things any married couple might have words about here or there, but for him, these are the things that he piles on me that I don’t do right in an argument or if I try to discuss this problem of his drinking, how it makes his kids avoid him, how it costs so much. The rebuttal isn’t contrition, yes it’s terrible, I have a problem. The rebuttal is always “you can’t talk, look what YOU do…”

    These are the complicated little and big things that muddle everything and make it so hard to figure out how to deal with this situation. I fantasize about what it would be like to live here with my boys and no stress. No constant sports on TV with him planted in front of it drinking. I don’t care if he watches sports, good for him, he’s into it. But it is a huge distraction for him and always a reason to drink.

    He won’t seek counseling or help. I am faced with a decision on a daily basis, do I say, here, — take this $3000 and go find an apartment and sort yourself out and make him leave….or do I just watch my boys get so annoyed and move out, costing them a lot of money, and then I stay here and watch this behavior for the rest of my life. Would I miss him if he left, sure I would. Mind you, we don’t even sleep in the same room anymore (can’t stand the awful smell of the room and he is very disruptive when he comes in the room at night). But, it’s a comfort knowing he’s there … that someone is there. I’m a bit of a scaredy cat — I have to have a dog in the room with me at night to keep the spooks away or that hand from grabbing my foot. I know, weird. I know if I make him go, my boys will leave eventually anyway and I will be alone.

    He has tried once or twice to stop. He went four days one time last year. This year he has taken a day off a few times. I can’t talk to him about it, it turns into an argument. I thought I’d record an argument so I can see if I am being as unreasonable as he says, to see if I”m being really nasty and am not aware of it. It’s all very confusing and I don’t know what to do. He’s not a bad man, mostly he’s a good man who has damaged his relationship with his kids (who he loves very much and is very proud of). For various reasons that I don’t think are alcohol related as much as personality, he has alienated his three best friends. Now he’s alienating me and his children and he doesn’t seem to realize it on a conscious level.

  196. John, I don’t know how old your boys are but take it from someone who’s kids are pretty much grown up. Try to leave — don’t let each day slip by as I did. Now I’m down to probably the last year or so I have to spend with my “kids” at home — they’re college aged and going living at home.

    I know about the elimination substitution. I”ve been told that if only he had some pot, he would do that instead. When I gave him some to see if it worked, he of course does both. Eh, I knew it was pointless. And to clarify no I am not a pot smoker.

    I know what you mean when you say it’s not that simple to leave or make them leave. Staying didn’t do my kids any good and now I feel like they’re losing respect for me because of this decision.

  197. These are good quotes from this site, I saved them:

    Lee:
    “alcoholism and a satisfying relationship are diametrically opposed”

    Tom (as an example of how to say something nicely”:
    “I’m not sure you’re aware that while I still love you to pieces, I’m about losing all hope here and I think all day long about the advantages of having you move out.”

  198. Jane, and others,
    I can always suggest “scripts” or ways to phrase a statement which is fiendishly prickly and provocative.
    A few communication reminders which may or may not be familiar:
    – Don’t try to talk to your partner when chemicals are on-board; only when both of you are sober.
    – Do try everything you can to keep the atmosphere calm during a hard conversation. Pause to bring down the intensity, go outside, make a light joke, and deliver compliments and validation. Listen to and paraphrase back what your partner says.
    – On the other hand if you’re always calm, don’t be afraid to blow your stack. Maybe you need to, to be heard.
    – While anger may not be constructive, showing other emotions might be. Let him or her see the real extent of your sadness and fear.
    – Don’t emphasize complaints about the drinking (or drug use), but instead emphasize the consequences, the behavior which results and the impact on you.
    – You might try asking your partner to detail his or her complaints about you. Flesh them out. Interview about details. Ask about desired solutions, and take notes all the while. Naturally, you’re not agreeing to crazy stuff but you do want to find some things to agree with, and you want to make sure he/she feels completely heard. Partly, you’re modeling extreme receptivity.
    – Know that your partner will be terrified to really confront recovery. It can initially be more grueling and horrific than you can imagine.
    – Finally, be brave about taking care of yourself. Of course this means to eat well, exercise, use your supports and so on, but it also means harder steps. Like…getting treatment for your fear of the dark, to ensure that this is not steering one of the biggest decisions of your life (not to single you out, Jane, and this may or may not apply to you).

  199. I have been married for 4 years to what has turned out to be a RAGING VIOLENT alcoholic and I am now giving up all hope. The daily rage and out bursts in front of my 4 year old granddaughter is now unbearable. I have had my head split open with a belt buckle, my possesions broken, my pets lost and/or killed. I have been isolated from friends and family and I just can’t justify it any longer. How can anyone be so selfish to their loved ones? I just don’t understand and I probably never will. This so-called “disease” is just an excuse, if you really loved your family you would put the bottle down and make things right. I am now in the process of getting a restraining order ( I made a video last week of her beating the crap out of me and will now have her prosecuted for assault) so I can get her out of the house and away from my granddaughter and I. I really do hate her guts right now and if she died in a fire I would probably dance a jig. Bitter? your damn right I’m bitter. The fact that she would do these things to us just infuriates me, who the hell does she think she is?. My advice to ALL of you is to run, don’t walk, run to the nearest exit and lets these peopkle have the gutter they deserve, they will either hit rock bottom and start back up or die there. Either way it’s not our choice to make for them so don’t let them drag you down with them. Remember, the raging alcoholic is incapable of loving anything but alcohol, your just the enabler and punching bag. Good luck.

  200. I have been married for over 15 years. She is my high school sweetheart. I have always known her to be a hot head. I always thought that I could do everything right for her from the get go But for the last several years she has been addicted to pain meds and weed. I’ts recently gotten very diffcult to deal with. I have no right answer on how to fix anything with her. it seems like everything is always my fault. We have two girls together who are alwasy on eggshells with her if she is awake. She constantly smokes pot rany chance she gets.She doesnt have a real job but works under the table cleaning old peoples houses . Reason being how she started the pills. She would steal them from these old people . Now she orders them from a online pharmacy every two weeks. i keep track of the reciepts so i have proof of her buying it. She is contantly messing up or doing something wrong. i keep my mouth shut for the most because she get violent and abusive in front of the kids. She is currently in a anger management class right now . which helps but not very much. What do i do ?

  201. I was one of these alcoholic wives/mothers. Thank God I am in recovery from this miserable lifestyle. I was never a mean drunk nor did I ever abuse my spouse or child, but was for sure “not there” way too much of the time. After becoming a stay at home mom I found myself increasing my drinking due to boredom, genes, stupidity, stress, good days, bad days, whatever. I hated most of it but got to the point I felt I “needed” wine to get thru a day, especially the night. Started around 4 pm and would drink till passing out, almost every day for four years, averaging 1 to 2 bottles daily. The guilt and shame was unbearable. Drinking was the only time I felt decent. But the day after, which was every day, I was depressed, physically ill with nausea/ vomiting/ anxiety and just plain did NOT want to get out of bed or live life. I would constantly apologize for my repetitive behavior but felt as if I was paralyzed to change it. Thank goodness for my saint of a husband and his patience with me. Finally I had enough. After trying meds from my psychiatrist and counseling with no improvement, I decided to check myself into detox. It was the best thing, aside from having my son, I have ever done! I feel ten years younger, more energetic, motivated and actually WANT to get out of bed and live life again! It had been so long since I have felt “good” I forgot what it was like. I feel so sorry for all you who have been dealing with an alcoholic loved one. How frustrating it must be to feel so helpless and have to watch your s/ o destroy themselves while accumulating collateral damage along the way. But, trust me when I say that the alcoholic in your life is (most likely) suffering severely as well. When we are stuck in the cycle it is overwhelming to imagine changing but it CAN happen. I am so grateful for my husband’s understanding. My dear son is only four and I hope he will not remember these dark days behind us. The first thing is for your partner to acknowledge their problem. The next and hardest part is for them to realize the great need to stop! I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I was desperate for relief, no matter what I had to do. I will not look back but continue forward with a clear head, with my sobriety a priority, I will succeed! If I could just make others understand how much happier they could be without booze! It is a much better world! I wish you all the best and hope your futures are brighter than the past.

  202. My wife has been drinking for awhile now. We both have. I am one who can drink one or two and stop without a problem, My wife on the other hand can’t. There is no stop. We have been through the wringer and back so many times that i have lost count. She has totaled one car, and Wrecked the replacement for that one. You would think after that she would at least acknowledge a problem, but Nope. She “Could Handle it”. About three months ago i decided i cant cater to her anymore. She has a sixteen year old son and we have a young child together. I have been doing my :Dad: duties, cleaning house, washing clothes,cooking, driving the kids to where they need to be, for the better part of 3 years now. While maintaining a full time job, And frankly i have worn myself out. Physically and emotionally. Finally there was a huge blowout in which her friends took notice of what was going on. She was trapped. And has now entered a rehab facility. I can only hope this will set her on track. If this doesnt work, it’s only a matter of time. I cant deal with it anymore, and i dont want too.

  203. My question: what are the factors that will determine whether or not someone will be successful in abstaining from drinking?
    Reason I ask… My husband of three years has acknowledged, this weekend, that he cannot control his drinking. As a result he has decided to abstain from drinking all together. Should I trust that he will be able to abstain or be weary? I would like to have children in the near future but I do not want to subject them to an alcoholic father. If I allow time for him to demonstrate that he can do what he has said he wants to do – what amount of time would be reasonable?
    Background: He grew up in an extended family where alcohol was readily available and consumed. His father, a teetotaler, his mother – has issues with consumption and many of his extended family are alcoholics (in denial). My husband would never turn down a drink. In approximately five instances over the past four years, he has lost control. On vacations, he has lost the group and lost his way home, he has been aggressive in confrontations we’ve had whilst drunk and he has passed out in the car (passenger seat) on our drive home and passed out on our bench outside. I have confronted him over each of these incidents and his regular drinking (he will consume at least two drinks a night throughout the week, after work). Prior to this weekend, he felt he was in control of his drinking but agreed that he did not need to drink as much as he has on those occasions mentioned above. The weeks following our discussions, he would consume fewer drinks throughout the week but eventually go back to his regular habits. At the last incident, prior to this weekend, I am pretty sure (though not 100%) that I told him I would leave him if he lost control again. (It was half a year ago so I can’t be sure for certain).
    Following this weekend`s incident, he was remorseful – acknowledged that he has a problem and said things like, he didn`t mean to hurt me, that he thought he was in control, he was lying to himself and that he had a problem and wouldn`t touch another drop of alcohol again. He also said that he felt stupid because nothing good has come out of his drinking, and because it has marred occasions that should have been happy ones. Etc, etc. I have told him that I`m not sure I want to gamble the rest of my life on him being able to follow-through on what he has committed. He is convinced that once he sets his mind to something he will follow-through. He has said he doesn’t want to lose me and will do whatever it takes. He likened it to quitting smoking. (He was an avid smoker for 14 years and quit almost 2 years ago and has never looked back).
    What should I know about the road that lies ahead in order to make my decision?

    • Francine, your question about factors which determine success is a fascinating one – and too hard to answer here, because of course there are so many factors which vary. For instance, the more advanced an addiction, the harder it is to overcome, but this can be outweighed by many, many other variables. A lot is determined by the person in recovery, of course – how strong is the commitment, how involved in treatment, how honest, what sort of social support, how much environmental change (e.g. giving up the dart team at the pub), and so on.
      To a degree, you yourself may have influence on his success – how you navigate the challenge of being fully loving plus fully tough, assertive and consistent. Whether you have and utilize your own support group, what sort of involvement you have with chemicals, how well you take care of your own needs and priorities. Staying curious, communicative and clear. Practicing gratitude, perhaps. Following through on commitments. Being involved in your partner’s treatment as much as possible… It is the study and practice of these ideals that I want to reinforce for everyone here.

  204. The stories are all the same. Just minor variations. Been there, but not anymore. TAKE YOUR LIVES BACK. Make a commitment to yourself, your children if you have them, even your marriage. Go to a minimum of 10 alanon meetings. And I don’t mean one a week. Go to one a day, or two a day until you start to feel better. Its like aspirin to a headache. YOU WILL FEEL BETTER. The insanity can and will diminish. No matter what the alcoholic/ addict does. IT’S A SIMPLE PRESCRIPTION FOR PAIN RELIEF. Are you worth that much? It saved my life.

  205. Tom,

    I have been married for only 1.5 years. About 4 months into our marriage, my wife began drinking. At first it was just occasionally, but now it is every day. She either drinks when she gets home from work, or all day if she is off. She can’t even stop drinking for holidays or to have her children over to visit. She is very verbally abusive, lies repeatedly, and even tried to pick a fight with me once.

    Both yesterday and today, she missed work due to staying up to late drinking.

    She told me she is extremely embarrassed. She also told me 1) she knows she has a problem 2) she knows what she needs to do 3) she just can’t seem to do it.

    I also found out that she used to have a serious drinking problem but actually stopped drinking for 10 years. I verified this with her 20 year old son.

    My question is, do I have any chance of getting the wife I fell in love with and married back? If so, how would you suggest I proceed? I really don’t want to leave her, but I am afraid this may be a lost battle.

    Thank you,

    James

    • James, here is one of many ways someone in your shoes could talk with your wife:
      “I’m SO glad you’re embarrassed – it would be a terrible sign if you weren’t. I’m SO glad you know there is a problem – I would have little hope if you didn’t. And I’m REALLY glad you know what to do, from ten years of practice at sobriety. But what makes me especially optimistic is that you have no illusions about how hard this will be. I know you won’t go into this recovery naively.
      I’ll bet you also know that as forbidding as it must seem from today’s point of view, it’s not about what you’re able to do; it’s about what you’re willing to do.
      I’m so glad I married a tough, capable woman I can say this to. I love you with all my heart and I’m right here with you all the way. So tell me now, what are you willing to do today?”

  206. Tom,

    When my wife drinks too much, she becomes bed-ridden, until she is able to slowly ween herself off, which can take several weeks. She drinks between 1 and 2 bottles of wine per day. We have two young children (3 and 6 years’ old) and I travel quite often with my work. Neither of us have family nearby and I generally feel totally isolated by this situation. I have been told by medics that forcing her to come off alcohol is dangerous and should only be done under medical supervision, but this is difficult to get.

    I can usually arrange for someone to help look after the children for short business trips, but I have cancelled some in the past which has had a detrimental effect on my career. I changed jobs recently so that I could earn more money to pay off the debts that we seem to have run up (largely due to the excessive drinking), but this has meant travelling more often and has led to her drinking more.

    I was beginning to feel that my future is pretty bleak. However, your website has given me great comfort – it’s good to know I’m not alone – and I am beginning to see some options for the future..

    My wife successfully underwent rehab before we got married and stayed sober for several years, so I have found the details of the clinic she attended and hope to have her undergo some treatment there in the coming weeks. I need to think about how to get some extra support for when I’m travelling, as I have come to the realisation (from reading your site and others) that my wife isn’t going to miraculously recover from her addiction and lead a perfectly healthy life.

  207. So my mom is an alcoholic. She’s been one since I was in elementary school. I can remember a time when an aunt of mine walked my brother and I to school and told me my mom was one but I didn’t understand and well when you are young you sometimes do not realize things. She got worse when i was in high school…far worse when I was in college causing me to escape to school, skip classes, and get dismissed from one school and almost a second time 6 months later. Thankfully I opened up to a professor and bounced back graduating with an almost 4.0 degree in psych and got my LMSW. I was always told by certain family members that I was the only one that could help her. Hell of a burden to be placed on a child, adolescent, etc. Her relationship with my dad use to be good when I was a child, and then gradually he ended up sleeping on the couch and working longer hours. I know for a fact he has had relationships with other women though he would never tell me. I give him credit for not leaving her and being there even now. I am guessing there may be a small part in him that remembers how she was and that there was love. He can’t use the excuse of staying because of the kids because I am almost 36 and my brother is going to be 32. Almost 3 years ago I went to visit her as she was not answering her phone and found her lying naked in a pool of dried up blood. She was in the hospital for a while. That was the worst ever. She didn’t know who i was. Called me by my decease grandmother’s name. Dealing with the doctor in charge of her case was embarrassing and a source of anger. I was basically being blamed. My father was away at the time in FL taking care of my nephews and getting a break from her. Turns out she is a diabetic, has BP issues. She also has cirrhosis…not a surprise there as she has been drinking for so long. My father has had to deal with mopping up her urine in the kitchen when she cannot make it to the bathroom…washing her linens, etc. Sent her to her country for a break and she came back great but then went back to her ways. Sent her again last November…she ended up coming back over 2 months later and costing my dad more money. Today she came home drunk, fell in the kitchen and hit her head and as we speak she is probably already in the hospital ER. Her family hates us, blames us, etc. I had to finally write them to let them know what it has been like living with her all these years. Really the only way to avoid her getting alcohol is having them move to FL where she will be too far from any place that sells it. Queens, NY makes it way to easy for her to get her alcohol. As soon as her SS and pension are available at the bank she goes and withdraws it…well I am on her account and now along with my father we make sure that he administers her finances so she doesn’t drink and eat it away in a week. I am done. So happy I am an hour and a half away from her, angry and frustrated that my dad has to deal with her. I lost my mother-in-law in May and there are numerous times where I think how much better it would have been if my mom had died. My m-i-l was amazing and the best grandmother, mother and wife. She didn’t have a mean bone or unkind thought in her. So generous and loving. Funny many years ago my mom was a good mom & wife but now all those memories are replaced with all the crap she has put us through and I am so sick and tired. You would think that in all my years I would have gotten therapy, but I haven’t. I know I need it but I still haven’t gotten it and now I do not have insurance so yet another excuse for me to avoid getting help. I know that I will never do what she has done to me to my own daughter.

  208. My wife is an alcoholic she drinks 2 to 3, 30 packs of coors light a week, she’s never sober, and never vary drunk. According to Al-anon I’m the enabler, which I agree, but I’m not responsible for her drinking. We’ve been married for about 11 years now. I knew she was an alcoholic before we got married, but I thought I could help her with all her problems she seemed like such a nice, loving, caring, person. But after all the years of knowing her, she’s quite the opposite, she’s a compulsive lier, she don’t care about herself, her daughter, me, or her 2 boys, which r my step boys, or anybody else. Everything she does, seems like is try to make my life messerable. We don’t love each other anymore, she dislikes everything I do, and I dislike almost everything she does. All she wants is to be taking care of and felt sory for and have beer parties. She hates it that I won’t be friends with her friends. She has given me a bad name based on lies, they’re praying in prayer meetings for god to help us because I’m mean to the family, which I’m not they’re praying about lies, she has a friend that’s threatening me saying we’re gonna meet soon, I don’t know what will hapen but I’m not scared, I’ve tried some dating sites just to see how easy it’d be to find another woman, which I stopped looking, since somebody saw me on there and she found out. I’ve came to realize we don’t have a future together. I found out I was proned to alcoholics because my dad also was an alcoholic, I’m not anymore, I hate them now. All the bad things I’ve said about her is just a scratch on the surface. She has caused a lot of hurt to a lot of people. I want a divorce and I will get one, even if it means to have to leave the country. Every stronghold she thinks she has she’ll use against me. I gotta pay off a few detps and then I’ll end it. There’s only so much a man can take. NO ALCOHOLIC MAN OR WOMAN DESERVES TO HAVE A NONALCOHOLIC SPOUSE OR LOVER, it’s just not fair. If anybody wants me to help them to detach let me know, maybe I can help.

  209. I have been married to my alcoholic husband for 26 years. He was sober for about 3 years, but after we had our 2 sons (a year and a half apart) he started drinking again for about 6 months. Then, he quit drinking for 17 years. About 6 years ago, he started drinking again. (He’s 54.)

    Then, he said he wanted out of the marriage. Then, had sex with an employee. He confessed to me, and I filed for divorce. 6 weeks later I dropped it, ’cause he said he wanted to quit drinking and stay married. Unfortunately, he began drinking again and it’s gone downhill since.

    I have moved in and out a number of times. I asked him to move out about a year ago, because he was still drinking. I couldn’t take it anymore.

    I just found out he’s had sex with a bunch of women (no surprise) and has a girl “friend” he” cares” a lot about according to him. He says he is not “married” to me, because I abandoned him. He blames me for his affairs, because I “kicked him out.” (I have remained faithful to him.)

    He says if I would have been more submissive like a wife should be, our marriage could have worked. He says I’m deceitful and manipulative and try to control our marriage. When I tell him all I want is for him to be sober, he says, “See! You want us to married under YOUR terms. You just want the power. You want to control me.”

    What’s so terrible about wanting a sober husband that is faithful? Plain and simple…

    I just got a letter from him today full of hate and saying he wants to move forward with a divorce.

    I called him, and he says he still loves me and prays for me everyday. I said how can you say you “love me” and your sleeping around and have a girlfriend and want a divorce? He says I wasn’t submissive enough and that we just can’t get along and I only want to be married under my terms…

    He’s also addicted to Xanax and uses other drugs on occasion too… He has recently been disfellowshipped from our church (needless to say).

    Our sons won’t accept his calls and want nothing to do with him… They’d be happy if I divorced. Our oldest is getting his master’s in Psychology right now and the other will soon be an engineer. They are great kids. (Thank the Lord!)

    I’m so weary. Sometimes, I just want to curl up and die. I want to just let him move back and just exist in life. I’m tired of living this pretend marriage… Why don’t I want to divorce? I’m not really afraid of being alone. I’ve been alone most of the last 6 year…

    But I still love him. I feel like this is NOT really him talking. His personality has changed so much.

    I don’t know. Maybe, it really is over. I HATE ALCOHOL!

  210. This site is awesome. It has made me feel better, reading all of the other spouses simular stories as I sit in my bedroom alone and unhappy as my alcoholic husband overdrinks alone again this evening. He feels a man is entitled to having a few drinks on the weekends. He feels he deserves it. He and I met each other when we were both partiers in our 20’s. I slowed down my partying ways when we had kids. Now I only have a drink on an occasion. But he has never stopped. He’s never turned a drink down either. He comes from a family of alcholics in denial. They all overdrink. Sometimes everything is fine when he’s sober. He is a loud agravating ass hole when he’s drunk. I have detached somewhat after 25 years of this although it still pisses me off. It still breaks my heart. The economy and his attitude has all but destroyed our construction business.The weeks and months of binge drinking because of that seemed to go on forever. I despise the danerous drunk driving, the fear of that, the helplessness that I cannot stop it, the anger, the sloppy cooking and overeating and the huge mess in the house and the snoring I can hear even with ear plugs.There are promises to not stop but slow down -denial there is a problem. I sometimes hope that he will get a DUI and go to jail so he will wake up! He will stop for a week or two because I threaten to leave. He always starts drinking again. He drinks alone. He hides it from me. He’s friendly to everyone else but me. He hates me when he’s drinking. It only takes one drink for him to get ugly toward me. I leave the room. I detach. I plan to leave but have not spoken with a lawyer yet. We have two teenagers. He picks on my son who plays games in his room to avoid his dad. We are also deep in debt. Believe it or not I actually still love my husband. Neither one of us has been unfaithful and believe in marraige. Why did I have to fall for an alchy? It hurts. It sucks. I don’t want a divorce. I continually pray for a miracle that he will come to his senses and stop drinking for good. I guess that shows that I am in denial too. I will leave. I just don’t have the financial resources to do that right now. It is always in the back of my mind, even when things are going well. In the meantime I take care of myself, get support from my mom, emerse myself in my career and my spiritual life. I don’t want to be unhappy all my life. I feel lonely and wish I had intimacy with my husband but know I never will.

  211. I have been married to my husband for almost two years and we have been together for almost five.
    Right now I am re-evaluating my mariage and I am glad that I found this site. Thanks to all of you who have shared.
    I left him a year ago. Packed most of my stuff while he was at work, grabbed my two cats and left. I stayed with a friend who lives out of town so it wouldn’t be easy for him to find me.
    I HAD ONE WEEK OF FREEDOM!!!!! I got my own apartment and felt sad but ALIVE.
    After that week I let him back. I drank up his lies and empty promises like water. He did a really good job of guilting me into being the “bad” one for how I “Just up and left” but he was willing to take me back anyway. (Looking back now I see it all.) He tried to tell me that I just left him and gave up on him and our mariage. He knew just how to manipulate me. He knew exactly why I left and unless he wasn’t present over the 2-3 months prior when I repeatidly told him that I would leave him. I don’t know how he could have been suprised. LIES. Manipulation. Control.
    Before I left him things got bad. He would get drunk and stupid. He would hide the amount he was drinking from me and tell me that he just had one or two. I would try to have a normal day to day conversation but it would always turn into an argument. I got nasty back. I would yell at him and call him a drunk. Tell him I couldn’t stand to see him drink… Blah blah blah. I don’t know why I tried.

    His temper got worse and worse. I remember one night I lost it. It was around Christmas time (2010) and one of the cats was attacking the tree and he was screaming, yelling and threw his shoe at the cat. The thought that crosses my mind is that I know I wont ever be having children with this man. I got mad and told him off. He went outside to smoke and threw the patio furniture off the deck. I was scared I thought about calling the police. I looked out the window and he stared in at me with wide eyes grinned as he waved. Scary. Eventually he came in and passed out. Should have locked him out.

    After that night I confronted him sober (yet again) and told him that not only did the drinking have to stop but that he needed to go into some sort of group therapy or counseling to help quit and to work on his anger otherwise I was gone. Well to my suprise he did stop drinking..But also to my suprise nothing changed his mean attitude was still there and the anger was worse. Except this time he was projecting it all on me, because I asked him to stop.

    He has always blamed his actions on other things. His job, his car, his lack of money, his parents, the cats, the patio furniture. He doesn’t ever own up to it. One time when he was really drunk he admited to me that when he gets really angery he can’t tell the difference between what he is mad at and me. That scares me still. If he can’t tell the difference between me and what he is mad at then what is going to stop him from hurting me? Nothing.

    So I left and we got back together. I thought that I had it spelled out pretty clearly, no more drinking, get help to quit and for the anger issues. Marriage counseling etc. We went to a couples counseling thing for a while and it did help out a bit but he wasn’t done drinking. So the booze filtered in and counseling fizzled out. He also saw his own therapist for awhile who according to him said that he could drink just not when he was in a bad mood.

    It wil be a year in May since I left and now I am looking back and don’t see any of the things that I asked for . In fact it’s getting right back to where it was. He still drinks whiskey almost every night. He skips a day or two here or there so that he can claim that he has control. He looks run down and tired with his eyes sunken back into his head. The smell of the booze on his breath makes me cringe. I think he knows that I am becoming more and more distant. He does this thing where he will tell me he loves me three four times in a short amount of time and ask me for a kiss. I do love him but I don’t always feel like saying it back but I am afraid not to.

    Our money situation has gotton so far out of control. He opened up multiple loans and credit cards that I didn’t even know about. He didn’t tell me about them at all. He also claimed more dependants on his paycheck then anyone should without kids. We are in so much debt we had to call a debt management company. Now he is talking about combining our income into one checking acct: His.

    I have been pretending. I love the man that I married. But this is not the man that I married. I get angry when I see forums where people say that one should stay married to their alcoholic spouse because of the vows: “in sickness and in health”. I am not thinking about leaving him because of a cold or an injury. I didn’t say the vows “in drunken abuse and in health.”
    I have given him so many chances. I have let him break my heart with so many broken promises. Yet I still feel like if I leave that I am giving up on him, and that’s how he manipulates me. That is my weakness I don’t want people to think that I am a bad person so I go above and beyond to always help and I get used. (codependant I know)
    I feel pathetic. I am an advocate at a women’s domestic violence shelter. Yet i still put up with this. I see the power and control, the lies and manipulation. I see it all but I stay hopeful that it will get better. I constantly lie to myself and live in some kind of fantasy world.
    There is a post on here that really made me think. It said not to stay in a relationship wishing that it will get better. That’s me. Always wishing and praying that God will touch him and make him change. But I know that the only thing that will make him change is himself if he wants to. It’s just hard when he tells me he wants to and then kind of goes through the motions… and then BAM right back to where we were.

    So I know now I am supposed to just take care of myself and go to Al Anon meetings and such right? Well, I have been through 3 years of psycho therapy, I have attended a codepency group and I am currently seeing a spritual counselor at my church. I have been and I do take care of myself- kind of. All of this is more for the abuse I endured in my childhood though. That’s the problem all I have known is control and manipulation. All I have known is abuse.

    I have to recognize that none of it is my fault. Not the abuse in my childhood, not the string of abuse and harrasement in my early 20’s and not my husband’s drinking and emotional abuse.

    But the question still remains. Do I stay or go? When is enough enough.
    I know that if I look back on my life and nothing changes I will be a hollow fraction of a human being. But I still hold on to the hope that things will change, but I need to see some real changes first.

    Talking to him; doesn’t help
    Ultimatums; don’t help
    leaving; didn’t help
    Staying positive; doesn’t help
    Helping myself; doesn’t help

    I went for a walk today in the woods and saw many fallen trees leaning on other trees. Neither of the trees were healthy. The ones with others leaning on them were tall and thin. Their bark was peeling off and some were starting to fall over themselves. The fallen trees were putting all of their weight on the other trees and that was all the was holding them up. If the support tree fell they would both be done for. So this spurred a question to myself. Is it better for the tree who is holding up another one to risk it’s life? Or is is better to let it fall? At first I thought that at least they get to know what it is like to be touched by another tree.

    But then I kept walking and thought about it. All of the trees in the woods were touching and connected.They were touching the tips of their branches and in the roots under ground. They were connecting to each other without harming each other. Then I turned down the path and saw a beautiful large tree standing tall and full. She did not have any other trees leaning on her. She didn’t even any tipping over to invade her space. Instead she had two seedlings growing strong under her shade and protection.

    I would rather be that tree.

    Well this is incredibly long so if anyone gets through reading this all the way I thank you for taking the time to read my story. (This is a tiny blip of my story) It feels really good to get that out!!!!

  212. oh wow where to start… my girlfriend and I have been dating for awhile and I love her more than anything. Unfortunatly she drinks and drinks and drinks some more. Its always a half pint of whiskey and four beers, plus anything else she can get her hands on everynight. Its down right sad. I am not a regular drinker but I do like a drink every once in a blue moon but I can not bring any form of alcohol into the house for fear of her drinking it on top of her everyday heavy drinking nights. I live out of state due to me leaving because of her drinking and violent tendencies when she drinks. We talk every night and she always promises me that she is “slowing down” and wants to quit but on some nights I can tell that shes not keeping up those promises of stopping or slowing down. I know she drinks every night and she wants me to move back home with her but I’m simply torn on what to do. I get so tired of hearing how its my fault for moving away and she gets very mean on the phone and blames me for almost everything. Im simply tired of it. I also dont want to move back if the drinking does not completly stop but I dont want to break up with her either. Should I just sever all ties and call it done? I guess I havent hit rock bottom with her because I love her and Im still putting up with the crap. Any suggestions would be appreciated and Thank you for taking the time to read this and help me out.

  213. Dawn, I’ve been married to an alcoholic for 10 years. He went through a 30 day rehab stint at $30,000 4 years ago and after 3 years of drinking we are back to where we started before rehab, Shame on me for moving my boundry. Everything you read above is absolutely true. I would say leave while you can. After confronting a painkiller addiction, my dad has been sober for 20 years. As I’m going through my own ordeal, my mom who stayed married to my dad has said even with sobriety her journey has been much more difficult than she thought it would be. Alcoholics always blame you for their problems and drinking. I’m exploring ending my marriage because I will not live like this anymore. As harsh as it may sound, my suggestion would be to leave earlier than later. Good luck with your soul searching.

  214. My wife has just been prescribed Disulfiram(Antabuse), and at the moment is ‘dry’ – she hasn’t had a drink in two weeks, although for the first of those two weeks she was in hospital after another bout of pancreas trouble, as she’d been drinking heavily for a solid week before that. At the moment, with the clarity of sobriety, she acknowledges that she’s on her last chance in every sense – her family, her job and her health will all probably disappear if she starts drinking one more time. And yet, I’m still not convinced she can do it. Does anyone else have experience of Disulfiram/Antabuse, and how efective or ineffective it can be? any stories of patients trying to get around it or overcome the effects? if you do, please share? thanks, John

    • John, there are a few alcoholics who stay on disulfiram and who feel it helps keep them on the track they need to maintain. For most others, it’s a good stopgap measure. The problem is, it does nothing to stop the craving, nor to help the addict develop the tools they need to remain sober in the face of the various forces, internal and external, that contribute to drinking.

      In my understanding, it’s intensive outpatient group and/or individual treatment that is usually key to a sustained recovery.

  215. What a trip.

    Not only are many of these stories similar to mine, but they are identical. Well tonight is the big night. I found a new place to live. I filed custody paperwork with the courts this morning. She will be served tonight and the storm will begin. Been together for three years, we have a two year old son and I have a 10 year old daughter that lives with us full time. I need to get them out of this situation before it becomes one of these other horrifying stories. One common thing Ive noticed is that a lot of people hang on because of money/finances. I am going to have financial issues by leaving, but oh well id rather deal with those than the dillusional paranoid schizo that my girlfriend has become.

    She doesnt drink as much as some of the others (only 2-4 drinks plus pills) per night. At the bottom of it all, its not the substance issues that worry me most, it is the internal demons that are causing her to use alcohol and pills as tools to cope that she needs to learn how to get control over.

    Last week I was (supposedly) monitoring her through our direct TV box and wireless routers, and I have voyeurism problems becuase I am trying to watch her every step…According to her. I am a control freak that is trying to control her life…becuase I tell her she really needs to stop drinking and taking pills.

    I am literally watching someone lose their mind.

    She was a sick as a dog with the flu this week and still went through a couple fo six packs (and who knows how many pills) in the last three days.

    She comes from a family of alcholics. Her brother drank himself to death last year at the age of 51. She has one sister that has been sober for 20 years (she is a great person), and another sister that is the worst of the bunch.

    I was a 1-2 drinks a weekend/ very light casual drinker, but quit completely last year when I realized that I needed to set an example, plus I didnt want to drink around her or bring any booze into the house as it was just opening a door for her to “really” drink.

    Empty cans/bottles found at the bottom of her closet and in the bathroom cabinets, Cork screws stashed all over the place…empty pill bottles…yadda yadda yadda.

    Wish me luck. She gets served at 8pm tonight and Im sure its going to be hell for me. Im ready for it. Time to get my life back before it runs out on me.

    Thanks to all of you that have shared. Please continue to do so. It helps others know that they are not the “crazy” ones. Enablers start second guessing themselves. These stories help keep perspective.

    Much love to all of you and I wish you and your families happiness and the best.

    • Shawn, I get the impression that your wife may not be contending with addiction quite so much as she is a mental illness which she is medicating with alcohol. There are, of course, much more effective medicines for her. I would hope that she could be convinced to see a psychiatrist or to have a short inpatient hospitalization so that she can be stabilized and relieved of agonizing symptoms.

  216. Oh my..who knew there were so many of us out there. I have been up all night so forgive me if I ramble. I, too feel like I am living Ground Hog Day. I have been with this abusive, alcoholic for 19 years. He claimed to have been sober for 7 years when we met. Some how, I doubt that. He is a regular Dr. Jeckle, Mr. Hyde when drinking.

    He drinks every day. There hasn’t been one vacation or holiday his drinking hasn’t ruined. I have read all the online information to try and find the strength to cope and detach but it is inhumane to expect a person to listen to hours of insults and names being hurled at them.

    Last night was a bad one. He had a couple sober days and it gave me false hope. I knew it would be short lived.

    After being called names for hours..he used one particularly vulgar one and I lost it. I smashed his beer can on an end table edge, spraying beer over everything including me. I reached for a towel and began swinging it at him ,all the while screaming for him to get out!

    He refuses to go! We rent a house my sister owns and I don’t drive, so the solution is for him to leave, not me..and he still won’t go! This morning he is yelling for me to clean the mess I created..he acts like he did nothing wrong! Can he really not remember what lead up to it??? Talking to him this morning didn’t produce any better results. He is still refusing to leave. It’s as though he thinks unless he agrees to it, we won’t split up!

    I think the only way to get him to leave is to have my sister, who is in poor health, go thru the trouble of evicting him! If I left, he wouldn’t be able to cover the rent..and where does that leave her? What a mess…

    Sigh..thanks for allowing me to vent..

  217. Wow, there is an echo in the room. It is just a baffling disease??? I am newly married to my high school sweet heart. I waited over 30 years to marry him. I knew he drank to much. Wow! I had no idea it was as bad as it is; this past weekend he locked me out of the house, threatened suicide, called me some really awful names. Stole my bank card, I got that back. I went to a hotel one night just to get away. I had all intentions of moving out. I don’t know how anyone could stay in this for years. This is his first experience with someone that doesn’t drink. I have found out that his whole family is in some way an addict and his ex was also an A. He says he will not drink whiskey again but only beer?? Really? I don’t believe he can make that choice. I believe it will need to be rehab or AA. And I also believe that the drinking beer only is just a bargaining tool and not facing the demons so to speak. And probably enough beer will do the same thing as whiskey? right? I am so angry far this last weekend for the names he called me, the behavior, yelling, threatening. It is INSANE!!! I don’t want any of this to rub off on me. It feels like it sends me into a rage and I am not the same person I used to be. I am leaving my car packed and giving him a week to see if he can not drink? I don’t think he can pull it off but this was the first time I have said I was leaving so I am giving it one chance. I heard a comment one time and it is so true about boundaries. When do you know to help someone or not help someone? When helping is no longer helping them. So true. Thanks for sharing the post Tom and the comments back. God bless.

  218. Rhonda – two things: 1. beer is the same as whisky, it’s all alcohol and both will make you equally drunk if you drink the right amount. 2. Even if he manages to keep off the drink for a week, don’t assume that means things will change in the the longer term. My wife has been off booze for much longer than a week several times, but then always gone back to it.

  219. For the past month I have been repeatedly coming back to this sight to read or re-read the posts. I have been married to my alcoholic, drug addict for 16 years and the past 10 have been just about unbearable. We have two wonderful children whose lives now have become touched by this disease.

    My husband has been full of so many excuses and lies that I now believe he can’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He has been layed off the past several years over and over again, and each time he has become more and more dependent on drugs and alcohol. This past layoff I made him move out only to get an ultimatum from him that if he does not live at our home he will not pay the bills. I am not able to support myself and our children, so I had no choice but let him move back.

    I have read so many books and brochures and each time I see myself in them but I just don’t see a clear enough answer as to how I am to help change my situation. His family are all enablers and I am a co-dependent but have been going to Al-Anon and working through my issues one day at a time.

    Since letting him return home which was about 3 weeks ago. I have been extremely quiet and trying to detach from him but I am so angry with what he is putting me and our children through. I used to see a little bit of the man I married show through once in a while but now I just see this angry selfish, arrogant man that only does what he wants when he wants to do it.

    He comes in at all hours of the night even after I have told him that he is waking our children. I have stated to him that if he is going to come home after midnight just don’t come home at all. No, he insists on coming and going as he pleases. I know I don’t have to allow him to do this I can call the police but he will lose his job again and like I said before I can’t support myself and the kids. Each time he has lost his job his parents and sister have helped with the bills but they aren’t going to help if he isn’t in the picture. I’m stuck and I feel helpless.

    About 3 years ago he did out patient rehab. What a joke! He went to the meetings and then went either to the liquor store or a bar afterwards. He said all that talk about drinking made him want a drink. He has gone to a few AA meetings with the same result.

    I lost my father in August suddenly and then my boss who was like a father to me and such a wonderful man was murdered. At the times I needed my husband he was to buried in liquor and drugs to even bother helping with my needs. Needless to say, I hit my rock bottom. I am now an emotional wreck.

    I have been looking for a job but I haven’t had any luck any job that is paying a decent amount has 50 people that have more experience and/or schooling that I have.

    Thanks for letting me have a place to vent. I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions.

  220. I am sorry to hear all the bad stuff on here. I my self have been with an alcoholic for 6 years and we have 3 kids, I am more concerned about my 2 year old daughter tht has to see her mom so impaired she can barely talk. The worse thing about our situation is that we live in a guetto and she likes to leave the house at all hours of the night to buy alcohol. THERE ARE SOME BAD CHARACTERS AT THE CORNER STORE, i ONCE HAD A NEIGHBOR KNOCK ON MY DOOR AND TELL ME SHE WAS acting a fool at the store and I had to go chase her down she ran from me into an ally and there was a few hoods watching her. We are like one of the few caucasian people around here. Anyhow I am very tired of this situation, my parents live with us also and when she gets drunk she keeps us up until morning, right now she is drunk and cooking hamburger helper for 3 hours it is 2am and she is threatening to go to the store but I hid her money. Also my parents have high blood pressure and I think I am getting it. She is also becoming more mentally absent, not paying attention to the kids or me not wanting to hear anything I have to say. I am at the end of my rope here. Any advice is appreciated and thanks for reading.

  221. Does anybody have any advice when it is aboyfriend or ex-boyfriend who is the drunk? I am tired of being verbally abused…..we do not live together so I am not in danger….i do however feel helpless because i feel like I should do something. He takes lots of medications and most of the bottles say not to mix with alcohol….Should i go to his family and tell them what I know…I am the ex so they do not like me very much. I am tired and exhausted of the same old thing…..i want to let go of him but feel guilty for standing by and not doing anything…help!!!!! Btw- he has been in rehab before and didn’t touch liquor until we broke up in November….just recently we tried again and that is when i realized that he started drinking again…when i confronted him he told me that he is a grown man and doesn’t see the problem,,,,ugh!! I am so confused and feel so much pain and guilt….

  222. 28 Years is how long I stayed with my Alcoholic Wife. Our D is now done (I can’t bring myself to say the word I am so sad about it)

    I met her when we were both 20 years old, she was and still is the most beautiful Woman In the world to me.

    But Alcohol was always a problem, combined with her BI Polar Manic episodes life was always a roller coaster with her but over the years she became more and more abusive when she drank.

    All the behaviours already listed were typical, threats of, and actual violence towards me, infidelity, driving drunk (with our children in the car) or by herself. Trashing our finances by getting into massive debt, putting massive guilt trips on me for all her miseries and problems.

    Sent her to Rehab over a dozen times, therapists, different drugs (she just pretended to take them) private mental hospitals, arrests for public intoxication nothing made a difference.

    Finally we separated for a year. I missed her so much I managed to convince myself (with her family’s help) that I was partly to blame and begged her to come back.

    When she did she put me through a whole new kind of hell as if to punish me for our separation.

    I waved the white flag and said ‘go ahead and drink just be nice to me and don’t cheat’ (self esteem completely gone at this point) well of course she couldn’t stop being a raving lunatic abusive b*tch and fuelled by alcohol she took it to a whole new level.

    I took it for 4 months (with a brief visit to rehab in between) then we she started drinking again I told her you either stop drinking or you leave.

    She chose to leave, literally choosing alcohol over me.

    I was relieved, I had been ‘standing guard’ over her 24 / 7 making sure she didn’t drive drunk do anything too crazy if I could. I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE.

    But, now she’s been gone 8 months, we are done and I am inconsolably sad over losing her, being with someone for nearly 30 years and then breaking up is incredibly hard despite the alcoholism.

    She still calls me and text’s me, sometimes when she is drunk and I let her abuse me over the phone, because, and I know it’s pathetic at least I have some contact with her that way.

    She told me she is seeing someone else and I completely lost it, for the last 2 weeks I have spent most of my time in bed and drinking a bit heavily myself. All I see is the stunningly beautiful girl I met as a young man and I miss her so much it’s like physical pain.

    Despite this I have asked her if we can get together to have sex and she has agreed (I have still not been with anyone else since she left 8 months
    ago)

    I have even suggested we get back together again as i’m so lonely, but these pages give me pause, I still love her so much (why are so many of us like this?)

    I hope I can save myself.

  223. Well, a lot of familiar tails. Some more than others. I began to suspect my wife was an alcoholic about 6 months after getting married. The the violent alcoholic appeared; freaking out, scratching, screaming, throwing things with no consideration to life and limb. Took another year and the occassional suture to get over the shock, realize the magnitude of the situation and begin trying methods to “fix it.” Groups, therapists, absorbing time in work, sleeping in guest room and repairing broken stuff has defined my spare time. 
    Of course I can’t fix it. Lies, lies, lies, denial and 7 years later and I’ve hit the wall.
    I can either wait for the next incident, call the cops and have a restraining-order issued or call a lawyer. Trying to weigh the options.  But I gotta do something.  Fortunately no kids. Kids stopped being a goal when the alcohol issue became apparent. Couldn’t put a kid through that. My suggestion is to protect your self, try to help. It don’t get fooled into taking too long with no signs of change. Real belief changes, not soothing statements. Any positive or negative input to my thoughts and direction is appreciated. 

  224. Wow I’m so sad to hear all these issues. I suppose I just happened on this site while searching for cheap divorce lawyers. But it looks like this is where i belong. I am 37 ys old with two teenagers. My husband and i have been married for 17 yrs but been together since highschool. just in the last 2years he has been drinking beer and vodka like crazy. He even had a fit of rage 14 mnths ago and threatned to kill me, put a gun to my head and choked me out. I did call police he spent 3 nights thee but they put a gps on his ankle and wasnt aloud to be around me at all. of couse i caved and bought into his lies that it was the drinking cuz he had neve done thisbefore. so i let him come home and removed the protection order. bad idea! he has only been drinking more. I have been suffering from crohns disease for years and am now in process of disability. which only seemed to enrage him. now we both want out but he wont leave the house and i cant cause i have no where to go. not to mention no money till i hear if i am even approved. he mocks my disease calls me horrible horrible names beats me down vebally and emotionally every day of my life. Im at a loss for life right now…….guess im just hoping someone can relate….i know my children are worth living for but honestly im ready to leave this world. How do i convince him to leave? i dont want to anger him anymore or i would call his po and let them know hes drinking like a fish. but all thats gonna do is take money away from my children being im not able to provide for them in that way at this time.

    • Dayna, some would say that if there’s drinking and abuse both, the abuse is your main problem. Either way, I’d suggest that “How do I convince him to leave” is not a useful question for you. If you scan above, you’ll see some suggestions on domestic violence. Don’t turn down any resources in that area.

      Also, I urge you to stay in touch with ALL your reasons for living, and to look into resources for suicide prevention. Suicide is a solution of sorts, but it sucks like nothing else and there are much better options.

  225. This is my story regarding my alcoholic wife. I have been married for approximately 8 and 1/2 years and when I got married I knew my wife had a drinking problem but I like so many others thought I could change her. What a foolish idea that was!! When we first got married she drank only on weekends then it progressed to 4-5 times a weeks and then 6-7 days a week. My wife is a wonderful woman when she is sober and has been blessed with (3) wonderful children the youngest living with us. To make a long story short the marriage has been turbulent at best and I contributed to the alcoholism but not getting proper support and educating myself on who to deal with an alcoholic. So 8 years go by quickly and I put it with it for financial reasons until I found out she was talking to another man via phone records. When I confronted her about it she first denied but then admitted she was bored and just messing around. In the time period in order to cope with the stress brought on by the alcoholism I started my on addiction gambling. I sometimes stayed out all night gambling and when I came home the next day she was furious and drunk most of the time. She uncovered some gambling losses and I first denied it but then copped to them. Then in late January 2012 she said she was going to see her oldest and spend the night with him at her ex’s house. I found that kind of odd so I said I wasn’t comfortable with it and said I thought she was planning something with that man she had called. I saw that she had called him the week before. She denied it and I then asked her if she gave this guy her work phone number at work. After some investigation I uncovered that this guy was indeed calling her at work. While anyway she got agitated and was drinking I asked for a divorce the following day when I was driving home. When I arrived home she said she wanted a divorce and I asked why and she said she wanted her independence back. After a torturous month of drunkenness and her calling this guy every day and rubbing it my face she moved out on March 1st. The way she did it was she rode to work with me on the bus that morning and then came back and cleaned out the house leaving me whatever she felt I deserved. I was crushed the way she left me without saying goodbye or leaving a forwarding address and to this day she still has not told where she is. I still love her very much and it breaks my heart that she left me for alcohol and money issues which could have been resolved. I tried desperately to convince her that we could work things but she didn’t want to hear it anymore. Any suggestions would be appreciated, I want to save our marriage and her life but feel powerless because of her disease. P.S. Her family is unsupportive and will not help me.

  226. This site is a Godsend, reading these story’s helps alleviate my massive guilt and misery over ending my 28 year marriage to my alcoholic wife.

    It’s all so familiar and that is strangely comforting.

    How do you get over losing someone that treated you so badly but you are still so in love with ?

  227. I agree Graham, and all. It is such a twist of emotions. I have rage when my husband is drinking, rage that has never been in my character to display. Recently one of my oldest and dearest friends said she had never seen me lash out at anyone with such venom as I did my husband on one of his really bad drunken nightmares. It is a nightmare. This person that is a nightmare is also a person that I think is perfect when he is sober. That makes me incredibly sad and I don’t think I am cut out for the years that I have seen posted here. It makes no sense to me. I keep thinking he will snap out of it. Really, is this for real?? I guess it is, it just breaks your heart.

  228. I have been reading this site since dec. I had no idea that so many were dealing with the same issues as me. It has provided me with some peace to know its not just me. I’ve been married to an alcoholic for 14 years together for 16. For years he’s accused me of being unfaithful, calling me nasty neames, throwing and breaking things in the house. Not coming home at night and getting verbally abusive when I questioned where he was. We have 4 small children and I truly believed in my vows – for better or worse, in sickness and health. I relied upon him for my own happiness. I was so angry, hurt, confused. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t have enough repsect for me or our family to make a change. The last straw was dec 1st. He grabbed ahold of me and threw me to the ground in front of the children, called me some horrible names and then slit his wrists when I wouldn’t give him his gun. He’s getting help and I hope he sticks with it for the kids sake. I’ve filed for divorce and am trying to keep things civil but he sees it as I’m cold hearted because he’s getting help and I won’t give him another chance. I’m done. I have no feelings for him at al – not even anger. I just want to move on. Sometimes I question how could I have been married to this man for 14 years and have no feelings. Maybe I am a cold hearted bitch he calls me but I don’t ever want to live like that again. I would rather be lonely than put myself and the kids thru the turmoil.

  229. Here we go again..just dumped his can of beer down the drain..guess my rationale was if you’re going to rage and pick at me and call me horrible names, I’m going to at least give you a reason too. Well, that was like throwing gasoline on an already raging inferno..I know, immature and reactive on my part..I’m disappointed in myself that I did that..this detachment thing is going to take some practice.

  230. Thank you Tom for this excellent forum. I have read many things that I could relate to and I also learned a number of things.

    The best I can do is relate my own experiences with alcohol. I am a recovering alcoholic with almost 3 and a half years of continuous sobriety. My wife is also an alcoholic and she is still struggling mightily. I kindly disagree with the writer above. Not all alcohol is equal. Vodka is the crack cocaine of alcohol. My wife has been stuck on it for almost a decade and the results are nothing short of devastating. Quantifying your spouse’s alcohol consumption is tricky business. While you might find some bottles and think you know, I suspect you are seeing the tip of the iceberg. Alcoholics are highly motivated to hide their alcohol consumption and the internal denial process is highly developed.

    I found the metaphor of someone drowning in a swimming pool extremely thought provoking. Anyone who has taken a life saving class learns up front that the drowning person will take you down with them if you are not trained properly. It is no different with alcoholics. While the average person might think alcoholism is merely a lack of will power or some sort of character flaw, the reality is, alcohol abuse breaks down normal thought processes and you really are dealing with a person who is not thinking in rational terms. It really is the insanity of alcoholism. It exhibits itself in many forms. The unpaid bills, the lost jobs, the fighting, the affairs, the cheating, the lying are all evidence of a total break down of personality and loss of judgement.

    I have three children with my wife and she has done more for me than any person that is alive on this planet. I have considered leaving her but I view it as a last resort. I am attempting to jump into the pool and save her, fully aware that I might go down with her. I fully understand that some people don’t want to jump into that pool and separation or divorce is the right answers for them. There are no “one size fits all” answers in life. If you want to attempt a rescue, my advice is to learn the life saving techniques before you jump in. First off, see a professional therapist and learn as much as you can about alcoholism. Not all therapists are not created equal and you should find a therapist who specializes in substance abuse and is knowledgeable in that area. Even if you live in a ghetto and/or are financially strapped, there are resources available. They do not fall in your lap. You must seek them out. For most people, your local government is a good place to start. The county, town or city you live in should be able to point you in the right direction.

    I am an atheist but I participate in AA. Al-Anon is AA affiliated support group for relatives of alcoholics. Voluntary contributions of one dollar a meeting are requested. These are layperson support groups and I have seen a lot of bad advice doled out at them. Nonetheless, I use it as a support group and find it invaluable in terms of trying to stay connected. Isolation is the hallmark of most alcoholics and I find that anything that alleviates my feelings of isolation, alienation and disconnectedness is a good thing. God preaching from meeting to meeting varies and in urban areas, you should be able to find groups that are highly secular. I would highly discourage the Alano clubs that are sprouting up. AA is not woman friendly and I would recommend woman only meetings until sanity is restored. Last but not least, AA and Al-Anon are not professional medical care. There IS NO SUBSTITUTE for professional care.

    My path started with intensive outpatient therapy followed by six months of group therapy. I see a therapist every two weeks and I suspect I will do so for the rest of my life. My drug of choice was beer and I feel fortunate. My wife developed a taste for liquor and her road as well as many others I meet is far more difficult. My wife did intensive outpatient, group, inpatient, outpatient again, group again and she still struggles mightily. That said, her vodka consumption has decreased dramatically and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Patience and perseverance are key. I have modicum of peace today that I didn’t think possible four years ago. I also realize that there are no quick cures.

    If you are in a physically abusive situation, get out of the house now. Not tomorrow, not next week, now. Stay out either permanently or until a genuine recovery occurs. If you are not in a physically abusive situation and if you choose to stay and try to help your alcoholic spouse, my advice is to check your motives at the door. You aren’t going to “control” this disease out of their life. Ultimatums and verbal abuse make this problem worse. Break that cycle first and foremost. Take a long hard look in the mirror and make sure you aren’t co-codependent. I never lost a job, never had a DUI and our problem was always her problem. All the while, my beer consumption increased over the years and I was as much the problem as her. If you think you have a drinking problem, seek help for yourself first. Second, our verbal communications can have direct consequences. Are we verbally throwing daggers? Is our behaviour excessively controlling? Once again, these are things that need to be taken up with a professional therapist. Having talked with countless married alcoholics, many spouses abhor the drinking but when said spouse goes into recovery, they still keep alcohol in the house. Some spouses actually try to lure recovering alcoholics back into “controlled” drinking expeditions. They hated the alcoholic spouse but when the spouse gets sober, they found a drunken spouse more controllable. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

    At some point, the fuel that brought about marriage was love. Nurture that and your compassion. Dig deep for empathy and realize that your spouse is trapped in a bottle. Reach out and seek help from friends and family you can trust as well as professionals. I hope this helps.

  231. My husband was an alcoholic for over 30 years. I say was, because he is no longer with us. He drank himself to death – last fall his liver failed and he bled out from an upper gastrointestinal haemorrage.. I have struggled with the guilt I felt at not being able to help him quit. Many times he went to rehab and failed. He was 52 when he died. The day he died I had ironically an appointment with a lawyer to file for divorce. I didn’t want my daughter or myself to be exposed to his verbal abuse any more. He wasn’t always like that, he had a fall in 2009 during one of his drinking binges and his disease progressed more quickly after that. Underneath was a loving wonderful husband and father who just couldn’t overcome this terrible disease. Now he’s gone I feel relief that I no longer have to deal with the bottle hiding, the money spent on his habit, the lies, the darkness behind his eyes when he drank. But I miss the good times, and we had many, when he was sober. I came to realise that I couldn’t help him with his disease when he couldn’t help himself – I could only decide what I was going to do for myself and our daughter. Staying with an alcoholic is as hard as deciding to leave, especially when you know you love that person and he loves you. For me, the decision was taken out of my hands.

  232. Well, hello.
    So I guess this is a strange perspective to come at this with, considering the forum, but whatever.
    I’m 16. I’ve got a twin brother. We’re kind of at that age where we’re thinking about college and buying cars and such. And being that we’re the same age, having to spend all this money at the same time, our family’s future financial situation would be bleak even under normal circumstances.
    But of course, Dad’s an alcoholic, so the circumstances aren’t normal.
    His drinking has been going on since before I was born, but in the last year it’s become really out of hand. He starts drinking at noon everyday, passes out for a few hours in the evening, and then starts drinking again until he has to go to work at like, six am. He’s changed our lives really significantly for the worse, and he’s violent and verbally abusive towards Mom.
    Yesterday she sat down with me and my brother and told us that she finally plans to divorce him. It’s way past due, but at least it’s happening.
    But I mean, all the money is his. I honestly have no idea how we’re going to make it. I keep telling Mom that he legally has to play child support, but she doesn’t believe he will.
    Also, I don’t want to see him when it’s over with. Does he have any visitation rights, being that he has an addiction?
    Honestly, I want nothing to do with him. Ever. I don’t want to patch things up, I don’t even think we’re capable of that..

  233. I keep struggling with my decision to not take my alcoholic wife back.

    It seems my choice was to either live with a BI Polar, Alcoholic that lied to me constantly, cheated, ran up bills with no thought to paying them back or be alone.

    Problem is for me, after 28 years together I still love and miss her so much. What does that say about me ?

    I have given up hope for ever being happy again.

  234. My husband of 24 years is currently in rehab for the 4th time. He has been an alcoholic for 15 years. I could tell you all the horror stories but it looks like everyone’s stories are pretty much the same. He has 3 DUI’s. Once I discovered him passed out and choking to death on his own vomit. Another time someone saved his life by calling 911 when they discovered him passed out under a freeway overpass. Most recently he fell broke 4 ribs and suffered a head injury. Still he drinks. He has had documented BAC’s of .27 .432 and .55. Yeah, that’s right, .55.
    The last time he went to rehab he was sober ten days before getting picked up for DUI (he got out of that one).
    He is in rehab now because I just couldn’t take another day with him. I was going to walk.
    I went to talk to his counselor at the facility and the counselor suggested I check into the rehab myself. I have no idea where that came from. I am in no way an addict or substance abuser of any kind unless you count Diet Coke. I suppose he is lying.
    His family is blaming me for letting his disease progress to this level. The counselor says I belong in rehab Al-anon says I am perpetuating his disease if I do anything to curtail his path of destruction.
    He has lost two jobs in two years.
    He is very successful, was a high ranking Military officer. Respected. The perfect picture.
    If I had known in the beginning how bad it would get I would have taken the kids and run, run, run and never looked back. That is what I advise all of you to do run for your lives.
    I am using his time in rehab to put everything into place to leave when he gets out and starts drinking again, and he will as sure as night follows day. I wish you all the best of luck.

  235. I have been reading the posts here looking for answers and ways to deal with my wife who is the violent abusive drunk. I have seen her go to jail for over a year for two dwi offences and parol violations. I have heard over and over how sorry she is and that she will stop. I have been beat down so low I look at life through my socks. She has been taken to jail for the abuse three times now. I have always objected to her drinking and never once backed down from the abuse and just take it. I had had to call the police and have her taken away several times. I have always supported her and rejected the drinking. As I tell all now she is sitting in jail for battery on a household member after a three day drunk on the past easter sunday. She was arrested and I can sit in our home and not be at fear she will stab me or screem all night long in a drunken rage for days and nights on end. This time I feel empty confused sick beat up down and all around but I still managed to work all of the day with only a few hours of sleep. Worst of all I love her miss her but cant stand the thought of being with or around her. I want to end the relationship forever but I want her to stop drinking and be with her happy and peacefull. Still I know this will never be as she can not stop killing herself and me along with her. My thoughts are back and forth stay go stay go fight fight fight. Only one problem the person drinking will not stop and deep in my heart I know she will never stop. I am I was I think Can I Can she Forword I walk my sprit broken the answer I see is to walk away knowing that she will never know how much I love her that is why I must go. Right wrong I do not know. Confused yes. Words or actions to fix what is broken no.

  236. Wes,

    My heart goes out to you buddy. I know exactly what you are going through and have been through most of the same experiences.

    You said this:

    ‘Worst of all I love her miss her but cant stand the thought of being with or around her’

    And I could not relate more.

    There are no answers other than just to hang in there and don’t let yourself get beaten down.

  237. Karen, you said this:

    ‘His family is blaming me for letting his disease progress to this level’

    I had exactly the same situation with my spouse, her family blamed me for her alcoholism.

    Talk about rubbing salt in the wound, that was very painful.

  238. I have been married for 10 years… I really do love my hubby with all my heart.. He is an alchoholic and he knows it. He is not physically abusive by any means. He says that he gets up and goes to work every day, which he does with no problem. Usually he just talks my ear off and then goes to bed. Occasionally he will freak out about something so minor to me but will cause him to get so angry he gets mean and wont talk to me for days. Recently a very gay friend of mine posted a pis of the two of us on a social website wishing me a happy birthday and all the sudden i am disrespecting him and cheating on him… Really! I do not need this drama. Then i cry and get sad! It stinks.. Sometimes i think about leaving him but on the other hand we have alot of laughs and good times to. He never goes out. I usually fly solo. When he drinks and tries to get intimate i get discusted and dont want him to even touch me… Am i wrong? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for listening.. Btw forgot to mention he is 19 years older than i am..

    • Are you wrong to say no when you don’t want sex with a drunk? I suggest you try to imagine anyone (not from the middle ages, that is), telling you that you’re supposed to submit to an awful experience as if it’s a marital duty. And by the way, your husband may be seeking sex but we could say that he isn’t trying to get “intimate”, because authentic intimacy doesn’t happen when you’re drunk.

  239. Thank you Graham
    I have been kicked so hard that I am wearing my behind where my head
    goes. Just an update here. Melissa my wife my life my best friend the half that makes me whole was bailed out of jail today. I have no idea by who. She showed up with the police to gather some belongings to get by for a few days. The police officer said he was just here at my house to keep the peace. He asked me if I had a problem giving Melissa the car I said no she can take what ever she needs to get on. I also asked if I could speak with her. He the police officer did not object. I told her that she still had a job where she works if she contacts them by wensday morning. Her fellow employees came by my home on monday looking for Melissa becouse she had not called in to work and they wanted make sure she was ok. She has made me out to be the villan to these people but they found out what the real story is as we spoke. They asked what they could do to help I said prayer losts of prayer. As we talked I convenced them to keep her on at her job and they agreed to give her 480 hours of personal time send her to the best doctors they can find and pay for her disabality to work on getting better.On the condition she called them by wensday. Her employer has a 3 day no show no call rule. Good employer I would have been kicked to the curb the first day of not calling in sick for work. It did feel good to show them I am not the evil person she has told them I am. Let me explain she my wife Melissa had me served with a protection order about 2 years ago the police came and escorted me from my home I was given just enough time to pack small bag of belongings and the clothes on my back and leave my home. I also had to pay all bills utilitys and rent and bills paid while she occupied that house it is state law here. She told everyone that I beat her up and held her captive. The police charged me with domestic violance. It gave her a chance to take what she wanted out of the home as she pleased and move in with a friend that she could party and drink with and have no objection. I lived out of my vehicle and stayed with my mother and father for about a month maybe longer. I got a lawyer and fought the false charges. She never showed for court and the charges were dismissed. But she took just about every thing in that house. And stupid me took her back for several more rounds of drunken rages and abuse. I have also moved and got her new places to live to the tune of four times. So much has happened I can not begin to tell all. The police did call me and say she would be released from jail and that she was to have no contact. I know the drill all to well. I did find a new place to stay and will move out of this home by sunday. When melissa came here with the police I was able to tell her she could stay here that I would be gone by sunday night.The rent and bills are paid till the end of the month. She ask where I was going to go I told her that I did not want her to know. That crushed me and rocked my soul to the core. But I know sure as the sun will shine she will never stop drinking and that I have to make a firm stand to never back down and approve of her drinking. I love her so much so very much. She was saying she had no where to stay tonight and that she was going to get a motel room and that she had no money she was crying very hard. As she was leaving out the door to get in her car I handed her every bit of cash I had in my pocket walked in my not to be my home in a few days melted into the chair and cried a bucket of tears. So much to do I pray to God she is ok and I pray to Jesus that I have what it will take to carry myself through the most uncertain time I have ever had in my life. I turned 52 a few months ago and am hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Jesus

  240. Tom
    The site has given me a place to vent thanks so much it helps. Thank you all for a place to talk. Tom for me I think I will not be having sex for some time. Dont get me wrong I love sleeping with my wife but since we are apart I would rather not be with anyone My sex drive is in low gear. Maybe things will change if my wife will get sober for more than a year and or maybe she will just set me free still I think I will just be with me for sometime. My wife can not see that I am whipped. Tom you got me thinking about the this sex thing while talking to Michelle so I will just keep that to myself also Thank you again. Nights are forever long I am ready for the day

  241. Do you think we are all just so co dependent that we have the need to be in this type of relationship as bad as the A has the need to drink? For me this isn’t my first marriage but it is my first marriage to an addict. I was raised by an A but his drink of choice was beer and his work had him gone alot so it wasn’t as bad as my relationship is today with my husband. Michelle, I do not have sex with my husband when he is drinking, it is replusive and a major turn off.

  242. I spent nine years with a man that was abusive toward me, mostly verbally, mentally, and emotionally, but on occasion, he did get violent. I finally left him, and the guy I am with now is an alcoholic. We have only been together a year, but I’m ready to end things between us. I’ve told him time after time that if he keeps drinking, we’re over, but I keep giving him another chance, because I love him. I didn’t even love my husband– whom I thought was my first love– as much as I love my current boyfriend. When I think of how amazing he is when he is sober, I tell myself, “I can’t leave yet. Look at the potential he has, to be the man I always daydreamed about.” But the entire year that we’ve been together, even though he promises to quit drinking, there have been minimal efforts. When I try to break up with him, he tells me that I can’t kick him out because he signed the lease to the house we are currently renting (he’s unemployed and I pay the rent and all the utility bills; he gets help from his mom and his godfather to get food most of the time but some of the time I even have to buy food), and that if I love him I won’t break up with him, if I care about him I won’t give up on him. I try to tell him that I have to look out for myself, but that doesn’t matter to him… at least when he’s intoxicated. The longest he has gone without a drink has been three weeks. He told me Monday this week that he’d go to an AA meeting with his godfather if I stay with him. The meeting was Tuesday, but Tuesday came and later that afternoon he told me he went somewhere with his friend instead, and then, “I’m sorry, I didn’t intentionally do anything wrong,” but he was drunk when I got home from work. So he promised me that he’d go to a meeting on Wednesday instead. He was drunk when I came home between shifts on Wednesday, but before I left to go back to work he promised me he’d sober up and go to the meeting. I went to work and then came home that evening and he was either STILL drunk, or he had sobered up and then drank again; I’m not sure which. But he did tell me that he had gone to the meeting, and that everyone said the same thing that I had been telling him all along– that his drinking problem is probably what is leading to all of his other problems: difficulty finding and maintaining employment, relationship problems, etc. Then today (Thursday) I went to work for my morning shift and got out early, he was sitting in the living room playing a video game, but he was completely sober. And I left for work this afternoon in a good mood. But I came home tonight after my evening shift was over and once again, he had been drinking. I don’t even know where he gets the alcohol, because he has NO money at all and I keep my money with me at all times. When I suspect he has been drinking, I ask him, and he’ll tell me he hasn’t, so I’ll find the alcohol he has hidden in various places in the house, and he swears he didn’t know it was there, or that he’d put it there weeks ago and forgotten about it. The first time he claimed he’d hidden it some time ago and forgotten it was there, I believed him, but when it happened two more times, I realized that’s his way of trying to minimize any negative consequences, I guess. He constantly apologizes for his drinking and for the stupid things he does while he’s intoxicated, and promises never to do it again, but he keeps on. And I recently met one of his friends who has his life together, and I realize… I need a guy like that. I need a guy who has his head on straight, a guy who is stable. I need to be in a stable relationship, one in which I don’t spend most of my time worrying if I’m going to come home to a boyfriend who is dead from alcohol poisoning.

  243. I was wondering if anyone has ever gotten really mean phone messages from their A? Probably and have you played them back to the A while they were sober? I was thinking about doing this to let him hear how awful he sounds but didn’t know if it would make any impact or make things worse?

    Thank you for sharing.

  244. Nasty drunken text’s and messages are par for the course with A’s

    I have a great selection, maybe I could make a ‘best of’ CD

    I don’t think it would make any difference playing them back to them though.

  245. i am married to my wife 29 years now.
    things were good to start with, but 9 years frter we got married she had a brain hemoradge which in turn left her paralysed on one side.
    since then she has being drinking .
    we have 2 children which now are grown up thank god and left , couldn’t blame them.
    her drinking has got constantly worse over the years, and i find very hard to handle.
    i have subject to all the abuse you could think off, as well as physical violence ie knife attacks.
    i still love her and feel really sorry for her because of her circumstances.
    but fuck i am really tired and need a life of my own.

  246. I promised I would leave an update regarding my alcoholic husband. He died December 30th of heart failure due to chronic alcoholism. Instead of spending the holidays with is kids, grandkids and me, he chose alcohol instead. It was said that he died at home and I must move out of the home we shared for nearly 25 years. If I had it to do over again would I have married him even though he was awesome for the first 20 years or so? NO NO NO! The pain we experience being married to an alcoholic is one of the most painful experience anybody can go through. Watching your loved one destroy himself and everybody and everything around him is heart breaking.

    I know my husband loved me when he was sober. He said all the time I did not deserve this, that I was a fantastic wife. I deserved better.

    I am sad he is gone but I’m relieved too…….I can now start to live my life……….I’m not chained to him and his drinking.

    I can breathe again!

  247. I have been married for 33 years kids are grown and gone. 6 years ago my wife was diagnosed with bone cancer. 3 years ago she started drinking heavy. today it is out of control. I love her and hate her all at the same time. I have gone to alanon and at least understand what is going on. in past year she has a DUI, the police have taken her home for walking under the influence 4 times. a month ago there were 4 poilice cars in my driveway. she was picked up for being drunk at 11 am. She told the police i beat her when she drinks.Needless to say they seemed ready for a confrontation. tonight I had to go get her because she was wasted and a stranger had to come and get me. she was 200 feet from the house and I had to get the car becuase she couldnt walk. I am at my wits end. I want out and i dont all at the same time, I will never abandon her but i dont know how much longer i can live with her. I dont know what to do. the past year I dont think i left the house. last week I went fishing. came home at noon she was wasted.
    I dont know what to do, I will probably call a shrink in the morning,

  248. Hi there to all and my warm wishes in these most difficult predicaments – only an alcoholics partner will understand the pain. I had only been with my boyfriend for 4 years he moved into my house with me and my son so I did not require his support I didn’t know he had a problem until about 3 months after, he hid it well and lost loads of weight, anyhow he was very violent to me and I lost a baby, he was a bully to me and my son I will never let that happen again and all in all I am only recovering slowly day by day – but first and foremost you must protect yourself mainly sanity and your children with out my son I would be nothing and this man bullied him I always stepped in. The anxiety has been bad with my hair falling out chest pains and panic attacks and now wheezing – but recovery is in site and am excited about that, some days are very bad other are much better – everyone deserves better and I think as an alcoholics partner you feel somewhat responsible and guilty and that you shouldn’t resent them as it is an “illness” it is better that some of you survive rather than being taken down by the alcoholics continually irratic, violent, demeaning behaviour – out there is life amazing things to see and do and people to receive your care and respect well – you have to choose life x

  249. I spent 5 years feeling guilt for wanting to leave my wife and she still drinks like a fish! well here is reality! alcaholic spouses will drag you down and drain the life out of you! I need a wife that wants better in life not someone that continues to drag me down with them, missery loves company! I am ready to pack my bags because out of all seriousness YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE to be waisting your life with someone that chooses liquor over there family.

    thats my feelings, sorry for being blunt.

  250. I am empty inside now but relieved as well
    I have read a lot of comments and now reassured and certain that her drinking is not my fault
    It would be our 30th anniversary in November but we won’t be together
    Five years of lying playing hide and seek for empty bottles
    Mistakes at work worrying and wondering what will face me when I get home
    Arrests for drink driving threats to take her own life journeys to hospital with pullover doses
    Upset adult children
    No real support network in UK which is government funded
    Costs for private rehab which ran into thousands
    Cancellation of functions planned family events and weddings because she could hardly stand up or put two words together
    Giving her just that one last chance when she says that she won t touch another drink
    I love my wife and I know that when she’s sober and not on a binge she loves me
    I have left
    I will loose my house half my salary half my police pension but I don t care
    Money is not everything
    If I can offer any advice to any wife or husband of an alcoholic is. GET OUT
    They will not stop
    It is like living with a demon
    I now know that the beautiful woman I married who through this terrible illness will one day die as a result of drink
    I know now that I have tied every course of action and treatment available to help her I cannot do anything else
    She lost her job because of her addiction and now lost me and the children who dread the Telephone call from me telling them what has happened on the latest Inge occasion
    I ve eventually left
    It has not been an easy decision to take but I can t go on like this anymore
    There are lot of financial and property decisions to make and the fear of being lonely is less than the fear and stress caused by living with an alcoholic
    Good look to you all out there

  251. Gary,

    Good luck to you, I lived with an alcoholic for 28 years and I can completely relate to everything you said. It is all so familiar.

    Please understand this though, and don’t think this should influence your decision.

    When you have been inside that ‘alcoholic bubble’ for so long, as you know you can become completely codependent.

    I realise that b