How do you deal with unacceptable behavior?

Published by at 11:19 am under Common Concerns

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Pam, Anna, and Betty are with us today. All are active Al-Anon members who are willing to talk about how they deal with unacceptable behavior.

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197 comments on “How do you deal with unacceptable behavior?”

  1. Angel says:

    My mother decided she did not want to talk to me ever again. She left a drunk message at 10:30 pm last night on my cell phone to tell me that.

    I don’t know when she started drinking, if it was before or after my father died 15 years ago. But I do know that once the drinking and her anxiety became so bad, I stopped answering the phone after 9 pm. Then 8 pm. It was easy because my job just kept asking more and more from me.

    My job has intensified. I told my mom I was sorry I hadn’t been answering the phone after 7 pm because I have been waking up so early for work. That was really only part of the answer. After her angry and harassing drunk calls, my anxiety sky rockets. I can’t think. I want to vomit. I can’t get work done.

    When her drinking became earlier, I had to say something. Her drinking has led her to fall and break her shoulder. She refused to do PT correctly and she kept drinking after surgery, which led to her falling on the shoulder over and over again.

    I couldn’t be honest with her. I tried, but then she screams at me and then pretends the next day nothing was said or happened. She must be right all of the time.

    She does this to my older sister too. It isn’t just me. She cut the neighbors out of her life. She just wants to die alone in her house. And she wants us to feel guilty for it.

    She wins. I really do feel guilty. I should have answered her calls. This is my fault.

  2. Annie says:

    I’ve met the man of my dreams. He’s kind, patient, gentle, and we’re compatible in so many ways. The only problem is he drinks every day, from the time he gets out of work until the time he goes to bed. In fact, he is sometimes passing out. He’ll do really well for a little while, only consuming about 4 beers per night, then it will go to 6 beers or more and that’s when things go downhill. He is probably in the category of a high-functioning alcoholic.

    We met for business-related reasons, then we became friends, business partners and eventually lovers. He was in an abusive relationship that revolved around pot and drinking when I met him, and I actually bailed him out of jail one night for a DUI in which an adult employee of ours was driving him home from work because he was drunk at work. Turned out the employee only had her learning permit, so he was charged with a DUI. He quit drinking entirely after that for about a month or afterwards, and since we’ve been together he’s cut down substantially from where he was previously. Drinking 4-6 beers every night is still worrisome to me, but he has improved so much.

    I like to drink occasionally, but I don’t need to do it and I can’t consume very much alcohol without feeling ill. We both legally smoke marijuana, myself for chronic Lyme arthritis, but I generally refrain until just before bed. I’m not into being altered all the time, but I find myself drinking and smoking pot more and more to be on the same level with him. We want to get married and start a family, but I’ve been very clear that in order for me to feel safe in that decision things need to improve in relation to the substance use. He’s quit smoking now for three weeks, because he knows that it’s important to me, but the drinking and marijuana use has gotten worse, as a way to cope with the loss of the nicotine.

    I’ve never felt so loved and cared for in my life. This man is my best friend. I’m so sad because this issue could ruin the chances of us having a happy and successful life together. He asks me to be patient with him and assures me he’s on the way to returning to the man he once was. Lately he has been worried that I will leave him because of the drinking and says he’d understand if I can’t hang on.

    I love this man with the entirety of my heart, but I’m afraid that I will have to accept the drinking as part of our lives. I’ve made some poor relationship choices in the past and am so concerned I’m on the brink of doing it again. Right now this man is honest, totally kind, and non-abusive even while drunk. I don’t know if that will always be the case.

    I don’t know what to do. I guess I will quit using all substances myself and see if that makes or breaks us. If I’m not his drinking buddy, then we might not be so compatible after all. I’m going to take care of myself first.

  3. Pam says:

    My husband first abused me a few months after we married. We’d just arrived at his boat at a marina, where we were planning to live, and he celebrated by having a martini. I’d never seen him drink more than a couple of glasses of wine in the 5 years we dated. He ordered me to go get sandwiches for dinner, as there was no food at the boat. I asked him to come with me, the neighborhood was unfamiliar, it was dark, I’d never driven in that city before, and I didn’t know where to find a place to buy food since the downtown was pretty much closed. He called me an obscene name and told me to go get the “obscene” food.

    I decided I’d better go. I was in such shock over this abuse that I could hardly think. I got lost and disoriented on the one-way streets, but finally found a mall where I went in and got the sandwiches, took them back to the boat, and he was even more drunk. He didn’t even ask me why I’d been gone for almost 2 hours, and he expressed no concern for my safety driving around in the dark, but he did yell and say that if I’d taken off in his car to go back home (700 miles), that would have been the end of the marriage. We ate the sandwiches, mine tasting like sawdust in my throat. He passed out on deck and I went to bed. Nothing was ever mentioned about this again.

    This was the beginning of my realization that my new husband was an alcoholic. It took me 10 years to leave him and I wish I’d left on that awful night when we first arrived on the boat.

    In the course of our marriage, I found him passed out on our bedroom floor twice. He often painfully grabbed me sexually when I was driving home after evenings out, despite my pleas to stop it. Usually he’d pass out after 5 minutes or so.

    He insulted my best friend with sexually inappropriate comments to the point that she and her husband refused to see us anymore, though they kept up their friendship with me. His former brother-in-law ended the friendship when my husband insulted his girlfriend during the course of one of his drunken phone calls.

    Various friends, his kids, and relatives called me and voiced suspicions that he must be drinking, due to phone calls that he made to them under the influence. He insisted that he didn’t drink and drive, but there were times when he was weaving on the road and got lost in familiar territory, becoming angry if I spoke up about it.

    He advanced on me with fists clenched, screaming in my face, because I’d mistakenly erased an answering machine message meant for me. He struck a phone out of my hands because I wasn’t dialing it fast enough. On and on and on, typical alcoholic behavior. As his wife, I felt that I had to help him. I contacted his doctor, who didn’t help. I asked my husband to moderate his drinking, I watered down the vodka. Nothing did any good, and I’d become an enabler.

    The drinking increased his snoring, which caused sleep apnea that had him gagging and stopping breathing every night. This went on for years, during which my husband insisted that he wouldn’t treat it because he didn’t want to sleep hooked up to a CPAP machine. He showed signs of oxygen deprivation and got angry when I pointed this out.

    Eventually he was hiding bottles all over the house and drinking from morning to night. Finally he had a major stroke. His doctor told me that his brain scan revealed mini-strokes caused by oxygen deprivation. His brain showed signs of dementia, and his neuropsychologist suggested that some of that could have been caused by alcohol.

    I’d been halfway out the door the month before his stroke and had lined up a place to live. Once he had the stroke, I was stuck. I couldn’t leave him and he was unable to care for himself. It took 2 more years of misery, abuse, and his continued drinking until he could function on his own. I left, and now he’s telling anyone who will listen that I left him because of the lifestyle changes due to his stroke. Not that anyone who knows me believes him, but it is galling to have given up 2 extra years of my life to be the sole caregiver to this alcoholic sleazebag of a husband.

    I was 70 when I filed for divorce, and managing on my own has been hard. I’m okay! But I continue to be haunted by all the terrible scenes caused by this alcoholic and abusive man. It’s hard getting over it.

  4. Brittany says:

    I was raised by a single mother who was an alcoholic. We were very close to each other and she really was my best friend. I didn’t realize her addiction until I was about 9 years old and started dumping her bottles of liquor down the drain. I never encouraged her to get help because I was afraid of hurting her feelings. She passed away when I was 15 and I was left to pick up the pieces she left behind while grieving for the mother I loved so much.

    It’s been 10 years and I owe what normalcy I have in my life to years of therapy, but I have run into another problem which I think may be connected. My closest friend has been abusing alcohol for years now.

    We met six years ago and became fast friends. She is someone I could confide in, and we had fun both with and without social drinking. That has really changed as of the last maybe 4 years. She started drinking before we would get together for a night out after I initially mentioned that she should try not to get so drunk. She lies about it when I confront her. We have had countless arguments after nights when she gets too drunk and does something embarrassing or dangerous like driving.

    For years I have sat her down, told her that something has to change. Sometimes it seems like she understands and wants to get sober, but other times she pushes me away. This summer she broke down and told me that she was an alcoholic. I did my best to love and support her and encouraged her to get help. I even brought her to an AA meeting. I told her that we didn’t need to drink to have fun and that I wouldn’t drink if that helped her feel more comfortable. Her sobriety lasted 2 weeks until she said that she needed to just cut down and control it. One month later she was kicked out of a bar for breaking a table and a few glasses while falling down drunk. I told her that I don’t want to hang out with her if she is going to drink. So now instead, she calls me late at night after drinking by herself to initially complain about her job but it always turns into how I’m not around for her and that I spend too much time with my boyfriend.

    The truth is that I don’t want to be around her anymore. She’s self destructive and brings too much chaos to my life. I’m tired of being yelled at and told that I’m not a good friend when I really care for her and want her to be happy.

    I don’t know if I should continue being friends with her. I also am considering going to an Al-Anon meeting so that I can help myself to not enable the people I love and allow them to hurt themselves and me.

    I don’t want to lose my friend the same way I lost my mom.

  5. Vee says:

    I can relate to each and every person here. I am so tired and feel so helpless. My children’s father drinks every single day. We have been together 19 years now and we have two beautiful children. He cannot control himself at all. He starts drinking in the morning until bed.

    I am so fed up with his behavior. He tells me the worst of things. I am so ready to leave with my kids. I have nowhere to go, going to a shelter would be my only hope, but I don’t know how life will be in there with my kids. I’ve heard it is not easy in there.

    He is not going to stop drinking and does not want to go to AA. If he doesn’t like something, he will curse, argue, call me names. He puts me down, he lies, he has serious anger problems and gets out of control. Sometimes I feel I have to leave him because I am so unhappy, but it’s not so easy to do.

    He works and I’m a stay-at-home mom. Money is always limited. He is not getting any better and he is destroying our family and doesn’t see it. He was arrested twice, he begged and promised that he would stop drinking, but he never did. I was a fool for taking him back. He has gotten worse, he is extremely verbally abusive towards me. He knows he cannot put his hand on me because he would get arrested again. The verbal torment is just too much.

    I pray and ask God to give me courage and strength. I hope and pray he would overcome this disease, he would ask me how is his drinking affecting me. He came so close to losing his family twice and I forgave him. He never even tried to stop drinking, not once. When he came back in the apartment, he got worse. My only hope is God–only God can change him. I will continue to be strong for my kids.

  6. Gregg says:

    I’m a recovering alcoholic/pothead. When I met my soon-to-be ex-wife, she didn’t do pills. She got addicted to pills after she had a bad back and had to quit work. It got out of control. I didn’t want to end up exactly where we are now, not together.

    I brought up the situation to her daughters, who pretty much shrugged their shoulders. I’m also on disability, so every penny counts. Her bills didn’t get paid and mine did.

    We were renting and the house went into foreclosure and we were forced to leave. I moved to my hometown about an hour away, hoping she would miss me and want to join me. The main reason for the move away was due to the fact she had no money to pitch in for rent and a deposit.

    To sum it up, I hate who I’ve become. I tried to control her, I let almost all of my boundaries expand or disappear because I didn’t want to leave (for example, she got disconnect notices for utilities she was supposed to be paying).

    I’m so confused and full of resentments. I always tried to justify my self-pity by saying it wasn’t fair because she developed her addiction after we got married. When I was a pothead, everyone knew when they met me.

    Now, we’ve only been apart for three months, while still talking for two, and now she’s with someone else. So, I’ve sat back and looked at the situation and discovered she’s definitely not the only one with a problem.

  7. Carla says:

    My husband binge-drinks. While we were away in Cuba, he was physically aggressive with me. I changed resorts the next day. Now back home, he has started AA and is showing remorse for his horrible behavior. When drinking, his ego ripped us apart. I had him charged, but no charges due to the fact that the assault happened in Cuba.

    We are talking now, but live apart. I start counselling this week. He wants his last chance with me as a sober husband. I feel lost and I don’t know what to do.

  8. Brian says:

    I was in a relationship with my wife for about 10 and a half years, starting 11 years ago today on Valentine’s Day 2004, and we got married in October 2012. I found out she was an alcoholic back in June 2013 when I came home one day to find she’d partially shaved her head and was looking sick as a dog. It was then I found all the bottles she’d been hiding from me for the past year and a half, when her heavy drinking had apparently started, mere months after we began cohabitating.

    I, my parents and hers attempted to get her help, counseling, a psychiatrist, AA, rehab on a number of occasions, but she kept relapsing, and kept lying to me and her parents. She’d begun living with her parents again after some particularly bad episodes and the realization that there was nothing I could do to help her, and I couldn’t look after her all day every day. I had to be able to work and support myself without having to feel like I was caring for a sick child all the time, always fearing for her life and the lives of others every time she left the apartment.

    I went to visit her at her folks’ house and take her to a concert one night when I was under the impression she’d been sober for two months, and found she was drunk, and her parents looking very sheepish. I went to the concert alone, thinking it was just another little relapse. I later found out she’d been hiding it from me again for the last month at least. I could not take the lies anymore, and resolved in the heat of the moment to get a separation at the very least.

    It took me nearly two months to finally work up the courage to go ahead with it and get in touch with a lawyer, found out that they didn’t really do separations in this state for non-religious reasons, and started the divorce proceedings two days after our second anniversary. It’s been a few months now and we’re still technically married, splitting up the money and so forth, but thank goodness there were no children being affected by this.

    I still love her, and it aches inside, but I tell myself this is for the best for both of us. I can’t fix her, and I will only drive myself mad if I stay and keep trying. I’m doing neither of us any favors if I call this off now.

  9. Sara says:

    I was debating whether I should attend an Al-Anon meeting. My parents are both alcoholics. I am still trying to figure out what is normal and what wasn’t acceptable. I have had my own drug problems, but then I ended up dating an alcoholic at age 17, with whom I had my daughter.

    I then met my husband at the age of 24. We were together for 13 years. I used to use drugs, but 7 years ago I got clean. He got clean 5 years ago. We got married when he was clean, but he began using again and lying pathologically for the past 4 years. He tells me it’s my fault he uses and my fault he lied to me. If I wasn’t such a witch, he wouldn’t have to lie to me.

    He has been unemployed for the past year and a half and I refuse to buy him drugs! For the past 3 months things began to get violent, and 2 weeks ago he broke my nose. I immediately went to the police, got a domestic-violence restraining order. I asked for help and stayed somewhere until I could get the sheriff to remove him from my house. I changed the locks. I had already filed for divorce. He was losing his control over me and he knew it. I feel like I am beginning to come out on the other side, but I know one thing, I absolutely must stay single for at least a decade, and get counseling and help.

    My husband is a drug addict because he is a drug addict. He lied because he was a liar before he met me and he will continue to lie until he dies or gets clean. No one deserves to be lied to! I didn’t deserve to be lied to. Nothing I could have done would have changed his behavior or been good enough for him. I could have spent every dime I made on his drug habit and moved our family into a homeless shelter, and he still wouldn’t have been satisfied.

    This podcast was absolutely helpful.

  10. Monica says:

    I have been in a relationship for 5 years now and I met this person and fell in love instantly, changed my life, changed countries to follow my heart and be with this person. We fell in love while I was on vacation and I adored everything about this person and found a pretty incredible life while being in this country. He has always drank beer every day, and of course I also will go out to dinner and we will drink wine together.

    I work 6 days a week about 50 hours a week and have a full-time job, as well as teach classes, and have started my own small business. He has not had a job since we met. Neither of us is from this country so legally getting a job is difficult for him. However, he is a very talented artist, and I am happy to help him sell his artwork. He always has ideas he never follows through on and as far as I can see, prefers to just have a basic standard of living where he can drink beer, smoke pot, listen to political radio stations online and paint.

    He drinks every single day, from around 12 (definitely) until he goes to sleep around 11ish. Probably 8 beer a day. He is a beer drinker, so in the 5 years since I met him, he has gained about 25 pounds and I find myself less attracted to him, as well he feels less attractive, so our sex life is non-existent. He likes to blame the sex on the fact that I am a witch who micro-manages everything, but I have to since he does not have an income and depends on the sale of his artwork, that he puts zero effort into selling. I am lucky to have a network of people who sometimes will buy pieces of his artwork, but again, he refuses to listen to me when I encourage him to make more of the commercial pieces that sell rather than sit around drinking beer, smoking pot, and “learning about how to be a better artist” online.

    I feel this has become a codependent relationship, because his drinking drives me crazy and makes him less and less attractive to me. However, I feel anxiety when he leaves the house, or when he is not here with me. To give him credit, he is very loyal, never goes out, and only drinks at home, but every activity we do together involves drinking. We go for a walk, we have to stop and get a drink, etc. Since he is always drinking and always in the house alone and a very intelligent man, he tends to spend time thinking and reading about negative news stories and we basically have nothing to talk about, as it feels any topic I bring up he is able to swing some strange paranoid perspective onto it. He is very talented and highly intelligent, and I feel he uses alcohol to self-medicate.

    In 6 years, I have only seen him 2 days not drinking because he was hung-over, and one week when I asked him to promise to stop, because of an aggressive episode when he was drunk, he stopped for a week. Of course, one night he went for a bike ride that lasted hours, so I asked him are you drunk and he began name-calling and throwing things and yelling and acting completely crazy.

    He is always able to blame this on me, again calling me a controlling witch. So I do control things, because where we live the salaries are not high and I pay for everything. He is very generous when he does sell a painting, but his sales in one year could barely pay for 2 months of living. He is selfish around alcohol and says he will never quit. He occasionally takes cocaine, not often enough to think it is a problem, but he has proven he cannot go a day without alcohol and if he has money would prefer to spend it on pot.

    He is depressed and isolates himself from others, and at least once a week is very drunk, although his daily drinking does not seem to bother me outside of weight gain, as he seems barely affected by it. Maybe I simply do not see the high of the drunk, since I work every day 2 to 11.

    If someone was writing this to me, I know what my advice would be to them. However, I cannot take my own advice. I want him to change, to lose weight and feel healthy. He is 40 now and it seems it is all going downhill. The beautiful, intelligent, talented man I met on my vacation is now turning into someone I see as fat, with zero ambition, who cannot focus on completing any project, outside of keeping the house tidy while I am at work, and spending months on a painting that will never sell. Because he is so distracted by the internet, he cannot complete anything.

    I am 35 and do not want to start looking for another man again. I want to fix the man I have because I know he has an amazing heart but is sick. I am not perfect. If we go out to a restaurant, I too will drink and sometimes too much wine and become silly or whatnot. However, with my demanding lifestyle, I have zero time to go out to restaurants and have a meal with wine, and I do not buy alcohol to keep in the house, although his only exercise lately seems to be to walk to the beer store and buy beer.

  11. Katie says:

    My husband and I got married almost a year ago. We were dating while he was an active drug user. He is now 7 years sober and I am fully supportive of him going to AA. He’s very active in the program.

    I don’t have a problem with alcohol and we have had many conversations about having alcohol in the house. It doesn’t bother him, he is in a great place in his sobriety and I know if he was struggling he would talk to me about it. He basically feels like I shouldn’t have to change my lifestyle of enjoying myself with friends and having a couple drinks, because he’s the one with the issue.

    All of his friends are involved in the program as well, and I find it very uncomfortable drinking in my own home when his friends are over. I feel like they are constantly judging me or make me feel like I am an alcoholic because I drink. I am 24 years old and I feel like the normal person my age would be living similar to me. I don’t know how to get past my feelings of guilt.

  12. mag says:

    I have been with a guy for 13 years. In that time I have had three children 1, 8, 4–all his. We have lived together also the whole 13 years. In this amount of time this guy has used cocaine and drank heavily. It’s up and down. One minute he’s going to stop, the next he doesn’t come home from work.

    He will show up early in the morning when he is staggering drunk or the party is over. He starts fights with me to make excuses to not come home. I don’t know what it’s like anymore to be genuinely loved.

    I do everything for the children. His idea of spending time with kids is when he is hungover in front of a TV. It’s soooo up and down.

    I thank God I have a good head on my shoulders. I wish I could get away from this man. He doesn’t appreciate his beautiful woman and wonderful kids. He still acts like a 21-year-old. I need help! I am so fed up with feeling used and abused by this guy.

  13. Liz says:

    Married to an alcoholic. Stupid to believe that some day things will change. Emotionally affected dealing with the ups and downs of drunkenness, verbal abuse, meanness, the nasty insecurity of my husband.

    After reading all the stories, I find comfort that the behavior pattern is all the same. It is all somebody else’s fault. It is my fault that I don’t love him enough, do not show him affection, did not give him enough attention, do not appreciate him enough. They have an amazing ability to make you feel guilty and suck you into it, and I did it for a long time.

    As a Christian I wrestle with verses to love those who hurt you and that God put these people in your life to straighten you out. I have a job and can support myself and don’t know why I keep sticking to this man. The truth is I still care and when he is sober he is caring.

    I am so filled with guilt at the thought of moving out. I have tried Al-Anon and I did not find it helping me. He has tried AA and that has not helped him either.

    I really don’t know what to do. I am tired and life is so empty and meaningless, depressing, and I feel so helpless.

  14. Grace says:

    I met my wife in recovery. We’ve been married for about a year. I’m still sober and she’s not.

    Shortly after we got married she started drinking again. Always thinking she’s hiding it, lying to me and going out sometimes to clubs or bars after I leave for work (I work 11pm-7am). Her drinking is blatantly obvious most of the time, and I can’t stand being around her when she’s under the influence, because she’s either annoying, incoherent, or crazy. Nine times out of ten she’s in a black-out and remembers nothing.

    Sometimes when she drinks she becomes completely out of control, usually attempting to kill herself. None of these incidents has ever taken place while we were fighting. In fact, we rarely if ever argue and maybe that says something, I don’t know. She has tried to jump out of our third-story window and recently opened up my car door and jumped out while I was driving about 30 mph, (I braked right before she jumped, so it might have been more like 15 mph). She still got hurt pretty badly. After that she went to the ER, where her doctor signed off on a court-ordered rehab on a section 35 for 21 days.

    When she came home, one of the counselors called her and wanted to hang out. She came to our house with another recently released patient, they were hooking up and the counselor brought weed, which she smoked with my wife. Now my wife is in detox again. She’s calling me and talking about how her roommate is walking around naked and she wanted my wife to feel her fake boobs because they feel so real and my wife did.

    I definitely don’t want to live this way. It’s such complete nonsense. I feel like I’m married to a stranger.

  15. sara says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years. He has had a drug problem forever, but it wasn’t like this. He tells me he hates me because I complain that he uses and tells me he doesn’t want to be with me, but he says this all the time. He says bad things about me, but I know it’s because he’s struggling.

    Everyone has told me to leave him–that’s so easy to say, but to do it breaks my heart because I still love him and care about him. It seems that he just doesn’t want to be around. He’s always getting high. He hasn’t slept with me or showed any emotion, he just says bad things. I’m not a bad person. And I stand my ground, but the more I do this he gets angry, so I stay away and give him space–but I feel like I’m losing him.

    How do I leave, how do I deal with it–I cry all the time because of the things he says. I try and help because I love him, but I feel like I don’t mean anything to him anymore. I know from talking with friends that they say it’s the drugs talking. But how is this fair to me. He finds it so easy to leave. I can’t.

  16. Tiana says:

    My husband and I are in our 30’s. I knew he was an alcoholic prior to getting married to him, but we didn’t live together so I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I thought it would just be your typical drinker. Man, was I wrong!

    Fast-forward to 2 years later and all I want to do is leave. The verbal abuse started a few months after the marriage. He drinks every single day. Goes through a a bottle of liquor every other day (that I know about). He has turned into some sort of monster. All he does is drink, drink, drink. Doesn’t come home some nights, I won’t hear from him at all. Then he’ll blame me for why he left.

    Alcohol is his idol. He’s unable to take care of the kids because of his drinking, or help around the house. We have 3 in our house, one is a baby. I feel like a single mother and he’s another child. I used to think he would change or this would stop. No, it just gets worse. I’m trying to find the strength to leave. In the process of getting my own place. Now comes the threats to take away the kids etc., etc., verbal abuse escalating. You all know how this goes. So sad.

    I’m so tired of this life and who I have become. It’s like I’ve started becoming a different person. Probably because I’m around his negativity so much. He’s depressed. Never acts like he’s interested in anything I’m saying or doing. Talks to me with one word answers or criticizes & corrects everything I say & do. Blames me for all his problems, accuses me of cheating when I’m not, always calls me weak, bird-brain, etc. Some nights he’ll sleep on the couch for weeks at a time after drinking and passing out.

    I get lonely. Ugh, I’ll be so glad when I cut this one loose. I’m really working on my plan. I love him & my family so much, but we deserve better. I can’t deal with this anymore.

  17. melissa says:

    My husband of 8 years (we have been together 14 years, since I was 18 and he was 28) walked out on me and our 2-year-old daughter.

    He has always been verbally abusive. I only started waking up to the abuse in the last year when our relationship was really rocky. We decided to have a child during the only time that he was not drinking, but soon after finding out I was pregnant he began to drink again and it got worse.

    He drives for the movies and recently got fired due to getting caught drinking while driving a big star. He blamed me for making him miserable over fighting and spending too much money and not helping enough, as his reason for drinking at work. I have cared for a child completely since she was born. Besides paying for her food and needs, I do it all. Sometimes he tells me what a great mom I am and he knows how hard raising a child is, and then when he’s mad he tells me I am an awful mother and I should be able to get more done like cleaning the house, laundry and all the errands, bills and phone calls.

    I’m the only one that does any cleaning, shopping and cooking. Could our home be cleaner? Yes, but he refuses to watch our daughter so I can get chores done. We are completely broke. I have tried so many times to come up with a budget with him, but he refuses to talk to me or shushes me because he’s watching tv.

    He has put his hands on me in anger and then denies it happened or says I started it. I am ashamed I did not leave him when he choked me in front of our child a few weeks ago. It was over a fight about me not wanting him to drive our child to swim class because I thought he was buzzed. I was so shocked and upset I just cried after he left.

    He is trying to get us thrown out of our house. He won’t give me any money and he refuses to pay the bills. He wouldn’t even get our child diapers–my family had to buy them, and food. He says I won’t let him see our daughter, but I have offered visits and phone calls–he has refused them all. She is only 2 and she misses her daddy and he won’t even talk to her. He said he stopped drinking, but I know he has not quit.

    He makes threats of taking our child from me if I don’t give him his big screen tv. I’m scared some judge will believe his lies and put my baby girl in danger. The only reason he wants her is to hurt and get control of me. I will not allow him back.

    I am going to join a support group. I will go back to college and I will learn to take care of myself and my daughter on my own. I know I can’t make him get help for his alcoholism, drug abuse and anger. He has to want to get better. It’s just hard when you still love someone who is sick and refuses to see it. He did me a favor by leaving this time. I will no longer take his abuse or let my child be a witness to it.

  18. Shirley says:

    My first husband drank heavily but stopped when he almost killed our family in an auto accident while drunk. He was abusive, some physical but mostly mental. He died of heart failure. We were married 34 years and have 2 daughters.

    After he passed away, I met someone and we have been married for 12 years. We were so happy and only a few months ago things changed. My husband is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for over 20 years. He had a cold a couple of months ago and started taking Nyquil for the cold. The only problem is he has never stopped drinking it. He says it helps him sleep. We have had several arguments over this. He buys bottles of this stuff.

    This morning I looked up some things on Nyquil addiction on the internet and sent them to him and asked him to please read them. Now I just went home for lunch and he is leaving me because I brought this up again! I can’t talk to him. He just tells me to shut up, that he is done because of my attitude, that it is my fault.

    I only want him to stop taking the Nyquil so he doesn’t get addicted to it. I told him this and he just told me to go away, that he was leaving.

    I am hurt, confused, and upset. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I am also 66 years old. I signed up for my social security and planned to retire in December. I love my husband and do not want him to leave. I just don’t know what to do.

  19. Michelle says:

    My husband (separated again as of his last 2-day bender weekend) doesn’t drink every day, but 2 to 3 times a week he will consume a whole bottle of bourbon and the port by the schooner. He gets so disgusting and emotionally abuses me, and my poor 16 & 12-year-old have witnessed this for years.

    They have found him many times in his own vomit. They beg him to stop. I feel like a bad mother for letting them witness this. I try and keep them occupied and even send them for many sleepovers, but he wants to interact with them when he’s wasted. He also suffers depression, unmedicated.

    I’m so lost. I can’t help him. We’ve broken up 4 times now and each time he promises and begs me to come back. This time he has broken up with me and blames me for his depression and drinking. I have enabled his behaviour and I take full responsibility for my actions. He makes 6 times more money than I do and I’m so scared of facing this world alone. I’ve always been attentions middle child syndrome. I’m nearly 40 and been with him almost 18 years. I don’t know how to do this.

  20. Christy says:

    After three months of being a single parent, because my husband just went to work one day and never came home, I’m exhausted but I’m happy. I still mourn my marriage, but my child and I are healthier.

    My husband said that he sometimes doesn’t eat because he doesn’t have the money. I can’t help but think he has money for cigarettes and beer. He ignores me and never or hardly ever sees our child.

    I’m filing for divorce soon, because he’s unhealthy and in denial about his addiction. It’s sad that a 7-year relationship and a 5-year marriage that started off feeling like a whirlwind from a Hallmark movie is ending this way. However, alcohol is like the devil and it will destroy anything and anyone in its path, so it’s best just to get out of the way.

  21. annie says:

    I live with an alcoholic, am fed up with life at the minute. I don’t know where to go or what to do. He drinks from getting up. I work and have 3 children that I would die for. I love my partner but I can’t live like this. It’s destroying me inside.

  22. marintha says:

    My husband and kids are my world, but as I’m getting older and my kids are still young I find it hard to stay. We’ve been together 10 years and our boys are 8 and 2. I used to drag him out of bars to get him to leave, or I’d leave him and make him find his own way home. Well, I kicked him out and then everything changed. He stopped drinking and it was all great for a couple years. My friends would get mad at me cause I stayed.

    He’s a good father and he works. It’s just the drinking. So he’s quit several times and will stay quit for a couple years, then it starts all over. This last time his uncle came to stay with us and he drinks heavy, so that started it up again. I don’t know what to do anymore. I made his uncle leave because I couldn’t handle 2 alcoholics.

    I know what it’s like to live with an addiction, but as soon as I found out I was gonna be a mom it all stopped. I just don’t know what to do with him anymore, and I really don’t want my kids growing up seeing him drunk all the time.

  23. Neelam says:

    I have a son who has been drinking now for 18 years. Started from university. The first time I realised he was turning into an alcoholic is when I found black bags of beer cans in the shed.

    My elder son and I started taking him to AA meetings. Little did we know that as soon as we left him there he used to leave and go out drinking. We then decided to sit outside and wait till he finished his meeting.

    For a short time he stopped and had a girl friend, whom he got married to. The marriage lasted 2 months. My elder son left the house after his marriage. I live with my alcoholic son. He has lost 15 jobs because of his drinking and is a burden on me.

    I am divorced and he lives with me. Several times I have had to call the police, as things go out of hand when he is drunk. 45 times I have picked him up from hospitals, till I could not do it anymore.

    I have spoken to my doctor to section him to send him to a mental hospital, but seems like he does not think it is that bad. Twice he left the gas on. Breaks things, like the sink and tiles. Bangs doors at night, abusive language, comes home drunk, day in and day out. Blames me for breaking his relationships. He suffers from arthritis and skin problems.

    It is a never ending ordeal. My life is ruled by his drinking. I don’t go out. I hate leaving the house and going on holidays. He fights with everyone.

    After reading the comments, I feel I am not alone.

    God bless.

    I hate going home.

  24. Patty says:

    The children were just 10 and 22 months old at the time. I struggled as a single parent while my ex used the kids to get at me. But we came through that one a long time ago.

    After 8 years alone, I met my current husband. We lived together for 3 years before being married, now for 9. We were in our 30’s when we met. Things were good, and for the most part still are. The children mentioned before are now turning 19 and 20 and we also have a thriving 6-year-old.

    What saddens me–my husband likes to be social, and being social seems to require drinking. He is incapable of having only one or two, unless he’s around family. With friends it’s an all-nighter all the time. I thought at one point it would be best to have friends here, so that I knew he was safe and I could maybe manage the situation and his drinking. I’m a one-drink girl myself–and not if we’re home with our daughter.

    We’ve had the discussion before about how he treats me and the kids and the dogs after a night of alcohol and friends go home. That’s when “the other guy” emerges. He’s always looking for a fight, swearing, name-calling, and tries to put me down. I’ve always stood up to him–questioned his actions; tried to make him miraculously become “sober.” It’s not working.

    I’m glad I can’t sleep tonight, after another wonderful evening of being told I have a gambling problem (I only go with him and don’t spend more then 100.00 btw). He makes way more money then I do and he pays the bills. I have expenses too, but I don’t make half of what his income is–my point? I feel he holds this over my head like he has earned the right to treat me this way–that I am beneath him.

    In the morning he remembers everything, but if I try to talk to him he either finds excuses for his behaviour or he tries to turn it on me that I was the one who was rude, etc.

    I see the pattern of abuse. I find that I don’t want to talk to him about it–he’s not listening anyway, and I’m scared he’ll get angry.

    Reading others’ posts has given me some strength tonight and I feel calm and empowered. We are not alone. We are strong. We are intelligent, and beautiful. We deserve to be happy and loved.

    Tonight I have decided to make some changes is my life, starting now–not tomorrow or next week. Right now. My once vibrant life has become housemaid, cook, gardener, full-time job, single parent, etc. And somewhere in there is the woman I used to love, who used to have time for herself and her children, who had friends that would actually call her just to talk. This woman is going to go back to the gym three times a week, go back to church every Sunday, not just for christenings and Christmas, and I’m doing this because I deserve it.

    If he chooses to come with me, he will be welcomed. If he chooses his own path in another direction, well, then that was his choice. And I don’t want to be with a man who doesn’t choose me.

  25. Patty says:

    My first husband was abusive–although not an alcoholic. Just mean. I left him years ago.

  26. lee says:

    I thought I’d put over a male opinion. My partner or former partner is an alcoholic. I’d love her to still be my partner, just to try and save the day. My kids still live with her, albeit they’re 18 and 22. She has been on 3 detox programs and failed the lot–drunk on top of the tablets. She also lost her job after being in the same job for 23 years.

    My kids are so unhappy. Yes, I’m aware they could leave, but they’re scared in case there mum does something silly, which she did do last year–a suspected overdose, but we managed to save the day, thankfully.

    I still love this lady. She was my partner for 23 years. I know she was a cracking mum and a cracking partner, who done everything for us. All I do is worry, was on anti-depressants myself for 6 months, but managed to come off them. I’ve lost weight with worry.

    Life is crap. I still make contact. Today I took down lunch, but she finds it hard to eat and I fear her health is now being affected. I’m so sad. Just wish I’d wake up and this was a dream. This has been going on for over a year, or maybe longer, which I wasn’t aware of. Good luck to all other people affected.

  27. Christy says:

    Since my husband ignores us, I took my son to his place of employment, only to give him the Christmas gifts he had for his daddy. I noticed he was wearing a new bracelet, but not his wedding ring. He hasn’t worn it anytime I’ve seen him, all of four times since he left.

    I asked him about the new bracelet and found out it was handmade by another woman. How childish, right? So I asked him why he would wear that from her and not our ring. He said she made everyone one. So I later asked him if anyone had kissed him or if there was ever anything with anyone. He went silent and didn’t answer my text.

    I know in my heart he’s done something that he feels guilty for, because that’s when he doesn’t answer me. He’s the father of my child, but he’s no longer the man I married. I was heartbroken all over again. However, I will get my revenge the best way and I will tell you all how.

    My husband, who is consumed by alcohol, is not the man I fell in love with. He can’t be because he’s numb inside. I have to get out. My revenge will come with my success. He may not see it right now, but someday he will, or maybe he won’t. However, I will see it.

    I will see my success and that will empower me even more. I am strong because I have to be and I deserve the best the world can give me. I walked around for months, feeling like his leaving me was my fault. It’s not and it wasn’t. I love my child, but he will not repeat his father’s mistakes. My husband’s father did the same thing to my husband’s mother.

    My child will learn better and be better because we deserve better. I feel sad sometimes, but I’ve had a lot of support and these words have been said to me. So, if my saying them here helps someone else, then that makes me very happy. I must and will love myself.

  28. Diane says:

    How I wish that after reading your stories, we all lived near to each other and could be friends. I hate my life with a passion. I don’t know what to do anymore. My husband hasn’t allways been like he is now. When we met we loved the good times, the parties, drinking, dancing, etc. He started drinking heavily years ago and has been an alcoholic for probably 30 years.

    This illness just gets worse and worse. There are no more good times. I feel so isolated and alone. No friends. I guess they get fed up with my excuses and how unhappy I am. Why don’t I do something about it? If only it was that easy.

    I have an elderly mum who needs me. And I love her to the end of my life. I will always be there for her. I am totally codependent on my husband. I work, pay the bills. He does nothing. Something inside stops me from leaving.

    I am scared to go it alone. I ask myself why, what have you got here? Nothing, really. Even when he is not drinking, he is not the man I met. I live in hell, really. I am a Christian and I pray for the strength to leave and do something with my life. I feel like a prisoner. If I leave, he will die for sure. Not much of a choice.

  29. Christy says:

    My husband went to work one day in October last year and never came home. He left behind me, unemployed, and our child of 6 years. I’ve been in counseling almost ever since and now I’m going to take our child.

    My husband has spent this entire time ignoring us. I’ve done so much to try to get him involved in our child’s life. He said he left to find happiness and that I was angry and manipulative. I know now after several counseling sessions that I was not the cause of our failing marriage.

    See, my husband has been in trouble with the law and got a DWI last year, lost his license, and had to go to classes. I thought the classes would straighten him out, but as soon as he graduated and got his license back he went to drinking heavily again. It’s like he has no feeling and that he’s numb inside.

    As much as it hurts me to divorce him, I know I must. I gave him the news and asked him to talk with me before taking such dramatic measures, but he just continues to ignore me and has no contact with his child. I’ve learned that the alcohol must have a tight hold on him because he used to say we were everything to him and he lived his life.

    Years later, after 7 years together, he has cut himself off from everyone and won’t even return his mother’s calls. The best way I have found to deal with being in a relationship with an alcoholic is to get out of their way. I’ve asked him to get help, but he doesn’t think he needs it, yet he continues to make excuses.

    He didn’t show up for Christmas and didn’t bother to call. He doesn’t answer my child’s texts or voice mail or calls. I protect my child by reminding him that his daddy has issues and it’s not my child’s fault. For me, I know I have to file for divorce because my husband is lost and I have no idea when or if he will find his way back.

    However, I believe in the power of positive psychology and as hard as it might be to support an alcoholic, if they are strong enough to see they need help and want it, then I believe it’s ok to help them.

  30. elaine says:

    Really lost. I don’t know where to begin. I’ve never been involved with Al-Anon. I’ve never really considered trying to share this with so-called others to experience the same thing, but I just don’t know what to do anymore. My boyfriend of 3 years drinks day and night, sometimes even before work. When he drinks he changes completely. He no longer cares about the people around him and he hates himself.

    Today he says he is ready to go to detox, and we call different places to see if they can take him in. One place finally calls back. He tells me he has to go, not just that he needs to. We go and he’s really intoxicated, and when we go to the receptionist he changes his mind and creates a scene in front of so many different people, and makes me look like a monster.

    I left him there and he will be transferred to detox in the morning. I feel like I did something wrong, like I abandoned him. He didn’t want to be there at the last moment, and I left him alone.

  31. Margie says:

    I have been married 44 years. When we were young he drank, but not on a regular basis. Then he was afraid he was becoming an alcoholic, because many members of his family were. He quit drinking for 20 years. We had a wonderful happy life. Then about 6 or 7 years ago he started drinking again.

    We are now 67 years old and he drinks daily until he passes out. If he wakes up, he will start drinking again. We do not interact when he drinks. All our family and friends have witnessed this, therefore we are not asked to parties or family events if beer will be there. Because most people are afraid of how he will behave, we no longer have interaction with anyone.

    On the days he drinks, he stays outside and I stay in the house alone. Currently, I am not financially able to find another place. Our home belongs to his sister. I cannot drive at night, so I am alone every day. All my family and friends have moved on, so even I am not included.

    People hate when I call, because they do not want to hear my depression. I should have left years ago when I was still working, but I thought he would quit. He never has, and does not plan on stopping. He says I can go or stay, he does not care. This is when he is sober. My story is when I realized he would not stop, I needed to find my own life. My husband is a Christian and used to be a churchgoing man. Not even that stops him.

  32. Sandy says:

    I know I’m not in this alone and it helps to be reminded of that. My husband is supposedly sober, in court-appointed anger-management classes due to domestic violence, and is in AA, but on certain days, I don’t know if it’s dry-drunk syndrome or what, but he acts as insane as he used to when he was drunk–mean, angry, paranoid, jealous, and just flat out weird, insane.

    I swear he’s got borderline personality disorder, and crazy me, I don’t feel like I can kick him out as he doesn’t have a job, and I still care enough I don’t want him living in a cardboard box. But I’ve about had it. I’m going to lose my job. He bugs me all the time at work about stupid little unimportant stuff just to get me to pay attention to him because he’s so insecure. I thought when he quit drinking things would be better. At least when he was drunk he’d pass out. Now there’s no shutting him up. He’s a freak. I just want to disappear. Thanks for listening.

  33. Leonor says:

    I am so sad. After four years of my husband being sober, he has relapsed. It started over a month ago, “only on special occasions.” He simply states he is ready to drink occasionally. Of course, I know that as an alcoholic this is not possible. He then blames me because he is a converted Christian and says God has cured him, so he is able to drink now.

    The first time I tried to believe him, I stopped talking to him for a day or so, but then things went back to normal. I tried to forget about it. Two weeks ago he came home buzzed or drunk after work. He said that was because he was sad, that he was not happy with his life, as excuses to justify himself.

    The next day I told him that my kids and I were not going to go back to our old life. I also was told by all of our 3 pastors that we have to set boundaries, and if we say something we have to do it. So I told him I was not giving an option. Next time he would do it, he would have to leave. Of course, he said he was going to stop.

    Today he got home buzzed and I immediately noticed, so I confronted him. He had all the signs, the anger, the denial, saying it was me who was the one who had the problem, that I was never going to be happy with his actions, etc. So I told him that I was going to keep my word and that he had to leave our house. I just do not know what is the next step from here.

  34. Khosie says:

    I’ve seen my fiance for 3 years now drinking like there’s no tomorrow.

    He’s got different friends he drinks with. Some of them are thugs. He doesn’t listened to me or his mom. We’re just nothing, I mean nothing to him but a piece of rubbish. Lately every Monday he does not go to work because he’s drunk. During weekends he does not sleep at all til Sunday around 11 pm. I’m deadly tired of everything he does and I won’t be able to assist him because he gets angry whenever I start a conversation.

    There is no communication at all between us.

  35. Janice says:

    I am not sure I should even comment here, as I divorced my husband of 14 years due to his progressive alcoholism. I say progressive because he was not an alcoholic when I married him in my late 20’s. Weekends of BBQ’s and drinking with friends – social occasions that are normal for that age range. It was only after the birth of our first, second and third child that his drinking became progressively worse – more frequent, weekdays, weeknights. Verbal abuse was rampant by him and by me in my defense. I did not learn to walk away from a fight until he got physical a couple of times. Then I did walk away in tears every time. I felt ashamed, belittled, weak. But I knew I was strong inside, but he chipped away at that time and time again. Our fights would escalate, then deflate, then silent treatment. The next day, no apologies, no discussions, no make-up sex. Nothing. This went on for years. Just swept under the rug.

    To say my beloved home was toxic, then loving, then toxic is an understatement. We hid it well from friends and family. Still the picture of a perfect family unit for years. Then he began to start fights with me in front of family. Eventually, we sold the house and he moved out of state. I was absolutely fine with that arrangement. I moved in with my folks, as the kids were still in school. I was emotionally scarred from all the verbal abuse so I sought verbal abuse counseling at a domestic violence center in my area. I was beyond how it looked anymore. I needed serious counseling to remember myself. I also went to church often as well. I did this for 2 years.

    This separation lasted 4 years. I continued to visit him with the kids for summers and winters but he never once agreed to counseling or AA. He wanted a divorce but refused to initiate. Eventually, I did initiate it and saw it through. I have been divorced for 3 years now. He moved back to my area last year but is not the verbally abusive person towards me anymore. I think a lot of time has gone by and even he recognizes what he did to me, to us. Total separation was about 6 years before he moved back here.

    Today, we are friends at arm’s length. He sees the children, who are now teenagers. He has been to detox and rehab for himself and for the first time has broken down in tears and admitted the pain of losing me, the house, our life together. I still don’t trust him but will be supportive if he continues with AA and an outpatient program. However, I will never take him back. I am not emotionally safe with such a loose cannon.

    I don’t regret divorcing him. I was miserable, emotionally hurt all of the time. I could not be the best parent I knew I could be to my 3 beautiful children. He was dragging me down and using me as a target for his verbal backlash. That is no way to live life on this earth. I remember what it feels like when I was younger to be loved and adored. I am still young – late 40’s. I deserve so much more from a partner.

    Alcoholism is a disease and until the person wants to help him/herself, hit rock bottom, there is nothing you can do. My ex-husband hit rock bottom by losing his job and then checked himself into detox and then a residential treatment program. By the time he did this, 20 years had gone by since I first got together with him.

    Sadly, alcoholism and drug addiction are rampant and if not addressed properly, the next generation of family will repeat the same behaviors.

  36. Ale says:

    I’ve been married for 8 years and he was sober for 12 months. He was on a trip from work, didn’t call me all day, not even his kids. When I called him at 10:00 pm, he sounded different and I noticed he sounded drunk. I asked him and he didn’t deny it.

    I feel sad, angry and I can’t trust him anymore. I don’t know what to do. I love him very much. He is a good father, but sucks as a husband. I don’t know what to do anymore!

  37. Anne says:

    I have been going to Al-Anon for 2 months now to try to change my attitude about my husband’s alcoholism and behaviour associated with it.

    It impacts my home and environment greatly in that I feel I have no stability, no home due to the chaos and confusion. I believe I am sicker than he is due to the shame, guilt, repulsion, anger, and dissapointment that lives within me. After a night filled with drama, none of it he can remember, I told him how I felt after shaming comments he made to me. It did not go over well and he decided to focus on one thing in my comments that he took exception to.

    I have systematically decreased exposure to him when he is apt to drink and behave badly.

    No more:
    going on all-inclusive vacations or cruises
    camping with our friends
    going to conferences together
    going out to friends’ houses unless he decides not to drink
    sleeping in the same bed after he has behaved badly and is drunk
    renting movies because he drinks so much that the movie must be paused frequently so that he can go to the bathroom and also get another drink, etc.

    I figure that I am alone anyway when he is drinking; he’s in his own little world, meeting his own needs, and is unable to connect with me in a meaningful way.

    On the bad side, I’m also suffering and not enjoying all the good social things that I could be enjoying. I’m still on Step One and I do hope I can get a change in attitude soon. He is a wonderful man whom I love to be with when he is sober. He is worth it and I’m leaving it to my higher power to hopefully intervene and nudge him toward sobriety. I am hopeful still, but I don’t know if we can endure the insanity on both sides.

  38. Jackie says:

    The podcast was helpful. However, the individuals did not say the actions they took to deal with verbal abuse, despite saying they wouldn’t tolerate it.

    I found out after we were married that my husband is a dry drunk and we are living separately. He has changed since we got married. He is always blaming others for his problems and so angry all the time. We had an argument which led to him screaming, cursing and demeaning me. I warned him that I won’t tolerate the verbal abuse any longer.

    I set boundaries that he must work on his issues, specifically his anger issues if there is to be any possible future for us. I have lost my trust in him and do not feel safe. So far he has done little to work on his anger and refuses to accept he is an alcoholic/addict and this is influencing his attitudes. I will protect myself with healthy boundaries, which are not ultimatums. I know ultimatums are looked at in Al-Anon as controlling behavior but this is different. My boundaries are for my own protection and not an effort to control him.

    I have placed a boundary up for my safety–address your anger issues in measureable, action-based ways (whether it’s reopening his mental-health case or whatever). I need to be sure I will not be abused by him if he comes home.

    I have been in verbally abusive relationships with other alcoholics and I will not remain in one and allow myself to get abused once more. I fought too hard to regain my self-esteem and I have my own sobriety of 23 years to protect. I love him, but there are some people that constitutionally can’t get honest. It is his path to walk and he must walk it, whether it’s with or without me.

  39. Linda says:

    I have been married for just over 3 years. My husband has parents, a brother, and a sister, who are all functioning alcoholics. Before we got married, I asked if he had a problem, which he said no, just a very social drinker. Found out he is a full-blown alcoholic.

    It wasn’t noticeable until a year ago when his dad died. Up and down mood swings, drinking vodka from the bottle before going to work–and everybody thinks he’s just the sweetest, most gentle person around–well, unfortunately they don’t live with him. Mood swings, up and down, verbally abusive to me, calling me stupid and low-down foul names, belittling me. Then he passes out and in the morning it’s like nothing happened.

    The other day I went out of town for a few hours and he called to ask where I was. I told him and said I’d be home in an hour or so. Arrived home to find him furious that I took so long, said I must have driven slow on purpose, went on to berate me and said to get on my knees and apologize for lying to him. Even when I break down crying, nothing phases him. Yesterday morning was up-and-down mood swings, then mid-afternoon he was saying he was going to commit suicide, said I was to blame, said that I would have to live with that. Tried talking to him, but everything I said or did was wrong–couldn’t help him see how much I loved him.

    Last night he moved all his things downstairs and was moving out/then talking suicide. Called his family to say goodbye and that he was committing suicide and it was all my fault for being so stupid. This is a man who is 57 years old and has a good heart when sober. He was getting verbally abusive and confrontational, and I asked him to leave and said he wouldn’t. Said I needed to call 911 if I wanted to get him out. I did and he was furious, telling me to hang up the phone. When I got off the phone he said, “This is it, I’m killing myself tonight.” He ran downstairs with me behind him yelling at him to stop, he ran into the garage and tried closing the door–he grabbed a blowtorch and was trying to get the torch close to his face. Where my strength came from I don’t know, but I pulled it from his hands. Then he proceeded to grab a spike tool and was trying to stab his head.

    I am so emotionally drained and exhausted. The police came and by that time he had calmed down and told the police that he had been having issues with me because I was too emotional lately, and he had been having problems with me–so many lies being married to an alcoholic! I am not into drama, I work in health-care and am so done now. This is the third time in 1 1/2 months that I have had to call the police and it’s the last time. I love him, but not his behavior when he’s drinking, and not his addiction.

    I deserve better in life–dreaming of coming home to a quiet house, with no issues of walking on eggshells, no worrying about what mood he is going to be in, no verbal abuse of how terrible and stupid a person I am. I have a nursing career, but belittles me on that also. A person deserves a life of happiness, of tranquility and joy–I’m getting none of those.

    As hard as it is to see him leave, and I will miss him on many levels, had so many good times, but the bad are outing the good now–he needs help! He has to come to realize that and make changes, and that we can’t be living in the same household while he does that. I’ll be there for him, but at a distance. Not going to miss the smell of vodka or sherry anymore–or his cigars that went with it. He always denies that he drinks, always has ginger ale around, but have found stashes in his garage, and a full bottle of vodka is gone in a few hours. I’m tired of living like this. I deserve so much more.

  40. Pamela says:

    I’ve been in a relationship with an alcoholic for the last 3 years and today I say I don’t want it anymore. The disease has caused me to lose self-confidence, because he is verbally abusive. I love this man, but I can’t keep putting my kids and my own future at risk because of this man’s addiction. It’s a very unhealthy relationship being with an alcoholic.

  41. gail says:

    My husband is drinking again. He managed to stay sober for 3 years. I am so sad. I was just starting to feel in love again. He says it was just tonight, but I know what happens next–drugs, more booze, and verbal abuse. I am going to be packing my bags and leaving as soon as he falls asleep. I will be closing the door to my home and my 28 years of marriage. I just can’t forgive anymore.

  42. Cheryl R. says:

    I was in a relationship with an alcoholic 30 years ago for 7 years. I never drink. My 20’s were ruined by this man. I saw it go from 6 beers to 12 a day. I can’t even stand the sound of a can being opened (even if it’s a soda). It’s so much better to be alone than in the web of an alcoholic.

  43. Ashley says:

    I have been married 7 years and for the last 5 it has been a tremendous roller coaster. He has been to 8 inpatient treatments and sober living for 3.5 months. Every single time he has immediately relapsed, either at the airport on his way home or the day after. He has been to countless detox’s and still manages to get so dependent on alcohol almost immediately. He has done so many reckless things, the list goes on.

    He is only 33 years old and as of last year had stage-1 cirrhosis. The doctor said if he continued to drink he would have 1-5 years left to live. This is a severely addicted man with no end in sight. We have a 2 and 4-year-old and for the last 3 years I have been the sole provider for our whole family. We have lived apart for the past 3 months and the chaos got even worse.

    I have decided that I am moving out of our family home because he uses it to dangle over my head. I feel I’m being held hostage because of the house. Thankfully after years of tears and stress I was able to see a way out. I finally got my own house and the kids and I will be moving.

    He is currently in the hospital with a severe infection from an incident while drunk. I have been going to see him daily and brought the kids to see him yesterday. I felt I owed the kids a sober visit with their father.

    He was being ok the first few days then he started being mean from what I assume is active withdraw. Why am I upset about this? I am the one who finally had the courage to move out and this is all my decision. Why does it hurt when he says for me to stay away? I still care for him as I understand he is a very ill man. Still, this is a very hard situation to deal with. I hope what I’m doing is right.

  44. julie says:

    I am married to an alcoholic who binge-drinks every week and becomes violent. I am tired of him saying to me that this is his last time and he will never do it again.

    I feel helpless and angry.

  45. stephanie says:

    I’m a 22-year-old with a 4-year-old and another one on the way. My husband began drinking daily a little over a year ago. I am not a drinker.

    Once the drinking started nothing seemed to change, then we started fighting more. The last six months have been nothing but daily fights and inappropriate behavior. Leaving me to feel like I have some kind of problem, or as if I am doing something wrong.

    Last night he landed himself in jail, and I hated him. Then he calls with promises of a better relationship, more involved parenting, working a program–I want to believe it, but I feel I’m just gearing up for another battle. One I don’t want to have again.

  46. Katy says:

    My cross-addicted partner, alcoholic, took an overdose three weeks ago. I called the ambulance service when he told me what he had done and he ended up in hospital. Hours later and after psychological assessment he was discharged and wanted to come home with me because he felt safe here. However, his suicidal thoughts have predominated since and although not drinkingsince–I have strong boundaries about his drinking in my home–his behaviour has taken on that of a dry drunk–rude, abusive, angry etc.

    He took himself off yesterday to see his adult children and has apparently been telling them what belongings he wants them to have after he dies. I know he is drinking again as he told me so when we spoke on the phone this evening. I have notified his mental health support of all this but it seems nothing can be done. He is an adult and has choices.

    I am in the the unenviable position of “damned if i do and damned if I don’t!” It’s a case of “heads he wins, tails I lose.” He is returning here on Friday supposedly. I could of course say no to that. We watched “When Love Is Not Enough,” the story of Bill and Lois W. I thought it wonderful. He said that it was rubbish. Enough said!

  47. carolyn says:

    I have been married 23 years. Husband drinks 12-20 every day. I’m tired. He is up and down and up and down. Nice/happy but manic/ then angry/sullen/argumentative. I wish he would hit me so I could say that’s it.

    I am so tired of the drama and the waiting for shoe to drop and hoping things will be somehow different. The other day he said he was going to start a program to stop drinking–with our pastor. It made me mad because I cannot muster up the appropriate behavior (supportive compassionate) because I doubt his sincerity. I look like a bad person. He pretended to have withdrawal symptoms in front of me/parents and pastor—and then the next day I found 15 cans in recycling bin. He hadn’t even stopped. I addressed this with him after I found them and he got angry.

    I’m tired. My grown son told me yesterday that he wanted me to leave 3 years ago. This was a surprise to me because I have only recently started to let myself acknowledge what a huge problem this really is.

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