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Inspiration January 10, 2007

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:

ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE WHEN IT IS THE RIGHT TIME
TO LEAVE AN ALCOHOLIC SPOUSE.

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.

545 Comments
  • Carol
    Carol
    December 6, 2012

    Where to start? I appreciate everyone being so honest all of your comments have helped me a lot. I have been reading for awhile and decided to share my story. I have been with my alcoholic boyfriend or fiance for 3 years I am 42 years old. I sit here and wonder how in the world did I ever get in this mess a living hell at times. I was naive to addiction and how severe one can be addicted to alcohol. I have never done drugs and drank some through my life and I have never been in an abusive relationship or one with an addict so with that said I never realized that people could be soooo manipulative and yes my “fiance” is very affectionate which i have always wanted in a relationship and never found he is funny, smart, very loving when he is sober with that said the reason I have stayed in this relationship is because how sorry he is when his verbal abuse starts it has now turned to physical and he shows a lot of love. Its like Dr jeckyl and mr Hyde I do believe their is an underlying bipolar too or something. My boyfriend has drank since he was a teenager we knew each other as teenagers and really liked each other then got together 22 years later. We have lived together for 3 years also so I have seen the roller coaster the lies and manipulation. I believe in my heart and after reading all these comments the common thread is they are so loving when sober. I am starting to believe that a lot of it is manipulation they want to be loved they dont want to be alone so they have mastered the art of manipulation a normal person would not even think of. They know how to keep someone what lies to tell how to show affection and so on that is part of their life. My boyfriend is a severe alcoholic at times when he drinks heavily he is psychotic i have never seen anything like it. The verbal abuse has gotten way worse he loves to say f**** you B***** all night long he throws things constantly. It has gotten to the point I am scared he threw something recently it hit the side of my head and ripped my ear…I was going to go the emergency room he was so mean and hateful I despise him…luckily it did heal and i stopped the bleeding, He has pushed me thrown me to the ground thrown everything you can think of at me the physical abuse did not really start until the last year and this is when the real hell has started
    A year ago my boyfriend got his third DUI and spent 6 months in jail. He wanted to stay sober so convincing he said all the right things he continued his sobriety after he got out because he was on SCRAM it detects alcohol. He was sober for 10 months in the mean time we were planning a big move out of state and planning our wedding his family had land etc. on top of it I have two young boys one has autism. I felt real uneasy about all of this even though he quit drinking I just did not feel he was out of the woods. Make a long story short the day we arrived he bought alcohol and it has been hell since. His drinking episodes have intensified he is down right crazy and delusional. He has to drink everyday when he does work construction he cuts down and his mind seems to be ok…but when he goes on his drinking binges and drinks day and night it is utterly madness!!!!! I absolutely do not want my children around this I know it has affected my one with autism. I do not want myself around this either the next thing he throws could kill me and you never know when that will happen. His anger has intensified cause i have not talked about marriage and he knows i want to leave. All my stuff is here because all his money goes to the alcohol he just now started working again…I am not working to pay for his alcohol and as much as he drinks it is very expensive. Right now I am waiting on my tax return to get everything out of here I am not going to be left with nothing…He has ruined things and I let it happen…I feel guilt for even putting my children in this situation….Right now he is out of state working until the new year I will make my plans to leave. I have to be very careful if he even has the clue I am leaving it will be crazy and I might get hurt.
    I have come to the conclusion that he will never quit drinking…I did some research and I was curious of what the percentage of alchoholics that stay quit….it is extremely low only about 3 to 5 percent and those are the ones that have 5 years…. it will never get better for us with alcohol….yes there are great times and I love him when he is sober….but you know what drinking is part of him too…I have to love the abusive man also and I despise that side of him…I have so much stress and anxiety from him I can tell my health has gone down…..I agree with someone who mentioned they were addicted to his love…yes I feel that and I will grieve over what we had but lately all I see are the drunken rages and the good times are fewer in between now….
    I know how hard it is to leave and I know its about love. I thought this man was the love of my life but I want a better life I want to live how i was before we got together…Luckily i met him again later in life and know who I am because he would have ripped my self esteem apart….good luck to all in this position no one else understands but I do believe there is better out there for all…and I must do this for LIFE itself

  • Carol
    Carol
    December 6, 2012

    I wanted to say something the two children I have are from a different father not my boyfriend. One more thing when the alchoholic does quit for a period of time and returns to drinking it is even worse then ever they taught this in his rehab classes and I have witnessed it pure craziness!!!! and even if he were to quit again that is hell also the recovering alcoholic is really difficult with so many issues. I believe they have to be clean for more then 2 years to have any kind of healthy relationship

  • Linda
    Linda
    December 15, 2012

    Thirty two years now married and living with an alcoholic.
    He goes to work every day and pays the bills.
    He does not hit me or verbally abuse me.
    He does his own laundry and makes his own dinners.
    I sleep in a separate bedroom.
    I am not an alcoholic nor do I smoke or do drugs.
    He is smart and articulate charming and brilliant. Sober.
    When he comes home from work he drinks whisky and denies it.
    He becomes sad and cynical, racist and confused.
    He frightens me terribly with his negativity.
    I am unhappy being in the same room with him.
    My daughter won’t come home.
    He lies.
    He cheats.
    He hurts himself and a man who can’t take care of himself is incapable of taking care of his family.
    I’m in college now so I will be able to support myself.
    I’m 53 years old.
    I’m in good shape.
    Mentally and physically thankfully.
    I’m taking steps to get away from him.
    To live again.
    And I am absolutely terrified.
    And delighted.
    Love is the answer.
    To love ourselves will be our salvation.
    Courage to all!

  • maureen s.
    maureen s.
    December 18, 2012

    I last wrote on March 11, 2011 at this site; now, almost 2 years later, I am finally leaving this relationship once and for all. my alcoholic has a desire to kill me in my own home; he revealed this to his psych intake nurse in October; the police alerted me to this intention; he’s received medical assistance since; I’ve filed for divorce and I hope to never see him again or talk to him again. God did for me what I was unable to do for myself. Prayer helped to move me forward and out of this relationship. I continue to work with a few women in Al Anon re. their recovery. My recovery has come full circle. My greatest hope is to never again be involved with an active alcholic; this is one mean disease without a cure and most of the recovery is not truly experienced until many lives are destroyed. I pray for all those still suffering; I know my suffering will continue until the day I die; the question is how much of my days do i want to focus on that suffering.

  • anan
    anan
    December 21, 2012

    I’m sitting here crying and thinking about leaving my alcoholic boyfriend who I’ve been living with for 7 years. Should I do it? I’m 32 yrs old.

  • Reese
    Reese
    December 22, 2012

    There is a devil. It’s name is Alcohol. I really hope there is a God to help all of you out there.

    I’m not married. My boyfriend of 4 years is an alcoholic. He is a zombie. He finds little to no pleasure in everyday things. He neglects me to spend time with alcohol and every falldown in our city that will join him. He’s not a terrible person. He has never raised his hand against me. He takes me out to dinner on weeknights. He is however, the most selfish person I’ve ever met. He’s also about to turn 40 and is still a mama’s boy. He does say hurtful things to me at times. Much of our time together involves him sleeping. He’s always tired.

    He cannot go a day without alcohol. He binges every single weekend he has off. Once he runs out of alcohol…or the bars stop serving, he goes to the after-hours. He then uses cocaine, Special K or who knows what else.

    Like a lot of you, I feel like I’m dealing with Jekyll and Hyde. I’ve begged him to go to AA. Encouraged him to go and offered to go for support. I don’t drink – I never have. As far as I’m concerned, he couldn’t get a better partner to not abuse alcohol.

    I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions. Most of the time I’ve been depressed or angry. I felt rage against him and bitterness. I believe he will never change. I didn’t always think this but he has not once sought to get help in 4 years. Many women have left him. I feel stupid for sticking around for so long. I want to believe there is someone better out there for me but most of the time I just feel like I could do worse. Believe it or not – a number of people I’ve dated have had substance abuse problems – even though it’s not my lifestyle. Even when I met a man who did not drink at all, like me, it turned out he had a gambling addiction. I’m almost 40 and I’ve dated a lot of people. I wish one person out there could tell me that they found happiness with someone. This is why I haven’t left him. At least I think it is. Why jump out of frying pan and into a fryer?

    Ladies, I hear (read) what most of you are saying. I KNOW I will never marry this man. I’ve worked hard for what I have and I won’t share it with him so he can drink it away. I feel like I have no where to go.

  • Angie
    Angie
    December 28, 2012

    I have a questions to everyone. HOW did you leave? I have been with my boyfriend for over 10 years. We recently purchased a home in March 2012. Immediately after, everything went to shit. He had been sober for many years, most of our relationship. He began drinking secrately after we had our son in Feb. 2011. I did not become aware until I found him passed out on the floor of our new home when he was supposed to be working on the home. He has made numerous half ass attempts to stop but each round of drinking is getting worse and worse. I know I need to leave. He has refused to move out of the house. But I have my son, dog and two cats in the home. I don’t know where to go with all of them. The home is in both of our names. Is there any way to get him out of the house? He is verbally abusive and trashes the house. He has not hurt me physically, but I feel that it may be headed there. He is different person when he’s drunk. NOT the man i love. He is rude, sloppy, lazy and just plain mean. I want him out of the house so I can sell it. He will not agree to sell the house, or to move out. I have no where to go, and no money to pay for a mortgage and an apartment. I don’t knwo what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Deb
    Deb
    December 29, 2012

    My husband is an addict and an alcoholic and I want to get the h*ll out of this relationship asap buyt don’t know where to start. He has been on 130mg of methadone for the past 10 years and was pretty functional until about 3 maybe 4 years ago then started slowly progressing downhill. First off, he was a union electrician and made good money but the economy turned and he would sit for months without work so finally stopped paying dues. He got arrested with a bottle of prescription pills. That is when I should have left but didn’t. He ended up getting probation and SLAP and losing his license for 6 months. During that time his mother died from Lupus and I got pregnant with my 2nd son who is now 4. I just realized my son’s age pretty much coincides with my husband’s deterioration. Since then he has been working earning much less $$. His mom’s death turned him into a different person and his pride was affected by losing his union job and contributed to the low self worth he has now. We now have two wonderful sons age 9 and 4 who have remained blissfully unaffected for the most part until my husband’s father was killed in a car accident on Oct 1st 2012. That’s when everything changed for the worse. He was the only support my kids and I had and my husband’s substance abuse has gone from bad to out-of-control. Drinking and abuse is daily now. My life has become nothing but anxiety and worrying about what to do to save my family. Unlike many of you, I do not love my husband and could care less if he fell off the earth. He is a terrible husband and only occasionally rises to being a so-called father, mostly chooses to sit around doing nothing but smoke cigarettes and act like an abusive a**hole. Right now it’s snowing and if he doesn’t shovel I guess we are stuck. Anyway, I haven’t worked in the 10 years we’ve been married. My husband received 20k from a life insurance, 8k of which we used to buy a decent vehicle plus I paid the mortgage and some bills. He is supposed to get another 30 or 40k soon part of which I want to use to hire a lawyer. The house we live in is in both our names but my credit is so bad I don’t even think it would matter if I lost it to foreclosure. The only place I have to go is my 79 year old mother’s house which is not exactly in good shape because until this past summer she had like 20 cats there. My best friend and I managed to get all but 5 of the cats out of there but much of the house is not in good shape because of cat piss. My old bedroom and the basement are the only rooms that are currently livable. My best friend also died this past summer of cancer and I miss him like I can’t believe. He had lived in my mom’s basement the past 2 years after converting it into a small apt with his own money. His dying wish was to fix up her house so my kids and I could move back there and get away from my husband. I had a friend of my best friend move in and he is fixing up the biggest bedroom for my kids to live in. He refinished the floor and now has to spackle and prime/paint the walls where the cat piss was. So far the cat smell seems much better tho the polyurethane is still fresh. My kids are so happy and beautiful. I am so sad about their lives being destroyed by this a**hole. I have to get them out of this situation before it’s too late. No father is better than an addict/alcoholic one. Where do I start? I went to an AlAnon meeting last week and didn’t find it very helpful. Someone please help us..

  • Elise McCarty
    Elise McCarty
    January 4, 2013

    Reading this website and many of the comments has given me the final helping of strength I need to ask my alcoholic husband to leave – immediately. And he will peacefully. He’s a good man but he’s a drunk and as we all know, their drunken state and its residual effect on us cancels all the good out – and eventually in ourselves. So, there’s nothing left but the drunk and your anger/frustration/misery. The comment that tipped the scale for me is (something like), “If you’re strong enough to stay, you’re strong enough to leave.” Boy is that ever true! Read that again! I still love him but I know it’s ALL OKAY to leave someone you love. You never have to stop loving them even though you may never see them again. There’s no rule that says that. And if you really love them, you cannot enable them. It will make you sicker than they are and nobody wants that. You just have to love yourself and your children if you have them because they should always come first. To those who have children from a pervious marriage – do not marry an alcoholic and if you have children – leave him/her. Otherwise, you will condemn THEM to misery later on in their life as they will follow the pattern you set. Walk away, no matter what. I know – heh – this is my second marriage to an alcoholic so I know what I’m in for. Today I wailed and sobbed driving home because I wasn’t a nice person anymore. I kept crying out, “I don’t want to be mean!” I got all nice again after the first divorce then I let myself fall into denial and married another alcoholic. Thank you for the website and thanks to all of you for posting your most painful situation. May God bless all of us and heal us and our children to walk in a clear and safe path.

  • Patty
    Patty
    January 4, 2013

    Finally making moves to get away. I have had five really bad years in my 20 year marriage. My husband has anger management issues- becomes violent and rages. I have been shaken, throttled, shoved, bruised. He started medication for depression last year. Now he only seems to “lose it” when he drinks too much. But he does it over and over. He got drunk and broke a hotel room door when we were on a romantic get away to try and start over. That was in October. Now on New Years Eve we had a strategy- one drink an hour, spacing out drinks. He immediately starting pounding drinks, got drunk and lost his temper at me. I can’t even face the friends who were hanging out with us.
    He has been to AA once. His psych MD and all the therapists tell him he has to stop drinking or at least moderate it. But he keeps drinking.
    Finally I told him its over. Just can’t deal with anymore disappointment and fear. I half way hope this will be his wake up call. I told him calmly that I am divorcing him and we will sit down this weekend to discuss how to proceed. I am not offering advice or suggestions. I want him to stew in his thoughts. He is quiet and thinking. I am ready this time- I am 45 but I have a good job and I take care of myself. I am not scared to be alone. My kids are 16 and 18- only one living at home. She has special needs and she isn’t close to her dad because he has trouble accepting her. I suspect she will be ok when he moves out. Incidentally I have kicked him out before and he always comes back and swears it will be better.
    I feel everyone’s pain- I love him. He has been my friend. I will miss him but I am lying here with bruises and scrapes from the New Years Eve fight and I love ME too! I know I will want to waver but I will keep reminding myself of what I have been thru.
    Wish me luck! I so want my old life back before all this happened but its time to accept that it is gone and I can’t bring back what we had in the past. I can only move forward .

  • Jasmine Berry
    Jasmine Berry
    January 5, 2013

    My name is jasmine berry, and i am a 17 year old step daughter of an alcoholtic. for three to four years i have watched my mom suffer with an alcoholtic spouse i am writing to you because i need advice for my mom. He has called me so many things such as a spoiled brat,a liar and many other things i cant say. He has said multiple times that mom is the reason for him drinking. Mom has left him multiple times and come back to him. I am just so tired of it so tired and i want mom to change her life around and live to be very happy. I love her very much and i have already seen most of the best parts of my mom go away from her when she is with him.

  • Anne
    Anne
    January 10, 2013

    I am in the Military and my husband is an alcoholic. He didn’t use to drink except a couple of beers on a rare occasion. We have been through a lot of ups and downs some my fault, some his. I joined the Military to support our family because he was not able to find steady work. Over the years (20) he has not held a job for long. He was the one who stayed home with the kids when I deployed or had to travel for work. It seemed like throughout our married life, everytime he stepped back from a responsibility, I stepped up because it had to be done. Our oldest is now graduated from college and on his own, our second child is still in college. My husband for the past 11 years has not held a job at all. The excuse was so that he was available to drive the children where they needed to go. Now there is no excuse, he just sits at home all day everyday watching tv. He makes dinner once in a while and cleans the kitchen up. Mostly he just sits around. He goes on drinking binges where he will polish off a 12 pack or two of beer a day for three or four days then be sick for the next day or two. He has lost his license due to a DUI in my brand new car while I was deployed. He still drives himself to the store to buy beer and more beer even when he is drunk. All of our vehicles are in my name and registered to me. I live in on-post housing. The way I see things is that he just doesn’t care about anything although he tells me over and over how much he loves me. Do I love him, yes. I also hate almost everything about him, it is like having a child that will never grow up and take responsibility of their lives. He contributes nothing to our home. I ask him to get help. I ask him to do something. I ask him to get a job. Nothing ever changes. I have worked since I was 13 years old and I am so tired. I tell him that his behavoir is killing me slowly because of the stress. I have arthritis in most of my joints and fibromyalgia. I hurt all day every day and dealing with his drinking is becoming to much. I can’t afford to move out and I can’t make him leave because I am truly concerned for his well being and I don’t think he can take care of himself anymore. He is my childrens father and I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I am at the end of my rope and don’t know what to do!

  • Lost
    Lost
    January 16, 2013

    Ok, I kicked my alcoholic husband out for the first time ever. We are 11 weeks pregnant. He has agreed to start going to a therapist – he brought it up – but I don’t feel I can let him come home yet… what am I waiting for from him? What do I wait for? I told him it was too soon to come home when he asked if he had to find a place to stay last night. It has been two nights so far and of course I miss him incredibly but I do not miss the demon and I will not live with the demon any more. I need advice from those who have been there before please.

  • squirrel
    squirrel
    February 1, 2013

    I am at a crossroads, I have been with my boyfriend for 5 months and thought I had finally met the love of my life. Around Christmas everything went down hill and he couldn’t control his drinking binge drinking for 2-3 days and then of course lying to me about it. We are both in our 30’s and he has lost his license for DUI’s he plays the you are the best thing that has happened to me card all the time. I told him last week that I can’t continue with this relationship anymore because of how healthy it is making me unless he seeks counseling he said he would go but of course has yet to make an appointment. I don’t let him manipulate me or guilt me I simply walk out. Unfortunately, his mother is the classic enabler and always has an excuse. “He goes to bed early because he works hard, or he’s tired so it wouldn’t have taken much to have an effect on him” He comes from a family that doesn’t deal with anything and I am the complete opposite and a very aggressive person. I love him so much and can’t say anything bad about him except the drinking. He’s never mean to me but I can’t help but thinking after reading all these posts that it’s only going to take one time for all of that to change. He says part of him wants to go to counseling and part of him doesn’t that it doesn’t work and hes afraid of failing. I don’t know whether to encourage him to go and be a positive influence on him or just walk away from him because deep down inside I know there is nothing I can do for him.

  • judie
    judie
    February 15, 2013

    I have been married to an alcoholic for 15 years.His behavior has gotten so dangerous and horrible that I am considering leaving..although some days I swear I will just drive away.last summer was horrible.His sister had been murdered and I found out that for a number of years he had been trying to “sell” me..I filed a police report .My alcoholic husband called our family doctor and went on a character defamation tangent about me.Last December he and his alcoholic buddies decided to replace the element in the hot water heater..they used the draining hose to whip around the basement,then used exactly 17 towels to wipe up the mess..with the shop vac sitting there.I took what I could out of the basement for a special garbage pick up.I am disabled and can only do so much.He proceeds to call his elderly relatives ( in their 80″s) to take out the soaking wet stuff.When I intervened he yelled at me so viciously I ran into the bedroom trying in a panic to find something to defend myself with..Forgetting my cell phone was in plain sight.This is just the tip of the ice berg.The other day his verbal abuse got me so upset I backed into a local utility truck.No damage but it showed how he can upset me.I am getting counseling ,going to al-anon, and going to doctors.I was discussing the syndrome alcoholics get when they are nearing dementia with our family doctor, mine is showing signs.When cleaning out one of his boxes of papers I found medical bills from when he was admitted for treatment before we were married..several times…he never told me about this but when confronted with the papers said he likes to drink.This is just the tip of the ice berg for his behavior..i tried to get him help but he said he would rather talk to his alcoholic buddies..Meantime lawyers cost money so I am saving up but since i am disabled am trying to find subsidized housing,which I am not qualified for because I own a house….plus there is a one to 2 year waiting list.I would like to move out by my daughter and her family, 3 hours away….thanks for “listening” and letting me vent.

  • Searchingforpeace
    Searchingforpeace
    February 15, 2013

    My husband is an alcoholic. He stops drinking for months but then will go on a binge where he drinks until he passes out. His mannerisms and behaviors while drunk repulse me. I cannot stomach having him in my sight. When he is out, I cringe thinking tht he is walking in instead of being out all night. We are 33 and have been together or 18 years. I just recently or to this point that I cannot stand it. i just want him to leave but he says he won’t. I yell at him when Hes drunk in front of the kids because I can’t control my anger and contempt for him. But my oldest (4) doesn’t knw daddy a drunk so he just sees me as the lunatic screaming. This makes me so sad and upset. My boys are the reason I won’t put up with it anymore. Jut needed to get that out, I feel like I can’t tell anyone anything as I fear they will hold it against my husband. He’s a great man when sober, the kindest person you can meet. Thanks for listening.

  • KC
    KC
    February 18, 2013

    I’ve read through numerous posts. I can’t believe what I’ve read. They all sound like my situation rolled up into one. I’ve been married for 13 years, have a beautiful ,intelligent 10 yr old son. My husband is a business manager for the same company for 33 yrs. We have had our trials with life and family, as all marriages do, but the biggest demon I live with daily is his alcoholism. Soon as he comes home he breaks open a 12pk beer at 4 pm. I no longer do barn chores because I felt I was covering for him to just sit and drink. Instead he has figured out right timing to go do chores, get in truck about 7 pm and head out drive to local gas station for more beer. Downing anywhere from an 18-24 pk each night.

    Over past couple yrs he’s becoming later for work, still buzzed and smelling of beer. His employees have approached him and myself about it. Along with many other friends. … I’ve heard every excuse under the sun for his drinking, that’s not including the excuses he uses to get me to drive him to gas station for more beer when he’s too wasted. Its been called, tobacco, lottery tickets, butter, fuel, you name it…. recently I discovered he was waiting until id fall asleep and make call to someone to deliver him more “koolaid”. This delivery person caught me this past Christmas and talked to me about iit, said he told my husband that his wife would be upset and his response is “I don’t give a sh*t what she thinks.” … the delivery person has seen what’s going on and told me he will no longer answer the calls. That my husband needs help.

    We also have a farm with a lot of animals, who’s needs are being neglected due to lack of moneyand ability to stay sober. I realized imm covering and picking up the peices where he slacks.

    I’m not allowed to wwork, using the son as reason why because I also homeschool. I can’t go to store alone, have no friends except the ones I hide online. He’s pushed our family away… I now understand something must change. My name is on NOTHING, I have NO money, my son now realizes his dad has a problem. He even told his dad last week he treats beer like his wife. We never see him empty handed and he is teetering on physcial abuse after emotional and mental. My son and I have beenn stabbed with a fork, I caught myy husbands hand around my sons throat last week threatening him and my son screaming and crying leave us alone. There’s so much more I can’t list, but something must change.

    I love my husband with all I have, so does our son, but I’m worn. My detachment and protection is turning into anger and hate. I’m a smart, woman with college education. I recently applied for a job (got silent treatment over that). I believe the doors to freedom are opening up. I can’t live wiht his demons any longer. My son will be hurt but he’s already being hurt. I feel we are prisoners in our own home with very little food except what we grow, hunt, and butcher ourselves.

    I thank everyone who’s posted for helping me see I’m not the one with the problem, I’m not crazy, I’m just in love with an alocholic. It must stop. I’ve begged, pleaded, threatened and nothing worked… I’m his second marriage, and his daughter and I talk still, I’ve discovered it was an. Issue with his first marriage of 16 yrs.

  • Stephanie M
    Stephanie M
    February 19, 2013

    I have been with the father of my child (and one on the way) for almost 5 years. I have done the “threaten” move. I have left him for days, weeks, months…and the longer I leave him, the longer he stays sober.

    In Aug of 2012, he was in a near death accident, and was impaled. I helped get him back on his feet, and I really thought things would be different. He wanted to have another baby, and I said yes.

    Over time though, he started getting back into it. I stayed because I hoped that instead of leaving him, I could help him. He needed me, and so I did what I thought was right.

    He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sometimes. He’s rarely abusive, it depends on the type of alcohol he drinks.

    He just becomes mean, or seems mentally challenged. He drinks when he is supposed to be watching our son, and sometimes I worry that he will pass out or try something “fun” and get my son hurt.

    He takes off to his friends house at least once a week, comes back smelly and stumbling.

    I am at a point financially where, if he leaves, I don’t know if I will make it by.

    I love the man he is when he is sober, hes funny, and intelligent. The only problem is he is a doomsayer, and the fear that the world will end soon is what gets him drinking. I have said all the write things, and all the wrong ones…I just feel so stressed, so used, and so tired. I try telling him how I feel, and even sober, he gets mad at me for being so upset about it, threatens to leave ME and takes off for a night or two.

    My son is in daycare half days right now, and I cannot afford a babysitter, or more daycare… I am even in a program that helps pay for it. I just don’t know where to turn. He wont go to AA.

  • Naomi
    Naomi
    March 5, 2013

    I am in the process of divorcing my alcoholic husband. I have struggled with this decision for years and know that I have no alternatives since the drinking has only gotten worse and my respects for him at this point is non-existent.

    Unfortunately, my husband is a high functioning alcoholic, which means he drinks a lot every night (four beers and 4 or 5 mixers, going through a two liter of vodka once a week, often coupling alcohol with Vicodin), yet he can get up in the morning, go to work and has never received a DUI.

    Because he has not missed work or received DUI ‘s, the courts are willing to give him 50/50 parenting. I am terrified for my young children because although my husband loves his children, he cannot function without alcohol, is unaware of how much he drinks, and he is irresponsible when he drinks.

    Does anyone have a similar situation? As far as I know, I I could initiate a custody battle but because there is no documentation, I would most likely lose. I am hesitant to drag my young children through a custody battle unless I have some certainty that I could win. I would love to hear any thoughts from anyone who has had a similar experience.

  • Sharon Seymour
    Sharon Seymour
    March 8, 2013

    I HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO AN ALCOHOLIC FOR ALMOST 55 YRS. HE WENT TO REHAB 2 YRS. AGO FOR ABOUT 5 MONTHS IN 3 DIFFERENT PLACES. THOUGHT HE WAS NOT DRINKING. BUT FOUND A BOTTLE (EMPTY) OF VODKA IN THE GARAGE. NEIGHBORS AND OUR ADULT KIDS HAVE HELPED ME GET HIM TO REHAB. BUT IT APPEARS THAT IT DID NOT WORK OUT. I AM ABOUT TO GO CRAZY, TOTALLY! I WON’T EVEN BEGIN TO TRY TO TELL YOU ALL ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED OVER THE 55 YRS. I USED TO DRINK WITH HIM UNTIL WE WERE IN OUR 40’S. HAVE NOT SINCE THEN. I STOPPED BECAUSE I REALIZED HE WAS AN ALCOHOLIC. HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET HIM TO STOP DRINKING SINCE THEN. I WANT INSANELY TO BECOME SINGLE. BUT …OUR KIDS TELL ME THAT IT IS TOO LATE. I WOULD RATHER LIVE ON THE STREET AND IN MY CAR THAN TO STAY WITH HIM. I AM GOING TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY SOON. BECAUSE I HAVE THE PHONE # OF A BUNCH OF ATTORNEY’S WHO HELP PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE ONE. I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR FINANCES, THANKS TO THE ECONOMY WE DON’T HAVE NEARLY AS MUCH AS WE WOULD HAVE BEFORE THE CRASH ABOUT 5 YRS. AGO OR WHENEVER. I SURE DO WISH THAT SOMEONE COULD TELL ME WHAT TO DO. HE HAS NEVER HIT ME BUT HE HAS CURSED AT ME MANY TIMES. GOD/JESUS LOVES ME I KNOW, HOW I WISH HE COULD TALK TO ME.

  • Rhonda
    Rhonda
    March 14, 2013

    I have posted on here before and my question was that do you think that living with an alcoholic can make you sick physically. lol I read thru some of the posts and really at this point do not need the answer to that quesiton. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well but prior but prior to my relationship with my husband, i had a very stressful job that I believe contributed to it i left that job but met my husband lateron, i wasn’t working for about the first year of our marriage but i recently went back to work because i am trying to get financially stable. I have been impacted with his behavior and him not working very much at all so he is home all the time and just wears me out and complains no matter what yuo do. i also had my youngest daughter and her financial situation completely on me and it has triggered me into a feeling of sick all the time. I hope I don’t have some serious illness but I just feel awful all the time and I think I will feel better once i am out of this relationshp. He drains me and isn’t planning to make any changes. I think he has progressed so far that he isn’t coming back mentally. He is just out there and struggles to be sober for very many days, you can see it just acts extremely happy then low all over the place. anyway, thanks for sharing it helps to read the posts here.

  • Dana
    Dana
    March 17, 2013

    This has been enlightening. I just separated from my functional alcoholic husband after 10 years. The hardest part is that I have a 2 and 4 year old daughter and we are sharing custody. I was hoping for years he would cheat so I could leave. I’d have vivid dreams where he was with another woman and would wake up so happy. I guess that should have told me something. He was controlling, unloving, and mean. At first he admitted it and sought counseling but I shut down and no longer wanted to go. I had been going for years without him trying to figure out what was wrong with me. He is still drinking. He hasn’t even really tried to stop. I was intimidated by him throughout marriage and feared standing up to him. Now he calls me selfish and tells me I causing the divorce. I am but never wanted to. I think harder than divorce is trying to get an admittedly selfish, controlling functional alcoholic to genuinely love you. I hope to write in a few years and say he got better but I can’t help him anymore. He is tearing me down and I can’t be any good to my daughters like that. I had to leave before I broke.

  • Littledogg
    Littledogg
    March 22, 2013

    I am beyond amazed at how many people are going through exactly the same thing I am. I am 16 years old. My moms boyfriend is an alcoholic. They have been together for 6 years I think now. It is very, very painful to watch my mom just be treated like shit. My mom had a extremely rough childhood growing up and doesn’t deserve even an ounce of the pain she has to deal with. I am starting to slowly lose my sanity. I can’t take it anymore. My moms boyfriend is verbally abusive to my mom and there was one night he was physically abusive. I will never forget that night. I was about 11 years old; my mom and him had been out. When they came home, he was drunk of course. I was sleeping in my moms room at the time because I wasn’t feeling goood. About 10 minutes after they had walked in the door, I could hear this sound, I didn’t know what it was. I soon realized that it was my mom groaning in pain, because her boyfriend punched her right into her chest. I remeber that excact moment. My mom lying on the ground in pain, her boyfriend yelling at me and me just balling my eyes out. I stood up for my mom and told him to “Get the fuck out of my house! You do not do that to my mom!”. About 15 minutes later he drove to his house, drunk. It has been a very painful 6 years. I have extreme anxiety and muscle twitches because of this, I am depressed, I have no selfconfidence in myself and neither does my mom. I want out of this situation. I am actually sitting in my room right now, while my moms boyfriend just passed out from being up drinking for 40 hours, balling my eyes out because I just can’t take this anymore. I won’t allow my mom to take this anymore. Her and I both deserve better. We both have had a shit load of bad things happen in our past and the situation we are in right now, doesn’t help. Sorry I am going on a rant here, but I just wanted to share my feelings and emotions. I want everyone to know that YOU CAN change your life! YOU are the controller of your life and YOU can get everything you want in life if you work for it! Thank you for reading my story! I will re-post on here soon to let you know what ends up happening; if my mom leaves him or not. Thanks again! 🙂

    -Littledogg

  • Kris
    Kris
    March 28, 2013

    I’ve been with my husband for 10 years this June. At the start of our relationship he rarely drank. Might take a few beers to a party or function but that was it. Just before we got married (5yrs ago) he started drinking heavily I put it down to stress and grief at the time as he worked (gave cpr) on a client for about 30 minutes until the paramedics arrived and she died. He couldn’t sleep and I think he picked up drinking as a way to deal with it and sleep. I thought time would heal him. Since then it’s gotten worse. He drinks every night, he passes put on the lounge or on the toilet, if he does make it to bed he wets himself. I’ve found him naked in the garden, on the front driveway. Most of the time i cannot wake him up so i try to drag him. Most of the time i just give him a blanket and put a pillow under hos head and make sure he is warm and safe. When i do wake him up he yells at me and gets agressive. About 10 months ago I filmed him one night. He looked at the footage and cried. He asked me to call the dr so he could get help. It was a reality check. The dr. prescribed some medication and some counselling which he has done neither of. I thought I was so close. I continue to support him because I love him. About 3 months ago he was bad and I threatened to leave (again), he then explained that there is another reason why he drinks. He admitted to me that he likes to dress as a woman (in the bedroom in lingerie) I tried my best to support him and embrace it. I let him do it and we had sex whilst he was dressed up (mind you it was the full deal) and I wanted to vomit the whole time. He said “it was the best night of his life and that he will come to bed every night now that he can dress up”. He looks as though he has been doing it for while and he even said he had dressed up before we got married. He kept it a secret as he thought I would leave him. I feel so deceived. It made me sick. I was so turned off. I didn’t even want him to touch me after that. I admitted to him that I simply couldn’t handle it even though I tried for him. He now blows it off and says “I don’t know what ur talking about” etc. and denies that he wants to do it etc. he drinks every night, we don’t make love anymore and when we do it’s sex not live making. I don’t feel passionate and or connected with him anymore mainly because I hate the way he is when he drinks, he stinks and slurs and it is so in unattractive. He never hits me but we argue when he drinks because he gets aggressive, then he carries on and ignores me for 2 weeks. Then he is nice and then he does it all over again. I love him so much and that is why I’m still hear but I’m at my end with it. I’ve tried to help and support him but it’s just getting worse as time goes on. He is a beautiful husband and an awesome dad but our daughter is growing up and soon she will realise and see what’s going on and I don’t want her to see her dad like that. I’m just holding off hoping he will get help before its too late. I’m also craving for love and affection and I’m sick of being 2nd to alcohol. I’m also scared that maybe there is more then I know with this whole sexual identity thing. How can I trust again when I feel so deceived and I don’t know the whole truth anyway.

  • I
    I
    March 31, 2013

    I only got through a couple handfuls of responses but I wanted to nod and say I’ve seen this all too and I’m so sad! My husband and I have been married almost 21 years, we have 3 beautful children that he just called our “heroes” the other night and he’s so right. My husband is an alchoholic and he’s admitted his disease, He’s even said he thinks he may have a mental illness b/c of events and a confused state of mind he’s told me he’s had for the last 6-9 months. I am co-dependent and I haven’t left, I’m just not there yet. He’s begged me to stay but he’s also cried with me and told me if I need to leave to just leave, my classic co-dependent self tells me if I leave it will give him the permission to die which is an incredibly guilt I know I would never get over! Some of his thoughts and words have been suicidal! My husband has a pretty important job and tomorrow is the day he said he’s going to seek out-patient services for both his depression and his alchoholism. If I don’t hear that he does this I will look at that as a sign to leave. In the meantime, I’m trying so hard to focus on my kids and do what’s best for them, they already feel the effects as would any family dynamic, I just don’t know when that time to leave is and that’s what I’ve been struggling with. Thanks, I just stumbled on this site after googling help and support sites.

  • Heather
    Heather
    April 8, 2013

    After reading some of these comments I feel like I’m just “complaining” and since I’m not in any physical danger, it just seems like I should “woman up” and handle what I got in to myself. I know this is wrong thinking because my husband’s drinking has come to a point where I am physically hurting myself (I have gained a LOT of weight since I’ve first thought about leaving him) and while he is still so supportive of me losing weight, I cant do it because i’m so depressed with where my life has ended up. I’m fortunate enough to know that no matter what I say/do he would never even come close to hitting me. But he is definitely an alcoholic and gets very angry when I talk to him about his problem. I try to be supportive and I’ve tried to just let it go but he robs every single weekend from me and at least 1 or 2 nights a week. I cannot take being around him while he drinks because of his obnoxious behavior and he won’t leave me alone. It doesn’t sound that bad, him just being “annoying” but I can’t enjoy anything anymore. I cannot go out with him anywhere because he will drink and he will get drunk. He is a highly functional alcoholic in terms of us never being financially strained or in any trouble with the law because of the drink but I just cannot enjoy life with him and his drinking. I’m sure most of your husband’s are WONDERFUL men without drinking and he is no different. He is so loving and so supportive and such a fun person but the drinking robs me of any semblance of the sober man I love. He drank before I married him so I kind of feel like I knew what I was getting in to and it’s selfish of me to think he needs to stop just because I want him to. I don’t know how to talk to him about it because of the anger/denial he is in about the problem and I don’t want a divorce but I want a sober husband! Both my parents are alcoholics and so I’ve put up with the behavior forever, so I guess that’s why I thought it’d be okay or that maybe he wouldn’t drink so much… It’s not true and at least 2-5 nights a week I’m laying in bed wondering how I became such a miserable person. I love my sober husband but I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  • Monica
    Monica
    April 13, 2013

    I have been doing research today on the alcoholic and the family dynamics. I took a class in college to educate myself on alcoholism and the possible ways to deal with my alcoholic husband and I came across this website.
    I have been married for 2 years and my alcoholic husband taunted my children while I was at work one night. My son who feared his step-father threw a punch at him and it knocked him out cold. My husband was hospitalized and filed assault charges against my son. My son does not have any history of violence. He is actually very shy and researved. The charges were dropped and we attended family therapy. After 5 months my husband moved back in.
    My husband committed to sobriety last December. He has become intoxicated approx. a dozen times since December.
    He has been very clear that he hates all of my children and he always will. Two days ago, he gave me the ultimatim of its “him or my son”. He wants me to send my son to live with his father. He believes that because my son hit him, my son is in the wrong and its wrong for me to put my son before my husband.
    I am truly lost and feel confused. I think my husband is making the honest attempt at sobriety, so is it wrong for me to consider leaving him?

  • Laura Taylor
    Laura Taylor
    April 21, 2013

    I am going to try an make this as short as possible, because i could go on an on an it would take forever. I have been married for 33 years, When dated for a year an a half b4 we were married, An he was a drinker, but i had no problem with it cause we were young, an i drank along with him, we liked to have a good time, we were married 4 years before we had our first child, Of course by then my party time was over an my drinking, But unfortuanetly my husband continued along with smoking pot everyday, he basically got worse verbally an metally abusive sexually abusive, but yet loving an caring in other words he could change from day to day, but i put up with it, cause it seemed like the good outweighted the bad, then our 2nd an 3rd child came along, our 2nd child, has a disability, he has a siezure disorder an cereable palsy, he is now 27 years old, an stil with us, an will be till i cannot take care of him any more, but in the meantime my husband has never quite drinking alchol an beer for more than 1 month, i am a christian, i have always been in church with my children, he justy recently came to know the lord, but the drinking hasnt stoped now he is started to have health issues cause of it, im talking drinking everyday but yet still working an functioning well, he has never cheaed on me, i have left him 3 times but i come back because of our son, that is the only way we are together now, is cause of my son, cause i need help, i just recently moved out with my son, an was on my own, but 2 months later we lost out home, an he had to move in with me, the drinking hasnt stopped at all, but yet im still putting up with it after all these years, an i truly believe its cause of our son, he is a wonderful father to him, and our 2 daughters, but one min he treats me like a queen an the next he is very abusive, we sleep in separate room no intamacy in about 8 months, If anybody has any good advice for me i will tqake it, Im just trying to figure out should i tell him to leave cause his first love is his alchol, an i can make it on my own, even if it means having to take on more responsibility for my son THANKS FOR LISTENING

  • Missy
    Missy
    April 23, 2013

    Ive read alot of the stories in this site, they sound all too familiar, I was raised with a alcoholic father, he was verbally abusive and physically abusive, my mother was the enabler and called off work for him and made up excuses when my grandparents would ask questions, the apartment would get damaged from him punching things and breaking things in an angry rage, and we were left in cars while they went from bar to bar, as the older sibling I knew when I should take my sisters and brother to retreat to get away, but he was also controlling and would come after us for leaving his presence, I knew I would pay for the action but did it any way thinking of them, I know I saved them some heartache only because I was older and knew better, I was the protector and took him on, only to get smacked, but after all that I left at 18, after getting beat for being and hour late for curfew returning from an youth group affair, I left shortly after, leaving them behind was the hardest thing to do but I could not handle it any more, now its 13 years later and I thought I met the person I would marry, I have a 6 year old and I am not married yet, because he didint want to because of tax reasons he said, here I think he didint want commitment, never cheated that I know of but has turned into a alcoholic, drinks every day, I tried to talk about it, he puts it aside, this is the last thing I ever wanted to deal with, its so hard, deciding on to leave or not, I think about my child being with him, he drinks and drives, ive taken pictures to document if I need to, I am at my wits end, ive devoted 11 years of my life to this person and now the last two years have been close to as painful as my childhood, I never saw this coming but I know all the stages and it happens like a book, elation, suspision, anger,…any body that has visited this site had been here for a reason, I am on my way out, even though its hard, I comment on Maries story above, Marie I read your story and this sounds like me, I am 30 with only sisters with children of their own, if someone offered just a place for me to gather my things and think to where I would move i’d do it, at this point im angry that ive talked to everyone I know with advice and no one knows my sorrow, sorry as it sounds, everyone including his family brushes it off,.everyone I know has smelled it on him or seen him visabley intoxicated, I hadnt need to even say anything, well I know when enough is enough, hes put me down so may times I feel trapped like when I was a teenager, this past had influenced me socially, gave me anxiety and antisocial behavior, now presently its been drawing me away from family and friends now,. This is one of the worst diseases I can think of because it effects a family as a whole and it is self inflicted. This was a person that built his own house, ran marathons and was very sociable in life, now he barely can shave his beard, repeats things and sleeps where he lays down at night, this disease isint limited to one place in society, it can affect numerous people in various situations and if that person does not want help than whatever you do is pointless, you can try but you have to realize yourself when to get out, it just pains me that knowing the affects this disease can have on so many people that deal with this, young older, or people that have children, my prayers go out to all and hope you can deal with your situation as you see fit, but keep in mind as I know from personal experience, it is so hard.

  • Debbie
    Debbie
    May 1, 2013

    omg, i got to this site for the very reason everyone else is here!! i cannot believe how many comments, this is truly amazing, i am really not alone!! this is insane, a absolutely disgusting shame..i know exactly what it is like living with an alcoholic, it is wasteful, demeaning and again disgusting, i am sick of coming home from a hard days work to a stupid drunk, and why do i not leave? dunno, most likely the money, with his pittence of money, can’t do it without it, it’s like living in a box. i can’t stand it anymore. all i keep saying is…….i only need two hundred more dollars a week, only two hundred dollars a week……on and on so i can afford everything in the house that I own..stupid isn’t it? ugh. so tired of it.

  • Karen
    Karen
    May 5, 2013

    Wow as much as I hate anyone else has to go throught this it is nice to know I’m not alone. My husband and I have been married for almost 18 yrs. he has always drank too much in my opinion but in 2008 he lost his job. That’s when it really became a problem. Funny how you so stokes don’t see a problem as a problem until it be ones a huge problem. We have 2 wonderful children 15 and 13. Like a lot of you. I have wanted out of this marriage a long time. Really since my oldest was about 2 yrs old. I kept telling myself its our age. It’s bc we were married too young and he didnt have enough time to be crazy. He will grow up and out of it etc. well gues what…. He didnt! I have threatened him. Left him. Kicked him out. And finally convinced him to go to detox. He refused to do AA, rehab, or anything else after and so 45 days filling his release from detox he started drinking again. It’s been 4 mths now and he keeps promisi g he will get better. He is going to stop. While I am fully aware that he will never keep his promise. I just can’t seem to leave or get him too. He refuses. He has never been phisically abusive but on occasion he is verbally abusive. Thank GOD I am strong enough to keep myself from be liven any of it. I have made a exit plan. And have followed though with most of it. But the difficulty is knowing that my children will have to spend time with him alone after I leave. They are both at such a detramental period of their lives. Am I showing them strength by staying and that giving up on someone is not an option or that i am weak and afraid. Urrgh this is so frustrating. I pray every night for a sign. I’ve made so many bad decisions I just want to get this one right. To make matters worse. My father in law and brother in law are also alcoholics. I know that I can’t save my husband as much as I would like too but I almost feel these days as if I stay to help my sister and mother in law feel like they arnt alone. Pulling my hair out here. Is it morally correct to leave? If he had cancer I wouldn’t give up on him.

  • Nonji
    Nonji
    May 5, 2013

    Hi,
    I am in the same boat as lot others. I can relate to a lot of things that you have described. It is such a horrible feeling to live a miserable life with a drunk who is verbally abusive and sometimes physically threatening and breaking things around the house. I am just fed up and I am just a step away from a separation but I am still confused due to mortgage and a 3 yr old. It is just so painfully stressful to battle amidst my work life in parallel. I have lost my own identity and my character having to fight with his anger and drunk fights. It all feels so worthless to plan or do anything with him but still my heart can’t call it quits. 🙁

  • Girasol
    Girasol
    June 7, 2013

    I am tired, physically and mentally exhausted. I am currently living with my boyfriend of three plus years. I too realized he drank but I thought only socially on the weekends. I often had wine or margueritas when we BBQ’d on Saturday evenings. I was head over heels he own his own business and we did not live together for the first two years. I didn’t notice the frequency or pattern. I would see him on the weekends. In March of last year I lost my job and he suggested I move in with him as we had gotten engaged and were planning on traveling.

    After a few short months I began to see a horrible lifestyle pattern emerge and I was regretful I agreed to live with him. His once romantic and caring demeanor was replaced by an anger filled person whose stress led to frequent drinking spells. At first I ignored it as I was not one to speak as I drank with him when we dated. I however can take it or leave it and have no problem not drinking. This was not the case with him and I started to feel resentment and found myself wanting to leave after a few months. I lied to myself and told myself staying here I could stash away some serious money but at what price?

    It has been almost fifteen months and I am near the end of my rope. we had an argument over his excess drinking this evening and he told me F you ect. I cannot stay here anymore and will be looking for my own apartment shortly. I have a job and some savings and am not dependent financially on him. He is in his late forties never married or children and has had a pattern of pushing away those who love him past and present. He is a loner with no close friends or family ties. I can see serious health problems for him in the future due to his drinking. I have been starved for a real intimate loving relationship for years. It’s time to get myself free of this unhealthy lifestyle situation. I have already gone through a divorce 13yrs ago (infidelity his). I don’t need to fix anyone at 55 I don’t have the time to waste.

  • Rob
    Rob
    June 12, 2013

    I’ve got an alcoholic wife and three children. Due to her alcoholism, she has been hospitalized over 9 times from falling down in the middle of the night and slamming her head on various objects. We have three children & they’re aware of her situation, as she had to do inpatient therapy throughout the holidays last year & missed christmas with the family Suffice it to say, it was our best christmas ever. She lays in bed every day for many years & does not lead a functional life. My 11 year old says ‘Mom scares me, I do not want to be home with her’…my other daughter says ‘We need a new mom, she does nothing & just drinks and sleeps’. I’ve tried evertying, but she continues to sneeak booze into the home & drink it when everyone goes to bed. She goes only to therapy, but does not go to AA. I want to leave her, and she could have the house, but she’ll not be able to do anything without me. She’s basically useless & I don’t know what the laws allow, but I’d either love to leave or she could leave.
    Rob

  • Linda
    Linda
    June 25, 2013

    I am another one of those women who became entangled in a relationship with an alcoholic. He is in denial and delusional, as I guess I am too. I see all the signs of his alcoholism. He starts by 8 am every day, and drinks a case of 24 beers every day. Whether is it in his bathroom, hiding an opened can in the trash because he thinks I can’t see it. He will not seek help, so I guess it is up to me to seek help. He used to drink 3 bottles of wine, 2 fifths of brandy, and beer a day. Now it is the beer. He buys a case of it a day, and has 3 failed marriages because of it. He always says we can’t go out to dinner because he has no money. NO WONDER!! I am also one of those women trapped because I am in my late 60s, on a small amount of Social Security, and no where else to go live. My mother has her home, but it isn’t big enough for the two of us. I can never talk to him because what he thinks he knows I could put in a thimble. He is always right, and everyone else is wrong. Can his problem be heriditary? I am constantly tired, and have lost most of eating habits. The stress is actually “killing” me. I have had 3 strokes in the past; not serous one but a stroke is a stroke. My son and his family live out of state, and they have no room either. I feel like I am in a hole of which I don’t know how to get out of. I know that no one can talk, reason, or fight with an alcoholic. It is just useless. I know for a fact that he has lied to his family doctor, and not been honest with the doctor about how much he drinks a day. He has been through 2 major health issues, and was told to quit, but won’t. SOOOO, where to I go from here?

  • Jessica
    Jessica
    July 11, 2013

    I was with a binge drinker boyfriend for way too long – 7.5 years. For the last 4 years being just friends – no intimacy. I used to wonder for a long time why it got to that sorry state. Was it my fault or was it him taking up the poisonous hair pill Propecia or was it alcohol consumption that caused it? At the end I just couldn’t take his drunken bla hoopla anymore. I didn’t want to have anxiety over his drunk driving (he had 2 DUI’s). He will continue to drunk drive until he injures innocent motorists and be thrown himself into prison. He was cheap to use taxi service and hated the inconvenience of not having a car the next morning after a party. He said that I was the best girlfriend he’s ever had and I naively believed him. I now know that alcoholics usually are skilled communicators and have leach like quality – they tightly attach themselves to people who can put up with them. After I broke up with him, I found that alcoholics will suffer from health ailments and I found many that he has experienced – stomach issues, uneven heartbeats, alcohol hair loss and impotence. He would have hated it if I’d point out that his drinking has caused those bad health issues. One time, when I picked him up at a friend’s house after a binge drinking, I put him in my car then he opened the car door and vomit large amount of puke on a neighbor’s driveway. I regret that I don’t remember cleaning it so I suppose we fled the mess right after. His friend must have hosed it off the driveway the next day. Can you imagine being the neighbor who found the large horrendous mess on her driveway? Alcoholics are not worth your precious time. He was stressed out thinking he should have been more successful at work. He’d cope the stress by drinking.
    I now have a great fiancée who is very assertive and stronger than whatever the life could throw at us. It’s wonderful that he doesn’t drink at all. His mind is always clear and present. He handles stress at work much better. We all have some stress at work. I feel like I breathe well and the oxygine go through every cell of my body. When I smile I smile from ear to ear. I am forever free from the drunken stupor the binge drinker has showed to me. The anxiety, the frustration and the anger are of my past. Life is so short and extremely precious even with the best kind of partner. Abandon your obsession and start living your own life, finances should not tie you to the alcoholic. You can support yourself if you really want to. If not temporary get some support from family & friends.

  • Christina
    Christina
    August 4, 2013

    Wendy,

    My husband of 3 years has decided to quit drinking…long story and lots of pains but mostly lies for many years. He fell off the wagon a few months ago and lied directly to my face. The lies have removed all of my trust. Even if he goes to AA, I just don’t believe him anymore. I don’t feel any love for him anymore. I don’t feel benefit from the relationship other than it being a relationship which of course I want over being alone,,,but would rather be in a happy relationship at my age.

    It sounds like you came through the pain and the lies so I am asking you if there is some point of return where you can believe in someone again after years of everything being a lie. I don’t want to live another 5 years with him and then find out he has been hiding it or sneaking it or lying to me. I already feel the whole relationship was a lie. Never really knew the reality of our relationship as he was under the influence and doesn’t recall most of it.

    I realize it is up to my and to follow my heart but I am looking for some feedback about trust/lies/love.

    Sincerely,
    Christina

  • Jennifer P.
    Jennifer P.
    August 10, 2013

    I have been with my husband for almost 8 years. He has always been an alcoholic. I really thought if he loved me enough, he would stop. I treat him incredibly well. I work as a nurse from home, pay all of the bills. The only thing he is required to pay is his child support for the 2 boys he had before we were married. He does treat me well most of the time, it is just the drinking. He is 32 now, I have been watching his health deteriorate over the past year because of his drinking and smoking. It is really sad to see this. He had a DWI in 2008 when driving the 2 boys back to their mother, while I was working at the hospital. We had a child together in 2011, who means EVERYTHING to me. He always tries to drive drunk with her. I have to pry the beer out of his hands with him cursing me and yelling at me. I do love him when he is not drinking. I do not have ANY love for him when he is. I cannot divorce him because I KNOW he will drink and drive with my 2 year old daughter. Since we have been together, I have been able to prevent him from doing this. What do people do in this type of situation? He refuses to go to AA or to a recovery/treatment center.
    If we got a divorce, and he came to pick up my daughter for the weekend (sober) and then got beer on the way to his new place, how could I ever prevent this? Do I have to live with this fear for the rest of my life if we get divorced? Should I stay with him so that I can always protect my daughter til she turns 18? If I do this, I will have to feel so sad and down for the next 16 years. Ughhhh I really wish I knew what to do. Please……someone help me.. Thanks!

  • anaisha
    anaisha
    August 15, 2013

    I am also on the same boat. I married with a man who never be sober for even 1 hr. I left him 1 year ago, but after a year he came back into my life because of my 2 daughters. He showed them that he quit drinking. As soon as he started to live in my house he again starts to drink. and always be abusive. this is my house as I pay rent for this lease is on my name. Still I don’t able to kick him out. he refuses. I don’t know what should I do. I started my life from zero and bought all the household things. how I make him go out of my house? please advise me….

  • tess
    tess
    August 19, 2013

    Im lost because my husband is an alcoholic…thats the only way to describe how I feel. I know theres no point in argueing anymre. If I leave the future looks grim. if I stay it looks grim. I dont know if things will get better or worse either way..honestly im scared either way. I dont even know why im writing this I know many othrrs have the same troubles and so I know I dont have to list any of it in detail. I just wish I could turn the clock back and ensure me and my children never had to go thro any of it.

  • KATHY
    KATHY
    September 5, 2013

    My husband is an alcoholic he is in rehab as of today. The love I had for him is no longer there. I have read all of these stories that are just like my situation. Once you break my heart and trust there is no coming back. He is thinking that everything is going to be ok since he is going to rehab, but it is not going to be the same because I don’t feel the same way about him anymore. He has lost his job I had to pay all of the bills while he is in rehab. That is a big burden on me that I should not have to go through. He has 2 DUI’s he has to go to court. He might do some time. (I hope so). Since he has been gone it has been so peaceful and less stress on me and my son. I have given him chance after chance,but this is the last straw since he has lost his job. I don’t feel sorry for his any more, I feel sorry for me for staying so long 2 years. I have to think about my 12 yr. old son and myself. I can’t compete with a liquor bottle, because I will always lose. I can’t let him steal my JOY and HAPPINESS!!! A peace of mind is better than anything. I am going through with my DIVORCE this time he can’t talk me out of. You all stay strong with GOD and we can make it. Thanks for this website. I feel so much better knowing I am not the only one with this burden.

  • Rosa
    Rosa
    September 8, 2013

    I read many of the stories shared on this website and can only say what a relief to know what I am going through is normal when you live with an alcoholic. I’ve been married for 32 years, 10 years he was sober and it was amazing. I have tried to leave, but he always talks me into coming back. He knows how to make me feel guilty and he uses it effectively against me. He is at the point now that he starts drinking first thing in the morning, refuses to work, spends whatever money he has on booze, doesn’t like to go anywhere, only takes a shower about every other week, and we haven’t slept together for years. I now find myself sad, bitter, angry, scared, depressed, and on the edge of wanting to make a decision, but knowing if I ask him to leave he won’t because he has no where to go. I spent a weekend with my sister and mom a couple of weeks ago and can’t remember when I had been so happy! I want to feel that way the majority of the time. Can someone tell me how to keep my self from letting him use guilt against me? How do I walk away from the plea’s, the tears?
    But, on the other hand, he’s the first to say that I’m trying to control his life by telling him to stop drinking and he has no intention on quitting. He doesn’t hit me or yell very often, I’m just totally embarrassed of his drunken stupor, the smell of the whiskey, his lack of zest for life, and his lack of sense when I try to have a conversation with him. Where do I find the strength to be on my own? How do I cope with the loneliness (but I’m alone right now because he’s passed out)? I think it’s just the thought of knowing someone is in the house that makes me feel better. It was my money that purchased the house, he doesn’t have a penny invested, and if I just up and leave, I guess he would be the new owner and I refuse to let that happen. Maybe sell the house? Try to find another place I could afford where I could still have my horses and dogs. I guess I’m rambling, trying to figure this all out. I know where I want to be, I just don’t know the road to get there and could sure use some advice. Thank you all for listening!

  • Lisa Mac
    Lisa Mac
    September 18, 2013

    I am here reading these posts because I have been in a similar situation. I have been involved with an alcoholic since 2011. I knew it after a few dates, I questioned friends: “Is he an alcoholic, he drinks very heavily.” At that time I would only see him on the weekends and during the week when my children were with their father a couple of nights. AS soon as he got home from work, he would hit the bottle (Rum/Coke) and drink until drunk. On the nights we were not together, he would call me and be drunk, having the female neighbor over from next door drinking with him, friends would always be there sitting with him drinking etc. Yes, we broke up time and time again.

    Then, in 2005 he decided he wanted to buy a house at which that time he asked if I wanted to move in. I was so happy, happy to finally have help financially and happy to finally be together not driving back and forth anymore; I would always be the one driving to his house (30 min away). We worked on the house together for a year…finally in 2006 we were in the house living together. By the way I NEED to stress…he is a VERY VERY hard worker. I know he did not drink before work–it was as soon as he walked thru the door and I would hear the ice clatter into the glass, he was home. The drinking for him was EVERY night after work. I noticed more and more, wow this is really happening. His exwife and I did not get along because she would always complain that “I was doing too much for him” never wanted me to help out w/taking their boys to their sports practices or picking them up to bring to our home on his visitation nights and/or weekends….always gave me an attitude. The saga continued with the whole “blending of the family” thingy.

    Our kids got along great up until we moved in together too. I would hear from him that one of his children was jealous because me and my boys were there more than his, which is totally acceptable to me. His boys would act on ownership (not sharing, not wanting to be around my boys anymore, complaining about me, etc). Keeping all this in mind, know that there were many of nights where I found myself drinking with him for one year. Then I had a close friend of mine bring it to my attention why was I drinking so much, with him. As soon as she said that, I stopped immediately. I noticed more and more of his drinking again. I started to become less and less attracted to him, had regret that I left my security spot in life and felt now trapped.

    Things did not get better…they got worst. His children grew older, did not like me even more, thought I was mean because I would tell him they just throw their laundry around for me to clean up, yes I would clean their rooms, do their laundry, cook etc. BUt, that was my job as a mom/step mom, right?? They got very nasty….things were missing from my boys bedrooms. A back pack that my sons grandmother (who has brain damage from a brain aneurism) bought him filled with school supplies went missing–totally disappeared. I felt so badly because it was the first time she had taken him shopping in years since her taking ill. After all these years the backpack still never turned up. (wonder where it went?)
    I used to have to bag (in plastic sand bags) cereal for each of my boys so that I knew they would have cereal to eat because if not his boys would eat it all and would do so on purpose. I was the only one buying groceries in the house hold and I would be supplying this food for our family of 6 and any friends that would be over every weekend or weeknight drinking with him. There rarely was a dinner table set for 6, there was always us and a friend or two of his drinking with him and they would eat downstairs at the bar in his “mantown.”
    One and a half years ago, I left the household. The drinking was getting extremely bad, there were arguments with he and I because I was never home and always at my boys school functions (alone) and school sports until late at night. His boys were always acting out and whenever they did something to upset him, they would blame me–even though I was not there. I was their target. They would tell him that they needed me out, etc. The fact being, now they are 16 and 18 and I started finding girls upstairs in their bedroom while he was passed out in bed. The girls would sneak out the front door in the morning while he was getting ready for work in the shower. Yes, I saw the shoes or boots at the door, it was horrible. So, yes, I blew their cover. As I stated above, I left–I rented my own condo and came back to the state and town my boys grew up in….my boys were so happy, finally no more traveling back and forth for them, no more seeing him drunk and stupid talk to them. No more false accusations of them stealing from his boys rooms. No more worries about “good/fun food” being eaten up by his boys and their friends and they would be left none. It was all going to be good.

    But, yes, I still chose to date him–“stay together” just live separately for a few years, while my boys finished high school and both went to college. What a mistake we have/had broken up so many times in the past year and a half that I can not even count. The good thing is the past 6 months, I finally realized I could leave and come to my own home whenever he was drunk and was reprimanding me…and I did! And, yes he’d call me the next day and I’d go running back after the apologies…

    One weekend recently I got to his house and saw that he was handing his neighbor a drink out in their backyard…this neighbor has been known to not hold a job, gets in lots of trouble, smoked crack, past or maybe still is heroin user and alcoholic and so isn’t her son. My significant other decided to clean up her yard that day, and she ran out of booze so he gave her drinks and they drank together. I got home 3 1/2 hours later after a game for my son to find her now in our (his) basement at the bar, dimmed lights, both intoxicated. That was the last straw, now he has a user/maybe an ex user in the household who is known to be bad news. He was so happy to see me when I got there, but could barely stand. I left…slammed the door and was not turning back, this has gone way too far. He called me the next morning and left a voicemail because I would not pick up his call. “Hi hon, it’s just me, I’m going out back to mow the lawn, give me a call, Love ya” Like nothing happened…I get it–the whole co-dependency thing, my sleepless nights, the many tears I have cried—it’s because I allowed it, I allowed his alcohol and the unstable environment that he has created in not only his household w/his grown boys (now 20 and 22) but in our relationship–I allowed it to take control. NO MORE–I’m done. Drama? This is not drama–this was an unstable environment due to alcohol abuse…this is what happens people, LEAVE them. It’s not going to get better…it’s been 12 years…I hope he finally gets it now that I am totally 100% OUT—I wish him the best. But every night and every weekend of drinking himself until he’s drunk and can barely walk up the stairs to bed for the past 12 years that I’ve witnessed it…two weeks to a month of “cutting down” won’t work–they NEED real help…detox for like 3 or more years. LEAVE THEM. I wish you all peace, happiness, good health and most importantly–sanity! God Bless!

  • Lisa Mac
    Lisa Mac
    September 18, 2013

    CORRECTION: First paragragh…I was involved with an alcoholic since 2001, NOT 2011

  • Jo
    Jo
    September 21, 2013

    When to leave an alcoholic? As soon as you realize they are one.
    Usually the first month of dating.
    That’s why we date and learn before we get emotions tied into it.
    Addicts can be sneaky though. So you’ll have to be sneaky too.
    No one asks enough questions anymore.

    Also try this
    Tell them you need to pick up a bottle of wine but not sure where.
    If they know every liquor store in town and the hours of business, you know to keep your guard up. This one little test has helped me discover 4 of my dates as being drunks.
    Of course so was the drinking. Yep, that was a big clue.

  • Ali Didomizio
    Ali Didomizio
    September 24, 2013

    This blog is a clear testament to the fact that alcohol sucks.

    My Father was an alcoholic, his Father drank until his liver shut down.

    I quit at 24 never to return….stupid shit. I’m 44 now. Been clean 20 years.

    My life may not be a bowl of cherries but at least I’m not going out like them. Too much to live for.

    I think the industry glamorizes it too. Makes me sick.

    I feel sorry for all the ladies here. My heart goes out to all of them.

    These guys gave up on themselves. That’s what it does to people.

    they just give up – on everything and everyone.

    I think these folks that drink themselves into the grave are sensitive people that cover up their feelings in fear of being criticised by peers etc.

    I blame society and the media as well for seeding bullshit in all of us and setting unrealistic expectations on us.

    The world is full of shit for the most part.

    These guys knew it, they just gave up on it.

    Not me. Fuck that.

    and fuck drinking. Like cigarettes, it will become a thing of the past just like the dinosaurs.

  • joe
    joe
    September 27, 2013

    i found this topic thru just a regular search and have to say it touches me deeply. i was a husband who drank excessively in my relationship and had the moods that go along with someone drunk. after 23 years of marriage and a few threats to leave me, she finally did. ladies, and i see that this forum has all been about the ladies perspective, its true. idle threats dont hurt the same as when someone youve known and loved for 23 years tells you its over. i cant speak for any other men, but for me this is a life altering experience. everything i had that made me whole is gone. in this time ive had to myself ive done a lot of soul searching. ive realised that had it all. today i am living single and could easily go back to the bottle, no one would know. however, the caveat to that is IKNOW, and i know that the booze cost me something that money cannot buy and no one will ever replace. as a man i say to those women out there that think there man is worth saving…….mess with his head…. try a separation ….if he beleives……he will change, but you must be prepared to ride it out for a while to see if he is committed to you or his habits. in this way if he comes back , you will generally find that he is much more in tune to the needs of the family then he ever was before. if he comes back whole then the both of you have a chance of finding love all over again, ( i hear its better the second time around). be prepared though because this is where you might find that his addiction is stronger that you thought and if so , no addicted man can be a proper father or husband. but do this while you still love him, should you wait till you have lost respect for him, then you find in yourself an anger and resentment that will not want to leave your person.

  • angelina
    angelina
    September 29, 2013

    I’m sitting here debating to leave my husband I left and camebac several times tonight I left but I don’t feel strong enough he is verbally and emotional abusive I have lost three house and my jobs because of the destruction he causes I have children one I know he lives me but he won’t get help and he gets in his own to quit but he back slides and starts over plz pray u have strength

  • angelina
    angelina
    September 29, 2013

    I want to thank you for all your stories I just want to run as fast as I can and never look bac how can I break this cycle I’m so scared

  • Dawn
    Dawn
    October 10, 2013

    While my story isn’t as bad as others, there is no physical abuse but if there was he knows I’d call 911 in a heartbeat. I didn’t realize how alcohol dependent he was at first. He’s had a very horrible life and u understood that. This is our 3rd marriage each. Is been friends with him for abt 5 yrs sorta long distance. We were so comparable that we moved in together almost immediately. I had 3 teenagers and it was working very well. It was nice when you tell your kids to pick up their stuff and they don’t and he told them, it was nice! My downfall. I didn’t like confrontation. He’d lost a job in ’08 and started drinking. It got to be almost 3 cases a week to which he denies. He pretty much ran my kids out the house bc they couldn’t stand him. Still I stayed. I’ve felt guilt over this but my kids and I are ok now. They kno how I feel and an waiting to get out. Thru the years he’s been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He did go see a therapist months after we got married bc of his behavior. He knew if he didn’t I was gone. She’s diagnosed him with delusional paranoia and partial personality disorder. So now it’s 2013 and I’ve grown a pair thanks to him. He’s put us in debt over get rich quick stuff and never did anything to make money. I think he kept us in debt so I wouldn’t leave. 2 weekends ago he go a 12 of beer on fri and Saturday he said he wasn’t getting anymore that weekend. Again I was dumb enough to believe him. He said there was something more important that he wanted. Me. Well…. Guess the bottle of rum was more important. Now he’s mad at me for throwing this at him. He thinks I’m all abt beer. He won’t understand it all abt drinking. I can make my mortgage. Can’t do the $400 a month 2nd mortgage tho. We owe $12 grand on credit cards yet. It’s been a slap in the face and an eye opener the last 2 wks. Last weekend was a case-12 pack thurs,12 pack fri with 7 left over. Than a 6 pack Sunday ” to piss me off “. In done. I’m screwed no matter what. He can be a nice guy. But everyone sees how he’s negative and downs me says stuff to make me look stupid. I need to save my sanity. He pretty much told me I didn’t kno what I was doing with my kids, so how would I kno how to help raise my grand kids… His 1st wife took off and he really hasn’t seen his kids in 25 yrs..part of what screwed him up. He’s angry at me now thinking I’m not getting my way so I’m mad. We went from he’s moving out to I guess I’ll just have to stop drinking. I want him out. I told him he won’t stop. He’s hidden beer that he doesn’t realize I kno abt. He’s promised to get us out of debt but has put us further in. All he does is complain that I don’t of anything. I’m 50, on my feet 8 hrs a day working and I come home and relax. I sit on my ass. But he comes home-truck driver- and plays xbox all nite. I’m the one with the steadiest job but I’m lazy. I’m just done. Now I just have to get him to leave. I don’t care anymore if he quits drinking or not. As long as he’s not in my life. My daughter said this us a long time coming. Sigh….

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