When is it Time to Leave an Alcoholic?

Many of you have shared your personal stories of the pain of living with an alcoholic in your life in the comments below. I encourage you to share what you want, and read through what people have said as well.

I am not a counselor, and am not able to provide you with professional help with your situation. I do highly recommend the following resources that will hopefully offer you guidance and hope that you can get through this (yes, you can).

The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships
This book literally changed my life.

Hazelden Books and Resources
Hazelden provides trusted resources to help prevent, treat, and recover from alcoholism and other drug addiction as well as other related disorders.

Al-Anon / Alateen
Al-Anon has one purpose: to help families of alcoholics.

I leave this post here, originally written in 2007, because of the thousands of visitors who come to this site every month seeking help as the spouse of an alcoholic.I also hope that it serves as an inspiration to you that you are not alone, and that you really can live the life you want. For those that are curious – my husband is indeed still sober and is an amazing example of strength and triumph over addiction.

Ever since I wrote the Married to an Alcoholic series, I have watched in heartbreaking sadness at the keywords people have used to find this site:

  • divorcing an alcoholic husband anger
  • when is it time to divorce an alcoholic
  • married to an alcoholic when should i leave
  • how to leave your alcoholic husband
  • how do i get my alcoholic husband out of our house
  • married to an alcoholic, why am I so angry

To each and every one of you, first of all, my heart goes out to you. I have been where you are now. I did the Google searches too, seeking a way out of the pain and anguish of my everyday life.

But the truth of the matter is that you have found this site because you already know you can’t continue to live your life the way you are currently living it, with an alcoholic spouse at your side.

The answer is probably one you don’t want to hear, but it is the only one that will work for you:


Below are some questions you need to ask yourself. These are not easy questions. And don’t bother taking them on unless you are willing to give yourself honest answers. Set aside some time away from your home environment in order to give these questions your full attention, because you will likely get a bit emotional as you uncover your own truths:

  • What is the cost of my leaving this relationship?
    • How will this decision affect others?
    • What will I leave behind?
    • What will I have to let go of?
    • What will I have to face within myself once I am gone?
  • What is the cost of my staying in this relationship?
    • Who else is being hurt by staying in this alcoholic environment?
    • What will happen to my self-worth, my health, and my happiness if I continue on this path for another 5 years? Another 10 years? Another 20?
    • What am I teaching my children by staying in this relationship?
  • What are the benefits of staying in this relationship?
    • I’m still here for a reason – what am I getting out of staying here?
    • Will these benefits continue for the rest of our lives together, or will they change with time?
    • Do these benefits outweigh the costs? Yes or No?
  • What are the benefits of leaving this relationship?
    • What will I be able to achieve if I end this relationship now?
    • How will I be living my life differently in 5 years if I end this relationship now? 10 years? 20?
    • Do these benefits outweigh the costs? Yes or No?

Additionally, I would encourage you to take this decision seriously. I don’t know any person who has not ‘threatened to leave’ an alcoholic spouse as a leverage chip to try and get their spouse sober.

The problem is with the word “threaten”. If you say you will leave, yet don’t, you are reinforcing the fact that you think it is OK that they continue to drink.

So once you make your decision, you must also be willing to stick to it. And if you aren’t, then you aren’t in a position to make your ‘half decision’ a bargaining chip.

Remember also, if you decide to stay, then you must also take responsibility for that. You know at this point what staying means.

I can tell you this:

Making the decision to leave my husband was the ONLY THING that could have happened in his life for him to make the decision to get sober. I had to take a huge risk, knowing full well that I could have ended up single, or he could have been lying to me once again. So by sticking to my guns, in the end, I got what I wanted most of all. But I had to be willing to let that all go to raise my standards.

This may or may not be what happens with you. Your spouse may decide to continue to drink. You must be willing to face that reality if you are indeed going to decide to stick to your guns, too.
In the end, I did what I will tell you to do:

Follow your heart.

Only you know what is right for you – and your heart is where you will find that answer. I can say from personal experience that following your heart is not always easy, nor does it feel very good at times.

But in the end, it will always lead you in the right direction. Always. And it will feel good with time, and with continued listening. I can promise you this.

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I'm getting back to my blogging roots on WendyPiersall.com: writing about life, art, business, publishing, and following your heart. I'm here to inspire, encourage, and share my journey. I hope my art and writing makes your journey better, too.

347 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have been with this alcoholic for over 2 years. He is a mean alcoholic and things are not getting better but getting worse. We recently moved to Texas with our daughter and his 2 kids. His ex is a druggie, me I am in law enforcement. He expects me to do everything, get the kids ready for school, i work, he does not and he still wants me cleaning and cooking! I am exhausted! He is ungreatful and says I have a bad heart. He constantly is making fun of me, from my looks to my weight. He tells me he doesn’t love me, then he does…he is a liar and not only is he addicted to alcohol but he is addicted to porn. He says his drinking is because of me…typical alcoholic. We are verbally abusive to eachother ( I just got to a point where I could not take it anymore..he left me pregnant to go to prison for a DUI). Since we have been in TX he has broken my stuff, choked me and scratched my face up…tonight I have to face my co-workers with a bruise and scratches on my face.
    I have asked him to leave, he won’t. He has it too good to leave, really. I pay for the bills, while he drinks. I feel bad for his 2 kids but I can’t take this misery anymore! He doesn’t stop drinking and I can’t wait for him to work his issues out on his own! Like he says he needs to do.
    Is it wrong for me to buy a ticket for my daughter and I and flee to my parents?

  • All this stuff is about women and alcoholic husbands…when will anyone write something for men with alchoholic wives?

  • Very good site with many great shares. I want to make a point.

    My husband has been sober 18yrs. now works in Marketing at a treatment center. From the time he received treatment he never included me in his recovery and would not socialize or fellowship with any Married or People with strong long term relationships. Instead he hung with the newly sober men which totally excluded me. I thought with time he would get some balance but now he is not only working a program but totally immersed in treatment of men with addictions.
    He can not talk to outside people or friends because although they are interested in his work they don’t want to listen to it the whole time they are with him. Our children included. He talks in short AA/treatment jargon constantly and refuses to get any one on one counseling.
    Now, 4days before our 25th Wedding Anniversary he states we no longer have a connection and is going to spend even More time in AA and his “recovery”. This is NOT recovery it is Stark Raving sober.
    I attended Alanon for 17years until it became obvious that he was not going to blend his recovery with my by fellowship with any married couples or attend a Alanon function.
    I remember and always counted on the fact that my sponsor would always say “well, how long has he been sober”. The message I always Heard was that as time goes on they Get more Recovery. I never heard that they actually have to work their recovery where the Family also recovers.
    Now at 58yrs and standing by him for the 25yrs he struggled to stay sober and get the “program instead of peace we have more drama and has become Addicted and Obsessed with AA. His behavior and actions are no different now than when he was first in treatment and newly sober. But if you talked to him or saw him in a meeting he is Great and really seems to have it together.
    AA is Not Recovery. They make the decisions how their recovery goes and whether they are working to balance their lives with the outside world.
    AA is About Staying Sober not about recovery unless they work and make the decisions to include his marriage or family.
    Sobriety does not work magic all the time.

  • I have been married for almost 7 years and have lived with my alcoholic husband for a total of 9 years. We are older, have no children together. I have been struggling with guilt over the thought of leaving. I feel that I wouldn’t leave him if he had some other disease such as diabetes. I moved out last November and came back in February when he quit drinking. He started back in May. I feel selfish for wanting to be happy. We hardly speak to each other and he spends his evening in the garage drinking until he comes in and goes to sleep. He constantly accuses me of having affairs, not being a good person, not being a good wife. I am seeing a counselor, going to alanon and church. I am searching for the strength I need to walk away and never look back. We all deserve to be happy and live in peace. He always says he has the “right” to drink. I have the right to live a peaceful life.

  • After 9 years and one child I have asked him to leave. He has signed and lease on a new place and I am now a single mom. This is the hardest thing I have ever done and I want to call him and tell him to come home every day. Then I think of all the sleepless nights and horrible things he would say to me. Because of our child he will be in my life for ever. So I need to continue going to al-anon to deal with myself and my issues that I have created from his drinking. I do not know what he does or where he go’s everyday now and he comes to see is kid once a week. I only lives 2mins away. MY HEART BREAKS FOR OUR KID! That is the reason I left I do not want the pattern of marrying an alcoholic to keep repeating its self. I WANT HIM TO COME HOME. I am such an idiot to think anything will be any different from before. I continue to PRAY and hope he will get help and come home to his family. Only time will show its been a month and he is making to effort to get help.

    I asked he not drink while with our kid and he is still coming to my house and drinking while I am here and in front of our kid.. DO I SAY HE CAN NOT SEE HER AT ALL? Is that fair to her?

  • I feel so angry so angry I became I person I am not due to struggling with an alocoholic husband. Thank God i am finally divorcing him but I feel so much pain that I let myself become this angry ugly person so upset

  • I want to be free from this anger this pain because I kept on giving my alcoholic husband a chance all be disapointed each time any advise books, scriptures I can read to start healing

  • Well how alike are all our stories ?? My dad died nearly 4 years ago from cirrohsis of the liver as I’m sure u know caused by drink we watched for 8 days the trauma of what alcohol can do to a person seeing somebody die after 8 days on ventilator is excruciatingly painful!!Since this happened my husband has now took my fathers place of being the alcoholic in the family ! The only difference my dad never lied he was straight as they come my husband would tell u the moon is made of cheese if I would believe him !! Our twist to the story though is that we run a pub ! I am more or less tee total probably drinking 3 times a year if that ! People say we should give up our pub it is our livelihood it’s all we have left the irony is I brought our pub from my dad because he was so I’ll I literally put a noose around my own neck !! My situation has got gradually worse over the last 6 months my husband has attempted suicide twice now since February and although I really do want this to end and leave how can I tell my boys there dad has killed himself because I left him ?? I know he is killing himself anyway but should I help by walking out ! Things got so bad yesterday I emptied a full bottle of pills in my mouth and took a Stanley knife to my wrists in front of him asking him what all the fuss was about with the suicide attempts my son ran downstairs snatched the knife out my hand and held me down till he got all the pills out my mouth ! I was never going to really kill myself I don’t think but I really felt like I was broken ! People who know me know I’m as strong as an ox but really feel like my world is crashing down my husband was diagnosed a month ago with korsakoff syndrome but he’s taking it as lightly as it’s a headache I’m not sure how much longer I can keep enduring this situation for me or my boys but hope I get the courage to walk before I finally crack up !!

  • well finally i realise ‘im not on my own ‘ my story is so like many of yours ! im 34 with 2 boys 15 years and 11 years ! i have been with my husband for 15 years married 18 months !
    my father was an alcoholic who died 3 1/2 years ago from cirrohsis of the liver his death was the most traumatic thing i can ever imagine i will ever have to endure in my life ! even as im writing this tears are running from my eyes !
    6 years ago my parents ran a pub and as i was the oldest and my dad was very ill i was offered the oppourtunity to buy the pub from my parents ! i did this in the hope it would save my dads life !
    my situation now is my father has passed away and now my husband is a worse alcoholic than my father ever could be the only difference my father was violent on most occasions where as my husband wouldnt hurt a fly physically !!!!
    since my fathers death my husbands drinking has increased dramatically and in the last year it has sent me to breaking point ! obviously the reason i am visiting this site is probably the same as many more of you ‘ trying to find the answer we all want and need ‘my husband has had 4 detoxes costing £3500 each time in the las12 months my husband has tried to commit suicide twice the 2nd being only last week he has been in hospital many times with drink related illnesses from pancreatitis to withdrawals , hes had fits blackouts !

    last week he took my car approx 30 miles away swallowed 72 tablets and drank a litre of vodka ! when the police found him he was unconcious ! he was rescussitated and taken to hospital ! this came after being in hospital for almost 2 weeks after locking himself in the pub we run and having a very serious fall ! he cut open his head loosing 3 pints of blood was bruised so badly the hospital called me to see if he had been in a car accident as the injuries sustained were consistent with a car crash ! he was sectioned under the mental health act in hospital due to becoming violent towards staff something he had never ever done !
    He discharged himself from hospital and nearly ran my boys over in our car cause they were trying to stop him from driving my last 3 months have been sheer hell !!!
    As things are at the minute i feel my marriage is over as strong a person as i am i feel like i am cracking under the pressure i cry daily and my head feels like its going to explode even though i still have a glimmer of hope that things will get bk to how they were 4 years ago ! i hate living every day not knowing if todays the day he will finally kill himself or if its the day he will stop drinking why do they do this to them selves ?
    and as for me my husband has witnessed first hand the consequences of what drink does to themselves and the family around them !!
    My gut feeling is that my husband wont see my next birthday which is June next year
    if there is anybody out there who does have the answer or the cure please post to give us all hope !!!!!

  • I don’t know whether to really say my husband is an alcoholic. We’ve been together 5 years, married 3 in December. Over the past 2 years we’ve been out drinking many times together and with our friends. Halloween of 09 we had a party and he was drinking beer and got into some liquor, i was doing my own thing with my friends and not paying any attention to him. Well the next day we were told my husband spent all night all over my best friend. That’s the most information I got. I don’t even know what that means. Sorrys were said, all was well again. April 10 we went to a retro party with the same best friend, her husband and another couple. I had been fed shots all night and don’t remember much of what happened. This past friday night we had a big bonfire at my house for my birthday. He was drinking beer and liquor again and I look up once and he’s all over my best friend again. I intervene, taking her side, told him to get away because I could see that he was drunk. The next morning my best friend tells me that he kept trying to kiss her while we were outside and he came into our bedroom during the night while I was asleep trying to pull her pants down (he was sleeping on the couch, her in the bed with me because she couldn’t drive home). He swears he doesn’t remember any of it. THEN I find out that they kissed at the retro party in April 10. How am I supposed to react to this?! She acts like she’s the victim and to an extent she is, but how to I even fix this situation with mine and his relationship and mine and hers? There’s been 2 other occurences this past year where he’s gotten drunk, came home and went to bed, then later woke up doing strange things, even left the house because he was mad, and walked 3 miles. He even claims he doesn’t remember anything about us being in a fight or why he left at all. Is this common in drunks? Can you completely black out and be a completely different person that you can’t remember a solid thing you did? When this man doesn’t drink he is a complete angel. My family loves him and so do I. He will do anything in the world for me, most of the time without me even asking. This drinking thing doesn’t happen all the time. He doesn’t drink daily, or the drunken nights doesn’t even happy on a normal occurence. After Friday he said he’s done drinking for good that it concerns him that he can’t remember things, awful things, he’s done and he doesn’t want to lose me over it. I feel sick and just ache all over, I don’t want to talk to him or my best friend and I don’t want to talk to my family or tell all of my other friends because I don’t want the situation spread all over our little town. I’m hurt so bad and now my friend acts like she’s the one that needs consoling. I have so many emotions inside me right now, I don’t know whether to scream or cry or tear something apart.

  • This is the hardest thing I have ever done, I re met my first love after 35 years. He had had an awfult time and had concured some awful addictions. The one he kept and loves is drinking… His dad died from drink and other members of his famiky have the same problem. I love him desperatley and he has become well getting a job and earning, after 12 months of being very menatlly ill.
    It is my house we live in so its not that I can leave and then I tell him to leave. He now says he will go as he just wants to drink and have a quiet life without my constrant nagging. He says he doesn’t want to stop drinking and its his funeral.
    I am so fed up of crying and worrying about him drinking, driving etc etc. I am due to be a grandmother in December and don’t feel like I can trust him with the baby. Please give me some ideas I know he will drink himself to death and he may well go so he can drink but I feel awful that without my nagging he will just drink more and die I am desperate….

  • My husband has been abusing alcohol for over a year now. He refuses to admit that he has a problem. In the past few weeks, he has started drinking early in the morning, and continues drinking all day.
    He stopped drinking for about a month this past June. I thought he was going to die. He couldn’t eat. He threw up when he tried to eat. His hands shook so, he couldn’t write. Now he does not remember this. He claims that it never occurred and I am lying. In fact, he has no short term memory at all. He can not remember conversations after 10 minutes. I am so tired of repeating the same thing over and over to him everyday. I am so tired of hearing him tell me the same thing over and over again.
    We are both retired. We worked long hours to pay off all of our debts so that we could retire comfortably. However, this past year has been a living hell. In his drunken stupors, I have been emotionally abused. Primarily because I won’t be intimate with him. I do not have these feelings for him anymore because to me he is a stranger. He reeks of alcohol daily. His eyes are red and face bloated, and he just looks frightening to me, not sexually appealing.. He consistently uses obscene language. Every other word is the MF or F words. I can not take this. We are both educated people with degrees. But, I suddenly feel like I am living with gutter trash. He has no respect for me or himself.
    My days consist of him having temper tantrums all day long over anything and everything. Nothing is ever right with him. Although, he no longer does anything around the house, he accuses me of doing nothing. He actually thinks he does it all. He does not even put the garbage out for the collector. I have to take care of the house inside and outside and ensure that all household expenses are cared for. He can’t do any of this.
    I can’t have a conversation with him, because he can not follow it. He is easily confused. He drove a city bus to pay his way through college, and knew this city like the back of his hand. Now he gets lost constantly. In fact, he will call me to say he doesn’t remember where the brakes are located. My fear is that he will injure or kill some innocent person, and we will lose everything. I am so stressed I can’t sleep. I’m miserable when he’s home because he sends out negative vibes all day. I am not allowed to sing, laugh, play music or make any noise at all. Every little bit of noise and he almost goes postal. I walk on eggshells all day. When he leaves, I am really stressed. I wait for a policeman to call me to tell me he has had a car accident and hurt or killed someone. I pray constantly. I cry constantly.
    I can no longer invite my friends over. I am ashamed to face my next door neighbor and friend of of 34 years, because I know she has heard his drunken rages. I am so embarrassed.
    Why don’t I leave?
    I am 70 years old. I am too old to start my life over again and too used to my space to go to a shelter. I don’t think I could bear that. His family, who lives in various states, supports me and are encouraging me to leave. They have also experienced his drunken rages over the telephone.
    I try to feel compassion towards him, because I know he is also suffering from post traumatic stress. He was in Vietnam and has frequent nightmares about the war. i have tried to get him help, but he won’t admit that he needs it.
    I think I read a remark from someone on this site that we women were blaming men for their predicaments when it is us who drove them there. People have choices, and they have to take responsibility for the choices they make. He didn’t have to turn to alcohol. He could have sought out professional help. God knows I’ve tried to get him there. So, please do not blame women. We are already hurting.
    I don’t know what to do. I can not afford to move out of my house that is paid and live in an apartment. The cheapest apartment in a
    decent area is $1900 monthly. That is for a cracker box.
    I never envisioned my last years to end this way. I am at the point where death looks good to me. I am a vibrant, healthy, energetic woman who looks almost half her age; yet, instead of thinking of living, I am embracing dying.

  • Wow! This website is amazing – I see I am not alone. I’ve been ashamed of myself for months for being in a situation I said I would never let happen! I do love him – he is a good man but he drinks and when he drinks he is NOT the person I fell in love with. Sadly, I figured out pretty quickly that he had an issue, then he moved in and that just solidified it for me. And what amazes me is that I said yes when he proposed. I have two kids (14 and 12) from a previous marriage and they don’t respect him as he doesn’t respect them – that is clear. We were supposed to get married a couple weeks ago but I told him that so much has happened this year that we should postpone it a few months – yeah, a lot has happened over the last 6 months but that isn’t really why I moved the date. I have doubts – huge doubts. I know that those doubts are enough to end it. If my friends or family told me their partner was like mine I would tell them to run and not look back so I don’t know why I am struggling with ending this. I know all the reasons are lame but they keep going through my mind – he has nothing, he has nowhere to go, I don’t want to hurt him. He says it’s not surprising he drinks when my kids are the way they are, he does next to nothing in the house, he is verbally/mentally abusive – his comments can come out of nowhere! He works though pays no household bills period. For over a year (we’ve been together 2) I have told him he has to get help or it’s over. He finally started AA and went once then a few months later we talked about it again so he started going and went for a couple weeks. He did good those two weeks but then after a week of not going he drank for a couple days – he told me he would fix that and has gone to one meeting since (that was a week ago). He knows he has a problem but he seems to justify it buy saying he’s not in a gutter, he’s working, blah, blah, blah. My father was an alcoholic and I have always maintained that I would not put myself in that situation – it took my mom years to leave him but she did. Why am I struggling so much with this?

  • After enduring the crap for nearly 16 years I kicked him out. Then it took one night out to the movies and a trip to McDonalds with my kids to realise that the stress and anxiety that was always present whenever he was around, was actually missing! I felt relaxed after this event on the drive home, and I realised that normally I would be cranky, anxious and disappointed that he would ruin these sorts of outings with his behaviour.
    You don’t realise how bad it is until it’s not there anymore. I am doing so much better without him and even though I am now on a single parent pension for the moment (but I have now done a small business course and am successfully establishing a cake decorating business), we actually have money left over at the end of the week and all bills are being paid! Makes me wonder just how much he was spending on grog (alcohol for those who live outside Australia)!
    I don’t regret kicking him out after all he put us through, and he shows no remorse on the odd occasion that I see him. I am a registered nurse and should have known better, but I had hope. Ridiculous hope that it would get better. I gave him ample opportunities to prove himself and he chose to continue drinking and being verbally abusive, secretive and manipulative.
    He’s lost his best friend, his home, his kids and friends. Hopefully he will hit rock bottom and get his act together; or it will kill him.
    The only person I can change is me, and I choose not to watch him self destruct and take us with him.
    There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s the one that I lit. NOW that is hope!

  • Tomorrow is the day I leave my alcoholic husband. After 9 years I realize I cannot help, cure or change him. I am moving forward and will focus my attention, love and support on myself and on family and friends who have stood beside me through this living hell. This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. I have faith that I am doing the right thing and that this to shall pass.

  • My dad is a very bad alcoholic. He goes on binges from anywhere between 2-3 weeks strait. When he’s on these my little brother and I (7 & 16) many times come home to him passed out on the ground outside or by the stairs. My dad has gotten 3.. Maybe 4, I don’t keep track anymore, DUI’s. At times with me in the car and does not have a license either. My older siblings don’t even like to come home anymore cuz he’s either drunk, or verbally mean. He’s a big fan of the silent treatment too, it probably shouldn’t bother me but it does. He’s gone to rehab several times and has failed every single time. My mom and him have been married for over 25 years and it’s never been like this. Another thing I’ve learned is he has been cheating on her since I was born, he continues to do so but my mom doesn’t know about the recent attempts he has made. I just wish for my mom to leave him but she can’t get herself to? I don’t understand, I’ve been ready to leave for about 4 years now. Whenever he quits binging for 2 weeks he acts like everything is fine. Please help me try to figure out how to get my mom to leave? She’s scared he’ll try to take my brother cuz he can be so mean with words. I’m tired of his games and can’t put up with this anymore. What should I do? :( my heart is so broken.

    -Jazzy, 16.

  • I feel the same as Nimala. I hate my alcoholic husband and truly wishes he would find someone else and leave. Nimala, I think there are desperate women out there who will even take an alcoholic.
    My situation is getting worse. He has tantrums all day long about nothing. He thinks everything easy and convenient for him. He is a selfish, inconsiderate pig with no regards for my feelings. I am so tired of him yelling and screaming at me all day everyday. One minute he is sweet as pie and the next minute he is yelling obscenities.
    I thought Julie’s post was very interesting. I guess these alcoholics are indeed obsessive compulsive people. They trade one addiction for another. My husband, who rarely drank at all, gave up smoking and moved to cocaine, traded cocaine for alcohol. But Julie, if my husband traded alcohol for AA, and became obsessed with that and left me., I would be happy. He’s drunk tonight and I lay here praying that he leaves me alone.

  • Seems there are a lot of guys doing the abusing….it’s opposite in my situation. I have an older brother who is 49, an alcoholic and amazes me he’s still alive. I hate drunks, I had to deal with him for so long. Married my high school sweetheart, married for 11 years, one child. She leaves me for a coworker. I was blindsided. Dated for a year before meeting my current girlfriend. When she is not drinking we really mesh well. I didn’t realize it was as bad as it is. She can drink the house dry and never get sick. She drinks to the point where she doesn’t remember events or large portions of the night. She always has an excse why she drinks, isn’t receptive to me talking about her drinking program until the next morning where she tells me she is disappointed in herself. She has embarrassed me in front of friends with her language, behavior in front of adults and kids. She will get drunk after I go to bed, be up all night, sometimes I find slightly inappropriate conversations between her and guys on social networking sites. She has told things to my daughter, which my 9 year old tells my ex about. Being honest, we have participated in sex acts with another female or couple which I’m ok with. One night she came home with one of her friends. They were drunk, but I had no idea neither one wouldn’t know I slept with both of them. So now she’s talking about going out with her again. Problem is that neither one seems to have control.. She says I have trust issues because of my failed marriage, But I’d say it’s more. I refuse to buy alcohol and she gets mad and mean. Her 18 year old daughter told me I’m too nice and need to leave her because she is manipulative. I’ve really had my fill and she doesn’t seem to care what I think. I’d guess in 5 years it won’t change and I don’t want my daughter being around a drunk.

  • I have left an alcoholic husband. We were married 8 years, and together 15. It has been 4.5 years since our divorce, and we were separated for almost 3 years at the end of our marriage.

    Sometimes i am so sad I don’t know what to do with myself. We first separated because I had found out about an affair he was having with a co-worker, and after he had disappeared with her for a weekend, the entire time he was gone that weekend I thought he was dead in a ditch somewhere and I had never cried so much in my entire life. I pictured my life without this man and it hurt more then anything I could imagine, having met and dated since we were 19 years old. When I found out about the girl he was seeing, I decided I could no longer live like that.

    After he disappeared for that weekend, I was angry, but at the time, in my eyes, he hadn’t done anything that was completely unforgivable, I didn’t know at the time he was with another girl. We tried to work on things, we both went to counseling separately, he tried to do little things to make me happy, working on the yard, cleaning the house, being kind. But he did not stop drinking, and when he drank he was angrier then ever, he was so angry with me for being mad at him for the disappearing act. He had always drank, and he always went out, but he always found a way home, so what he did really had devastated me in a way that I couldn’t really get back, but I was willing to try, despite how he kept me up at nights screaming at me, hitting me, throwing things at me, breaking things, blasting the t.v., music and turning lights on while i tried to sleep at night, and kicking me out of the house, damaging any shred of self worth either of us probably ever had.

    A few months after he had disappeared that weekend, I found out he had been seeing someone from work. That is when I decided to finally give him an ultimatum. I had been asking him to stop drinking for years. It was destructive, it was killing us both. When he claimed to be with this other girl only because he was “drunk, and didn’t know what he was doing,” I said if he wanted to continue to be married, he would have to try to stop drinking, either by seeking treatment, or doing something, making some effort. He refused, so I told him to move out. He moved out for 6 months and continued to drink, we continued counseling, but he wouldn’t even consider getting help with the booze.

    I told him it was over if he wouldn’t get help despite how much i loved him. I thought to myself, what has he not done to me yet? He spends all of our money, he had charged up thousands of dollars on credit cards that I didn’t even know he had, he got drunk enough to pass out almost every single day, he was verbally and sometimes physically abusive when he was drunk. He scared me, I never felt good, or whole or safe.

    I always felt alone, always alone because he was drunk so much of the time. I learned to live an independent life (when I could get out of the house without throwing a fit and trying to keep me from going). I would leave a window unlocked on our lower level because often when I would go to see my mom or my sister for a visit, he would call drunk and tell me if i wasn’t home in 10 minutes, he was locking me out of the house, which he did. I was married but alone.

    I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, our dogs, my friends, but when I look back on it, I realize i was alone so much of the time, it was like I didn’t even have a spouse. Whenever i asked him to come with me to a holiday, etc., he wouldn’t want to go, and if he did go, he would spend the entire time asking what time we were leaving as soon as we got there, or he would get falling down drunk and embarrass us so badly I just didn’t want him to come anymore. I can’t count the number of times I told family he was “working” just so he could sit home and drink instead.

    I couldn’t have anyone at the house because you never knew, would he be passed out in the yard or in the doorway, or would he be screaming, blaring music and fighting with neighbors, or throwing things out the window, breaking stuff in the driveway.
    Sometimes i think the cheating was a blessing because even though I was already living through hell, I am Catholic and don’t believe in divorce, or leaving someone because they have a problem, but the cheating was the final straw for me, I just never thought he would do that, though we had our problems. I didn’t see him the same any longer, he had hurt me in most ways possible.

    I loved him then, and still do with all my heart, and it was because of the affair that we separated, not because of his alcoholism. I didn’t see a way out, but when he cheated, it’s like it gave me a reason to say “ok, it’s time, and it’s ok to leave, it’s really ok.” I feel sick and sad because he’s not just an alcoholic, he’s a handsome, smart, charismatic, kind, generous and amazing man. He’s just consumed by alcohol. I blame myself, for how his drinking has increased since we first separated, he blames me too. “If you wouldn’t have left, I wouldn’t be this far gone as I am now. My life has gone downhill a million percent since you left, it’s your fault.” He always tells me, so he blames me. And I think it is true, that he would not be this far into his alcoholism if it weren’t for me.

    I can picture his smile on our wedding day and remembering it being the happiest day of my life. And he tells me it was the happiest of his too. He drank since I met him, but everyone did, we were 19, 20 and 21 years old, all of our friends went out and drank, I didn’t know. I had no experience with alcohol, i didn’t know that he could drink more then everyone else, I didn’t understand that he wouldn’t quit drinking after we got married. I thought that it was what you did when you were 21, and then when you grew up and got married, you moved onto the adult phase of life, jobs, home, responsibilities. But he didn’t stop. It just got worse and worse.

    We were unable to have children, though we started trying when we were 25. We even sold our tiny home that we loved, to buy a home with extra bedrooms thinking we would be able to have kids. By the time we were 28 we went through fertility and were still unable to conceive, though we tried fertility for 4 long years. It was too much to bear. I was emotionally dead inside, and he continued to drink. During that time, the doctor asked him if he drank and of course he said that he did, she said that it was hurting our chances (as well as his smoking), but he would not cut down, and now of course I realize that he couldn’t, he wasn’t trying to hurt me, he just couldn’t do it.

    When i found out about the affair, I told him to leave. He did for about 6 months into an apartment less then a mile away. We shared custody of our 2 beautiful lab mixes, who we adored beyond belief. they were my soft place to fall, that is for sure. And honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done without my beloved “boys.” The entire time he was gone, he drank. During the day he was kind and sweet when we would communicate by phone while he was at work, he would stop by after work before I came home and bring the garbage out and roll it back in, he would let the boys out, and basically take care of us from afar. I can still remember right before Christmas one year, he wrapped up and left a cd for me that he knew i wanted, and to this day, I can’t listen to those songs without feeling sick inside. But at night, he would sit in his apartment and drink. He would call and threaten me. He would call and harass my family. He would come to the house and fight with me, he ripped the phones out of the walls, threatened me, hit me, choked me, screamed and cried. Another day I woke up to him at 4AM looming over me as I slept, standing there with my cell phone demanding i unlock it so he could see who I had been “calling.” I tried getting it back because I was so afraid, I don’t know of what, I didn’t know but I was always afraid.

    He moved back after the 6 months he was gone, and it was one nightmare after the next. He drank more because we were still “separated,” I moved to another bedroom, and refused to have sex and he considered this not fulfilling my wifely duties, but he would not stop drinking so i refused. I was so angry at him for the pain and heartache he had caused and he just expected me to continue our lives as is even though he had made no changes?? He verbally and physically abused me and scared me so much during those next several months, One late night i woke up to him standing above me, sharpening a big butcher knife. I told him he had to leave or I would have to. He refused so I moved in with friends. I missed him so much and our dogs that I cried in the shower every single morning before work. I went to counseling and the counselor told me 30 days without contact and he then has to show marked progress of no drinking, otherwise there should be consequences. Well I had contact by phone, because I loved and missed him, and loved and missed our boys so much my heart was broken and I was so torn up inside. i would try to come home every day to see the boys and kiss them good night while he was passed out drunk and i would tell them “I’ll come get you when I get a place where I can take dogs.” I told them that for a year and a half, and eventually I would just stay at the house with them off and on, whenever I could, whenever he was gone, or passed out, and I would take them every weekend and have them at my parents house where I could keep them for the whole weekend. It’s where i should’ve been staying all along, but as with so many things, i didn’t want to put them in the middle of my shitty life, I felt too embarrassed and ashamed. One more thing to add to my list of regrets.

    After a few years, we were still at an impass, he would not stop drinking, or being crazy and abusive, he lost his job, he started dating a stripper, he drank more. I filed for divorce. He came to sign the papers and we held hands and told him we didn’t have to do this if he would just try to get help, please. He said that i was trying to take his “best friend” away from him, that friend being alcohol, and that he did love alcohol more then me. I died more inside. We cried and cried and he gave me some of his unemployment check for the house payment and we walked outside and he bought me a bunch of flowers from a sidewalk stand. He said he loved me and I said I loved him. I never wanted it to end. 4 months later, I was on my way to pick up the boys on a bright Saturday November morning, and I had been out the night before at my sister in laws birthday party when i received the phone call that my beautiful yellow lab mix had died, at only 9 years old. I had spent the night before with them and he slept so close to me that night, when I said goodbye to him in the morning, i didn’t know he would be dead 12 hours later. I had hugged and kissed him. I have never been so sad and devastated in my life. It’s now been 4 years going on 5 and I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about how I could’ve been with my dog, but he died without me. He was with his “dad,” and i realize it probably would’ve been worse if i had seen it happen, but i am still so sad. I don’t know when or where or how my life is going to start again. there are so many things i regret, i have so much guilt and sadness and devastation. I miss the love of my life, I miss my beloved dog.

    I now live with my dad, and my other dog who has survived all this time, right alongside me. I am lucky and fortunate I have a place to live and get to have my dog with me to live out his remaining years. My ex lives in our house and has now lost his job again. I help with the house payment and house expenses so i can’t afford my own place, plus it’s hard to find a place that takes pets. It is getting easier, but the heartache never goes away. I married the love of my life, I started with the life I wanted and it turned out in heartbreak. I constantly think about him and hope he is ok, and wonder when I will stop missing him and our home, our dog and our life together. He is no longer really in his right mind, even when sober. I think he has done that to his brain with his drinking. We still talk, but I can no longer watch him kill himself. He’s been to detox 4 times, and outpatient treatment once, but didn’t completed it. At this time, i know he will die of alcoholism, but only God knows where and when. I need to find a way to move on but don’t think I deserve happiness because I had a chance and it didn’t work, i don’t believe you get more chances like that in life. I wish I could help him I wish i could help myself. I have been to more counseling, to group meetings, I am on medication. I don’t know why I can’t get past this.

    I am grateful to have found this site, and grateful to all of you for sharing your stories. I didn’t know there were so many of us out there, i have felt so alone for so long.

    If anyone has the chance to get out, do it sooner rather then later. You may save yourself more heartache then you ever want to imagine. I still love my alcoholic. How long until my heart is free.

  • I have left my alcoholic husband after 15 years. I Lost my house, car, and pretty much everything including my dignity. I had to file bankruptcy, my only way out. Thank God for friends and family that gave me support. But you know what…I am so proud of myself for getting away from him. I don’t feel like I am sitting on pins and needles anymore, I am learning how to relax again. It is the best for both my son and I. Just waiting for them to change or praying for them to change is not going to work!! Run… don’t walk away. Please don’t waste the best parts of your life living with an alcoholic. It only gets worse as time goes on.. They do not mellow with age..

  • Hi my name is Dennis
    What I would like to comment on is the fact that every time I search on the www. about my problems everything that pops up is, The alcoholic husband, Living with an alcoholic husband, Divorcing an alcoholic husband. Do I have the only alcoholic Wife in the world?

    I have been married for 36 years to this lady and my life is as crappy as all of yours and I have all the same thoughts and feelings. I deal with it best in the summertime when I can disappear for the day on my FJR1300 motorcycle but the winter time is killing me.

    Anyway, enough complaining. She has an appointment on Jan.3,2012 to get help at the St. Leonards society. I sure hope she follows threw with it because she needs something I can’t help her with.

    Just curious…..
    Dennis The Menace

  • Yesterday, Scot cornered me in the kitchen with him and the two boys in the room and had what he called an intervention on me. They all agreed that they were concerned about me and said that I wasn’t the same person I was a year ago. They said I was only doing half of what I could be doing to maintain myself with my bipolar disorder. They said that having a psychiatrist and being on meds and going to AL-ANON wasn’t enough. They said they had done some research on the internet and from their conclusion they needed to have an intervention on me to get me to see a psychologist and get my meds changed to something other than Zoloft. They said that I was on Zoloft so long that I was probably immune to its affects.

    After some yelling on my part and combative arguing on their part, I eventually realized that they needed to be reassured that I was willing to do just that and that I had even looked for a psychologist a few months ago and was unsuccessful. So I told them I was willing to do just that, but that they needed to understand one thing. I told them that they needed to understand that there is no cure to what I have and that doing what they asked me to do was not going to fix everything. I also told them that I was not to only one who should seek counseling, that the kids should start going to AL-ANON and that Scot should start going to AA. Patrick said he would never do that and Cameron and Scot remained silent. By the way, Patrick was the one doing all the talking and got down on his knees as if to propose marriage to me and looked up into my eyes and said, “Please, Mom. ” So I said okay.

    Scot then handed me a piece of paper with some name and numbers on it and I then made the calls and set up two appointments with all three of them watching me.

    How humiliating! How wrong! It all doesn’t seem right at all to have me at the other end of an intervention! It should have been Scot! Not Me! Plus, he NEVER should have incorporated the two boys on this. He should have had only adults. Now the kids feel responsible. I did tell them that they each have their own minds and that they should make up their own minds as to whether or not to get counseling themselves. I should tell you that Scot did say during the combative arguing that I was “ripping this family apart”. So I had to tell the boys that was not true. That it takes more than one to keep a family together and it takes more than one to rip a family apart.

    Please tell me I am not crazy for thinking Scot was in the wrong for getting the kids involved in this. I feel as though I am losing grip on reality and have been keeping myself in the basement just to keep my sanity. I hate being in this house. Scot has brainwashed the kids and has control over them. I don’t know what I should do. I have fantasies of leaving him and the kids, but I just know he would fight for full custody of the kids and probably get full custody by using my mental illness against me and the fact that he makes more money than me.

  • Now!!! My alcoholic who is Now sober 19years, attends AA 2-3 at least a week, and works at a treatment center working with newly sober alcoholics.
    I attended Alanon for 18years and struggled to put up with his anti social behavior (unless you were a alcoholic) sense of isolation, his non-stop talk about his program, friends, etc. I developed fibromylgia with degenerative disc disease and am not able to work nor keep up with him any longer with the activities he wants to do. So, last June 4days before our 25th Wedding Anniversary he left me.
    The fibro several neurologist have told me was probably brought on by the stress of his active drinking years.
    There is No recovery for these guys unless they want it. It had always been a concern of mine that he wanted nothing to do with Married people in the programs, or ones with somewhat stable relationships. He guys were the ones that had a couple of year sober that had never had a relationship in there lives. I will repeat there is no recovery for these guys. Anyone of them at any point of their lives can go off the deep end due to stress, etc. And I don’t mean just drinking.
    I have a very enlightening article that Every Alanon or person living with a alcoholic needs to know.


    I always thought he would grow and mature in the program and in someways he has. Now, although he is 60, he is hanging again with 30-40yr going to group dinners after meetings, and Concerts!! If you were a fly on the wall he is acting just like he did when he was 35 he just isn’t drinking.


  • My husband of 25 years just died of alcoholic poisoning. He damaged his heart, liver, kidneys so badly his body just shut down.
    He tried to remain sober and the longest period he could actually maintain his sobriety was for 14 months back in 2010. However the next time he took a drink it turned into binge for nearly a year. I was already in the process of divorcing him.

    Sober, he was a woderful husband, father, grandfather…..drunk he was a horibble person.

    I’m sad and releaved he is gone and can he no longer hurt himself of anybody else.

    My advise to anybody contemplating leaving and alcoholic- is to run, run as fast as you cav and get away from the addicted monster that will destroy you and everybody else i his path.

  • Diane is correct. Run fast and far away from the alcoholic. He is a monster who only cares for the bottle.
    My husband has been an alcoholic for a year now. I am 71 years old and nowhere to go. He is now in the ranting and raving stage. He wakes up ranting, raving cursing about every little thing. After his morning drink, he laughs at nothing for awhile and then the rage returns. I am constantly accused of things I never said or done. He constantly lies to his friends and family. I no longer have friends because I am ashamed to tell them or invite them to my home. He does nothing around the house anymore. I have to do everything. It has gotten to the point that I am so depressed I can barely get out of bed. I usually pump iron 4 times a week and no longer have the desire to that. He is bringing me down with him. He looks like a homeless person but constantly degrades me because I love to dress up and look nice. It makes me feel good. I don’t look 71 and I wear skinny jeans, boots and nice blazers this time of year. He has said that I dress like a whore and am too stupid to realize that men are trying to pimp me out. He makes up stories to his family and friends about guys hitting on me and he intervenes like the hero saving the stupid naive person falling victim to these superficial complements. He is delusional and insane. I may look younger than my age but I still don’t look 30. Why would any man in his right mind be trying to pick me up. I hate this monster he has become. I am so lonely and I have nowhere to go. I worked hard to pay off my home and bills so that I could retire in comfort. So leaving my home is not an option for me. I could not afford to live in a neighborhood like I currently live in and would not be happy. This is not about material things. This is about feeling safe and comfortable. Even with the situation here, I would not feel safe living in a less desirable neighborhood, and I would not feel comfortable living in a home for battered women. I just want to stay in my own space and I think he should leave. But he won’t admit that he even drinks a lot let alone ask for help. He can not remember anything. He can not even remember to eat. But he certainly remembers how to get to the liquor store. So for you young people out there, run away. You can start a new life. I can’t start a new life. I can’t get a job because I am too old. I have a Masters degree and no one will hire me. Don’t let your life slip away from you. Run. Run.

  • I too was married to an alcoholic, who drank all his young adult life severely. Got sober aged 58, sober for 6 yrs, to start all over again. Beat lung cancer, was in perfect health, dove into the vodka bottle & drank till he no longer bathed. He stunk, only went out to get more booze. Was ashy gray, could not remember who he was, but remembered the booze. I left the 2nd time, but continued to go by & check on him as I did not divorce this time. I found him face down, in a pool of blood, blood strewn from the living room all the way down the hall way into the office. He bled out. Sad, he was smart, a wonderful sober man, a horrible drunk. Ge was 72.

  • All the stories Ive read above are identical to my life. Its very hard to make a move when a home, children and jobs will be affected, but tis time I will sacrifice all of those things for my and my childrens happiness. There will be no more scared nights of him coming in drunk verbally abusing us, there will be no more nights of taking kids out of house and sleeping on someone elses couch. Iam done! I don’t love him anymore. Its just unfortunate that the kids don’t understand, they love him unconditionally. I do not. I have been with him since I was 17 and am 41 now. His drinking started to affect all of us about 10 years ago.. 3 DWIs later other people see it too. I guess you would call him a functioning alcoholic, not functioning enough to be a husband or reliable father though. Iam done with him. I didn’t grow up like this and refuse to suffer any longer. It will be a tough road but Im ready….Ive had lots of time to prepare. Good luck everyone else

  • I found these comments to show me my future. My live in boyfriend of 7 years is an alcoholic. I watched him change from the ‘ life of the party’ guy that had energy, goals, and ambition… to an unemployed alcoholic with no goals other then video games and scoring more booze. We talk of marriage and children but I know deep down how horrible that life would be. I grew up with an alcoholic father and swore I would never expose my children to that kind of life. It is hard because I love him so much and he has never been abusive, but he is completely dependent on me. He’s only 30 years old. I know its an ugly road from here. I work so hard…honestly it disgust me when I think of his laziness. I try to save money for a house, a trip, etc. But I am spending a fortune taking care of him. I resent him already.

  • I am just sad and in shock to find I am not alone. Thank you, Wendy for this web site. I had to let it soak in for a day that I am not alone and that there is not much I can do. I have been married 18 years and I too did not realize the disease part until way later. I hear my story out of many women here. I also have had the broken promises and watch the neglect in my husband as it progresses. I thought I too can make it stop..wow. I know I have to go and Ala non as well. I pray for every person here who had the courage to share and help other women by doing this. It is not easy any way you go…but the peace your lacking will carry you through if you make the change. Again, you all touched my heart and helped me even more to recovery from this cycle that must be stopped. Thank you.

  • I am not seeing my main concern voiced on here. I am married to a binge drinker. My main concern is that when I leave, he will then spiral out of control and our children will have to be around him and ride in a car w/him. The laws do not protect kids in this situation in this state. My oldest daughter has expressed this same concern.

    I guess I am just looking for guidance as this is the only reason I stay, to protect my children.

    Thank You.

  • I have been married to an alcoholic for 8 years and together with him for 11. I have tried everything, begging, pleading, arguing, hiding keys, cutting up debit cards, I have turned into a bitch but he won’t stop. He has been in rehab twice while I worked and held down my job, I’m a cop by the way and a former DUI officer. Ironic I know.. He has driven drunk, I have hid keys and slashed tires to keep him home.

    We have no children (thank god) and we rent our house. He has had jobs sporadically and when he hasn’t I have supported us while he went and blew our money on booze. He will drink for days when he spirals out of control, he falls down, breaks things, pees himself and black out. He doesn’t remember conversations or actions he does when he is drunk. He’s not abusive but I am tired of cleaning up his messes while he goes to sleep it off for a few days.

    He’s had a total hip replacement because of drinking (at age 39) and he has a lower GI bleed because of it. He will pour blood for days after a binder and he doesn’t care. He has sleep apena because of his drinking as well.. The last straw was when I told him to stop drinking or I was leaving, this was in July of 2013. He went to AA and stopped for 6 months (or so I think) he has a prescription for Kolonapin and ate several of those daily for “a little buzz”.

    He began a sexting (and probably sexual) relationship with a fellow AA member who attended his meetings because of drug court. When I found out about it he spiraled out of control again. I left on Febuary 26, 2014 and moved into my own place. He told me he was going to Colorado to start his life over. Then on March 1, 2014 he called me upset saying he didn’t want to lose me and didn’t want to leave. I gave him an ultimatum that we would be separated for a year and when he could show me that he could be responsible we would move back in together. Three days later he gave me an ultimatum, he demanded to move into my new place or he was leaving for Colorado and a divorce. I was crushed!!!

    He has been sober (I think) for well over a week and he expected me to move him right back in. He’s still texting his girl on the side and has now told me that he might have to stay here as he cannot find a room to rent in Colorado. I feel pretty certain that he will move in with his AA girlfriend or will return for Colorado to be with her once her divorce is final. I miss him very much and I feel jealous that some tramp could take him away from me so easily. I took care of this man for 11 years and this doesn’t seem to hurt him at all.. I cannot wait to feel peace and be done with him.. I’m tired of hurting!

  • I’ve been sitting here reading all of these comments and one thing that is being said, time and time again, is that people should “follow your heart.” I’m sorry but I disagree. Following my heart is what has kept me in this alcoholic relationship with my husband for so long. My head is telling me that I deserve better, that I can make it on my own, that I should “grow a pair” and actually walk out that door for good…but then my heart tells me to “stop!” “give him one last chance (again),” “he can’t make it without you,” yada yada yada! I’m to the point where I feel that following my heart, is what got me in this situation. I was blinded to all of the warning signs while we dated. There were so many red flags flying directly in my face, but by following my heart, my mind wouldn’t allow me to see them. My advice to any man or woman who faces decisions of leaving an alcoholic spouse would be not to “follow your heart” but listen to your conscience, your mind. Let it tell you what to do. Logically play that out and step outside of the box for a moment. You will begin to see with much clear vision, if you tell you’re heart to quiet down…and turn the volumen up on your common sense. Peace and Love to all of you that are going through this. I have, and I know how difficult it is. The hardest part is the realization that this person is not who they once were and you will not begin to realize that until your mute your heart.

  • I am a soon to be 36 year old married mother of 4. ages 14,9,7, 5. myhusband and i have been married 14 years. 6 yrs ago he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. the past year he has began to become an unbearable drunk like his mother. i want to leave and i could but i want the house for myself and kids. I want the land. I am the only one who has taken the time to do anything to the house. I am a woman but i am the one who put in all new water lines electric boxes painted drywlled put in gardens built fences made shelters for animals. ME my blood sweat and tears no to mentioned blistered hands. I realize he is sick and what he has will kill him someday but im at y ends roap. not only is his drinking causing us financial problems but he hs no license 2 duis and my children dont need to be around it. hes never raised a hand to me cause i could knock him out if need be ( hes down to 120 lbs now) how do i leave or make him leave without feeling the guilt that im throwing a sick man out on his butt? he threatens to hurt himself if i leave and the next day hes always sorry but then gets drunk every night all over again. we are not intament anymore and sleep in seperate beds so whats the point of dealing with all the aggrevation and stress his drinking causes me in my life.

  • I am sitting here crying my heart and soul out. have just made the decision that I have to leave my partner of 10 years. After all of the broken promises I have to accept that he does not want to change badly enough to move forward in to a counselling program and to take the steps to stop drinking. One of my best friends lost her husband to cancer a year and a half ago and when we spoke about our grief she explained that she would do anything to have her husband back she missed him so very much. That has been weighing heavily on me because we still have times that are good and I love him so much. I have to listen to my heart I really do know this. Have answered all the questions and I know what is right not only for myself but for him too. I think he is so addicted that he can’t stop but in his own way I know he loves me. That is what is so hard.

  • Wow! So many stories and we are all the same. For me: got divorced, reconnected with high school boyfriend. Let him move in as his ex had taken everything bad he head nothing. Knew he had an alcohol problem but we were having fun. Blamed both are drinking on our divorces. Married him. Loved him, had doubts about his drinking, he really needed my insurance. He made good money WHEN he worked. He started drinking day and night. Forgot Christmas, birthday, anniversary. Almost one year married I put him on a plane for work. We had done nothing but fight for months. He quit drinking cold turkey, totaled a rental car. I had to fly out to get him. He was yellow, hep C took months to get healthy. Sober for almost 3 months. I come home from a workshop, he’s passing out drunk. Just wanted to see what would happen if he drank. Almost a year later, I come home and he’s passed out in the shower. I called 911. His blood alcohol is something like .348! And he’s conscious and talking. The dr told me he was a professional alcoholic. I told him it was the bus station or rehab. He went to rehab and a halfway house. Came home, got a job that pays hardly anything compared to his other job. Quit going to meetings and working the program. I came home from work 2 weeks ago and he was falling down drunk. Called in sick to work the next day, drunk when I got home from work. Same thing the next day. I told him he had crossed the boundary I set at rehab. He cried, begged me not to leave him, said I would cause him to drink and die. Got to the point he got nasty and said he was going to look for wife number 3. I’ve been to the lawyer. Found out he’s been drinking in secret almost since he got his first pay check at his new job. I have been paying for everything and having to ask my parents for money. I went to the lawyer last week. Scheduled to go back and sign the papers next week and then he will be served. Why do I feel so terrible?

  • I’ve been married to an alcoholic for over 13 years. He has a son from a previous marriage, who is 15 years old and has numerous diagnoses for Asperbers, depression, anxiety, ADHA, ODC, and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder. My stepson has an extremely high IQ, so does my husband. They are both gifted in many ways academically and musically. Tensions between the two households is unnerving.

    My husband will look me straight in the face and tell me he’s not drinking. I ask him to blow in my face to smell the evidence which he usually fails this test almost every time. He tells me he’s going to stop drinking but never does. He is rigid, controlling, selfish, and sits in his shit-hole feeling sorry for himself. He can’t see to hold a job down this past year. He makes great money but can’t seem to get along with his co-workers or supervisors. He’s very smart and knows exactly what needs to be done to make his projects work but is stifled by his “bosses inability to see it his way.” Most of the time, my husband is right about Project Management. He’s an expert and has been in the business of Project Management for over 17 years. His approach is rigid and hostile, curt and full of arrogance when it comes to “trying to force his strategies down the throats of others on his team. He comes home a spews his anger and frustrations on me. Then he goes for the bottle. He’s gained weight, won’t exercise, eat right, and isolates himself to the point where he has no friends. I allowed him to suck me in to his shit and I can’t take it any longer. I’m a Christian woman who has the mind-set of standing by your man, with prayers, support, patience, love and keeping the peace.

    My husband attends church, sings and plays guitar during church services, prays, reads his bible, but its still not enough for him to stop drinking and destroying his body and our marriage. More and more, my heart tells me to leave. Our house needs major work done before we can put it on the market to get the most money out of our investment. He starts projects but never finishes them. Our house looks like its under construction. I’m at the point where I don’t care. Sell it as is so I can get the hell out of this crazy-house of pure madness. I have no ties to children. I’m concerned for our pets because I refuse to give them up. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for years because I have to make myself available in case something happens with my stepson at school where school officials can’t handle him. I work only part time. I feel stuck. I feel like living on the streets would give me more peace of mind then living in this house.

    God is sustaining my mental health, emotional stability, spiritual strength and physical well being. We have no health insurance right now. I take good care of myself by running, swimming, biking, etc. I believe my husband is jealous of me and my ability to keep bettering myself while he sits on the couch, eating, drinking, sleeping, and continuing to be sucked into the negative news and constantly tuned in to his phone and pc. Its just a matter of time before I take a rubber mallet and crush my laptop into pieces because I’m sick and tired of watching him sit there for hours on Facebook, looking at new guitars and other selfish things he wants to purchase.

    I’m living in hell and only I have control to make my life better but I’m scared to death. Please, someone, give me some advice or words of encouragement. Prayers help too. I refuse to go down the road again of hopelessness.

    Thank you.


  • Listen up ladies, you have to give the drinker an alter mantom
    now if your 62 u can apply for your ssi , if your not you can go to the welfare office yes welfare office and tell them u need help, they have many programs that help and many women some of u may have o hide your shelf from your man, he has to quit, tell him u will date him until u see he has stopped absolutely no drinker what so ever they cannot not stop if u add to it and it means u cannot either, drinking is a disease so stop it, u have to make them leave or u have to leave, but there are ways, , even schools understand u are mot alone as this sites shows u, i left am still single i was scared to go i had him leave the house we put it up for sale we split it without and attorney but some of u there is free attorneys that help , sell the house and start over my gosh the fear , the mental anguish the embarrassment , the stupidity the knocking u down, u are a wonderful person or he would have married you so stay that wonderful person and leave,look at it this way would you have dated him if u knew, leave them make plans when thir gone to work , first start paying off all your credit cards yours, use his for charges, save 50 a week out to a savings account he can not get into, save save save, sell thing that is yours and save, sell down so u don;t have to move, if he says anything tell him your cleaning out old stuff , do not lt them know, then refinance the hose if u can just in Yoruba name if u can pay for it, all u have to do is tell them u found a better interest deal and sign papers alone, for one if they drink they have already out your house at risk , u can save your house and your marriage probably because it will get worse before it gets better, but i know this one thing u can do is get a restrain g order if you are legally separated, if he gets near u u can call police he going to jail and jail is not a bad thing it sometimes wakes them up not always but sometimes, while your doing alt his u can hide what your doing, now for you woman, that do not have control of the money but get money for groceries , u can say they cost extra and start to save, u can say light bill was more and save hiding little money a little at a time adds up and helps with the transition for u
    get out ladies and make them chose if they don;t u get to keep your sanity, and your love for the next man their not all bad, but DO NOT CHOSE THE SAME MISTAKE ANYONE WHO DRINKS IS OFF THE DATING MENU FOR ME

  • I am in a relationship for 3-1/2 yrs.. lived with him, moved out on him because of his insane temper and verbal abuse when drinking to me and my daughter, he has a son from prior marriage who lives with us. My daughter is 18. He is just like Lisa (2007 comment) said, wonderful, loving so much fun when he is not drinking. for a while it has been 3-4 days a week, he is not always mean, depends on his moods what the drunk state is going to be for the night.. I am sick of walking on eggshells around this man, when drinking “trying” not to get him in bad mood.. We tried again and again.. live together. I want him gone.. I have been the one to leave, my ex husband, and him 2 times before, I was a fool to think things change.. He says its not his fault people, (my daugher, his ex-wife) get him angry .. they don’t get it.. and he flys off the handle and freaks out.. (all the time!!).. no of course for the past couple days he is I love you, I don’t mean things I say when fighting.. blah blah blah.. Our lease is up in August and I told him to leave, I moved to the spare bedroom. I just need to get this out.. because as I write this.. I was previously thinking, things can be ok if he goes to AA or whatever.. but you know what? things won’t change.. Its my life and my daughters and I am tired of being on the edge waiting for it to happen again.. My daughter seriously thinks I will forgive him “like always” and how can you let him treat you that way mom.. its awful.. I feel better getting this all out.. thank you all for your stories.. they have been an amazing help to me.

  • I’ve just left my alcoholic husband. We live in India, where the term divorce is highly looked down upon. Financially we are currently very rich, living in a large palatial house. I have a 3 yr old daughter. We live with his parents and his father is supporting us as well taking care of our the financial requirements. My daughter is extremely fond of her gr parents and her father, she doesn’t get to see his alcoholic bad side, he drinks but he plays nicely with her. I’m very scared abt my future 10 yrs later because he doesn’t wrk. and because I am provided for, it’s expected that I stay around my husband looking after him. He has gone to 3 rehabs and no improvement. Also my mother in law gives me a really nasty time n she tries to create problems between my husband n me. I am scared abt my future because both of us don’t wrk and my husbands father is also ageing and will soon retire. I’m 33 years old. My husband also gambles and till now no financial security has been allocated for my daughters future.

    I hv moved back with my parents but my daughter misses her house her father and her grandparents terribly and it tears my heart to see that. She meets them once a week but once the divorce proceedings begin I’m unsure of how things will turn.
    Kindly advice on how to explain things to her. Also how to handle her behavioural changes – she has started biting her nails, become v cranky and aggressive .

  • When you dread the thought of coming home after working an exhaustive, terrible day. The one place you want to go to; your safe haven where you sleep, relax and unwind. When you would rather stay and pick up an extra 3 or 4 hours after working for 12, that is when it is time for you to get out and move on. When you truly dread the thought of spending time with your alcoholic spouse you need to Cowboy/ Cowgirl Up And git! Or you can stay and perish for the cause. Just remember, Martyrs only get one thing in life…. Dead! Don’t let your heart be a Martyr nor your mind and especially not your body!

  • I don’t know how to approach my situation. It seems pretty tame after reading all of your posts. Been married nearly 30 years, two grown up children and a husband I love. He is a great father, most of the time a good husband, but a compulsive liar as far as drink is concerned. I
    He doesn’t work and spends the day drinking though tells me he doesn’t. He controls the drink well enough to be a be able to hold a conversation and sound convincing when he says he is not drunk, just very tired (he has some health issues which do make him tired so I sometimes doubt myself when he swears he is sober). He never gets aggressive and treats me well. But he doesn’t eat properly, he doesn’t help at all in the house, he spends each day with his brother (an alcoholic just relapsed after his third stint in rehab) and basically it feels as though I am now just the housekeeper, not a wife.
    I have threatened to leave, but each time he says I am being silly, why would I throw everything away. And of course, to tell someone that he drinks hard but treats me well would make most people wonder why I am so unhappy. I get panicky at family events in case he acts ‘tired’ and because of his health issues I feel enormously guilty about even thinking of leaving. Often I talk myself into sticking with it, but more and more these days I am beginning to wonder if this is all I have to look forward to. I know I sound selfish compared to some of the horrific tales on this site, but I just do not know what to do for the best, his, mine and our families.

  • My dad was an alcoholic. I’m of the opinion you shouldn’t marry one in the first place. I say this with mixed feelings, because if my mom hadn’t married my alcoholic dad… I would not exist.

    My old man would get very aggressive when he had the liquor in him. He’d get out of bed in the middle of the night and drink from his secret stash. Somehow he managed to keep it mostly hidden from his colleagues at work.

    My mom ended up divorcing when I was 6. At this point, she had already endured him for 15 years.

    My dad set a great example… of how NOT to parent.

    I haven’t seen him in 20 years and I intend to keep it that way.

  • Reading this post has opened my eyes and given me courage. For soooo long I thought I was alone in thinking something was wrong with me to love an alcoholic. I have always felt the need to be loved and to feel safe. I divorced my first husband after 14 yrs of drinking and abuse. Two yrs later i met and married my second husband, my best friend. I soon discovered he is a binge drinker. When he is sober he is the best husband in the world, but drunk, I do not want to be around him. I am now joining a support group and getting help for myself. I am learning to love myself and learning to detach with love from my husband. I am learning to make healthier choices. Thank you all for being brave enough to share. I take one day at a time and I know God will take care of me.

  • Hi I have questions my husband of 11 years is very bad alcoholic? In lately he’s bin very angry and when he’s drunk he calls him self a devil what is that mean please help?????

  • I have been married to a wonderful man for the past 18 years. We have a 17 year old daughter. My husband is an alcoholic through and through. He went to rehab and was sober for 9 months. Started drinking again. He stops for 3 months and starts again each time. Each time he starts drinking, he binge drinks that it has come so bad that he looses all sense of control, of himself. He stop now since the beginning of June and has started again to drink on Friday, 16th August. I love him so very much and I know deep inside things will never change. He always says that things will change. He lies, he hides his alcohol. He told my daughter this morning that he will not drink this week then when I phoned him, I could here he was drunk. My daughter has gotten so use to this but I feel that I have let her down as a mother by not doing anything. Please can someone help me and tell me what I must do/

  • If you are not married, do not marry an alcoholic man. If he does not get help and only he can do it, you will end up disliking him and finding him gross. You will be on a emotional roller coaster for life!

  • I would tell you my story, but after reading all of yours, I could take a piece from each of what you all said your lives were like and mine would be the same. I too came here looking for the magic answer that I needed to leave my alcoholic boyfriend. Keyword being boyfriend and yes I am smart enough not to marry this man. But living with him and staying is the same as being married to him. I did go to alanon and found that their solutions were heavily based on religion and gave tools to stay, which I find contradictory because God would never want anyone to suffer. I also found it funny that the AA meetings were held upstairs in a Church and the alanon meetings were held downstairs in the basement. Closer to hell I guess! We didn’t even get coffee and cookies like the drunks did. I think what most of us need is a step by step guide to getting the hell out. So, here it goes. As I am writing this, I am hoping by the end I will take my own advice and you will too.

    1. Imagine yourself sitting at a red light. You wait around patiently for it to change and it doesn’t. Each time you think that you are going to get your turn, the light goes green on the other side and the other drivers keep it moving while you stay behind. This is your life right now. You wait at the red light because that is what you have been trained to do. But you really stay at that red light because you know the law could be watching or you could go and risk getting hit by another car. That is your fear. The law is your alcoholic partner and the other car is what you are afraid of happening if you just decide to go. Now other cars have come up behind you and see that the red light is not changing so, they won’t wait and go around you. Maybe one or two of them will blow the horn at you until you go. Those are your friends and family. The ones that go around you are the ones that see you sitting stagnant in a horrible situation and can’t help you. The ones that blow the horn are your family that wants to push you to do what is right and fair. Nothing in life should control you or stop you from being happy. As you sit alone at that light, look both ways, push on the gas pedal and just go.
    2. Money makes the world go round. We can’t live without it. But you would be surprised at how much money will come to you if you allow it to. Once you stop using money as an excuse and telling yourself that you can’t survive without their help, you will have what you need to live. You are not thinking clearly when you are floating around in their beer bottle. Your thought process about money is what is stopping it from coming in. I know that staying with family is not ideal always because we are adults and should be able to stand on our own, but asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Stay in a shelter or apply for government financial help. It’s out there for a reason. If you think I am wrong, just remember that they bury people, not money.
    3. Take a look in the mirror. Aren’t you tired of the black eyes? The bloody nose? The busted lip? The painful bruises all over your body? Even if they don’t hit you, aren’t you tired of allowing those words to damage your self worth? Don’t you know that when they say these ugly things to you that they really are talking about how they feel about themselves? They do to you what they wish they could do to themselves, but are too much of coward and selfish to do so. You are not a punching bag and you are not a doormat. Just know that you can do better than this for yourself and they cannot.
    4. Your children are a reflection of you. We all love our children so much, but yet we allow them to live in this hell. You may think that they are too young to remember or they will remember and not follow your mistakes. Sadly most children repeat the mistakes of their parents. Now imagine your daughter coming to see you with black eyes and a husband reeking of booze. Break the cycle and show your children that this behavior is not tolerable. Stand up for your children now before it is too late.
    5. Feel guilty eating an extra piece of cake and not leaving behind a drunken mess. They want you around because they know that you have put up with their crap for so long so what is the problem now? They know that most will not and they need someone to take it out on because they can feel their bodies giving out. They need someone to blame. An excuse to drink. Well, you don’t have to be that excuse or person to blame.
    6. Remember that red light? Sure someone will eventually come along and fix it, but that is not your job and you can’t wait around until they do. Fixing someone is not your job no matter how much you love them. They have to fix themselves in order to love who they are and until then, they will never love you. If they do love you it may just be because you stuck around and allowed them to keep drinking and not dealing with their issues. That is why they jump from one partner to the next because each time they get a clean slate and a chance to start all over again to see how much the next person will deal with. When they won’t deal, they come back to you because you did. So if he is telling you that he can do better and find someone else, just smile and know that is not true. But you can find better.
    7. Do you remember when you were little and one of your girlfriends invited you over for a sleepover that coming weekend and you had your bags packed since you hung up? Sometimes you need to leave little by little. Pack a suitcase and leave it in your car. Put valuables in boxes and put them in storage. You don’t have to wait for that big blow up to happen to march out the door because that could put your life in danger or cause you to do something that lands you in jail. Leaving during a fight makes us vulnerable. We sit around regretting the argument and listening to their tears and begging us to come back and since all our stuff is at home/hell, we go back. But if you prepare ahead of the inevitable fight, it makes it easier not to go back. You already have your clothes, your stuff is safe so you can be away for a while and decide your next plan.
    8. Our beloved pets. nobody wants to leave them behind, but if you know that you are leaving, find them homes in advance. It’s hard to let go, I know, but they don’t need to get hurt or killed because the drunk decides to get back at you. But if you do leave in a hurry, take them with you if you can.
    9. When you find yourself in a hole, just reach up. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to help you if you accept the help. Many therapists know that it is very hard to get someone to leave a situation. But if you are serious enough, they will help you through.
    10. Life is about change for the better not for the worse. We only have a short time on this earth and the time that is given to us is too precious to waste. Don’t think about how many years you have lived with this. Instead, think of how many years you are going to live without it.

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