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


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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.


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

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

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

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

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

757 Responses to “Should I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?”

  1. Bill Says:

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

  2. dan Says:

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

  3. Tom Says:

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

  4. Tim Says:

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

  5. Tom Says:

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

  6. Pete Says:


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

  7. Tom Says:


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

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

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

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


  8. Dave Says:

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

  9. Tom Says:

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

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

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

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

    Call me if you want to talk.

  10. Sean Says:

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

  11. Tom Says:

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

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

    Sorry your marriage blew up.

  12. joe Says:

    hi all

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

  13. Tom Says:

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

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

  14. Bob Says:

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

  15. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  16. Jason Says:


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

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

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

    Now, add the magic ingredient….alcohol:

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

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

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

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

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

    All the while, the drinking continues….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for listening.

  17. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

  18. mark Says:

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

  19. Tom Linde Says:

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

  20. catrina Says:

    I have to leave this marriage, can’t take the drinking anymore,

  21. Roger Says:

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

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

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

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

  22. Tom Linde Says:

    I take it you’ve gotten some legal consultation so that you know for sure what your risks and options are?

  23. Veronica Says:

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

  24. Shay Says:

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

  25. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  26. Amy Says:

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

  27. Chris Says:

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

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

  28. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  29. Tom Linde Says:

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

  30. tom Says:

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

  31. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  32. Bob Says:

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

  33. brandon Says:

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

  34. Ellie Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  35. Anna Says:

    Hello there,

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

  36. Ken Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What can I do?

  37. Tom Linde Says:

    Anyone else have suggestions or ideas for Ken?

  38. crystal Says:

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

  39. Chris Says:

    I am so grateful to this site.

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

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

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

    Alcoholism is a disease.

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

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

    Or leave.

    We stay until the pain becomes too much.

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

    Alcoholics are selfish. Yes.

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

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

    Your son’s life is already being torn apart.

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

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

    We stay until leaving is the lesser pain.

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

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

  40. Tom Linde Says:

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

  41. Reno Says:

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

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

  42. Raymond Says:

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

  43. Tara Says:

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

  44. Tom Linde Says:

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

  45. Chris Says:

    Hi Reno

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  46. Nena Says:

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

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

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

  47. Jim Says:

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

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

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

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

    I am so confused…

  48. Jason Says:

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

  49. Ryan Says:

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

  50. Tom Linde Says:

    Ryan, you say it’s hard to let go. Naturally enough. But it seems you’ve described several different ways in which she has communicated the wish to leave.

  51. W Says:

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

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

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

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

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


  52. John B Says:

    I thought I was the only one with this problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alcohool is a cruel and cunning disease….!

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

    John B

  53. vern Says:

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

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

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


  54. robby Says:

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

  55. Ed Says:

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

  56. Bette Says:

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

  57. Timothy Says:

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

  58. Scott Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  59. Lisa Says:

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

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

  60. Mark Says:

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

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

  61. Robert Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  62. pascal Says:

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

  63. Monique Says:

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

  64. Annie Says:

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

  65. Mark Says:

    Hi Annie,

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

    Hope things work out for you.

  66. Steve Says:

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

  67. Thuy Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  68. Tom Linde Says:

    Steve, I can confidently say it’s not your job to force her. Your choices are painful enough, just sticking to the feasible ones.

  69. Tom Linde Says:

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

  70. Golani Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  71. kelle Says:

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

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

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

  72. Liz Says:

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

  73. Andrew Says:

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

  74. Louis Says:

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

  75. Andrew Says:

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

  76. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  77. Andrew Says:


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

  78. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  79. sonja Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  80. Tom Linde Says:

    Sonya, I might suggest that you have to take care of your own problem first and foremost, and independent of what your husband does with his.

  81. Dawn Says:

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

  82. roskoe Says:

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

  83. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  84. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  85. Mike Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  86. Tom Linde Says:

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

  87. John Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Please, any advice would be welcome.

  88. bob Says:

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

  89. Tom Linde Says:

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

  90. Tom Linde Says:

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

  91. Barbara Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  92. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  93. Ross Says:

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

  94. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks for the update! And your words about what helps to cope.

  95. Chris Says:

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

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

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

  96. Tom Linde Says:

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

  97. Jane Says:

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

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

  98. Tom Linde Says:

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

  99. Todd Says:

    I too have an alcoholic wife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Where do I start?

  100. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

  101. Shawn Says:

    I have an alcohlic wife,

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

  102. Chris M Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  103. Tom Linde Says:

    Thank you, Chris and Shawn.
    Leaving is not the choice for everyone in this situation, but I hope we hear from others who’ve taken the dreaded step.

  104. Chris M Says:

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

  105. Terri Says:

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

  106. Tom Linde Says:

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

  107. Tom Linde Says:

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

  108. Donna Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  109. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

    Thanks, Donna.

  110. Diana Says:

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

  111. Tina Says:

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

  112. Sue Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I am very tired of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  113. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks, Diana.

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

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

  114. Tom Linde Says:

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

  115. Mike Says:

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

  116. Maureen Says:

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

  117. Tom Linde Says:

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

  118. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  119. Michelle Says:

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

  120. Alexander Says:

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

  121. Tom Linde Says:

    Hey, thanks, Alexander. I hope we hear from some others who’ve found this sort of success.

  122. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  123. Jay Says:

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

  124. Tom Linde Says:

    Good questions, Jay. All the answers are lousy. Maybe, like in some elections, it’s a matter of picking the lesser evil.

  125. Alexander Says:

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

  126. Tony Says:

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

  127. Tom Linde Says:

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

  128. Alexander Says:

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

  129. Tony Says:

    Thank you so much for your help guys! I’m working on it and I will remain strong and vigilant… Thank you…

  130. Ron Says:

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

  131. Tom Linde Says:

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

  132. Ron Says:

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

  133. Marques Says:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  134. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  135. Marques Says:

    Thanks, Tom.

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

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

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

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

  136. John Says:

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

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

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

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

  137. Tom Linde Says:

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

  138. RandallInHell Says:

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

  139. Tom Linde Says:

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

  140. Michelle Says:

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

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

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

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

  141. Tom Linde Says:

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

  142. Dana Says:

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

  143. Jim Says:

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

  144. Tom Linde Says:

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

  145. joe Says:

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

  146. Tom Linde Says:

    Joe, your statement could be the most complete here so far.

  147. Brian Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I miss my wife!

    Thanks to all for sharing your stories.

  148. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks, Brian.
    I like your, “I see where this is going…” Please let us know what you decide to do later along this trajectory.

  149. Martini on the Rocks Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  150. Tom Linde Says:

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

  151. Barbara Says:

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


  152. Murray Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  153. Ethan Says:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Will someone just please help me make the pain stop?

  154. Tom Linde Says:

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

  155. Tom Linde Says:

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

  156. thomas Says:

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

  157. Denise Says:

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

  158. Mary Says:

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

  159. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks, Thomas.
    I hope you’re gathering and refining ideas about just how to stop living in the situation you describe. Please keep us posted.

  160. Tom Linde Says:

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

  161. Tom Linde Says:

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

  162. Heidi Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  163. Tom Linde Says:

    Tough questions, Heidi.

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

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

  164. Angela Says:

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

  165. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  166. NEEDS HELP! Says:

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

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

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

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

    Please any thoughts or suggestion would be apperciated.

  167. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  168. needs help Says:

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

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

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

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

  169. Henry Says:

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

  170. Tom Linde Says:

    Good luck, Henry.

  171. Jana Says:

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

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

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

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

  172. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  173. Linda Says:

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

  174. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  175. t Says:

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

  176. Tom Linde Says:

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

  177. RM Says:

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

  178. Tom Linde Says:

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

  179. Alice Says:

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

  180. D- Says:

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

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

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

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

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


  181. John Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks for weighing in on this topic.

  182. Niki Says:

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

  183. Tom Linde Says:

    John, D and Alice,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  184. Henry Says:

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

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

  185. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  186. Chris J. Says:

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

  187. Paul Says:

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

  188. vickie Says:

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

  189. robert h Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  190. Jim Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I am so sad and lonely…

  191. Ruth Says:

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

  192. Chris Says:

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

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

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

  193. Thuy Says:

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

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

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

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

  194. k Says:

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

  195. Baden Says:

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

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

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

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

    I feel somewhat out of options or answers …

  196. Tom Linde Says:

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

  197. Rick Says:

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

  198. Mark Says:

    Hi Rick,

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

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

  199. raymond Says:

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

  200. Tom Linde Says:

    My own thought, Raymond, is that you could research the social service agencies in your area.

  201. Forrest Says:

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

  202. Lee Says:

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

  203. jeff Says:

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

  204. t Says:

    Jim, 18/8/2011

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

  205. Marques Says:

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

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

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

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

  206. Tom Linde Says:

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

  207. Not Alone Says:

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

  208. john Says:

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

  209. forestdancer Says:

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

  210. Keli Says:

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

  211. Kadie Says:

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

  212. John Says:

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

  213. John Says:

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

  214. Kate Says:


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

  215. forrest Says:

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

  216. Sean Says:

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

  217. Cath Says:

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

  218. Ross Says:

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

  219. A.L.A. Says:

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

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

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

    Thank you for listening and sorry for rambling.

  220. Liz A. Says:

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

  221. Tom Linde Says:

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

  222. Tom Linde Says:

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

  223. Liz A. Says:

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

  224. Bobby Says:

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

  225. john Says:

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

  226. Rebecca Says:

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

  227. Adina Says:

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

  228. Warren Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I wish I could find the strength I need.

  229. Tom Linde Says:


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

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

    Thank you.


  230. Henry Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  231. Ray Says:

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

  232. Lori Says:

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

  233. forestdancer Says:

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

  234. Scott Says:

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

  235. Stacy Says:

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

  236. bennyfender Says:

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

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

  237. Dave Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  238. Stefanie Says:

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

  239. Karen Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  240. Asylum Says:

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

  241. Steve Says:

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

    Wish it didn’t have to be this way…

  242. RandallInHell Says:

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

  243. Tom Linde Says:

    I have contacted Randall privately.

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

  244. Shonee Says:

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

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

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

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

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

  245. Debbie Says:

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

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

  246. Asylum Says:

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

  247. orion Says:

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

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

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

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

  248. Richard Says:

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

  249. Deanna Says:

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

  250. Losing Myself Says:

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

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

  251. Brad Says:

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

  252. rebecca Says:

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

  253. kevin Says:

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

  254. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

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

  255. kevin Says:

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

  256. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  257. D- Says:

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

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

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

  258. Asylum Says:

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

  259. John Says:

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

  260. Jane Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  261. Jane Says:

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

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

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

  262. Jane Says:

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

    “alcoholism and a satisfying relationship are diametrically opposed”

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

  263. Tom Linde Says:

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

  264. Jack Says:

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

  265. adrian Says:

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

  266. Stacy Says:

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

  267. Doug Says:

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

  268. Francine Says:

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

  269. Dan Says:

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

  270. Tom Linde Says:

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

  271. James Says:


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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you,


  272. Tom Linde Says:

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

  273. Chris Says:


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

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

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

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

  274. Kathy Says:

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

  275. Zacharias Says:

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

  276. Frances Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  277. Dianne Says:

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

  278. Jessica Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I would rather be that tree.

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

  279. Dawn Says:

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

  280. Christine Says:

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

  281. john Says:

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

  282. Shawn Says:

    What a trip.

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

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

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

    I am literally watching someone lose their mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  283. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  284. Tom Linde Says:

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

  285. Tesa Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sigh..thanks for allowing me to vent..

  286. Rhonda Says:

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

  287. john Says:

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

  288. Jill Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  289. iz Says:

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

  290. Dee Says:

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

  291. Graham Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    She chose to leave, literally choosing alcohol over me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I hope I can save myself.

  292. Sig Says:

    Just like Bill says almost there. 10 years of hell pain

  293. Gary Says:

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

  294. dayna Says:

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

  295. Tom Linde Says:

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

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

  296. Terry Says:

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

  297. Graham Says:

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

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

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

  298. Rhonda Says:

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

  299. mary Says:

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

  300. Tesa T Says:

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

  301. Ralph Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  302. Suzanne Says:

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

  303. Heather Says:

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

  304. Graham Says:

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

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

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

    I have given up hope for ever being happy again.

  305. Tom Linde Says:

    Your last line suggests to me that you may have a “unipolar” depression to take care of, Graham.

  306. Karen Says:

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

  307. Wes Says:

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

  308. Graham Says:


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

    You said this:

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

    And I could not relate more.

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

  309. Graham Says:

    Karen, you said this:

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

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

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

  310. Michelle Says:

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

  311. Wes Says:

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

  312. Tom Linde Says:

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

  313. Wes Says:

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

  314. Rhonda Says:

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

  315. Sandra Says:

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

  316. Rhonda Says:

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

    Thank you for sharing.

  317. Graham Says:

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

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

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

  318. brian Says:

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

  319. Barbara Says:

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

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

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

    I can breathe again!

  320. Phil Moricone Says:

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

  321. Anna Kellett Says:

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

  322. Rick Says:

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

    thats my feelings, sorry for being blunt.

  323. Gary Says:

    I am empty inside now but relieved as well
    I have read a lot of comments and now reassured and certain that her drinking is not my fault
    It would be our 30th anniversary in November but we won’t be together
    Five years of lying playing hide and seek for empty bottles
    Mistakes at work worrying and wondering what will face me when I get home
    Arrests for drink driving threats to take her own life journeys to hospital with pullover doses
    Upset adult children
    No real support network in UK which is government funded
    Costs for private rehab which ran into thousands
    Cancellation of functions planned family events and weddings because she could hardly stand up or put two words together
    Giving her just that one last chance when she says that she won t touch another drink
    I love my wife and I know that when she’s sober and not on a binge she loves me
    I have left
    I will loose my house half my salary half my police pension but I don t care
    Money is not everything
    If I can offer any advice to any wife or husband of an alcoholic is. GET OUT
    They will not stop
    It is like living with a demon
    I now know that the beautiful woman I married who through this terrible illness will one day die as a result of drink
    I know now that I have tied every course of action and treatment available to help her I cannot do anything else
    She lost her job because of her addiction and now lost me and the children who dread the Telephone call from me telling them what has happened on the latest Inge occasion
    I ve eventually left
    It has not been an easy decision to take but I can t go on like this anymore
    There are lot of financial and property decisions to make and the fear of being lonely is less than the fear and stress caused by living with an alcoholic
    Good look to you all out there

  324. Graham Says:


    Good luck to you, I lived with an alcoholic for 28 years and I can completely relate to everything you said. It is all so familiar.

    Please understand this though, and don’t think this should influence your decision.

    When you have been inside that ‘alcoholic bubble’ for so long, as you know you can become completely codependent.

    I realise that breaking free of that stress is very important to you but , I have found that I miss being that ‘codependent’

    I know thats not healthy but it become’s part of us to such an extent we sometimes don’t know how to act when it’s gone.

    Get yourself plenty of help / counselling, whatever works, and, just as important, another girlfriend or someone to be your companion and boost your self esteem.

    I hope that makes sense

  325. Darlene Says:

    Hi there,
    Like all others here, I am living with an alcoholic. When we met I was living in one province and he in another, so we had a long distance relationship. he was the “cool” one, the life of the party. Now fast forward 20 years later. He’s no longer the life of the party because he never leaves the house unless for work – he lives in the garage getting drunk. We have two children, one with autism. Although he’s a closet drinker, he nonetheless gets drunk every night. He picks them up from daycare and before I even get home (he has them for 1 hr alone) he is preparing supper and is already tipsy by the time I walk in the door. I used to count the beers but now I don’t … what’s the point? Drunk is drunk. Other nights when I have to work late, I arrive home and he’s passed out drunk – I can’t help but think what if something happend while I was at work and they needed medical attention and he’s too drunk (and too proud to seek help) to drive? Two weeks ago he took my brand new car on a joy-ride while drunk! But the best part is that HE confronted ME last week about monitoring his drinking and HE was mad, (trying) to make me feel guilty. I want to leave so bad but I am so scared. How can I leave? But at the same time, how can I stay.

  326. James Says:

    So… I sit here listening to my miserable drunk of a Wife go on and on about how her being a worthless excuse for a wife, mother and human being is all my fault…. textbook, right?
    She downs at least a large bottle of vodka every night and hasnt even so much as changed a diaper in EONS. I am left to provide from my family (Self Employed) and take care of the kids, AND the house, and her worthless ass. I dont know what to do anymore. If I leave her/kick her out… She has nowhere to go, and while I fucking despise her at this point, part of me is bothered by the thought of her miserable ass wandering the streets drunk out of her mind. Why? No friggin clue. I do however have to add that she drank the whole pregnancy with our youngest, sobered up for the delivery, and then proceeded to dive right back in as soon as she got home from the hospital. Even had Child Protective Services called on her by the hospital (She is also a pillhead… vicodin being her first love)… Managed to somehow worm her miseable way outta that one… and ever since, has been drunk. She will even drink the last of our money for milk for our kids in vodka… claiming that they will be “Fine”.
    This has been getting increasingly worse as time goes by. Her grandmother that raised her died about 3 years and change ago, and ever since, she has been in a bottle. I understand hurting from loss… but to completely neglect your own children, especially considering our eldest (Almost 6) is autistic and prone to emulating mommy in her rages… I havent even slept in the same bed as the monster in almost 3 years now. I sleep on the couch or on the floor in my kids room… that is when she doesnt keep all of us up all night running around the house, ripping doors off their hinges, smashing anything she can get her hands on, or breaking TVs and stuff.
    I know this is scattered…. But I cant seem to concentrate on anything anymore. I can barely function enough to keep the house afloat and not in flames… let alone take care of my children effectively or give them a healthy environment in which to flourish. I just dont know what to do. I am dying (figurativley), my eldest does not speak intelligibly, and my middle child is getting the worst of it, as I dont have time to fixate on him and give him what he needs while tending to my eldest an our baby (just over a year)…. I love my children… but at this point, I am so damaged i wonder if I am ever going to be able to be better… I shake all the time, I cannot concentrate, and my level of anger never seems to diminish. This is NOT a healthy environment to raise children in. And its not fit for humans to occupy, either. I know I sound like a Bitter evil troll…. but I just dont know what else to do… I was a Kind, mellow, loving person. Now I just want to crawl into a black hole and cease to exist…. Well… wither that or throw her into it and take my children and run.

  327. James Says:

    I will add that I am not perfect by any means. I have a Medical Marijuana prescription that I DO make use of from time to time ( And who can blame me! ) And while I realize that it is kind of the pot calling the kettle black, I could smoke my whole monthly supply in about one hour and I would STILL be 10000000 times more lucid than she is on any given day. And I also will add that I dont like just sit there puffing all day… I function, work, care for my children, cook, all of that. I smoke when she (wife) passes out in a pool of her own Drool/vomit and the children are asleep. Its honestly the only way that I AM able to get any kind of sleep. OTC Sleepaids make me into a zombie and I dont wake up if the baby cries… And being the only parent/adult in the house, I cant have that happen. I am 33, BTW… been with this woman off and on since we were teens. she is 32. But I also feel that she is still stuck in her teens mentally… all of her storys are the same old teen “went out and got smashed and it was SOOOO cool…” tirades… I just wanted to state that I do not think that I am perfect in any way… But it isnt very hard to be MUCH better than she is with even the tiniest iota of effort. OK… I think I am done. I feel SLIGHTLY better… this is my first vent since she chased all my friends away after we married…. so thanks for Readin!

  328. Graham Says:

    You sound like the victim of another self absorbed alcoholic James.

    I know what it is like, I lived with one for 28 years. I know there is nothing I can say to alleviate your misery but I will say this, I know guilt is a major issue for the significant other’s of A’s.

    Don’t blame yourself, you didn’t create this problem, you can’t control it and you sure as hell can’t cure it. It is all up to her.

    Rehab might be worth a try, I don’t know, mine went to rehab over a dozen times and it made no difference whatsoever.

    AA might be worth it but once again, she has to want to stay sober, otherwise it’s pointless.

    Al anon could help you, so could a therapist, just ideas, i’m sure you have heard them all.

    I know that living with an alcoholic is very lonely as well, but you are not alone, whatever you decide to do, there are many of us in the same situation , don’t give up, your kids need you and you deserve better.

    Hang in there and reach out to others buddy

  329. James Says:

    just to to let u people know this man can punch a women in the face and laugh and go on and then wonders why i drink

  330. Jan Says:

    I just broke up with a severe alcoholic boyfriend. Whom is married to hard liqour and beer. I could no longer take his abuse when he became drunk, his behavior change from being sweet to be way over mean and barking out orders at me. I said your drinking is way too much. He would get up in the morning and put a couple shots of booze in his coffee, drink all day with shots in between. I could not take it any longer I said goodbye to him. I am actually happy he’s out of my life. I am not even sad I feel a sense of freedom and glad he is gone. I feel his drinking like he does he will dead in 5 years tops.

  331. Dawn Says:

    Okay, so I am the one with the drinking problem and have “raged” at my boyfriend several times in the past couple years. The most recent was a month ago, previous time was 9 mos before. I know that one time is one time too many. I cannot believe the hurtful things I have said to him, and he said this last time was worse. I started counseling 3 weeks ago and have only had several drinks since then. He left 2 weeks ago and is staying at a friend’s house so he has time and space to figure out what he wants to do. Yet he is still wanting to see me a lot and even brings alcohol. I don’t understand it. If it was so traumatic to him, why does he encourage me to drink? He drinks every night, usually a few beers or a couple glasses of wine. I do not drink daily and am mortified at how I can become this terrible verbally abusive person. He thinks I should be able to control my drinking but clearly, on several occasions, I have not. And yet he continues to offer me alcohol and encourage drinking nights with friends. There is no excuse for my behavior but what the heck is going on with him? Why is it acceptable for him to bring alcohol around when he knows the risk? I don’t understand his request for time and space when he doesn’t go longer than two days without seeing me. I’ve told him that he needs to take the time and space that he asked for and I will respect it. That I cannot see him regularly because he may never figure things out that way. I feel like he has left me and if I can’t figure out how to drink alcohol without raging, that he will leave me because he loves alcohol more. I’m angry that he left but he still wants to come and go as he pleases and even drink around me and ASK ME TO DRINK. He does not seem to be taking this seriously.

  332. forestdancer Says:

    I have written before and cannot believe how even drunk, a person can act so maliciously towards their spouse. I have gotten to the point after being married 27 years, that my husband has left the marriage and married the bottle of Jack. Marriage is based on a deep trust, and decisions made and the work involved in raising kids, maintaining a home, vehicles, etc., investing for retirement and more is all part of a relationship based on trust. Now I see clearly that the trust is breached, and I feel completely alone. I have gone through just about everything you have all said, bashing doors in, breaking tvs, yesterday my husband was mad that his brakes needed repairing. Yes he has a great job, but life is expensive and he fixes a lot of stuff himself. The whole time you could hear him ranting and raving about how nobody in the house works but him, he was dead drunk and eventually came in and pulled the cord out of the internet, turned the cable off and grabbed both the kid’s cell phones. Just violent about it all…and they have been busy keeping straight A’s in school, playing on tennis team 2 hours a day and studying for exams. They had just gotten home at 7pm and took their dinner to the family room to watch tv for a few minutes. I was cleaning up the kitchen and shaking because I could sense a problem brewing. Nobody can spend time at home because the criticisms and blame keep coming from him. Then once in a while he wants to do something, which is even worse, because everyone is stuck in a car while he complains continuously about how stupid of an idea this is, or that nobody wants to do anything, ever. It has gotten progressively worse…I actually am not that stupid, even though he says I am…I would have never dated or married that type of asshole, but love him and see glimpses of the “nice” person I married. If anyone is still reading this and has any stories about alcoholics dying and at what age and the story behind it, I would love to read them. I dont feel like he has much time left, but I want to know more about what to expect. He is 47, about 230 pounds, has very restless legs all night, drinks about a bottle of jack or gin every night, minus a couple of nights a week, when his blood pressure is too high or his chest or stomach hurts. He wakes in the morning with bad diarrhea and a cough and sweats so easily from his head upon the slightest exertion. His anger bursts out of him and the doctor is concerned about there being a weak pulse in his left leg. Strange assortment of things. The other thing is that in the past year, he has a strange fascination with butt sex, and I want nothing at all to do with it. Any sex with a drunk is awful,but they are too drunk to know it. I draw the line at doing something that I wouldn’t want to do with a man I trusted and wanted sex with, let alone a drunk, rough rapist, who tries to force and manipulate me into it. Anyway, I try to keep my life full, have gotten more education and am interviewing for a good job, keep repairing and cleaning the house and trying to keep things as stable for the kids. Not the best environment, but it is the best I can offer all of us at the moment.

  333. forestdancer Says:

    How did you know your husband was nearing the end? I know everyone is different, but I sense strongly that my husband’s end is near. Did you have any feeling right before your husband died? How much did he drink and did he have creased ears or restless legs? What about high blood pressure?
    My husband doesnt have yellowing of the eyes or anything like that, but he is swelling in the feet and legs and they look red and tight a lot. I am sorry that you had to have a loss that you probably didnt feel as strongly as you would have if your husband hadnt already put his life in a bottle while he was still alive. Stay strong and may the real you be able to live now.

  334. Wes Says:

    Hi Graham and Tom
    Just had to come back and read what others have been going through and say hello and give all an update. I have moved away from my wife. Hardest thing I have ever done. A few weeks after moving I got very sick with Transverse Myelitis and can hardly walk getting better slowly. My wife has showen me she can be very loving one day and very abusive nasty the next.
    This past Saturday she called and was lets say short in conversation. That went on to take the form of down right harsh rude texting on the phone. I ended that by forwording her txt back to her letting her know I was not a cheating slut or a dog that she could treat like the trash she kicked and walked over. There was one good thing about what happened. I was not under the same roof as her so she was not able to keep going on and on in her rage. I am more than sure she was drinking even though I was not there to see her drinking or actions by the way she was going off over the phone but I can ay for sure I was safe she could not pound on me with her verbal abuse she could not grab the kitchen knives my keys and wallet tear my things up in front of me and hide them in the bed room and I didnt have to sleep in another room and lock my self in that room with my car keys wallet and clothes packed to make a quick get away. If felt really good know I was in my own home alone safe and away from the attacks of a person drunk and out of ther mind from the drink. I love her still very much will not go out and cheat on her and only work and go home. But it did ! Feel good to know that after so many years of drunken abuse directed at me she could no longer do that. I wish pary and hope she will stop drinking and see what it has done to us. However when she is drinking I am still the villan in her eyes and have done everything wrong on this road that goes both ways. Maybe I am the villan even when she isnt drinking and that is why she talks and treats me the way she dose when she is drunk. I can say this I have never approved of the drinking I never will and if this is how it is So Be It . I will not be around her when she is drinking and as sure as the day follows the night she will never stop…

  335. david Says:

    First of all….although I appreciate the effort I see no helpful answers to any problems presented on this or any other such website. It seems that getting useful help to deal with an alcoholic wife is as elusive as the “majic’ diet pill. I suppose just the simple fact of discussing one’s problem on such a public format and getting sympathetic responses is some form of help, healing or insight as to what so many of us men are going through.
    Nonetheless, I still would like to give my story because I truly feel that speaking publicly, to friends, family and/or anyone in your predicament is a sort of therapy for any spouse dealing with an alcoholic.
    Second of all I “MUST”say that my wife is one of the most wonderful, kind hearted and loving people that you will ever meet when she is sober. But just like so many other such people she can’t seem to find a place where alcohol does not dominate almost every aspect of her daily life which now brings out the worst hateful part of her being.
    My wife has been drinking for over 25 years and things just seem to get worse with the years. It all began shortly after a car accident that lead to a prolonged absence from work. I supposed at that time the boredom of being home for over 2 years is what may have started her drinking during daytimes hours every couple days followed by more frequent daily full on drinking. I tried to warn her early on that there was a potential problem but she said it was under control, she wasn’t hurting anyone and she was doing it in her own home.
    The problem really intensified when she finally went back to work and we attended that first Christmas party with her employer and co-workers in which we all did “lemon drop shots”.
    That became the turning point which brought on black outs, violent outbursts and many other aweful side effects that has lead to her current nearly uncontrolled drinking. That’s also when I first became very cold, mean, hateful and demeaning towards her. I have cried so many times for how bad I have treated her and the hateful things I have said and done to her just out of spite for her refusal to stop drinking. I just gave up on trying to reason with her and lost hope that anything would ever help her because she truly felt that she had no problem and I was just being a controlling asshole towards her.
    Anyway, through the years of violent fights, arguments, broken household items, hateful words, embarrising situations and even her drunken fall broke a neck and collar bone….the drinking continues and she blames me for her starting to begin with..
    I have most recently in the last couple years become to hate and despise her more than love her. I feel trapped for all the reasons that everyone talks about on this site.
    Don’t get me wrong I am no angel and have done very many hateful and hurtful things to her over the years. I will say that most all were in reaction to her drinking. I often wonder what life would have been like if she had not started that daily drinking or those damn shots or even if she could drink without getting totally wasted.
    I would plead with anyone in a young alcoholic relationship reading these stories to get out before years of this degrading habit leave you hating your spouse and yourself for not leaving early on.

  336. Graham Says:

    Good luck Wes, hang in there one day at a time, none of us deserves the abuse of an irrational alcoholic.

  337. Wes Says:

    David I am glad you came in here and talked. You make me see the things I have done. I was telling someone How much I love my wife but hate her more than shes hates me when shes drunk. I have done the same over and over to my wife. I have been more than mean to her when she has gone off on her drunks. I have done everything I can think of to just get her to stop. She had two DWIs She had been told by the courts to not drink as part of here probation and still drank and been really abusive. Fact is when she was violating her court order and went on a drunk and flooded the upstairs bath room fell split her head as I went to turn off the water she pushed me off the top stairs I jumped hit the stairs halfway down cought my self and made a final jump to the bottem floor I said to myself ok enough and called the police on her. She went to jail for about a year. The police have been to our homes so many time they know us by first name. I have cried so many times that tears no longer come out. I found out the hard way that anger didn’t work. Now when she is wasted I get to hear about how I always call the police and have had her thrown in jail and totaly screwed her life up cuz now she is a convicted felon and spent over a year in a womans correctional department. I did that. David I still have 3 scares on the right side of my face from a fight that we had when she was in a drunken rage. I was holding her down in self defence and she reached up and took the meat off the side of my face with her nails my beard never is going to grow there again and every day I shave and see those scares. David I feel for you the things you talk about are so much the same as mine. so very much the same . Its awefull makes me numb to think how shitty I have been. I found out years ago that my anger didn’t work, what I did to stop my anger was to just walk out the door and stay away. The last three day drunk I called the police again they took her away and while she was in jail I looked for a place to call home which isn’t anything near a home and I moved Daivd I moved so far away that I cant stand the fucken drive to where I moved. Go Figure

  338. Adrienne Says:

    I would recommend to you all a website soberrecovery . com. There are lots of wonderful people over there and a very good and responsive forum community to try to work your way through these troubling times.

  339. Anne Says:

    Wow, all these stories are so sad; my situation is not that dire, but still is causing me great emotional upset. My husband ended up in an Emergency Department last night after “passing out” outside of his car in a parking lot in the early evening. Thank God he wasn’t driving. This incident has me seriously considering leaving; I will not be a wife that lives this way for years and years like some of the other writers. He asked me for “one more chance,” saying he’ll quit ” for us.” I’m just more angry than anything else. His drinking over the last few years has escalated, and I’ve told him several times that it’s causing a major problem between us, but he continues to do it. So obviously, he doesn’t consider me or our marriage to be important. He’s not a violent, mean drunk, just stupid, and now has ended up in a hospital. One of your readers said it best, “Alcohol is more valuable than my love.” I know a wife is supposed to support her husband, and deal with the good times and the bad, but I really feel disgust and anger towards him now. There is no intimacy, and I’m lonely. If I had the money, I would leave today. So I think what I’ll do is work very hard to get my bills paid off, and hopefully be able to support myself in a year or two. In the meantime, we’ll pretty much just be roommates. Sad, because I do love him and believe I’m a good wife. Obviously, he has some demons that he needs to deal with. I hope he does; he has a lot of family that love him. But I don’t know if I can stick around much longer.
    I”m glad I found this forum; it’s helpful to read others stories, and to be able to vent my feelings. I will pray for all you spouses out there who are dealing with this, and hope that you will find an answer to your problem, whatever that may be.

  340. g.c Says:

    I think I hit the bottom when last night my husband (have been with him since 96) decided to teach my 3 year old how to call me a dumb ass and a bitch…

  341. Wes Says:

    well thought I would say hello Wife just called says divorce papers are on the way. I know they are. Very sad no words thanks all for giving me a place to read and vent. Hurt sick no words by

  342. Rhonda Says:

    I think it takes leaving sometimes for them to sober up and then that may not work. but the world you left is still the same until they do sober up. My husband didn’t drink for two weeks and bought a bottle tonight. It was a great two weeks but just when I was settling down and took my suit case out of the trunk, today as matter of fact, ironically he bought a bottle shortly after. not that one had to do with the other but i found it interesting that we were so opposite in our appreciation of a better two weeks than we have had in a long time. I can’t leave today, financially that isn’t feasible. but it really pissed me off and hurt and tells me just how sick an addict is; today it makes no sense which is the reality of what life is with an addict. Up until the past two weeks i have spent most weekends in hotels due to him being so drunk that it wasn’t safe. money i could have spent else where. its the same story that most of you have; just can’t do anything about it today. so back to going in the bedroom away from it all and hoping he just passes out. 🙁

  343. Ralph Says:

    Hi forestdance,
    My wife was consuming about a quart of vodka a day. She turned up drunk for a doctors appointment with a specialist. The specialist in turn wrote a letter to our family doctor. Our family doctor in turn called both of us in for a meeting. He confronted us with the specialist’s letter. After finding out about the full extent of my wife’s drinking, he told my wife in no uncertain terms that if she continues to drink, she’ll be dead within a year. That was about seven years ago. The moral of that story is that while your husband’s health might be in decline, you and your children might also be in for a whole lot of misery.

    My advice, see a therapist who specializes in substance abuse. Do it for yourself and your children. They will be able to give you specific advice on how you can confront your husband’s alcoholism and get him into recovery.

  344. Amanda Says:

    I have been in this prison for 5 years, I have been tortured by my husband broken promises, his disregard for me and our 4 year old son, I truly hate him with all my heart. their is no love for him any more, only survival on my part so I can get me, my son, and my mom out. alcoholic’s don’t care about you even if they say they do, they care about getting that next drink. I think what David Said to run away before years of this degrading habit leave you hating your spouse and yourself for not leaving early on. I could not say it better, and David thank you for saying that because it did help me feel stronger about my decision not to be stuck any more. and all the other emotions that come with it. so this site and every ones posting has helped me get through the last year and soon to be the hardest of them all, but I know if I ever feel like I made a mistake I can come here to this site and remind my self of the hell I had to go through, to get were I am today. and I hope that ever one in my situation does what is right for them, if that’s staying or leaving, and know that’s its harder than you thank but at least for me every thing that he has done to me and my son, I know it will never stop if I stay, and my son has a good chance not to become like him. and I thank that if my son became like them that would kill me the most for not leaving earlier.

  345. Chinqapin Says:

    How about 30 years of indecision? He’s Jekyll and Hyde. He is quite competent when he is not drunk, having a type A personality. I presume I’ll be lonely if I leave and financially it will be more difficult. And the process seems so dismal and long. And there are dangers, like he will turn against me and he is very clever. And he manages me, as I’m somewhat disorganized and I’m not as disciplined as he is (during the day). He makes me dinner because I often come home late from work. And I can be lax in these ways because he has his sins to cover up so he doesn’t protest. In the evening when he is drunk I refuse to be with him. I retreat to somewhere in our home and he goes to bed. But he often tries to start arguments and generally keeps me confused and crazy. I never know when he is telling the truth. He is also the person I’ve known the longest so he is the person I turn to for advice! LOL.

  346. Dee Says:

    I like many others here stumbled onto this site by accident when I was looking for something to help me with my situation, dealing with this horrible thing called alcoholism. I have just ended an 11 month long relationship with a guy because of his alcoholism. I’m in my 40s, he in late 30s. The age difference wasn’t a problem, his behaviour was. He also was a heavy pot user when I 1st met him but, according to him, he has been off it for a couple of months. We had split up on numerous occasions because of his drinking but I ways took him back on the strength of empty promises. He decided he would cut down on the drinking about 3 months ago which he did for a couple of weeks (drank beer instead of the usual whiskey) so i stupidly allowed him to move into my house. Of course once he had himself implanted in my house, it all started again, worse than ever, the bottle of whiskey (sometimes a liter bottle at that) every night and what ever else he could find. He was also drunk most of the day on weekends. Our sex life was almost non existent, we had no social life together as I had given up going places with him where there was alcohol because he would just get so drunk and stupid that I would leave anyway, I couldn’t stand the embarrassment. About 2 weeks ago he told me he wanted to quit. I was very supportive, offered to go to counseling, AA or anything else that would help (as always he refused, saying he didn’t need help) and I told him everyday for the 3 or 4 days he was sober how proud I was of him. It all came to a head last weekend when I could tell there was something wrong with him, but I couldn’t smell alcohol on him and I was getting worried because he was getting aggressive and I thought he may have been pill popping as he had done previously. I was getting scared and eventually ask him to leave. (I asked him several times what had he taken or had he been drinking, he looked me straight in the eye and lied to me) after he’d driven off(yes not the first time he has driven intoxicated) my son told me he had cheap wine hidden in the shed and had been drinking while I was at work in the morning and when I had to go to be daughters in the afternoon. My son also told me that he had rushed in for mouth wash etc when I was due home, then when he couldn’t drink anymore because I was due home he was going through my medicine cabinet looking for pills to replace the grog. I found out after when I was looking in it that he had popped 4 of some antidepressants that were in there. Anyway, I rang him the following day to come get his stuff. He just came and got it like I didn’t matter to him. I hadn’t heard from him since so I phoned him today and it was the best thing I could have done. Even though it hurt like hell at the time, him actually saying to me that he couldn’t live without the alcohol and had no interest in coming back to me and he didn’t think of me gave me the push I needed to pick myself up and brush myself off and start my life again. It’s such a tragedy that he is like l this as on the rare occasion he was sober, hd could be so kind and caring, but the bad far outweighed the good. He is a “functioning alcoholic” as he manages to hold down a job (for now anyway) but he is in a lot of financial difficultly because of the alcohol abuse. I feel with him, the alcohol was only a symptom, he has a lot of emotional problems, due mainly to the fact that he has never dealt with things like his marriage break up because he has just tried to drown them all. I am still feeling sad because I do still care about him, but I had to get out to save my own sanity and I didn’t like the yelling screaming maniac that he turned me into at times either. I’m so glad I found this website, it has been a huge help and I feel now more than ever that I have done the right

  347. Dee Says:

    I forgot to mention in the above post of the nights that got so bad with him that I locked him out, or the night he tried to break my door down and I rang the police or the time he took me away for a “romantic” weekend to the beach and I spent the night terrified in the unit with him locked outside going off his head. When I actually write all this stuff down, I can’t believe that I hung in there for as long as I did.

  348. forestdancer Says:

    None of us are perfect, but I thank everyone for writing here. I have been conforted by the fact that I am not imagining the rude comments, the damage being done to the house, the blackouts and the entire evening every night tip-toeing around a 47 year old man who drinks hard liquor continuously until falling asleep. His newest thing is to really push sex, and he sits on the couch and sticks his tongue out or makes lewd comments about threesomes, etc., sometimes with the kids in the room. I try to remove them immediately, but he is now insisting that I owe him anal sex, and that is all he wants. He is being ugly about it, and childish and pouting, etc., but after being married 27 years, I am not about to be physically violated in a rape sort of situation. I am so sorry that other people are going through nights and weekends in such ugly situations; like they are holding their breaths until “something” happens, maybe a recovery or maybe until a light bulb goes on in the alcoholic’s head and they realize they really love you. I realize no matter how hard I try, nothing is done right in my husband’s eyes. I have been working with my newly graduated child on scholarship applications and she just won a full 4 year scholarship to a major university, and my husband called me a dumb ass bitch. I have to keep doing what I know is right, and believing in myself and my kids, but the fact is, I am completely alone emotionally. My friends have no clue what I live with. He wont go to the doctor or to rehab or even admit he has a problem with alcohol. He watches Dr. Oz and sends me out to buy vitamins so he can reduce his blood pressure, but he says this while holding a glass of jack or vodka. It has been this bad for about 5 years now (time does fly), when his great job ended due to the recession. He found another very good job with less pay, but should still wake up proud every day. I am seeking employment but wish I could continue to stay home and really run the house and manage things here daily. I love to do that, and my only consolation is that the kids are almost grown. I couldnt save them from seeing a lot of the bad, but their dad is a very generous man when he is sober. So even though there is no magic pill to cure alcoholism or to help the families, this site has been helpful and is keeping me strong. I know I am not crazy or a dumbass…it is just embarrassing to admit I have ever been called those things and didnt leave immediately. Life is more complicated than that, and I feel I am doing the best on a daily basis, until the status quo changes and then I have to make changes to live with the new status quo. Good luck everyone.

  349. Tom Linde Says:

    Here is a question emailed to me from a reader, and my short reply. It is edited to protect anonymity.


    I am married 20 years to an alcoholic and pain pill addict. My marriage has been more up than down, but the past year has been pure hell.

    He/she is not currently drinking but is using painkillers daily, and God knows what else off the street to supplement a rapidly increasing habit.

    From everything I read there is literally nothing I can do for my spouse unless he/she wants to get better, and he/she does not. I think I have been backed into a corner. I feel that I am helping a slow suicide by providing cover and financial support.

    This entire situation is leaving me feeling depressed and almost obsessed with escaping.

    Sadly, I am afraid to leave for some emotional reasons, and for the financial hit I will take. The love is all but gone because I cannot believe anything said anymore, but I am worried about him/her. At this rate, he/she will not make it through the end of the year.

    Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.


    Hi ___.

    It’s a tough situation. There is not much I can say that you haven’t already spelled out – if you’re not willing to leave, you have little leverage.

    One thing is to look up and inquire about Suboxone and other medications.

    You might consider taking the two of you to your primary care doctor, and insist on attending the start of the appointment. If you can’t, you may send a letter to the doctor. Of course, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your spouse to hear.

    If you haven’t already, consult a lawyer so that you at least know exactly what your options are.

    Best of luck.


  350. Tom Linde Says:

    Here is another:

    Hi Tom, I was wondering if you had in colleagues in _____ that you could recommend to me? I am/was the active alcoholic in the marriage.
    I recognized myself in some of these post and wish to speak to a therapist. Thanks in advance.


    Dear ___,

    Very glad to get your email. I recommend asking for an addiction treatment professional or even better, a program, rather than a therapist. Find out if they are a 12-step program primarily (AA-based, with some emphasis on recognizing a higher power), or if it’s cognitive-behavioral. I myself favor the latter, but they can be combined.

    I’m also inclined towards “intensive outpatient” meaning 2+ group meetings/classes a week, usually with individual sessions too, at least initially. Inpatient/residential treatment is OK, but not durable. It needs intensive outpatient followup so that you learn to cope with all the environmental cues you have while at home.

    A good place to start is to ask your primary care physician. Partly, it’s very possible you need supervised detox to be safe and reasonably comfortable, and there is medicine too that could be recommended, and some vitamin supplements.

    Mainly, DON’T LOSE THIS INITIATIVE. You will get discouraged. Don’t get deterred.

    OK? Contact me again if you don’t start finding good leads.


  351. Steven Says:

    Hello to all,
    I read the comments and bless your hearts I feel everyones pain. My wife is a confessed alcoholic we have been married for 26 years. I don’t drink but she is a consumer. I now that many of you are trying to fix the problem and so did I until i realized that I was feeding the mongster. Don’t get me wrong I love my wife desperatly but I wont support the habit. Hidden under the Alcoholic is that person I love and I charish those few hours I have with her before she is taken away for days or weeks. Its a sickness and there are no cures just controls.

  352. forestdancer Says:

    My husband of 27 years has really escalated his drinking and is drinking about 1/4 bottle of everclear and a 1/4 bottle of gin or more every evening. He is getting so mean and I am getting so unresponsive because I love him regardless of his illness, but am the brunt of everything he does. If I ignore even one small command, it starts days worth of trouble, him breaking things, screaming at the kids and more. This is not healthy for him and I am concerned that I will walk into a room one day soon and he will be sitting up in a chair, dead. It is starting to be on my mind a lot, but he refuses to do anything about his health, and especially about the drinking. I am having a bad feeling lately.

  353. Jason Says:

    Forest dancer,
    Violence is never a good thing. I have been with my girlfriend for 6 years. I have occasionally put up with her punching me in the face. Mostly now it’s just mental abuse. I can no longer handle the everyday work load of my job because of her abuse of alcohol. Even tonight is a wasted attempt to be a mother for a son she loves but refuses to stop drinking for. She has been to rehab and had numerous relations with other men. You seem very smart as am I. I just don’t understand why I always feel tomorrow will be better. I guess as an avid optimist we stay. I know physical and mental abuse are different bit they hurt all the same. At some point will my child forgive me for the chicken that I have become. Or shall I create another excuse for not leaving. No man or woman should ever abuse another person but for some reason I just let her keep coming back.

  354. Rhonda Says:

    Well I haven’t posted in a while. My prayers go out to you all. I did leave and no the alcoholic is still drinking. I think maybe it hasn’t been long enough yet and I have seen him at different times and it hasn’t been a clear cut out of the picture for him I am sure; so that is what I need to do next. I have told him I just can’t live in the abuse any longer. He is in denial. But I hvaen’t moved on emotionally. I think that is a key to both the A and the spouse is to move on in your recovery. I have to get off of him and on me. For me I couldn’t do that in the same house as my husband. This has affected me greatly and now it literally feels like thawing out of emotions. Its weird. But I have not regretted leaving. I need to work on my change and leave his where ever he wants it to be. Good luck to all.

  355. Michelle P Says:

    I have read some of this. Mainly because my husband sent it to me … rather than talking to me, he chose to send me a website. Not uncommon for him. I have not had anything to drink for 6 days, yet the past three nights, he has come home accusing me of drinking and then making incredible demands and crazy talk. This morning as I was on the computer, he walked past me, looked over my shoulder at the letter I was writing to an Uncle and let out a dis affirming “sigh”. This is usual. I think he is just trying to make me be off guard. But now I know his tactics. Then he went upstairs, and thru the ceiling and the vents, I could hear him over and over telling me to go to hell. Burn in hell. Go directly to hell. So I am actually glad he sent me the link to this site so that I could post why some of us drink…. myabe some of us are with ASSHOLES that make us insanely crazy. Perhaps you should look at yourselves instead of posting to sites that make you look like you are angels. Believe me you are not. It takes two to drive people into this.

  356. Michelle P Says:

    Still Michelle here. I just had to call several service providers as my dear husband went in last night and signed into my bank accounts, changed my passwords and changed the “send email inquiries here” addresses to some unknown email I have never seen. So technically he hi-jacked my accounts. Perhaps the ultra paranoid, control spouses need to learn to hold back a bit. No one is going to want to stay with you. Sober or not.

  357. Working Mom Says:


    I have been married one year to an alcoholic. We have been together 4 .5 years and have a 3.5 year old daughter. He has made attempts at recovery, most recently after he overdosed on sleeping pills and alcohol, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. But he has never followed through with a program. His three children were in the house when he overdosed. One is no longer able to see him and he is not fighting in court for her. Compared to many people’s problems, I suppose mine are not severe: he does not hurt me or my daughter physically, but he hides alcohol from me and lies to me. The most recent example was last night: I awoke at 3am to the smell of pizza. I went downstairs to the oven on, the back door unlocked, and the lights on. We immediately got into a screaming match and I made a lot of threats. He does not protect us and constantly puts us in harms way in situations where someone could walk in the house in the middle of the night, or he leaves the oven on. If it were only me, I would leave him tomorrow. With no question. However, every time I threaten to separate or make him move out, I think of my daughter, and I can’t go through with it. I think things like, is he REALLY that bad? He isn’t a mean drunk. Complicating the situation is that I own our house, make double his salary and do not need him financially. I am not one of these downtrodden, stay at home housewifes. I am new to this, a successful woman and I’m trying to see if this is worth committing my life to. I have had anxiety my entire life, and as to be expected, it is horribly affecting my anxiety and I do feel very lonely, like we have a “fake” marriage for our daughter. So here is my question: do I walk away while my daughter is young and get out of this hampster wheel of hell? Or do I stay in it for her, knowing that if I leave, he will never truly “go away” – he will have some part in her life and I will have to deal with him regardless. I’m wondering how much one should sacrifice for their child…do I suck it up, or get out now?

  358. marie Says:

    this has been an awful week and i think i may have finally snapped.

    for the 3rd time in our 5 year marriage, my husband just stopped going to work. he didn’t call, email, or in anyway notify his boss all week. he hasn’t bathed in 6 days. he soiled himself in his passed out stupor and refused to clean it up making me do it instead.

    when we were married i was successful, debt free and actually had a savings. now im down to $40 and we had to declare bankruptcy a couple of years ago due to his sudden loss of employment that lasted 6 months.

    i drink too. i drink too much occasionally and have been a nasty drunk at times. but i’m trying really hard not to at all. i make 70% of the household income, do all of the house & yard work, as well as 90% of the parenting of his 6 year old son.

    i gave him an ultimatum yesterday: go to treatment TODAY or i am gone. he refused, instead begging me to find him a drink. i was so committed to finally leaving that i didn’t think it would be a problem.

    now im at work, anxiety ridden, and wondering if i can go through with it. we broke up a little over a year ago for 7 months. then my dad died suddenly and i needed him so bad that he moved right back in with a million promises. now here i am again – burdened with the impossibility of paying even our basic bills next month with no warning, not sleeping, scared to do anything as it’s always all wrong. what i read, any tv show i watch, my friends, my family.

    he has always been so controlling and so indignant about his drinking. he can quit his job by no-showing and drinking all day for a week straight, but if i go for a hike with a girlfriend, it’s the worst thing in the world.

    im miserable. i think about cheating on him all of the time. i was sad & lonely when i was without him, but so much calmer. trouble is, i feel so insanely guilty about leaving him on his own. he has 100% done this to himself but it breaks my heart knowing he has nothing and doesn’t seem to be able to care for himself. i want it all to just magically go away, but it seems to be worse.

    it really impacted me thinking about 5 years from now and where i want to be. i don’t want to be like this, and i don’t see it ever changing while we are together. it’s a constant fight, it’s a horrible environment for his son, and maybe without me to pick up the pieces he will have to do it himself.

    but i will always love and miss him. im so torn.. any advice would be very welcome.

    my mom, my friends, and extended family have all given me an ultimatum of him or them. no one wants to hear the bullshit anymore and i cant say i blame them. i feel so isolated and like neither choice is a good one.

  359. OneJ723 Says:

    Michelle, Your right, I know the sober person in the relationship can be sicker than the person drinking. I went to alanon and changed my life. My wife recovered for 25 years. Why not tell your husband to go to alanon or some type of counseling? You will both benefit if he does.

  360. Tom Linde Says:

    Marie, you sure don’t seem confused. You seem pretty sure. Just…that the choice of leaving is excruciating. Would it make sense if I suggest you try not to assume that terribly difficulty choice means wrong choice?

  361. Tom Linde Says:

    Not to make light of your note, Working Mom, but it makes me think of the story of a couple, both 95 years-old, showing up in a lawyer’s office. “We want a divorce as soon as possible!”, says the woman. “We hate each other’s guts and always have, our whole 70 years together”.

    The lawyer, puzzled, of course asks “…why now?”

    To which the husband answers, “We promised each other we’d wait until the children died”.

    So…if you see real evidence that it will get better for your child the longer you suck it up, then maybe you should.

  362. Kristine Says:

    I need some legal advise…my husband, in the span of a yr, has had 4 DUIs. He was recently picked up for driving (in another state, no less) on a suspended license/DUI, and is sitting in a county jail there. His car is in impound there, accumulating fees. I just found out that our car insurance will raise MY rate, even though my husband no longer has a license, will lose his car and won’t need insurance. Is this true? Why does HIS driving record have anything to do with mine, or my insurance rates? Is there any way to avoid a jump in my rates? I have a clean record. I don’t even drink! This whole thing is driving me crazy! Help! By the way, I live in Washington state, and my husband went on his bender in Montana, where he is in Cascade County jail as I type this. I also don’t want to be held responsible for his debts, be it the money owed on his car, the impound fees, etc. What a mess he has made for me! Thanks for letting me vent!

  363. Tom Linde Says:

    You do need legal advice, Kristine, but not from a non-lawyer like me, nor anyone else over the internet. Look up the Bar Association or your local social service agencies to ask about legal consultation, and go from there.

  364. Jim Says:

    I am a 58 year old professional married 33 years to an Alcoholic wife. Pardon me while I layout the scenario:
    I am a recovering alcoholic myself, and have been sober for 12 years. I recovered through AA. We have no children.

    M wife is a classic alcoholic, with the same behaviors that all alcoholics demonstrate. She stays sober only for work (with an eye-opener or two and some breath mints). Interestingly, I recently lost both my parents. As the only local child, I had the bulk of the responsibilities for their care. It was excruciating and they both died from end stage dementia. My mother had Primary progressive Aphasia and my father, who lost both legs above the knee in a pedestrian car accident was very handicapped and suicidal during most of the last 7 years. Toward the end I suffered a heart attack and luckily recovered from that quickly and completely with a stent, but I know the stress was a major contributing factor. Needless to say, it was hard on me, and my alcoholic wife tried to help but couldn’t. It was way too much for an alcoholic. Now that they have passed, it’s just us two: the caregiver and the patient, which means me and the alcoholic.
    I know two things: 1- there is no hope for her recovery. I have accepted that. 2- I know that my caregiving skills and basic personality are enabling her alcoholism.
    We’ve been through so much together. She, obviously suffered in kind when I was in the throws of alcoholism myself. I owe her a debt for that forbearance. But, as a kind person in Al-Anon told me: “You’re loving her to death.” Her health is beginning to suffer obviously now. Her ability to think is now compromised even when sober for a few hours. She is just a patient to me now, not a spouse. The pain and despair is so debilitating for me that I deliberately neglect my cardiac medication, hoping that a fatal heart attack will end this pain. That’s extreme, I know, but totally honest. Al-Anon is a lovely organization with ties to AA of which I’m quite familiar. The idea is to work on me, not my alcoholic wife. I get that, but I have no idea what to do despite that kind organization’s support. I’m completely committed to this woman. She’s my only real tie to this world. Other than this unhealthy relationship, I have no real reason take up space on the planet. You would think I could handle the pain under those circumstances, but I’m losing it. I’m just about out of gas. Any insight would be appreciated.

  365. Tom Linde Says:

    Like so many others here, Jim, when you describe your attachment to your partner, it suggests an entanglement almost like another addiction.

    Your “Other than this unhealthy relationship, I have no real reason take up space on the planet” is an interesting thought. I’ll suggest it could be a depression talking: A distortion not in keeping with the facts if you really laid them out. Your recent years and current situation are almost a petri-dish environment for depression. Get it treated, Jim, and you’ll find you are a man with options. Thoughts of suicide are almost inevitable when you’re stuck like this. Dwelling on those thoughts makes the problem worse. Take a look at the depression discussion here, would you?

  366. Kelly Says:

    Hiya Tom

    Guess I’ll get right to the point I am 34 years have been married for 18 years (we married very young) we have two children 18 and 16 and my husband is an verbally abusive alcholic he has drank our whole marriage but in the last 2 years it has gotten alot worse he doesnt sleep maybe 3 – 4 hours a day he hardly eats he is 6’1 and weighs 154 lbs the things he hasnt worked in a year and me and my 18 year old son are paying bills he has now started calling me all kinda names some i dont care to repeat he blames me for his drinking which kinda true i do buy it but when i put foot damn and say no more he says Fine he’ll take everything he paid for and leave he even disabled my car one day and told me and my son could walk to work I dont know how to leave him me and my son worked for the place we have and i dont want to leave it even though leaving him at all is going to be HELL I do have recordings of his verbal abuse can you please help

  367. Ralph Says:

    Hi Jim,
    There is a lot in your story that I can relate to and I feel compelled to offer my ideas. Tom’s advice about getting your depression treated is definitely the best advice. I see a therapist regularly and it really has made a difference in my life in a positive way.

    In the last 10 years I have lost both my parents so I can relate to that. Like you, I am co-codependent. We have been married 28 years, lived together for 31 years. Some questions you might want to consider.

    Are you still attending AA/Alanon? If not, have you replaced AA with other social interaction? I can’t say enough bad things about isolation and being disconnected. If you still go, make sure you use a fine filter as this is your journey and there is no “one size fits all” wisdom.

    Has your wife admitted to herself that she has a problem? If not, options for this include inpatient recovery, intensive outpatient recovery, private therapist. Perhaps you can gently suggest these options to her and get her to take some steps. Be gently persistent. If she has moments of sobriety, take some of that time to talk with her not only about a potential recovery but about your lives in general. At our ages, the cognitive dissonance of what our lives have become from what we had hoped them to be can sometimes be overwhelming.

  368. Michael Drysdale Says:

    70years of age, married 46 years. First recognised alcoholic sickness in wife 1983. Three treatment centres since, every ten years and due another visit now. Gone for counselling instead. They all worked for a while but gradual return to Vodka and progressing to the ” Gutter ” where she is now. Hope counselling works.

    Loved all your stories as if they were my own. All basically the same hopelessness as the basic ingredient. Most accept that the sober partner cannot stop the alcoholic drinking and trying seems to make matters worse not only for the alcoholic but frustration experienced by the trier is deep and painful.

    I thought about the question of divorce, separation and splitting the house into two apartments. Stayed where I was in 1966 and yes there are regrets at vodka times and yet great and wonderful times when sobriety exists. Good company, full of good conversation, companionship, love and care when on the dry. I know this will not be the same for all but I thank my higher power for the odd break.

    It doesn’t get easier with age but try to look after yourself first and in hope the alcoholic might follow. Try Al-anon. It has some merit and not unlike the comments in this web page. You also meet your fellow sufferers face to face and on most nights you can hear your own story from someone else as they relate their experiences.

    You can really help only yourself.

  369. Ray Says:

    It stuns me to read about so many people who share this problem. I have gotten to the point of giving up and just spend the rest of my life hiding and feeling sorry for myself. My wife goes on benders that last for days. It seems odd to me that she can go for several weeks without drinking at all, then seemingly out of nowhere she gets extremely drunk, and stays that way for a week solid.
    Lately though its been more, and more often, and lasting for longer periods of time. I find empty wine bottles, vodka bottles, beer bottles, etc. hidden in our closet, or in the spare room. She is quick to admit she has a problem, but absolutely refuses to get professional help. She is a very abusive drunk, not physically, but verbally. I get accused of cheating, called every kind of name, and there is no limit to the insults. I get blamed for everything from the ice age to the apocalypse.
    Both of her daughters ( my step daughters ) have given up on her. The older one, who is 17, ran away from home and hasn’t come back. The younger, 15, moved back to her dad’s house. Both of them call regularly to check on her, and see how I’m doing, but she blames me for them leaving.
    After reading the comments on this site, I realize that my wife is a typical alcoholic. I have made up my mind that I am leaving. I have 3 kids of my own, all grown, and they want me out of this relationship as well.
    Now that I have made the decision I feel like a load has been lifted off of me.
    Actually making the decision was the hard part.

  370. Tom Linde Says:

    Kelly, I don’t know how I – nor anyone else, really, especially on-line – can help you. I sure would encourage you to participate in Al-Anon. You can also look up the local and national legal and domestic violence support agencies for ideas and advice regarding your options.

  371. Don Says:

    I have been married 43 yrs and my wife and I have gone on three vacations and she has not liked any of them because I am boring and no fun. She wants to be with younger people and she has had drinkning problems for years. This includes 18 yrs of drinking a quart of vodka per day, a car accident, three back surgeries, DUI, outpatient treatment, cancer of the tonsil and many medical problems. She stopped drinking in 2003, when our daughter brought the police to our house and they could do nothing about the problem. She has refused to allow me to invite anyone to our house because she feels she has to do all the work and will not do anything for anyone. She goes to a different church then I do the one our daughter go to but is not a member there. I have been a member of the same church for 43 yrs. I wll cut this short and stop for now.

  372. Rob Says:

    I am sad to see that so many people are in the same situation. A little about my situation:
    I am 39, my wife is 48. We’ve been married for 12 years. My wife has been a heavy drinker her entire adult life. Though she drank through the pregnancy of both of our children (ages 11 and 8) and through breast-feeding, in the last 4 years it has been worse. She drinks 2 liters of wine each and every day. She stopped working when she got pregnant to stay home and take care of the children, but they get up, make themselves bfast, pack themselves lunch and get to school on their own; she sleeps in until late morning recovering from the night before. She goes out all hours of the night. She has a male drinking buddy she met out at a bar – he is over at my house most every night, he slept over at my house before I even met him (having a strange man sleep over with small kids in the house seems insane to me, but she doesn’t see a problem with it). We had an argument a couple of weeks ago and she went out and ended-up sleeping at his house – didn’t ask/tell me until late the next morning. I can’t believe she thinks that is okay and she gets super defensive if I say anything (she talks about one of her ex-husbands being over controlling and that she can’t handle that again). What is crazy is the next day after an incident where we get into an argument she acts as if nothing is wrong and like the argument never happened. Honestly it is easier to play along, so most of the time that is what I do. I travel 50+% of the time for work; I take care of the kids when I’m home, but they are left to fend for themselves when I’m on the road. I pay a house keeper to come in and clean every other week, but nothing else gets done: dishes pile-up, laundry piles-up, etc. I manage the finances because when it was her responsibility she never paid any bills. I make a very good living but she has depleted our savings, ran up huge credit card bills and ruined our credit by spending thousands of dollars a month on wine, cigarettes and going out almost every day – overdrawing our accounts consistently. She takes our kids allowance money as well as cash relatives give the children for birthdays. Myself, her family and friends confronted her 3 years ago and she has since cut-off most all communication with everyone else. She took the confrontation as an unwarranted attack fueled by ‘assumptions’ and ‘half truths’. She still blames me for ‘ruining her relationships’ and ‘betraying her’. I am not allowed to talk about her with anybody now. We have no intimicy in our relationship – I have no interest in being around her when she is drunk which is every night. She complains about how distant I am – I know she doesn’t understand it, even though I have explained it to her. I am embarassed when we have people over or when she attends a work function of mine. Recently I have started losing my temper with her more and more frequently, now raising my voice and saying mean things after an incident (I know this is not productive). I really don’t want to be that person, but am losing my self control (though I would never be violent). I have read a lot of literature and blogs and attended some support group meetings. What I have taken away is that 1) you can’t make somebody quit no matter what you say or do, 2) you can’t argue with a drinker – they are not rational, 3) you need to focus on you, your children and what is best for your family. I know these things, but still find myself being lost to the drama, the anger, the hate, the resentment, the guilt. My daughter is old enough to know what is going on and it pains me to know she sees her mom getting wasted all of the time and putting her own wants above her children’s needs. I made a commitment 12 years ago and am struggling with leaving my wife. Besides the drinking getting in her way – she has fibromyalgia and migraines and can’t handle a job (though she won’t file for disability). If we do get a divorce I worry about her getting custody because of my travel schedule and because she has somehow managed not to get a DUI or anything that may outline her drinking as being a problem in the eye of a judge. I don’t want to drag my kids through a messy divorce either, and I can’t imagine not being with them every day that I’m home – they are really what makes my life complete and gives me happiness. My parents split when I was a kid and I know it effected me. I realize though that us staying together and them being in the current environment is no treat. Wow – that was a lot – guess I needed to get that off my chest.

  373. Stella Says:

    I am 48, the mother of 3, and the wife of an alcoholic. I stumbled across this forum today and will categorically say that it is the most helpful place I’ve been in my search for comfort, understanding and–much more important–healing and answers to date. And my search has been long as has my odysee with this horrible situation: 14 long years of hell. I married a man who, while brilliant and accomplished in his engineering career and loving/caring/tender at heart, has been plagued all his life with near-debilitating shyness/social awkwardness. A sweeter and more intelligent man I’d have been hard-pressed to find. But, because of his personal struggles with shyness and insecurity, he was an eager and willing student when my brother, a lifelong alcoholic who my husband has always cherished and been friends with since we met, introduced him to the joys of the post-work happy hour. Not blaming my brother as my husband was, as the saying goes, a big boy and responsible for his own actions but, about 11 months into our then-nearly-perfect marriage, my husband began spending almost all his free time with my brother–and with my brother’s growing group of drinking buddies with whom my husband became friends. My husband had never had many friends before and, because these men welcomed him in with open arms, I speculate that he was charmed. At any rate, my husband began to drink: first rum and coke, then vodka and juices, then both with beer, then both with beer and in increased amounts until, fast-forward 3, 5, 8, 10 years, the friends–even my brother–became less important, he grew more and more isolated, he no longer wanted to share his alcohol or even be around anyone while he drank it, and he transformed into a surly, contentious, sarcastic, beligerent, verbally and emotionally and (on three occasions) physically abusive monster whom my children and I no longer could recognize and who, on countless occasions, could be seen tilting a bottle of Sky straight down his throat in a corner of his dark garage, where he began to spend most/all of his free time. All holidays and celebrations were ruined or affected by a drinking episode. Every night ended with him passed out on the bed and me having to undress him and coax him to brush his teeth while he slurred curses at me. The children began to fear him and avoid being at home. I began to become increasingly isolated from my friends and family and even resorted to excessive running and bulimia to purge his secrets and my pain. His 6-figure salary began to mysteriously become a hand-to-mouth situation and I had no idea where all the money was going. The vile verbal/emotional assaults that had always been reserved just for me now trickled onto our oldest child. I was then not only struggling to keep his secrets from the kids and sugar-coat why all this was happening and try to dance harder to make their lives prettier in compensation; I now was also trying to protect them directly from what had formerly been a threat only to me. I became exhausted and hopeless and, at some points, briefly wished I were dead. Two years ago, my children and I finally held a formal intervention with a professional interventionist. By this time, both sides of our extended family were well aware of the problem, and we had everyone’s support. The intervention initially failed and, in the face of our daughters’ tearful reading of their feelings to him, he got up and slammed out the door. A 3-month separation ensued, followed by a very convincing plea on his part–tearful as well–that, if I took him back, he’d stop and get help: but on his terms. Which did not include rehab. I made the mistake of taking him back without insisting on rehab first, thus wasting the time/money spent on the intervention and guaranteeing a failure. The failure happened after countless small “incidents” and “slips”. Next week, it will have been 6 months ago when my eldest daughter and I both kicked him out for the second time. This time, however, I am backed up against a very hard wall and literally have a barbaric choice to make. My daughters–ALL of them, two now young adults and the youngest a teen–have told me in no uncertain terms that, should I have him back, I will essentially lose them. They told me that, while I will never lose their love, I will indeed lose their respect and trust, and the oldest two have even said that they will never come home again. My parents, who have witnessed all of this and have had it, have offered their help and support toward a new, better life for me and my girls but have also boldly drawn their line in the sand and have said they’ll have nothing to do with him should I take him back and that, in that case, God help me and I’ll be on my own. Even all my friends and my therapist I’m now seeing have all said I have no choice but to divorce him, that he’s manipulating me again to get back in here and that it’ll just go back to business as usual if he does come home. Meanwhile, while he’s continuing to pay his share of the bills without complaint and is not busting down the door AND is “going to AA meetings” and following a new health/exercise/diet regimen and texting me that he’s so sorry for everything, he categorically refuses to go to any kind of structured–even outpatient–program. And he did lose his job right after our separation and, though he quickly got a new/even better one because he’s so impressive on paper and nobody apparently asked any questions, there’s no guarantee he’ll keep this one, and our savings are somehow gone. So I face the same impossible dilemna I’ve read in former posts: I’m terrified of financial ruin, terrrified of being alone, grossly codependent, left with no confidence or self-esteem but left with no choice but to leave. Because I refuse to lose my children and I want to teach them that a woman should not be held to a bad situation because of fear. But it’s that very fear–terror, more like it–that’s holding me away from the lawyer’s doorstep…just one more month…and then one more…and then one more… So. Everyone else is way past done. How do I move past this fear and get there too?

  374. jean Says:

    my husband is an alcoholic and we have been on a rollercoaster of distress, anger, screaming at eachother etc etc. i have been with him since i was 16 and i am now 52. he just wont stop drinking and has turned down any help offered. he went to aa twice and walked out and went to the alcohol service provided by the nhs mental health team after taking 2 overdoses. i cant cope with it anymore. leaving is so difficult. how do i cope?

  375. Sherman Says:

    I just stumbled across this blog & find some comfort knowing I am not unique. I am an attorney married to a judge for 19 years & we have 3 kids. She is a functional alcoholic drinking 10-12 beers a night and/or combination of wine. Socially people would see her as fun & the life of a party but I always had the drunk when we got home. Sober she is always so angry & aggressive & only seemed happy once she was or knew she was about to start drinking. Had not slept in same bed in 12 years, sex only 2-3 a year only when she was drunk reeking of cigarettes & no sex in 2 years. I stopped enabling & would not buy any alcohol for her & 6 years ago told her I would no longer go to any social functions where alcohol was served. We fought all the time about her drinking with her even at times conceding she had a problem. Eventually I just got to the point of avoiding her. I had planned 5-6 years to leave once the children left for high school. I eventually met someone who also was going through a bad marriage & finally told my wife I was leaving. Here response was not that she was willing to quit drinking but rather asked me to stick around for several months until after the election was over. After a couple months she found out about the other woman & I left. Her anger & aggression are unbelievable as she will not even civilly communicate & is doing everything to poison my relationship with the children. I worry about the kids in the home with her continuing to drink. I am not surprised as it was how she was when we were married. Looking back I am stunned that I stayed in such an unhealthy relationship for so long. I truly do not know how or why I did it except to be with my children. For those of you in a similar situation, I really think you know they are not going to change & you are sacrificing your own happiness. Get out. I hope you have a strong faith, pray & find someone who loves you more than they do alcohol. It is not easy but there is hope at the end of the tunnel & if you stay there is no hope. Good luck & God bless

  376. Chris Says:

    My situation is a little different from most of the ones I’ve read here. My wife and I have been married 4 years, and have a 2 year old son. I recently discovered she has been drinking wine almost daily, alone and in secret. She has also struggled with an eating disorder for over 15 years, so addiction is nothing new to her.

    We’ve been together 9 years and have always drank together on occasion. There haven’t been any major problems due to her drinking…YET. Last December 28, we had an argument and I could tell she was under the influence of something. But because she had never hid her drinking from me before, I thought she had taken something. Things got heated and her behavior grew increasingly frightening. She had never raised a hand to me or our baby, but I had a bad feeling and decided to leave with our son.

    I didn’t actually go anywhere. I put him in the truck and just sat parked on the street in front of the house to see if she would follow. But instead she calls the police ON ME for taking our son. Like I was kidnapping him or something. Of course nothing came of it and the cops explained to me that she was very intoxicated.

    That’s how naive I was!
    Fortunately that’s been the only real incident, but tonight I threatened divorce if she refused to get help because I know it’s a progressive disease and that things WILL worsen if she doesn’t get help. Much to my surprise, she continues to deny she has a problem because she has a good job.

    I fear my wife is a functional alcoholic. I just can’t believe I didn’t’ see it until now. I am completely serious about following through with my threat. I plan on talking to an attorney asap.

  377. Guy Says:

    Dear Tom,

    Are you an addictions coucilor??? I thought not… And even if you are (I’m assuming IF you were, NOT are) you would be telling the majority of these people to set thier affairs in order best they can an leave. Instead you preach about how it “might be best to STICK IT OUT” even though for many it has been years of dealing with an unmanagable situation.
    Then again your paycheck depends on them sticking it out for as we all know the Alchoholic isnt going to see you by themselves nor are they going to spend money on anything but alcohol….. MY ADVICE is that if you cant catch it early and stomp it out, you have about 2 years where you MIGHT have a chance. Even then your pretty well ^%#$ed.
    I wish all well and the best of luck.

  378. Tom Linde Says:

    Guy, it’s a good question you raise. Shouldn’t I advise almost all of those who write here to leave the doomed, destructive jerk?

    Well…no. Why? Because that’s the advice you can get from almost anyone who hears your story. Also, it’s not my place. I wouldn’t tell anyone here to leave the partner any more than I would tell them to stick it out. I learned a long time ago that I cannot presume to know what decision is best. I CAN say that, at least on a statistical basis, an addict in the advance stages, baring something forceful happening, is more or less…well, your word might be best: fucked. For the partner to simply hope that it will get better, to hope that a flash of insight will come, or inspiration or moral fortitude or a medical miracle or whatever…this hope by itself sure isn’t going to bring a solution, and it may be supporting a passivity on your part which could have you kind of actually maintaining the problem. (By “you”, I mean anyone who could identify in reading this.)

    But any option – a forceful move, or a complete departure, or patient waiting, insane self-sacrifice…these are all choices and I cannot promise any particular outcome for any of them. So I offer ideas, I challenge, I suggest resources, I encourage, I might educate a bit and make observations others would not make, and most of all I listen and reflect. That’s what you get from me.

  379. Tam Says:

    Hi All,

    I have been reading these posts and they are something like what I would see on Lifetime-abusive alcholic partner, violent, etc. I just could not imagine living through some of these things and I sympathize. I am wondering if any of you guys/gals just woke up one day and connected these dots? I guess I am trying to figure out if I am headed in the same direction with my fiancee. He is the perfect gentleman and we have never really had an argument except once-alcohol introduces itself here. We have a child in our home (mine) and he is 9 years old. We started dating about 2 years ago, he proposed, it was a dream..until we moved. While packing at his home, I noticed a medication and the leaflet indicated that it was used to treat alcholism. Still no connect the dots for me. Then, he mentioned that his sister was being funny and posted an AA meeting calender on his fridge because he drank so much. Still no dots connected. I only went to his home about every other weekend and special occaisions b/c he was not allowed to meet my son until about 8 months into the relationship -when i knew it was serious. I didn’t mention the medication, I just thought it was odd. Then I started to hear him tell me stories that he had “fallen asleep” while cooking and burnt up his late nite meal on multiple occasions. We moved in together 6 months ago with plans to marry 3 months after that. I mentioned the alcohol consumption was excessive and he immediately became defensive, etc..later he apologized and said he was embarrased. He was consuming daily 12-15 beers and sometimes wine and liquor too along with that. I delayed the wedding because i was not comfortable with this situation. Then, i went on to mention that we have a child in the house and it is not good for him to see all these beer cans, etc each morning. So then, he began hiding the alcohol. And here we are today..on the times when my son is off visiting his father, there is almost a frat party going on in my house (we are almost 40) . I get up in the morning-he ususally doesnt make it outta bed til late on the weekends and there are beer cans, wine bottles, and liquor bottles everywhere. When he is asleep he is really passed out and i cannot wake him. He often doesnt remember the nite before or parts of it. I am afraid for his heatlh also. Its hard to wrap my head around because he is nice and goes to work daily although he is racing against the clock alot. He then drinks some intolerably strong coffee and about 4-5 red bull drinks to get going..Followed by various other remedys like maalox and pepto to soothe his tummy troubles..then there is gingerale, etc..and more (4-5) red bulls. Next nite, he does it again. the weekends are worse… but does he really not make the connection that the drinking is making him sick and making his life harder? Do they not see this? 12-15 beers a nite (alone) has to make you feel horrible in the morning? I goto bed each nite alone while he stays up drinking until about 3am. Also, there will be some nites where he wont drink at all..then i get my hopes up..and then the cycle continues..he will constantly ask me if he can get beer at the store..i just say i dont care. I dont know what else to say..its a no win..if i say no-then he is mad. if i say yes, that is enabling. I guess. Anyway, I have come to conclusion that i dont want to be a part of this sickness any longer–the problems that he has caused thus far are extensive and dangerous ( we have only lived together 7 months)..including once incident of burning up a pot of boiling water on our GAS stove at 3am while myself and my son were sleeping. I just dont think i want to be a part of a recovery process etc and i def. dont think it would be a smart idea to marry him–he can cause me to lose everything..I want to leave but I am wondering the best course of action. Leave while he is at work? I think that would be mean but I also think that telling him and then living there for awhile longer is not a good idea with an alcoholic..from these posts and common sense, i know there is potential for violence which i wont tolerate at all. I guess im just asking is this the way your lives started with an alcoholic and then they just got worse? Also, i dont feel that i have said much about how i feel about the drinking -just a couple of times. so is that fair or should i say more and give him a chance? Is it ok to leave and move out during the day? I am fine financially solo and so is he. My major concern is my child. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

  380. Wayne Says:

    Been married for five years, most of it happy, wife was a drunk when I met her, just not as bad as I thought. Like most of the posts, she stops for a while, says she is fine that she drinks less, obviously doesn’t care about anyone else but herself while she is drinking. I want to leave. We fostered and adopted four young children though and that is where the problem lies. I bought the home, I have the job and she takes care of the kids while I am gone. I can’t do it all myself and I can’t just tell her to get lost because she won’t. She has nothing and we are married so she will get half of everything I have worked for. Now she is sneaking her wine and I catch her and she lies, I just don’t even like her anymore, but I love my kids. Please help.

  381. steve Says:

    My situation is my wife, who is now in a full blown relapse after only being out of treatment for 3 weeks, is literally unable to take care of herself. She has been a stay at home mom for 10 years, and has little work experience. Even when she did have a job, she almost lost it several times because of missing to much work due to depression. She has PTSD brought on by sexual abuse as a child at the hands of her father, has been raped as a teenager, and is really emotionally stunted. She has attempted suicide on two occasions and made veiled suicide threats in text messages to me while I was at work. She is a mess. If I finally hit the end of my rope and throw her out I believe she will either hook up with an abusive person or just flat out kill herself. Unless she crosses certain boundaries, I can’t throw her out because I think she will end up dead. At some point though, I will no longer feel responsible for her actions if she doesn’t clean up her act. I cannot allow my well-being to suffer so badly anymore. I attend Al-anon now and began documenting boundaries I will not allow to be crossed. In the mean time, I am going to just try and enjoy my life and let her sink lower and lower until she hits bottom again and asks for help.

    Btw, one of my strict boundaries is infidelity. She has been unfaithful twice before. Her past sexual abuse has totally screwed her up and predatory men prey on her. All I know is if it happens again I will divorce. I feel that I have showed more than enough compassion and this is a line that cannot be crossed again.

  382. Bob Says:

    you know it’s not exactly easy being an alcoholic either..

  383. Stella Says:

    Please, please, please consider getting out of this destructive relationship immediately. Yes, this is how it starts (although, in your fiance’s case, it’s apparently progressed beyond the beginning stages) and tragically, no, unless he decides on his own that he needs intensive therapy and help and gets it and then devotes his life thereafter to true recovery, it will not get better and will only get worse. This is a progressive disease, and you and your innocent son are in grave danger of certain emotional pain/damage/tragedy and possible physical tragedy. Please get out.

  384. ross Says:


    I am the father of 5 children or at least i might be , 10 years ago i found out my wife was having an affair and when i questioned her she admitted to it but refused to tell me about it then a bit later she did admit that it was over

    My wife had always been a social drinker but about 6 years ago she started to increase her drinking rapidly , so much so that within what seemed like a few months she was a full blown alcoholic

    regularly i would come home from work and find her collapsed somewhere in the house and blind drunk . There were also numerous occasions when i found evidence the she had been with another man in our house

    This continued for about 3 years , all ( our ) children knew what their mother was doing and tried to help but it was of know use . Then one morning when i got up to go to work i found her dead in our hallway , the post mortem showed that she had died from alcohol poisoning

    Now 3 years on i still live with the feeling that i never did enough for her , I tried AAA for her but she would never stay at a meeting , i tried Al_ Anon for me but i felt that i never got the support that i needed

    I can tell you all that unless your wife really does something about her alcohol addiction the same fate with occur to them and to you , i know from experience we can’t make our loved ones get the help they need but it is such a waste of a life and a family when this happen

    Good luck to all of you

  385. Don Says:

    My wife was an alcoholic 20 years ago when we got married. I didn’t know it then. When you start dating there is a time when you’re not sure where you stand. I would leave a message on the machine then a week and a half later she would call me back and tell about how busy she’d been and sorry she hand not gotten back me sooner. Well she was busy drinking.

    So now it 20 years down the road and I can’t stand it any more. Alano’s not helping. They’re all about sticking in there and adjusting yourself to deal with the situation. I’m 68 years old and way past the point I want to start over again but I don’t see any way around it. She’s laying on the couch snoring and I’m heading out the door again to the local alonon meeting.

    One bright spot is my daughter is married and living in Spain. She has a great husband. They and my two grand kids are coming home for Christmas but I don’t know if I can hold out that long.

    We have some house repairs to do then I’m gone.

  386. Peter Mac Says:

    Well been with my girlfriend for 3 years and at the start everything seemed fine, my girlfriend at the time would work 3 nights on and 3 nights off, she would drink 2-3 bottles of wine on her nights off and would becOme verbally and emotionally aggressive, then 2nd year she was just as bad, we are in the third year now she is pregnant and sinking even more, she now works days 10 til 17:30 and drinks every night, again 2-3 bottles of wine or a bottle of vodka, the only reason I’m still here is for the protection o my children. I have already had her arrested once because she got that out of control. I don’t want my children to grow up and see this unforgivable behavior, if I’m not here will she turn on the kids, this is my dilemma. I would have to admit that I am the one who goes and gets her the alcohol ( with her money) and this is simply to make my evening bare able. I have refuse a few times to go
    To the shop but it ends in world war 3 and I’m left feelIng guilty as hell, I feel like of I was to leave my kids would be in danger ad te legal system would be as useful as a chocolate fire guard. Am I stuck, do I have a choice or am I stuck in my one life in fear

  387. jeff Says:

    When I met my fiance, I knew she drank, but lately its getting out of control. Today, she was drinking on the job. I love her so much. She doesn’t show the traditional signs as being abusive / anger when she drinks, but has some really bad judgement including a previous DUI. It tears me up that she drinks becomes the alcohol is killing her. Obviously I feel I can’t do anything…HELPLESS.

  388. Tony Says:


    My wife of 14 years is a bing drinker. She can go for days without drinking. But if she drinks one, she drinks 20. After the first drink, she will promise she’ll only have a couple….then in short order, she is sloshed. It’s been this way always. It’s frustrating, because I do enjoy a beer now and then, and I don’t understand how someone can’t say ENOUGH and simply stop.

    Early in our relationship, the funny, loud, tipsy girl was kind of fun once in a while. Admit it….we all have had a little too much from time to time. Knowing you’ve had too much is something my wife can’t comprehend. She will look at me cross-eyed, with vomit running down her face and insist she isn’t drunk. She’ll lie and say she’s had three drinks when she’s had 13. She’ll promise again and again that she won’t drink….and she does. Again. She insists she is just having fun, but she is destroying our family. Yes, she is drinking in front of our daughter….heavily. I won’t tolerate this.

    This weekend, while out with many, many friends, it happened again. This time she insisted she would stay sober. We had two vehicles that both needed to be driven home. By mid afternoon, she was so drunk she couldn’t stand. So I once again had to take care of my daughter, transporting two vehicles, and hauling her home. Luckly, she didn’t vomit in the car….this time.

    I can’t count the times I’ve cleaned up her puke. I’m tired of it.

    In the past, my scolding her for this behivior would result in violent behavior on her part. In fact, she has spent a night in jail because of it. Unfortunately, I have also spent a night in jail due to her violent, drunken response. That taught me to just let her destroy herself and whatever is around her.

    Recently, she just ignores me and continues drinking, insisting she isn’t…..lies lies lies. I’m sick of the lies.

    But, I still love her. When she is sober, she is my best friend.

    WTF am I going to do….?

  389. Jane Says:


    It’s hard to leave someone you love. But consider the role model your daughter is growing up with – both in your wife, and in seeing her dad willing to tolerate virtually any destructive behavior in your life. You deserve happiness, clarity, real friendship and your own life. You know what needs to be done, what you are GOING to do is up to you.

    There is a very good book called The Narcissistic Family. While alchoholics do have a disease, they are also narcissists in their refusal to get treatment. This book will show you what growing up in a narcissistic system will do to your child. Why does your wife get all of the energy and attention in your family? Why does only your wife get her needs met, while neither you nor your daughter get the same thing? Worth thinking about.

  390. Steve Says:

    Story of Hope

    I came accross this blog a while back and it gave me great insight into my own problem. My wife of 11 years is an alcoholic. She has always been a heavy drinker but over the last 5 years or so it had got really bad. We have 2 young children and life was turning into nightmare for us all. My wife is a functioning alcholic who was able to go to work in the morning and take and fetch the kids frorm school whilst being totally sober. She has many friends and work collegues who were totally unaware of her problem as they mostly never saw it. It was the children and I who would take the brunt of it at home. She would start drinking wine when she got home and within a couple of hours she would be well on her way. All the anger and resentment would come out in her and she would take it out on me. She blamed me for all her unhappiness and she would occoasionally lash out at the kids. She became abusive and at times physically abusive. Her consumption was ever increasing and had got to the point where she could get through 3 bottles of wine on some evenings.

    She was in total denial of there being a problem and the fact that she could hold down her job so well and have so many unsuspecting friends at the kids school was her proof that she was a “normal” functioning person. I believed her denial for a while and it was easier for me to also deny that there was any problem. But it was getting worse and her binges and outbursts were getting more frequent and more severe. She would sometimes end up lying on the floor crying out loudly and continue drinking until she would pass out on there on the floor. As time went on I felt futher and further from her and as much as I still loved her I was finding it difficult to continue.

    I struggled through it all and convinced myself that it was my duty to keep this from others and protect the children. I would busy myself with making sure the kids were safe in the evening, bathed and in bed before the mayhem. I would do whatever I could to save my wife from her own destruction and I would try and avoid arguments or even contact with her when she was this way. Try to keep the peace.

    Over the last year or so I had started reading up more about alcoholism, addiction etc. I came accorss forums like this one and it helped me enormously to read that other people were facing the same problems as me. This gave me the strength to work on myself and make a plan and decision on what to do next. I had spent many hours speaking to my wife in times of her being sober and pleading with her to get help. She was full of promises and remorse but was never able to go and get help. Her denial was strong and moments of clarity would only last for a short time before the wine was opened and the blame was pinned back on me.

    I realised I had 2 choices – stay as is or leave her. In thinking through the 2 options I tried to put the kids interest high up and ask what eventual effect would my choice have on their lives. Choice 1 would be to stay with her and continue as is. My argument for that was that the kids would be happier if they went through life without being from a broken home. I could continue to rescue and save each situation and keep their scary Mom from them when need be. I argued that she was not drunk all the time and that she was a good Mom when she was sober. I thought my kids may blame me in later life for breaking up the marraige, if I did not keep things together.

    Choice 2 would be a lot harder. After all my research and reading up on alcoholism I started to realise that the reason she continued drinking was because I kept rescuing her and enabling her to drink. But I couldn’t stop as it is in my nature to protect and save my family. But our marraige could not continue with her ever increasing alcholism and if I let it continue it would end up in a complete mess. I couldn’t be there all the time and either she or the children would end up being hurt in some kind of accident, or the kids would end up with long term damage due the the abuse and pressure of watching thier mother self destruct. Choice 2 would be leaving her and taking the kids with me. I could fight for custody of the children and would most probably win due to her drinking. If I took this option there would be a chance that she would be jolted into action and get help. I believed that the children and I were important to her and she may decide to fight to have us back but I wasn’t sure. She could also dredge up some very mean things when she was drunk and I had started to doubt her love for me.

    In the end I decided that the only way things would change would be if I made the change. One particularly bad night of drinking she was out in her car with friends and only returned at 7am the next morning, very drunk. I had not been able to contact her the whole evening and the kids woke up to see the state she returned in and I could see genuine fear in their eyes. I made the decision there and then to leave her. She passed out and this made it easier for me to pack 3 bags and leave.

    When she came around later in the day she frantically phoned me to ask where we had gone. I vey calmly told her that I had taken the kids and myself to a safe place. I informed her that we had moved out and that I would continue with keeping the kids in my custody where they were safe. I told her that I would take her to court if need be to keep custody of the kids and that I knew I would win as she had a severe driking problem. I then gave her an option. I told her she could carry on as is and have her freedom to drink but that it would be without the kids and I. Or she could book herself into 6 week full time rehab and as long as she never drinks again, we could continue with our marraige.

    She hit rock bottom. I honeslty was not sure if she would use the excuse to be done with me and carry on her love affair with the bottle of wine or if she would fight for our marraige. But I had prepared myself for if she was happy for things to end. I had made the decision in my mind that I would never again continue a marraige with an addict in that way.

    To my surprise, she fought for our marraige. Within 24 hours she had found a full time rehab and booked herself in for 6 weeks. I supported her through rehab and she has now been sober for 3 months. It is not long but it is a start. She and I both know that if she goes back to drinking in any way then we go back to the place where our marraige ends. It can be no other way. She is committed to the road ahead and she is working very hard on her recovery. As much as it is daily hard work for her, she is now a different person. All the resentment and anger from the drinking days has gone. She is 100% present and available to the kids and I at all times. We as a family have started to heal and our marraige has started to heal. I now believe in our future and I have hope. It is the first time I have seen her genuinly happy in years. There are no guarantees but we now have a chance. Before we were living without hope and in a totally disfunctional existance. I now realise I was as much a part of the problem in the past as the addiction.

    I tell this story not to say this would work for everyone. I tell it because things didn’t change until I made the change. I spent a long time in the depth of despair reading through this forum and many others, but it gave me the insight and resolve to look after myself as well as my drunk wife and to start making a new plan. My plan would not necessarily work for all and each situation is significant and unique. But my plan has worked so far for me. There is no guarantee that it will continue to work but I am happy in the space knowing that I will never go back there again and that I am confortable that my marraige can only exist when she is sober, and if she drinks again, in any way, then our marraige will be over.

    This may sound harsh but it is better to have that clarity in my heart than to be in the lonely place of despair with an addict. And I again have hope in my life.

  391. Tom Linde Says:

    Thank you, Steve.

  392. Robert Says:

    I’m writing this cause I have problem with my marriage and alcohol is part of it. My wife isn’t a alcohol,however, when my wife drinks she vents every little tiny problem she has with me and at worse times I get offended and defensive at best of times I try to take into account she is drunk and do my best to reason with her and admit my shortcomings. Every which way seems to have no effect on the outcome. Every way always ends up me being a asshole and or mention of divorce, violent yelling, throwing her ring at me and so on. Hardly ever reaches a peaceful conclusion which I know is partially my incapability to dealing with the situation. Any idea on how I should change this? I love my wife I just hate these fights.

  393. Stan Says:

    My wife and I have been married almost 15 years. She drank a lot when we met, and I thought the problem would work itself out after we got married. Dumb move on my part. Those kinds of problems never go away. She used to work full time, but is a stay at home mom right now. Our son is almost 14, and is closer to her, since I work 60+ hours a week. I don’t complain about working that much, since it’s actually easier than being around my wife. She drinks at least two bottles of wine a night, plus beer or vodka on special occassions. I don’t know how her liver and brain can take it. Her doctor said she will have irreversible liver disease if she doesn’t quit soon. I don’t think she gives a damn. Like everyone else on this website, I’ve gone through the endless rollercoaster rides, and the millions of lies and broken promises. Nothing works. Counseling, AA, medication, detox, in-patient/out-patient, etc. Nothing changes. I’m convinced that alcohol is the most important thing to her, except possibly our son. She didn’t drink while she was pregnant, but other than that it’s been non-stop drinking, every damn day.

    In the old days I would hope that things would get better. I moved passed that stage years ago. Now it’s just trying to survive without dying of a heart attack from the stress. Now, it’s become me waffling between filing for divorce right now, or waiting until our son turns 18. I’m trapped right now. If we divorced, then we would go bankrupt, plus our son would hate it. Even though my wife and I argue every day, our son doesn’t want us to divorce. My wife doesn’t want a divorce since she knows she’ll have to deal with her alcoholism on her own.

    Friends and family are of no help. They either are in denial about the whole thing (i.e. they don’t see my wife’s Mr. Hyde drunk personality), or they are alcoholics themselves. A lot of them say my wife drinks because she’s bored. What a bunch of b.s. My wife was an alcoholic when I met her, and she was working full-time. She would hang out with her alcohol addicted co-workers on a regular basis. Looking back, I was an idiot for denying the obvious warning signs. But they say love is blind, and I’ll admit I thought things would work out. They didn’t. Hopefully nothing will happen, but I know in my gut there’s a strong chance the day will come when she calls me from jail, or the police tell me she got in a car accident.

    Some friends tell me I should divorce and try to get custody of our son. It wouldn’t work, we’re drowning in debt, and I have to work 60+ hours just to pay the bills. Our son is closer to my wife, and I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience to raise our son by myself. I know it sounds selfish, but I’m totally sick of everything. I love our son, but I get frustrated with him since he believes my wife’s endless lies about her drinking problem. Maybe we’ll connect better when he’s an adult. But right now, it’s like I’m the enemy in the household. We have great times together when my wife is sober. But most of the time it’s hell. It used to be three or fours nightmarish days each week. Now it seems like every day is a nightmare except for maybe one or two days a month. You get to a point where you just want this nightmare to end (even if it’s bankruptcy or a car crash) just so you can get some closure on this problem. I know, why don’t I stop complaining and just file for divorce. I don’t know. I’ve been waffling on this issue for the last five years. Who knows.

  394. Pete Bennett Says:

    It is interesting to read what other people are going through. I have been married for 26 years and finding more and more difficult to live with my wife’s drinking problem. She is a very intelligent woman, when sober, but turns into someone different as soon as she has alcohol, there is a noticeable difference after just one glass of wine, it seems to change her personalty into someone totally opposite. I drink myself, less as I get older, and might have a glass of beer, but never had any complaints from my wife, but it seems like I am in a glass house throwing stones. She knows that she has a problem when we talk about it, and promises to do something about it, but can only hold out a day or two, and then back to the same thing. Apart from her drinking she is a great person, with many talents, but I just can’t seem to cope anymore with the split personality. I think it is Genetic, as her Sisters and her Mother had the same problem. Is it possible to change someone that just can’t help themselves. I know what the choices are , stay or leave, but this is a big decision for me at my age,66 years, I’m sure if I would become ill, she would look after me without any complaint, how can I do the same for her.

  395. Brian Says:

    I am amazed at how many men have exactly tue same issue as me. I am on my 12th yr of marriage and I am miserable. We have 5 children and I am gone a lot due to the fact that I am a US Marine. Like many of the posts that I have read my wife has showed up to sporting events of the kids completely drunk. We have no friends because of her and my kids are embarrassed to invite people over. She steals money lies about the bills and has pawned her wedding ring numerous times for vodka/rum. I hate my life but don’t want to take my kids away from their mom. No matter how bad she is. I still have hope that one day she will stop. However, right now she drinks a bottle of vodka a day starting at 6am. I work 12-14 hours a day when I’m not deployed and I come home to her passed out and I am left to cook, clean, and help kids with homework. I am a married man but feel like a single father…HELP

  396. Marie Says:

    To all of you struggling with alcoholic spouses, I empathize with you. I have been on both sides of the fence, living with an alcoholic and being an alcoholic. I am here to tell you that some alcoholics do see the light and get better. My husband was a very heavy drinker at one time, dealing with past emotional abuse from his stepmother and PTSD from the military. He made a trip to Iraq in 2010 and came home changed. He realized how much he wanted to be present and available in the life of our daughter and our marriage.
    My alcoholism stems from family history and a history of binge drinking. I was sober for 13 years and then thought I could handle drinking again, Off again, on again sobriety till May 2012 at which time I engaged an addictions counselor and have concluded I can never drink again.
    Some of us do make it. I don’t see many folks on the other side (the alcoholics) discussing their side of this. In my case, I was dealing with a very sick mom who required 24 by 7 nursing home care and an elderly dad who is very labor intensive along with my 8 yo daughter all while my husband was deployed. I relapsed under all the pressure since I didn’t have the tools I needed to be successful. Fast forward to today. Our marriage is stronger than ever, we are getting ready to adopt a child to add to our family. The same stresses exist but I handle them in a healthy way now. It has been a great benefit to me to be able to talk one on one to a woman counselor. I write this to offer hope to those still living with alcoholics. I also credit my faith and God with helping me out of the pit of alcoholism. Trust me when I say no alcoholic wants to be one. We didn’t wake up one day and decide hey i want to be addicted to alcohol. For me, it was a learning process until I was comfortable with the idea that I am allergic to alcohol. Part of the trouble with alcohol is that society makes it seem so acceptable. Truth be told, I rarely see anyone “drink socially.” Almost everyone I know who drinks drinks and drives, or drinks too much. It is like food, or sex; some people are addicted to those things. Total abstinence is the key for me. What made me stop was seeing my daughter’s forlorn face, worrying about mom being “sick.” yet again, It was my lightbulb moment. To those of you struggling with alcoholic spouses, i will pray for you. You aren’t alone. Try to get yourself and your kids or family into counseling. Use whatever support mechanisms you can. A lot of support now exists on the internet for those of you who can’t attend face to face meetings. Don’t be afraid to be direct with your spouse. And finally, leaving may be the best thing for your spouse. Many times an alcoholic will threaten self harm and do so to manipulate others into continuing to support their habit. Everyone is different. I wish everyone success in their journey. Marie

  397. Marie Says:


    Since you are often deployed, what happens with the kids while you are gone? Sooner or later someone may call child protective services. If she’s driving drunk with them to sports events, she out to be arrested. Sometimes, this is what it takes to get the alcoholic to realize they have a problem. I would also be concerned with what is happening while you are at work. It does the kids no good to see their mom drunk.It is no favor to them. It is teaching them things like this kind of life is normal. When it is anything but. We too are military. Husband just got out after 28 years in the Navy. It could be that your wife finds the deployments very stressful. Have you tried a support group, counseling or Al Anon? The base may also have some resources for deploying service members, I hope things work out.

  398. forestdancer Says:

    Marie it is nice to hear from the alcoholic or ex-alcoholic side. My husband is the drinker and is highly functional. At 46 years old, he has been drinking very heavily for 20 years now, mostly Jack Daniels or vodka or gin. Usually a bottle a day. Unfortunately, he doesnt fall sound asleep but gets aggressive and often breaks things or walks around saying how lazy everyone is and all the things that need to be done right now, such as getting the cats to come inside the house or cleaning the refrigerator. He will want whatever he says done immediately, or he will start breaking things or throwing things out of the refrigerator. I hate how he comes home from work, half naps for a few hours and then starts his wandering through the house. he periodically gets up to refill his glass. Then when it is finally bedtime, he has bad restless legs and most nights he will talk loudly or moan about why he stays in such a bad situation. Yesterday we had a good day, when he actually wanted to shop for light fixtures for the kitchen and then he proceeded to install them. I help with everything because he actually is unable to complete anything at all without involving myself and our daughter. My solution now is to try to minimalize the workload…such as not burning wood in our stoves so that I dont have to spend weekends bringing wood into the house, and other things like that. I have a new job now, partly as protection in case he keels over and I become the main supporter of the household, and partly because we need to keep up with rising expenses. He exhausts me and the only reason I am on the computer now is because I am on a business trip. He has already called numerous times to see what I am doing, and then hang up so he could show me who is the boss by getting the last word in. I am just sitting here doing some work so I can be a great employee in my new job, and thinking about sleeping. I will get a good night’s sleep in a hotel because he wont be here thrashing his legs. I love him because when he isnt under the influence of alcohol he is a sweet person with a kind soul. I dont know why he insists on destroying himself. In fact, if we have a good day, he runs for the bottle afterwards and drinks even more. I worry about him dying everyday. He has high blood pressure, chest pains, stomach pains, blurry eyesight, morning diarrhea, deep ear creases, high cholesterol, a distended stomach and a yellowish orange tint to his skin. He sweats profusely, and I mean dripping from the head, but has no problems sexually. Since he is high functioning, he sees no problem, but I think he is just going to pop open one day and be dead. I keep hoping he sees the light and seeks help. I cannot help him with the addiction, but can provide the most loving and stable environment I can for us.

  399. sean Says:

    Hello all, I’m married to an alcoholic & prescription drug abuser,my 2nd marriage now We’ve been together for about 3 years & she has 4 sons, I have 2 girls & we have a wonderful 16 month daughter together.. I didn’t find out my wife was an alcoholic until a few months after we were married, she lied about most of her past, come to find out she has had multiple dui’s, she lost her boys to foster homes, was in jail & court ordered rehab, multiple bad relationships, it was her children that filled me in on her past .
    1 main thing is I don’t hear anyone mentioning the dry-drunk times “dt’s”, they are almost as bad as the drunk spells.
    My wife is very emotionally, verbally abusive mainly to me & all the children, & sometimes physically abusive to me.
    I moved her & her sons into my home, i have no say in my own home, her boys can do no wrong except by her, although they are starting dependencies them selves now, in trouble with the law & schools, my girls are demonized to the point i had to send my oldest daughter to live with her bio mom ” not the best environment” to protect her from my wife, now she’s starting on my next daughter who is a honor roll student,
    I can do nothing right by her, every thing is my fault, I’m constantly degraded by her including behind my back to anyone she can talk to, her ex husband who has warrants for being a chomo & an abusive husband ex cop who skipped out of state is her superman & my children & i are crap, i can’t make her happy in anything i do.
    she’s in counseling but they exclude her drinking from her care plan & seem to fix nothing but in some ways make it worse.
    she has dropped our baby girl while bombed, I’ve started calling 911 now when she gets very hostile but they won’t file charges, they just have her leave for the night, i’m scared to be away from home because i’m worried about my baby & the other kids, I get punished if i do anything without her, like try to hang out with family or friends..she has threatened if i leave her she will lie & tell the cops,dhs, & the courts that I psychically abuse her & her kids & that she’ll say I’m a chomo so I won’t even get to see my baby girl again, makes me wonder if the charges against her ex husband are true or not?
    dhs/protective services here are well know for wrongfully removing children from homes with no problems in them so I can only imagine how they will crucify me for her actions even though i actively condemn her actions.
    we have only 1 magistrate her & i have dealt with him before with my ex wife, his answer to everything is status quot, open visitation with no safety nets inplace for the children.
    I can’t trust my wife because everything she does is a lie, she won’t admit there is a problem & won’t get help, i think she’s cheated/ing on me,Our love life is gone the only time she has any interest is when she is really drunk & that makes me feel cheap so i wont do it, i fantasize about affairs now, but not about sex, about what it is to be treated with love, caring, compassion, understanding, to be treated like a human being again.. i am in counseling my self for all of this, but it doesn’t seem to help that much, i am looking into alonon though ..I do feel your pain
    staying seems easier in some ways but what type of father does that make me to let my children endure this?
    leaving seems to be be the answer but only if my baby girl will be safe.

  400. Kelly Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am engaged to an alcoholic man who currently lives in my house. When I met him, I found out very quickly about his extensive history of DUIs (4 of them). Actually, four months of our nine month relationship so far have been spent with him in jail for the last DUI. The reason that I didn’t “run for the hills” is because he has been actively engaged in AA meetings, out-patient meetings, and works regularly with a sponser. He has shown evidence that he wants to stop drinking. Also, like many of you have said, my alcoholic can be absolutely wonderful when he isn’t drinking.

    The problem is that despite this level of commitment to seeking professional help, if he even misses one meeting (he generally goes everyday), he is sometimes drinking heavily within 24 hours. Additionally, if he has any money on him and I leave him alone in our house, there is a good possibility that he will drink. He does not do well when he is alone. This leaves me in a role where if I don’t want to risk him drinking I have to babysit him. It is impossible for me to be around him all the time though because my friends and family refuse to be around him. He would like me to cut people out of my life that don’t like him but I refuse to ruin relationships with people that I have known and loved for years for anyone.

    When he drinks, he is verbally abusive and threatens to physically abuse me. It has gotten into a routine where if he drinks I throw him out of the house, rain or shine (he doesn’t have a driver’s license due to his DUIs so he is left on foot if I kick him out). I actually threw him out in the middle of Hurricane Sandy a couple of days ago because it is impossible to be around him at all when he drinks!!! That may sound harsh to some of you, but we do have children in the house (we don’t have children together) and I refuse to subject them to his behavior. When I kick him out, he is always gone for a few days before I invariably take him back because of his promises to change, etc.

    For me, like many of you, it is difficult to leave the relationship because the financial support that he provides me is a huge help to me. It is also difficult because I am dealing with a man that is only intermittently unbearable. When he is sober (which for him is the vast majority of the time), I almost forget how bad it gets and I love our time together. We have the same interests and hobbies and we have a blast together. Everyone around me thinks I am crazy for not completely removing him from my life though. I have gotten to the point where I lie about the status of our relationship on a regular basis because it is easier then being guilt-tripped/interrogated by concerned friends and family about my relationship with him. I totally understand and appreciate their points of view and they are right to dislike him and his behavior. I just am the forever optimist and keep hanging on to the extremely remote possiblity that he is capable of being a loving stable partner that I can build a life with.

    I am so sorry for those of you that are in even worse situations then me and I pray that you have the strength and courage to take the necessary steps to bring stability and happiness back into your lives…and I am sorry to say this, but for most of you, this means walking away. I know that I should take my own advice.

  401. Mary Says:

    It is helpful to know I am not the only one. I actually became addicted to being with my alcoholic husband. I separated from him for a year and he still drank after lying about it. So, then I divorced him. He got a few DUI’s and served time. Of course he begged and cried. It hurt to see that because we truely loved and love each other even now. 8 years later… My son sees him on the weekends. He reports my ex is sober and doing great financially. We go out one night….then it starts again. We got back together. I start suspecting him drinking and found out he never quit and my son was covering for him the whole time! On top of this, I found out he is facing 9 years for multiple DUI’s and drug related charges! UNREAL. I was stupid enough to let him move in with me….because he had this great idea of selling his house so he could make a 30,000 profit for US. It sounded great. He has moved in for 1 week. His started becoming a beligerent, abusive drunk the moment he walked through the door. (He wasn’t even this bad when we were married.) He is also doing every drug he can get his hands on. He went over to my sister’s and started a fight with my brother in law drunk 4 weeks before he moved in; promising he was done. Super embarrassing. Started drinking 2 weeks after he was SO SORRY and GOT WORSE. I still let him move in, thinking I could go to Al-Anon and deal with it. Nope he started getting violently verbally abusive pointing his finger in my face. I told him to GET OUT. Today he comes to my house crying real tears, sobbing, holding me tightly begging on his knees for me not to leave him again. I told him I loved him, but the trust is gone. I gained it back through reports from son only to find out it was a big fat lie. My son is seeing this. It is dysfunctional. I feel bad for him and truely love him, but he has refused to get help. Now …..all the sudden he is promising the world. When he realized I was serious…..he said….”I might as well not change now, there is no reason to….I have lost my soulmate.” So he will continue drinking because he doesn’t quit for himself and I told him that. I am not his crutch.

  402. barney Says:

    Mary I know how you feel. I’ve been thru it and my soon to be ex wife is in rehab for the second time. I like you was always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry to say it was always a train for the last 3 years and probally before that. Run Forest Run!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is short and there are plenty of men and women that will fill your life with fun and happiness. I know that.

  403. barney Says:

    Stan, God bless your hard working kind heart. But I’d rather be poor on a street corner selling pens than live in that enviorment. I’m no better than you because I’m on my second marrige and stayed because I hoped things would turn around. They do from time to time for maybe 8 hrs but all I can say is if you totally get all alcohol out of your house and when ever you go out you both order Ice Tea that may last 6 months if your lucky. But after my wife had 7 horrific trips to the Emergency Ward I realize it’s over and what good will you be to your child if you die from stress. I know people that have died from stress. Make sure you have your own checking account and grab all your important papers before you leave. Also all your things that you care about.

  404. How far is to far Says:

    Well where to start. I guess I better start typing before she comes up stairs and starts something. We have been together since high school and now married for 6 years. We have 2 handsome young boys. Things have been a rollercoaster ever since I knew her. Drugs, sex, and a slew of problems. In my eyes she is a beautiful person. I have adored her and loved her without end. She was recently hospitalized for severe heart burn. This was caused drinking and more drinking. Every doctor and surgeon laid into her about the issue. Spent 5 days in the hospital, and 30 days sober. Day 31. A few drinks, then everyday after that things got worse. Whats that? Oh she finally found a job…. as a bartender. Good for you. Nothing but lies for a month. Whenever is gets a few in her, that ugly tongue gets moving. Degrades me. Can never talk to her without walking on eggshells. Spending money on booze and partying. The real victims are my boys. They see her and hear her scream at me till the sun comes up. She says vile things like referencing my child hood and being molested. I know it is not my fault though. It still feels like daggers. I see a psychologist every week, but I don’t think it has been helping much anymore. Well maybe I will post again in the future, but for now I got to go. She is moving around down stairs and I do not want more problems. I have to wake up soon and go to work. Thanks all for the reading. Now I know I am not alone.

  405. Dave Says:

    I’ve thought many times about writing in the “blind” like this. It wasn’t until I read through the many similar stories that I have finally been able to do it. I love my wife. We have been together for nearly 30 years. We have 2 kids. After reading the posts here the thing that still makes me think i need to stick it out and try to “deal” with it is that my wife is not abusive. Other than the drinking she is an incredible, thoughtful woman. I realize the “other than the drinking” part is a big deal. She doesn’t get abusive when she drinks, she just gets non-responsive. She has increased memory loss. Our kids (both teens) know just to ignore the fact that she can’t carry on an intelligent conversation when she’s been drinking. The signs of continued to get worse over the past couple of years. She has had a drinking problem (at least that I have recognized) for at least 10 years. I have confronted her, tried to reason with her, everything that I have read hear that, obviously, does not work. She used to never drink Vodka, now I find it hidden around the house and we always have plenty for her “father”. Who has been an alcoholic since I first met him 30 year ago. My wife and I used to say we wouldn’t let our kids be with him alone because he drank too much and now here she is, the same way. She denies drinking. I found a glass last night that had vodka in the bottom of it. I asked her about it and she just flat denied it and acted surprised like where could that have come from. I am beginning to reach a crossroad here. Our youngest son will be out of the house in a few years and I am torn as to what to do. I love my wife very much and desperately do not want to get a divorce, however, I don’t know if I can stand to live with here the rest of our lives…

  406. kat Says:

    “You’re an abomination. Soul-less. Devil’s work to destroy me. A terrible mother. Why are you still alive. Just die!”

    I told him to take it up with GOD with the “Why are you still alive. Just die”.

    His drinking has changed me as a person. I get frustrated and angry easily. I even find myself hugging a glass or two of wine to calm me down, or a xanax to cope.

    I am not sure if I am staying because of finances or I am just afraid of the unforeseen future of leaving. Maybe it’s both.

    My husband (41) was sober for almost 10 yrs, but relapsed. He is a good person and works hard when he’s at work, but when he drinks, it’s Dr. Dekyll and Mr. Hyde. He gets so hammered that he has pee in the dining area, thinking it was the toilet, to breaking our son’s bed and 2 toilets, which one caused a leak that cost us over a $1000 in damages.

    He also has an ego the size of Antartica because he comes from a privileged family. Everything has always given to him freely, even his job.

    He has been arrested for a DUI and public intoxication, in which, caused humiliation to his parents when his name was in the police blogger of the local newspaper. He almost died from a fatal seizure that led him in the hospital for over a week, due to alcohol and the rip of his stomach lining that connects to his esophagus. I believe DEATH is his only way out. This saddens me because he is so talented.

    He drinks alot of beers, 8-18 every night, including countless, hidden pocket size flavor vodka. Spends money like it grows on trees and spends the money on his buddy and his buddy’s family with unlimited steaks and booze; meanwhile, taking the money from mine and our son’s pockets, lies, steals from his work (but no “REAL” repercussion because his work is owned by his family), then replenish the missing cash from our account, and the list goes on.

    Our 5 yr old son is caught in the middle. His nightly prayer is “God please help my dad stop drinking. I will quit eating candy too.” He once said he is the adult and his dad is the child.

    His belittlement has make me feel unadequate as a mother, because I do not have the courage to protect my son and take him away from all of this.

    Where do I go? I have no family. I don’t want to impose on my friends, whom have families of their own.

    I am well educated and look at me, CLUELESS and HOPELESS. Never thought I would be struggling. Always thought that with my credentials, I could stand alone. Boy am I so wrong.

    I am so fortunate that I stumbled across this website. Feels like a few extra pounds have been shed from shoulder after writing my story. In its odd way, I find it refreshing and comforting that I am not alone.

  407. forestdancer Says:

    Kat, it doesnt sound like your husband will be around much longer. Maybe with a good life insurance policy he will be able to provide for you in death, more than in life. It doesnt sound like he will be around much longer, as he sounds very sick physically. Staying with your husband doesnt mean you are enabling him, however you do need to really understand that he isnt really himself when he calls you names, and the more you can detach from him during those times, the better. I am sorry your child is so young. My husband is at about the same stage as yours but my kids are just leaving the house now, and I, also well educated and shocked at how I am treated, have gone out to find a full time job. Things are better in a lot of ways because I am not having to protect the kids so much anymore. I am serious about getting life insurance because he actually is trying to kill himself, and as a smart person, i would try to insure the future of my child and possibly against losing the house. Good luck! I am hoping I dont sound callous. I love my husband, but the man who peed in the refrigerator after I spent all day cleaning to get ready for our Thanksgiving party, is not my husband. God help all of us who have to see our spouses deteriorate in this way.

  408. john Says:

    My wife of 17 years asked me to leave last week. I brought up drinking (she got hammered (alone, I don’t drink much at all anymore) at dinner the night before) and asked her if there was a way to moderate so we cold both have fun.

    She has such a bad temper about this, it has been a problem since we got married and I have brought it up many times without success.

    I was sad, but I left and I’ve been much happier. We are both agreed to go to consoling but I believe she thinks it is just to prove she is normal and to get me to stop asking her to moderate her drinking.

    She tells me I’m the problem and I may be. She isn’t always hammered and sometimes she is fun but I feel like each drink is loading bullets in a gun that may or may not get pointed at me so even if nothing happens, her drinking tends to ruin my nights.

  409. DavidG Says:

    Reading through a cross section of comments over the life of this thread, its evident my experience differs. However, knowing that the dialogue is hosted by Tom Linde (best regards, and professional respect sir), and is part of his practice, I may be stretching the limit a little.

    I’m writing from this perspective: A Christian man, married nearly 30 years who’s wife has (for 20+ years) suffered issues as an alcoholic. She was diagnosed chronic late-stage over 10 years ago, fights liver damage, has trouble with the law, hospitals, injuries. Attended 9 treatments – short term, long term, cheap, expensive, celebrity centers and state, she went voluntarily, involuntarily, we both have 12-step black belts (useless), we’ve been in counselling together, in groups, as individuals (again, pretty much useless), drove us broke, lost all our friends, family hates us, bla, bla bla. — read the posts above, it’s all in there, and worse maybe… but I’m not writing to complain. She happens to be passed out just now, which gave me some time to wind up here with you.

    Here is what I understand that’s important:

    Consider Eternity. And this postulate…

    If one has faith, then nothing that transpires in this life has much meaning — except where one affects another for the sake of their eternity.

    So simple it sort of defies explanation, I know. But I think it’s true.

    Inferences explode (if one can accept this truth) and cause a profound change in point-of-view.

    I think being Christian helps me mostly because it’s not about me at all.

    It is about my relationship with Christ. It begins and ends with that. How I treat others and (most especially) how I encounter my wife become by-products of my faith in Jesus. Finding and growing in faith is the work God has assigned in this life.

    Okay, most readers have already blown off reading further. Not unexpected. But if you are still reading, here is how it works for me in as close to a nutshell as I can compose it…

    God has given instructions to Husbands on how they are to remain with, and love their wives. He’s given only a very narrow means of escape (having to do with adultery.) Not much discussion here.

    Now it’s not so much that I’m being forced into obeying these instructions, where I might do so grudgingly.

    It is definitely about my relationship with Christ – do I love him and what he says – more than I love controlling the circumstances of my life?

    Eternity is at stake. This changes everything.

    Spoiler alert: No suggestion that Christianity is easy. In fact I think it’s so difficult, dealing with drunks becomes more or less colorless — like shadows in a black & white part of the landscape of my life. Lovely colors live in scenes I cultivate with God. The issues I experience are within me. And I’m only affected by the drunk when I let my attention turn to my bitterness, anger and disappointments in this world. I have to give them color; let them capture my attention away.

    Again: It’s eternity that matters.

    I think if you want less pain now, dump the drunk and run. But if God speaks something into your life, you might want to listen. Christianity is not natural and crosses every instinct we are born with. Living spiritually is living life in a new and most unfamiliar, unnatural manner.

    Final thought. In God’s economy everything has a purpose. Living with a drunk becomes a vehicle for Him to teach me some things. Most of those somethings are about me. Only some of them are about others.

    “Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice.”

    Blessings, all.

  410. Tom Linde Says:

    DavidG, the idea that suffering is a choice is not something I can wrap my head around. Nor the idea that we should suggest to anyone, no matter their faith or ours, that God intends for marriage to be 100% unconditional. “Dump the drunk and run” belittles the enormity of the dillema many of these people are managing. What you may claim is benign witnessing looks to me to be judgemental. But I appreciate your writing in.

  411. DavidG Says:


    I know that your willingness to publish my comments was very open minded. Thank you. My objective in writing was not so much to “witness” — but to offer an alternative view. I expected to censored, and if not, to be challenged. Since Christianity is so uncomfortable, let’s avoid that context.

    Let me encourage you to chew on the suffering issue …

    The quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice” (Buddhist Proverb) has been cited as an AA truth in quite a few groups. I first heard it a number of years back in a Pacific Group meeting when I was travelling to LA.

    “Pain is what the world inflicts upon us. Suffering is our emotional reaction when we fail to make the difficult conscious decision to choose Joy.”
    – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

    “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
    – Mahatma Gandhi

    (Just so you don’t get the impression I’m actually that smart: I Googled the phrase and captured those quotes from: )

    Try it this way “…strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    I admit that “Dump the drunk and run” is glib! I wish I knew how many times I heard that suggestion in an AA/Alanon context. In hopeless moments, it seemed like the only alternative.

    We should probably be talking about how hope works.

    I respect very much that folks have a genuine need for advice that helps with outcomes. My version of the truth (which I tried to convey) is that much of what I’ve learned in my experience with my alcoholic (whom I dearly love, and hope survives) has been “interior” work — stuff about my state of being.

    Your perceptions of marriage affect how you view these relationships. Your god may not be 100% committed to marriage, but my God is. And yet we (even me) are free to do what we want. It’s my assertion that if we we’re willing, God helps us change what we want.

    Even so, dissolution is sometimes the only choice (and I recognize and honor this without qualification!!) Divorce as a legal institution goes all the way back to Moses (Google suggests even further — Sumeria.) Here’s the catch and why Moses established it for his people in his time: To keep the peace.

    The point is conflict in marriage is as old as the institution.

    But one might sense that there is a difference between what is legally permissible and what is spiritually beneficial. Aspects of an individual’s faith qualify how this is perceived.

    I’m sorry if my comments sounded like nobody should ever separate or get divorced. Circumstances and faith dictate.

    Judgmental? Rats. Not in the least. Does it sound that way because I try to be brief? Please bear in mind: I still live in the circumstances people are recording here. And I suck at it too… This is NOT easy.

    Thanks again for sharing what I wrote.

    God bless what you do, thank you for your service.

  412. b Says:

    there are nights where i literally want to kill myself because i feel that i’ve caused a problem. in reality i know that it’s because she’s drunk. i’m sick of the blame, the doors slamming, the yelling, etc. i want to take the dog (who looks at me like she’s the reason i’m being yelled at) and leave for good. i don’t know what to do, because i’m a functioning alcoholic as well, but i’m not violent or mean. all i want is for my wife to be happy, even if it’s happy because i take the blame for anything that she’s responsible for. i’m sick of it.

  413. Robert Says:

    I admire David G’s courage but I don’t believe God intended us to be unhappy. In fact, I’m Catholic, and my priest agrees. But Catholics aren’t as conservative as evangelists! Obviously there is no clear answer on what is wrong and what is right in terms of choosing to live with or not live with an alcoholic. We are human with our human emotions and we have free will and that makes the choice difficult. There is no magic answer, no book of laws which tells us what to do.
    We’re in our late 60’s and have been marrried 43 1/2 years. My wife has abused alcohol for about 30 of those years. We have two married sons with children. My wife is drunk about 75% of the time. She is a binge drinker in the sense that she drinks for about 3 weeeks straight, 24 hours a day (except for frequent naps after getting stoned) doesn’t eat much, change clothes or shower, then gets deathly sick, drinks bottles of pepto bismol and club soda, promises never to do it again, cleans up and stays “sober” for a week, starts to drink socially for a week or so (only in the evening) then goes out and buys many bottles of various hard liquor and a case of wine and proceeds to go through it and on another 3 week binge. She can’t admit that she can’t drink like other folks. She thinks folks look at her strangely if she doesn’t drink when we’re out. When she is drinking she is insulting, arrogant, brings up her “terrible” past, disses everything and everyone, and is just unbearable to live with and look at. She’s an attractive woman who looks like a hag when drunk. I’m always making excuses for her when I go out socially without her (“Where is she, How is she”?) or she misses appointments, including trips to see our kids. She’s been to rehab a few times, and used to go to AA years ago, but no more. She’s given up and doesn’t care how she hurts me or our kids. She is a whole different person when sober: she’s beautiful, well-groomed, funny, sparkling, attentive and bright which is probably why I’ve stayed with her, hoping she will stop drinking.
    I am the reason she continues to drink: I buy her booze, pay all the bills (she hasn’t worked since we had kids 37 years ago) , buy her nice clothes and jewelry, take her on trips, provide a nice home and a nice car and of course make excuses for her when she’s drunk and can’t “come out”. I’m a classic enabler. I hate her when she’s drunk yet I love her when she’s sober. I have no sex life, no love life. I crave female attention.
    I just know the solution is to leave the house. As it is, I sleep in another room when she’s drinking.
    Our kids live far away so they don’t see her drinking on a daily basis , but they saw her drinking when they lived at home and a couple times when she was drunk when we visited them. When my second son brought his girlfriend, now wife, here to meet us, my wife was stoned and I couldn’t let them see her that way so they stayed in a hotel! She knew they were coming and how important it was to our son that his future wife meet us and my wife couldn’t bother to sober up!!!
    I too thought it was my duty to stay with my wife since I had married her ” for better or for worse, in sickness and in health…”. I hate the thought of having to move out of my beautiful home and into an apartment. But I think that I’m just making her worse by staying and enabling her. If I leave and she drives her car to buy liquor and kills someone, I’d be devastated. Help!

  414. Harry Says:

    My wife and I have been together for almost 30 years and for the most part she has been drinking wine every night. 13 years ago our relationship took a turn when she and an old spinster took to several bottles and together became those obnoxious drunks that all here are most familiar with. The old spinster thought it was her right to make false accusations about my young sons behaviour when riding their quad bikes and when I asked whether the 5 and 3 year olds were being supervised by adults they said yes. I was completely sober and had been helping in the fields of the farm we were at the whole day and I asked them where there were when supervising, they repeatedly began eluding the question and continued their drunken rant, this went on for some time until I told my wife to get the kids, we are leaving.. At which point having aggrevated me to the point of no return, they started attacking me for my behaviour. My wife ignore me, I totally lost my cool, for the first time in my relationship I slapped her in disgust for siding with another drunk over the well being of my kids and me as a husband. So from their as many of you would understand, it was all my fault, I was the bad person, drinking became an excuse to have to put up with me…

    It was the beginning of a tough journey living with alchoholism, as the boys grew older, they became conscious of the effects of alchoholism on my family, we all know the repeated irrational evenings, followed by mornings of remorse and recovery. This contnued year after year until the boys reached their teenage years and began reiterating my views on how it’s impossible to deal with and the Dr Jeckyl, Mr Hyde syndrome we had to live with. But even when the boys made their views clear, the drinking continued.

    Like all of the stories above which I spent the last month reading, there’s nothing new to my situation that isnt evident in many of the other accounts of living with alcoholism. Things got worse, she didnt drink in the mornings, and did everything a mother and housewife prides themselves with, up until the afternoons where the cravings got the better of her. The cycle was evident and no matter how much I tried to communicate the problems, we only had a very short time on the mornings (unless I took the day off work to repair the damage) to discuss and then the afternoons were once again a carbon copy of the night before.

    She’d drop things, slurr in her speech, sway in a daze in the living room just prior to going to bed and passing out. Day after day, year after year, same old story. Of late she had convinced herself that it was over for us, there was too much bad history, never once thinking that maybe all the bad history had a common trait. I did once use a video camera to great success, filming her as she was argumentative and I was attempting to talk rationally about the problem we had. This had a very strong impact on her in the morning yet I was feeling like crap having to shove it in her face.

    So I was to blame, my anger and frustration was the problem, never could it have been the alcoholism that was part of the problem. She loved her bottle more than I did. She used the excuse that everyone drinks, so it’s ok. All the irrational comments and remarks so often recurring in the posts above.

    As she was now convincing herself that our relationship was over and for me I havent finished my relationship with my sons (17 and 18) her complete disregard for us brought the boys into the mix. They so often told her that she isnt the same when she’s drunk, they told her they dont want dad to leave they want him here. It pushed me to a point where I put the boys in a position to choose and when they chose to back me up, I was brainwashing them…

    I could see this was becoming a delusional effect of alcohol and it was very much getting out of hand. So many times we agreed on selling up and separating but all the logic and analysis, sleepless nights trying to come up with a solution didnt make anysense at all to me.

    A few weeks ago it escalated once more, an argument with father and son lead to a mother taunting her son into “having a go” at me, she was now pushing the limits of her reality thinking that if she gets side with the boys, she’s right and Im wrong about it.

    I asked, begged and pleaded with her to stop drinking for a month and decide then if our relationship was over. She couldnt… 3 days on she had a concert to go to with a friend, and she had to have a drink to enjoy it. I said there is no way a sober person can justify that alcohol is a necessary requirement for enjoyment and that the Cold Play concert itself is more than good enough to make someone happy.

    So I was ready to call it quits, my younger son was in tears with trying to deal with the situation and we have a good relationship. He sat with me until 3am asking me to try and fix it and all I could do was say I tried and I’m tired of it too. Then I looked at the despair on his face and pushed myself harder to find a solution.

    I then had to accept it was an illness of the mind, the brain is all mighty and regardless of what anyone can say, it’s mind over matter. That night having not slept at all trying to find a soltion, at 4am I walked into her room and asked her nicely to explain her take on the matter. She was aggressive and verbally abusive and I was hell bent on not biting or losing my cool. But when she started with all the false accusations that Im brainwashing my sons and it’s all my doing, I walked into the boys room, told them to wake up and if they want me to stay as a father in a family unit then it’s time they let her know that she is wrong.

    So they got up and sat in her room while I asked simple questions, she tried
    twisting the truth and accusing me of putting words int heir mouths, but they completely denied her and said the same things we’ve been saying to her for years now.

    After 3 hours of her abusive behaviour she started to calm down, the boys stood strong on their convictions and the reality that its either a DRUNK we deal with or a CRAVING ALCOHOLIC is the catch 22 we all endure, which is worse, I think one is as bad as the other.

    So as she broke down as she always does when rational emotions prevail, I found one analogy that seemed to help her understand that the MIND is all powerful, her brain is addicted to substance abuse and it affects her perceptions. I often told her to buy books that would teach her about herself, she never quite understood what I meant.


    When she calmed down and we were alone, I said…

    “How is it that a gambler who doesn’t consume any substance can sell his wifes wedding ring for one more throw of the dice, a hand of poker or spin of a roulette wheel? They will ruin the lives of their family, their work, friends and everything meaningful just for the sake of a bet, and they haven’t taken anything like a dependent drug.. It’s all in the mind, the brain is the almighty controlled and you have an illness, just like the gambler!”

    It woke her up to reality that we weren’t against her, she was against herself and needed to realise we fought for years to make her wake up to herself and see why it’s an almost impossible problem to solve when the individual is convinced that she likes to drink, she enjoys it… Just like a gambler sells his life for a bet, because they “thin” they enjoy it.

    I’ve written this post for the reason that while I was also oveerwhelmed by the similarities across the global issues of alcohol abuse, there was one repetitive tone to the posts.. LEAVE NOW…

    Well, I just couldn’t accept that, I loved her, my sons love her, she loves us and it’s not acceptable to let your dearest friend down in a time when she needs you most.

    One can change history by creating a new future, she hasnt been drinking for a few weeks, she’s woken up to herself, we’ve had her normal, 24/7, sitting with us enjoying TV, family time without irrational emotions and have the ability to forgive and forget if tomorrow is the first day of good history.

    I hope this helps others enforce some sense of rationality to the fact that its an irrational state of mind that you have to overcome, not just the substance. So find your answers to open their mind and accept it’s a mental illness as well.


  415. Randy Says:

    I read most of the post on here and after 9 years of living with my wife, using the term loosely, I can say that I have given up on any hope of her getting control of her drinking problem. After numerous times in rehab, AA etc she is doing what she wants to do—-drink. I have all of the same stories, the dui’s, the numerous times she has damaged her car, fallen, been a totally different person, etc. etc. I am fed up with it and have been for sometime. I have no tolerance at all for it any more. I have started my plan and timeframe to get out and when I do trust me, I will run and never look back.

  416. Dave Says:

    Thank you so much for this forum it shows me that I am not alone; it also shows me I have no way out. My situation is not as bad as a lot on here but is getting worse.
    I me my partner nearly 4 years ago it was love at first site and when she is sober she is the best person I have ever met I love her to bits. She has two wonderful children a son of 16 who is a straight A student and dedicated gymnast and a 12 year old Daughter who is my sunshine, I love them both to bits.
    I could list a hundred examples of drunken incidents but will stick to the last two weeks once a fortnight the children go to stay with their father, I dread it! She will start drinking the second they leave, two weeks ago it was the same as usual great plans for the weekend until the first drink! Then I become a bastard etc she disappears and comes in and out to pass out until she needs to go out and get more booze, she will do anything she can to pick a fight, hiding my phone constantly unplugging the TV etc shouting and yelling at me to get out, clothes etc in the bin. She has hit me a few times in the past but this time she went mental trying to get my phone I locked myself in the bathroom for a while, but she got me later in the kitchen, the long and short of it was I ended up with a gash on my head and a gash on my chin blood all over the place, I never raised a hand but was very shocked, what she did then was to text her daughter and tell her I had just hit her! I was mortified, I always try not to involve the children, and would never hit a woman even in self defence. She was upstairs on the bed same clothes as Friday covered in mud from her many falls on her booze runs so I put my phone on record and asked her why she had told her daughter I had hit her, she told me she just wanted her to hate me, admitted making it up and told me no one would ever believe me. I instantly sent this recording to her ex who told me that neither him or the children believed her anyway. Sunday night comes she manages to get yet another migraine to cover her drunkenness from the children and life went back to normal (off work with a virus this time) last weekend with the children was great we had a good week then Friday comes round again, I had been suffering from some stress related problems and was really not well some pills from the doctor did not suit me, we had been shopping and I nearly passed out so went to bed for a rest I came down about half an hour after the children had gone to find her drunk, I ignored it and was relived when we went to bed without a fight. About 1.30 she went downstairs I went back to sleep, when I got up at 7.30 I found an empty litre bottle of Bacardi and a drunk Wendy I felt terrible from the pills and told her I really did not feel like going shopping in the city, she said ok why don’t you see how you feel and meet me later if you are up to it. I sent an sms at about 1 to ask what time she was planning to stay and got one back “until I finish”, ok she has been drinking the attitude has started, then she sent one to ask if she wanted me to pick up some jeans I wanted to buy for her, I said yes and got more abuse, then it was what cheese did I want? Then it really started I warned her the football was on (she gets really scared by the fans) to which I was told they were a better f*** than me. After a load more abuse it stopped, at around 6 I started to worry, so called her I find if I call constantly at some point she will pick up the phone even if just to shout abuse but at least I know she is ok. Nothing, I sent several SMS one saying that I would have to contact the children’s father if she did not contact me, I had no intention of doing it but she knows he will call social services so would normally reply again nothing, I got a message from some one (I have no idea who) saying they were worried about her and had been trying to call her for hours so I forwarded that on to her, still nothing then at about 1.30am she answered, probably by mistake as she said nothing the line was open for 40 mins I could hear rustling and the odd grown so assumed she was asleep (she has a habit of running off to hotels for a few days to get drunk) at about 3am I tried again but her phone was off. All day today I was expecting her to come home as the children were due home but nothing and phone still off, eventually I called the hospital I had not done so earlier as she is a nurse there and has a distinctive surname, I find out she is there, my first reaction is get in a car and go, but I cant the children are due back, I have no choice but to call their father, the hospital will tell me nothing, so I plan to wait for the children to come home then get up there, as soon as the children arrive I call the hospital again who inform me she has left with two police officers, then her ex calls to say social services have called him, he has told them he is more than happy for the children to stay with me. So I call the police who tell me they will call back, next thing we know two police officers at the door asking for clothes etc, saying she was taken in with hyperthermia and is very drunk but has been discharged and staying with friends, my first reaction was why is she not here and second that she does not have any friends, reading between the lines she is in a refuse for women, the police want to see me tomorrow and are asking about injury’s on her body (she always comes back with scratched and bruises ) the children are angry with her, but this is her house and if the police ask me to leave I have to go. She has spent all my money on Christmas my friends left me long ago because they thought I was an idiot for staying with her (my best friends said they had never seen her sober and she wrecked ever function they invited her to) and I have no family so homeless for Xmas.
    Social services will be all over the kids if I leave, her ex will not trust her to look after them, and all I can think off is how much I love the sober Wendy, what will happen will happen, but it will not make Wendy better, her sister, her ex and many other people have tried to get her help with no luck and she will not take what is on offer, the second they tell her what she does not want to hear she leaves, by Wednesday she will genuinely believe she did not have a drink this weekend.
    I gave up everything to move here to be with her, got a good job which I had to give up as the shifts were causing problems in the relationship, I am trying very hard to find new work with hours that will suit her and the children, and am selling my rental properties to buy us a decent family home.
    Her daughter’s last words before I put her to bed were, if mum makes you go who will look after us? Just about says it all I think.

  417. Dan Says:

    My wife is an alcoholic, she has been to several 30 day treatment programs, been in the hospital several times for detox and twice in the mental health ward. She does not work due to her drinking, the financial burden is enormous on me, I have two jobs to survive. She stays home , she does no house work, showers rarely and stays on her cell phone sex – texting, which I have varified. She constantly fabricates stories, once she had a man stay at our house due to ( be down and out due to a friend committing suicide), they partied all night. She is at home now detoxing, I have closely monitored her for 3 days with limited sleep, I have encouraged her to go to the hospital, but to no avail. Every year for the past 4 1/2 years I have paid out of pocket 8k until insurance kicks in. I know if I divorce her she will be dead in less than two years. One day I found out a old boyfriend , who she denied for many years, had come into town and he and she had smoked crystal meth. Any thought!!!!!!!!!

  418. Gary Says:

    I wrote on this website in may this year
    After 30 years of marriage and the past six years of living with an alcoholic wife I could no more
    My story is no different than all yours. Same issues of binge drinking hidden bottles
    I wrote in may and gave advice to get out
    My wife’s drinking destroyed my adult children and myself physically and emotionally. I knew after spending thousands of pounds on rehab and she returned to drink within 3 weeks of the course that she will always have a drink
    My wife and I were financially sound. I had a good job and pension and so did she until she lost her job and driving licence because of drink
    I was a very hard decision to leave but I know nonthat I have done the right thing. My children are behind me and have little contact with their mother now although they try constantly
    She still drinks
    Financially I am not as stable as I was. But it doesn’t matter
    I thought after making the decision to leave that I would be on my own for years to come. The thought of starting a new relationship at 50 years of age wasn’t even a consideration and I didn’t go looking for it
    I have nowet a wonderful women who I have since found out was in a relationship some years ago with an alcoholic partner. She made the decision to leave him because it became unbearable for her then children

    We have just spent a wonderful Christmas togetherwith her adult children and my adult children.
    I have written on this page again to let you all know that there’s a future for you when you left an alcoholic partner
    We are only here on this earth once
    Live your life not your drunken partners
    Start again no matter how hard emotionally and financially that may be. Trust me when I say you won’t regret it
    I loved my wife. She destroyed our family unit which I have fought hard this last year to re build. I remain in contact with her family who know how hard this has been for all of us
    My wife. She still drinks. She has a new partner
    I know that one day she will die of a drink related illness and it will be a very difficult tome when this happens. I will very sad but have no guilt
    I know and my children know that we have tried everything
    I want to spend the rest of my life with my new partner. She does not drink
    Please. Please please get out of these relationships before they destroy you and your children

  419. Person Says:

    Heya all.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 9 years. We got married young and I have a kid from a previous relationship that lives with me full time. I have my demons, as I am far from perfect. I have hot women and I feel honesty is the best approach. I want to clarify though that it was not a honey i had a rough day at work, let me take it out. Anyways, she likes to drink, a lot, maybe up to 7 nights a week. She prefers wine, but will drink anything, especially vodka. She will take a day and keep the family car while I go to work, and then picks me up drunk and lies about it and the fact she has been drinking. She also gets nasty, paranoid, verbally abusive, and becomes physical. She uses getting drunk as a threat. She will get slammed before public outings, and have no shame getting worse while out. In the last week, she has been to detox 3 times, one of which while out of town getting away from our fighting. Myself, I can keep a cool head for quite awhile, but things go south when she gets super violent with me, especially after she has passed out and then I awake with her sitting on my chest. She has been caught hiding things like knives, screw drivers, anything pointy. She also gets destructive proclaiming eff it. I try to defend my home, house, and my son. I have taken it to far and that’s where my demons come into play, but maybe I am only human and can take so much, I don’t know, but it is not justified. It is hard, there is so much pain and the constant attacks, I lose it. We talk and I get a lot of the blame for why things are the way they relationship wise. She will never focus on her demons but wants to make it out that I am comparing, which just flares everything up and the pattern continues. I need some help to be strong, I need my life peaceful for not only myself but my son. She has left but is still contacting me, especially having landed in detox with the vehicle in another town, and I feel bad there isn’t anything I can do to help, what I offered to get up there was not acceptable since I would have to phone a friend since for some reason it was of no comfort. She says she is looking for me to comfort her, hence she left and got herself into trouble. Maybe I don’t need the advise, maybe the house of cards is already falling into place. I just wish this was easier, and that she would wake up. I fear for her safety out there, I worry.

    Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, I am barred from speaking to family or friends, but of course even if I don’t, I do.

  420. Steve Says:

    All of these tragic family stories are echoed and mirrored in my own situation. My wife is an alcoholic and has reached all of the same depths of selfishness, deceit, risky behaviour, dishonesty, arrogance and refusal to take responsibility. We’ve had the rehab spells and the constant relapses that inevitably follow. My advice is to get out of any abusive alcoholic relationship, and trust me, if you’re hurting, you’re being abused emotionally. Save yourself, you are NOT responsible for picking up the pieces after an alcoholic. If you love an alcoholic you must detach yourself with love and let them experience the full force of their actions, whether that’s financial, medical or social. The longer you continue to be their ‘carer’ the longer they will drink. In most cases they have betrayed every single decent human emotion in your marriage and to your children. So you owe them nothing. And you are not responsible for them. These people are adults and in most cases have been given multiple opportunities to mend their ways, every assistance, every financial help, every emotional help. You must cut them loose and let them sink or swim and be very very strong about protecting yourself, or they will drag you down with them. Like you, I tried everything, for years. But now I have reached the point where I no longer regard her as my responsibility. I have met a wonderful woman who makes me feel happy and really loved. You only have one life, and we’re a long time dead. So act, be true to yourself, put the pieces in place, take one step towards freedom every day and you will get there! Take care, and take heart!

  421. Jim Says:

    No matter how many times I read through these stories I am still torn about what I should do. I married my wife 3 1/2 years ago, not realizing that she was an alcholic. She was in recovery mode when we met, and then after vacationing for our first anniversay, she started drinking almost every day. I’m sure she was drinking before that, but now it was out in the open. Her first excuse was that she hated her job. Then it turned into that I wasn’t willing to have children. Well, I was willing to have children, but the contant drinking was changing my mind. That Christmas she wrecked the car while out drinking. We seperated and she attempted suicide. Finally, in the spring she started going to AA and found a good job. We reconciled, but I never really felt like I fully trusted her anymore. The relationship had suffered some permanent damage. We went to counsiling later that same year and things were getting better. Then, this year, the counsiling and the AA ended. She went back to making the excuse that the drinking was never her problem, it was mine. By this past Christmas, she had wrecked the car again due to drinking and walked out of her job. We are seperated and I am filing for divorce. The tough part is, I still feel like if she would get help I would try to work this out with her. Why can’t I just let go and move on with my life? I know that staying in this relationship is wrong because the trust is gone and it will never be a good, solid relationship. I know that part of wanting to say in it is because this is my second marriage and I don’t want this one to fail, but nothing I can do can prevent that from happening right now. My family and friends all support me and tell me that I am doing the right thing, but I still think, “if she gets sober, maybe we could make it work this time.”

  422. Mario Says:

    My wife drinks around 4 to 5 times a week. She starts drinking in the late afternoon when she is preparing dinner for the family. When I get home from work around 7pm I can tell whether she is drunk or not when she opens the front door for me. When she has been drinking she does not walk straight and her speech is slurry. She drinks at least one bottle of white wine when she gets drunk. She usually will not eat if she has drunk too much so my daughter and I will sit at the table while she keeps drinking. She gets very angry and aggressive and we usually argue about very minor things and then it turns into heated arguments. She also gets very aggressive and angry with my 16-year old daughter and when I try to protect my daughter and calm my wife down she says we are ganging up against her. My wife only drinks abusively at home so I guess our friends do not know what it is like at home. My daughter and I are starting to get concerned about her. The only reason I have coped is that usually she does not drink two days in a row and she is a very sweet and nice woman when sober. I would appreciate some advice. Thanks.

  423. Kevin Says:

    My story is much the same as those above. It is too soon for me to write as I am racked with grief, self-doubt and am still conflicted. After 20 years 20 years of marriage, I asked my wife to leave yesterday. Our 12 year-old daughter is in tears and I feel that I have torn my family apart. My wife has been an alcoholic for almost all of our 22 years together.

    Her’s is a different story only in the fact that October of last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and in this past year has undergone Chemo, double mastectomy, radiation and a hysterectomy. She has been physically ravaged and emotionally devastated. The prescription drugs coupled with her daily 1-2 bottles of Chardonnay has taken full control.

    She texted me much of the night, laying out the course for our divorce. I gave her the ultimatum to seek professional help, or move out. Now I prepare for day two. This is our first separation. I’ve explained the situation as honestly as possible with my very astute 12 year-old daughter. I have no idea how to prepare her for what is to come as I don’t know myself.

    It is for her that I am forcing the issue. If it were just me and my wife, I could endure the pain and turmoil. To do so with a daughter as a witness to my wires addiction is at least child neglect.

    I will come back to this site and write more later. I am currently lost.

  424. Dave Says:

    Hi, I’ve just found this forum, thank god I’m not alone! I’ve been married for 16 years and my wife and i have a fantastic daughter who is now 15. My wife has been an alcoholic for the last 7 years. She drinks every night, and I mean every night, sometimes she only gets a bit drunk, but mostly she gets really drunk, (about 1 to 2 bottles of wine every night). She’s not abusive towards me, but if shes drinking i hope that she gets so drunk that she goes to bed. I’ve been to Alan-on, which does help, but its difficult to get there. And I don’t like leaving my daughter at home with her on an evening. The question I have is about sex. Over the last 6 months I’ve found it almost impossible to have sex with her, I find her almost repulsive when she’s drunk. And the longer it goes on, the more difficult our relationship is becoming. Last year I left her, trying to administer “tough love” …..that didn’t work, and after only a few days, her family called me in and basically blamed me for the whole thing, suggesting that I went back and sorted my marriage out. I just want to gather my daughter up and leave, and start again, but I know that the courts will not support me. And not only that, I think my wife would go off the rails completely, so I guess I must still care about her.

    Am I doing the right thing by staying?
    Am I doing more harm to my daughter by keeping her in this environment?
    If my wife ever decides to get sober, could I ever love her again?
    How long will it be before she kills herself with drink?

    Any feedback would be great

  425. carl Says:

    My girlfriend of 12 years is a nightly drunk. She will drink 2 bottles of wine daily, and chain smokes while doing so. We never have sex, and I don’t believe it when she tells me that she “loves” me. I know that she likes the security that I provide, and preaching at her only affirms the co-dependence. I am getting to the point that I resent her, and want to leave. just saying…..really hard not to pull her inside when she train wrecks out in the freezing cold, even though I should just let her so she will bottom out. starting to hate her

  426. Nora Says:

    I’ve been with my alcoholic boyfriend for almost 2 years. Not long into the relationship, I learned he struggled with alcoholism and for some reason I chose to stay. I mistakenly thought I could help him. We ended up moving in together and now I learn that he has been less than honest with me about all his troubles. He started drinking again right around Thanksgiving and I thought a break might do us some good. Both of us are young and broke, so we couldn’t afford to part ways entirely. We should have found a way. I stayed out of the house much of the past month staying with friends and family. Very recently I learned that in he has previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

    These last few weeks have been miserable – lots of yelling and fighting. At one point last week he told me he couldn’t stand to be in the same room with me. Even though I knew it was the alcohol talking, I left anyway, to give both of us some space. I received a very disturbing phone call from him a few hours later stating he’d cut his wrists. I raced home to find it was true – he was hospitalized almost immediately.

    I’ve threatened to leave him multiple times, but he always reacts either with anger or trying to guilt me back into the relationship. The fact of the matter is, I know him well, and there have been periods of sobriety where he was doing well that were wonderful. My family and friends want me to leave him and never look back while I focus on school (I’m a graduate student currently preparing to enter medical school), and are afraid that his angry outbursts may become physical. I’m not afraid of physical violence as it seems very unlike his character, but my parents are insistent that I find a new place to live immediately.

    Rationally, I know that I should leave. This relationship has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety – he’s been hospitalized 3 times since July – and I can’t take the empty promises and the emotional distance anymore. I know it’s not a healthy relationship and it would be better in the long run for me to leave. But at the same time, I feel obligated to stay. I feel like he needs me and I want nothing more than to stay and work things out. I want so badly to have back our old happy relationship – and am very tempted to stay. He’ll be discharged later this week and returning to our apartment. I know he’ll say things like he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I have a difficult decision to make – do I stay or go. Talking to his mother, she says she doesn’t fault me for whatever I choose, she just wants me to choose (in so many words – I’m paraphrasing). I just wish I understood how this all happened, that it wasn’t so complicated. I feel like if I just grew a spine I could walk away. Instead I feel like a terribly weak person.

  427. forestdancer Says:

    To Dave and everyone else who has ever been in this position. The drunk spouse is actually revolting, disgusting and staggers and stinks. However after being married 27 years my husband occasionally tries to abstain from drinking for a few days at a time. It must have been his resolution this year because the first 2 weeks of January were amazing. Without alcohol, he was his own self again. He did start back up, but I am refusing to have sex when he is drunk. It is too awful then anyways and I am not an object. A few days ago we went away for the weekend because our daughter is in college and they had siblings weekend. We stayed nearby so it was a “forced date”, but he only drank a couple of beers and was amazing again. So, in answer to your question, “will you love the person again if they stop drinking”, I believe you do love the person now, just not the asshole they are when alcohol takes over their brain and body. Your wife isn’t an asshole, but a person who is hurting severely. When you got married, it was for better or worse. What if she had cancer and lost all her hair? Revolting, but you still love her. Etc., but you get my meaning. She could die anytime now…I face that with my husband, but the few days he can get away and out from under the influence, and be himself, shows me the man I fell in love with. I never fell out of love with that man…wish he would show up more though. Stay with and love your wife but also be your own self as much as you can. That will help your daughter more than someone leaving a spouse who has an illness, no matter how much they suck somedays in their treatment of their own family. Hope this helps, but GOD will guide you all, and you will look back on this and understand your part in the big picture of life.

  428. Tom Says:

    Hi all, I find myself as I write this unable to sleep at 2am mind racing with worry. I’m in the military, my wife had a spat with alcholism a few years ago and we worked it out through counciling and things. The first incident with her was really bad, she would only drink when i wasn’t around as to hide it and i guess I really wasn’t observant enough to notice, or just didn’t know how bad it was. I got a call one night at work that the paramedics had responded to my house and I got home as quickly as possible. The situation was bad sh was drunk and unresponsive my then 9 year old son after trying to wake her and not being able to went and called 911 and grabbed a neighbor thinking she was dead. I remember specifically when he asked me if mommy was dead daddy. It was at the time the worst day of my life. After that we did counseling and she was put on antidepressents and she really did stop drinking. It wasn’t over night but she stopped at least i thought so. Fast forward though to now and I was deployed overseas for 6 months, I talked to my wife and kids all the time, from all i could tell everything was going just fine. A week before i was supposed to come home i got a call from work saying i needed to call my home station commander, and found that this whole thing had started again, similar to the first time my son had to call 911, but this time it’s much worse. She’s was medevac’d to a bigger hospital and is in intensive care she has liver failure, partial kidney failure, and there is something with her pancreas now too that is messed up. The doctors told me they don’t know if she will live and if she does it will be a long recovery process. The last estimate was a 10% chance to live. I have family that was able to make the trip out to help or i don’t know what i would do. Right now the kids just know that mommy is sick, i can’t bring myself to tell them how sick or why. I find myself just so upset and mad at the same time, I love my wife, or at least i used to before all this. I also have a job though one that requires me to be away from time to time, and one that requires me to work all different shifts, which makes finding daycare way more difficult. So far the military has been great they are helping with me with everything told me not to worry about when i’m coming back to work but i know that can’t be as long as i’m going to need it. I feel like worst case she dies and best case though she lives and i just can’t trust her to ever be alone with the kids again. Looking back and now knowing what went on the last 6 months i really feel like i didn’t leave my kids at home with my wife for the last 6 months but that i left them alone with my 12 year old. He’s a really good boy he took care of everything as good as he could, and when his mom was sick he took care of the baby and his brother until they ran out of food and he just didn’t know what else to do. I hate myself for not leaving her the first time and having my kids go through this again. But even now with all that is happened i’m not sure i can leave her yet. We’ve been married for 14 years she’s the mother of my children but i’m stuck between a rock and a hardplace if i stay with her it’s like i have yet another kid that i just can’t afford and if i leave her and take the kids which i’m fairly confident i could do she would kill herself for sure. As bad as it sounds in allotta ways i hope she dies, Then we could make a clean break it wouldn’t be me giving up on our marriage, but i’d sill be able to do what i know needs to happen. But if she lives idk that i’d be able to leave her, the kids are all she really cares about other than herself and booze if she was to lose them it’s like i was pulling the trigger myself.

  429. Bernie Says:

    Well as I sit here and read I relate to all the pain and suffering that is posted. I have been with the same woman for 16 years and have dealt with her problem drinking and substance abuse for a long time. Now I have been seperated from her for a month and have a restraining order against me preventing me from getting any of my things. On New Year’s eve she was drunk by 5pm and I made the mistake of having two drinks. She started, as she usually does, insulting me and causing problems. My reaction was anger and that was my mistake. I have never struck her, I wouldn’t, and I realize now that that just enabled her to drink more and blame things on me. Had I been more compassionate and told her she’s had to much to drink and left, it would have made her feel the guilt was hers. This woman is the love of my life and when she doesn’t drink, she is a very warm loving person. Now that I am out and she holds bitterness toward me I have been extremely depressed and hardly ale to function. I’m attendng AA and Al-anon meetings myselft to try and make sense of it all. I suppose divorce is imminent but it’s something I really don’t want. I’d like to see her get help but that is something only she can do. And only for herself. Not for me. It’ really sucks going through all this and I wish you all well.

  430. Mike Says:

    So disappointed . After 2 weeks and 3 AA meetings my wife fell off the wagon last night. 2 bottles of wine and a bottle of Vodka. As I type she is lying comatosed in bed when we are supposed to be meeting up with friends today.
    This situation seems to be playing out time after time and I’m just frightened …

  431. Ed Says:

    I happened across this website several years ago and it was amazing how many of the issues discussed matched my life at the time. However, I was never brave enough to post anything even though I did learn things that helped (sometimes).

    My wife (was) an alcoholic for the past ~12 years, since 2001. The amazing thing is that she did not become an alcoholic until after 18 years of marriage when she was 37. But it was all downhill from there. In retrospect, the last 12 years were a nightmare that I never would have thought possible, given the start we had.

    Unitl recently, I always thought that my wife would get better but that was not the case to be.

    Sorry for this verbose message but it is therapy for me to write things down.

    The thing that finally got me to post this is that my wife finally passed away this last Friday. I came home from work and found her dead on the bathroom floor. After years of consuming vodka in large binges her 5’4″ 105 lb body finally gave out. She had vomitted blood and passed out in the middle of the day, when I was gone to work and our son was at school. Our 20 year old daughter had left to go back to college a week earlier.

    Before we got married and for the first 18 years of marriage, we drank socially or at home together but never more than 2 – 3 drinks on any one night. Many nights we did not drink at all.

    We got married in 1982 when I was 27 and she was 19. Despite her young age she was fairly mature and we were a good match. She finished her BA and I finished grad school at the same time at UC Berkeley and we moved to Southern California (close to her family) to go to work.

    We planned to both work for 10 years before having children and we followed our plan. In 1992 we were blessed with a beautiful daughter and my wife was a very good mother. At the time our daughter was born we were able to buy our first home, a home that she picked out herself.

    Since I was doing OK at work, my wife took off more than a year before deciding to go back to work.

    The only thing that was a presage of what was to come later was the death of her father in 1997 at the age of 56. He was a complete alcoholic (6 DUI’s) who was a binge drinker and heavy smoker. Although it was the lung cancer than killed him, he had a failing liver that did not allow him to tolerate chemo very well.

    We still had the same pattern of having a glass of wine (or two) with dinner but not everyday.

    Since my wife was the only daughter of an only daughter, I always wanted her to have another child. I did not care if it was a boy or a girl, I just wanted to break the only-daughter string. Then in late 1998 — completely by accident — my wife got pregnant. Astoundingly (to me) she wanted to have an abortion! That was our first huge argument. I would not agree to an abortion and in March 1999, she gave birth to our son.

    At the same time, my job transferred from Southern California to Nothern California, so we moved back to Northern California in the summer of 1999. My wife wanted to go back to work and she did. However, she started drinking larger amounts of wine and gin when she got home from work. The drinking was not hidden but it was every day. When I made some comments about slowing the drinking down, she seemed to slow it down quite a bit.

    Unfortunately (although I did not know it until much later) she started hiding her bottles of booze and she switched to vodka after learning from a rehab scene in the 1994 Meg Ryan – Andy Garcia movie “When a Man Loves a Woman” that vodka is much harder to smell. She started hiding vodka bottles everywhere and we had many verbal altercations about her drinking. Although she did drink in the evening, it did not seem to affect her at work or at home.

    In early 2002, I had a chance to go on an overseas assignment and she agreed that it would be good for us and that she could stop working, cut down on her drinking and concentrate on writing short stories and a novel that she had always been puttering with. I thought so too, so overseas we went.

    We lived in a 4000 sq ft house with maid and a driver. And we were making more money (by double) compared to both our jobs before.

    What a mistake! Once overseas, living in a what was a company town that had a big drinking component to it, things went from bad to worse. She could get booze almost anywhere and she started drinking vodka in very large quantities. She would get extremely belligerent and then pass out completely. About this time, she started making all kinds of wild accusations about how I was “evil” and how I had “ruined her life” by marrying her when she was so young. She had never said anything about it from 1982 to 2002.

    Our camp of about 250 expats was in a dangerous place, so the proverbial **** hit the wall when she drunkenly tried to take the children out of the camp late at night (on foot) when I was offsite working on a well for 2 days. She actually argued with the armed guards and tried to grab their guns before she and the kids were returned to our house. Of course, I found out about this later.

    The company sent her to rehab and she chose Southern California to “be close to her family”. She spent 6 weeks in rehab and never contacted any of her family. The only person she ever contacted in So Cal was a friend from H.S. who was a big drinker and smoker. At rehab she started smoking and picked up a smoking habit to go with drinking. Although she was forced inot rehab, I thought she would get better and so did she.

    Upon her return overseas, the company insisted that her problems were too much and we were repatriated back to the U.S. I got a job in Houston, Texas in late 2003 and my wife did not drink for the first two months. But things got slowly worse and she started again with the hidden vodka bottles.

    I tried everything. She went to counseling. I went to counseling.
    We went together to counseling.

    When we went together for counselling, she insisted that all of our “problems” emanated from me being a “control freak” and that she did NOT have a drinking problem. The funny thing about me being a “control freak” was that she was the one who controlled the checkbook, she was the one who picked out whcih house to buy in Houston and she was the one who picked out which car she wanted. Overall, the counselling was a failure. By carefully tailoring her story, she convinced the female counselor that she did not drink and that I was the problem “control freak.” That exoerience has turned me against counseling, particularly female counselors who always think that it is the “male” who is at fault.

    Then, in late 2004, she had an accident with her SUV, accidentally driving it through the plate glass front door of a liquor store. When arrested, the officer did not think she was very drunk at the time but she was sent to jail for not taking the breathalyzer test. Once in jail, her B.A. was tested at 0.30 %, more than 3 x’s the legal limit of 0.08 %.

    She got probation for two years. But because she was a “binge” alcoholic who only got wasted once or twice a week, she was able to get away with it. But to her me and our daughter (now 13) and our son (now 6) in 2005 it was clear that she was still drinking regularly and creating havoc in the home. I came home once and found the gas stove on (but no lit) and my passed out wife laying unconcious across a glass table top. Another time, I came home from work and found the microwave on (set at 99 minutes) with a charred steak in it and flames coming out the side and top! Again the wife was passed out, this time on the patio out back with a lit cigarette in her han. Luckily I got home in time to prevent a fire just as flames were starting to blacken the wood cabinets above.

    All this time, my wife refused to go to rehab, so I took the only alternative I had. I reported her to her probation officer (she only had 4 months to go) and instead of putting her in jail, the court mandated rehab. Again she spent 6 weeks in rehab (not drinking but now smoking a pack a day or more) and the next few months in outpatient care.

    Things seemed to be working and I tried to be the “best husband” that I could be. I woke her up with a massage and a cup of coffee each morning. I would massage her in the evening. We had long talks about anything and everything. The sex got to be very good, even better than it was in the past. I would bring her flowers oonce a week randomly when I came home from work. It finally seemed like things had come back together. For her birthday “week” in 2007, I brought home flowers everyday. On her birthday, I brought home tow dozen roses and was looking forward to taking her to her favorite new restaurant. What I found was my completely drunk, partially nude wife prone on the concrete driveway, trying to “swim” like she was in the pool.

    Of course she promised that it was a one time relapse and that she would get better. The getting better did not happen, so in late 2007/ early 2008 I initiated divorce proceedings and we separated for 5 months. She went back to California, taking one of the SUV’s and lived with her mother for a while; looking for an apartment and job. Jobs were in short supply, so she did not have much luck there. She seemed quite happy to get a divorce and I just wanted her to get better.

    On her monthly visits to see the kids she seeemed like she had gotten better. Unfortunatelly, the kids would not talk to he on the phone and they refused to talk to her during her supervised visits. So it was a surprise when she called me and begged me to stop the divorce in the summer of 2008. THIS TIME she insisted she was better and she would not drink anymore. Despite my reservations, I relented and told her to come back. Even after spending $35,000+ on both of our lawyers, we stopped the proceedings.

    At first things seemed much better and she did not seem to be drinking at all for 3 months. By this time both the kids and I could detect if she had been drinking just by looking at her. When she did not drink, she was a happy person with lively eyes and great spirits. When she drank, she was angry with “dead” eyes and completly sullen attiitude. We only saw her good side for those 3+ months. I was so hopeful that things would finally work out and she would be better.

    By this time in mid-2009 she was on Wellbutrin for depression and it seemed to be working. However, things soon turned around and she started drinking vodka again. As it turns out, vodka and Wellbutrin are a very nasty combination. However, with no cash reserves to start a divorce again, we fell into a rut where I would take away her car keys unitl she ran out of vodka, I would sleep in the guest room unitl she would get “better” and after a few weeks I would give her back her car keys. She would stay better for a while but there was always someting that would set her off.

    In summer 2009, during a good period for us, we went on a nice vacation she had planned in Georgia while the kids were at my sister’s home. The vacation she had planned did not work out very well (not her fault) but I was able to find an alternative that worked out very well on another island in Georgia. We had a nice vacation, picked the kids up and went back home. Once back home, she really got hammered with vodka and when I confronted her with “why?” she told me that she was depressed that “her” vacation plans had not worked out but that I was a “control freak” who then hijacked “her” vacation. This was even though she insisted we change her plans in the middle because she could not stand to continue.

    We went back to the old pattern of her drinking, getting better, drinking, etc…

    Then in late 2009 (she always had problems during the holidays), she stumbled out of bedroom and fell on the floor of the living room where I was watching TV with the kids. She started going into convulsions and she was crawling across the floor (pissing and shitting) and puking up what looked like coffee grounds (I later learned that it was blood from her stomach). The amazing thing is that when I went to call 911, both kids insisted that I should let her die. They were so fed up with her! Anyway I called 911 and they arrived in about 5 minutes and took her to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, she had to be revived with CPR twice (that’s what the EMT’s told me).

    She spend two weeks in the hospital (the first three days without regaining conciousness) , two weeks in physical rehab to learn how to walk, then another 6 weeks in alcohol rehab. I had to pay for most of this rehab because our insurance had already paid out the maximum for rehab. After that rehab, later outpatient counselling and vigilant attendance at AA meetings, it seemed like she had truly “hit bottom” and was on her way up.

    Even she thought she had hit bottom and things got better from mid 2010 or so. However, I noticed that all of her past drinking (combined with the Wellbutrin?) had caused some permanant damage. Even sober, she was not the same person she had been before.

    I attended some meetings with her and I again (stupid me) was optimistic.

    She did stay sober for while but by the end of 2010 she was back to drinking and smoking heavily, now drinking almost every day. She refused to go to rehab again even though we had the money. She now insisted that she was not an alcoholic! She did not want to go to counseling. She did not want to get divorced. So we again fell into the pattern where I would take away her carkeys until she ran out of the “hidden” vodka (long ago I had told her that I would not stoop to looking for her stashes) and she would get better. Sometimes she would get better for a month or two but she would always go back to buying alcohol when she did get access to the car.

    For Chistmas 2011, we planned a vacation to Puerto Rico for all four of us and — for the first time during a holiday season — she seemed better. However, when I packed up the car to go to the airport — with both children in the car — I went back into the bedroom and found her passed out on the bed with an emply bottle of vodka next to her. So I took the kids to Puerto Rico on vacation without her, leaving her a note with the information about where we were staying.

    During our 2 weeks in Puerto Rico, we had a good time. However, it was lonely to be in such a nice tropical place without my wife. I was envious of other couples who could enjoy the beachside hotel together. I ended up doing lots of blackjack in the casino while the kids were asleep in the other room and I actually won enough money to make up for having to eat my wife’s plane ticket.

    We would not escape her however, even in Puerto Rico. On the day after Christmas, we got a call from Houston police that they had been called to our house by by wife, who reported to them that there were starngers upstairs in th house and that the TV had fallen on the dog! The dog was OK. She was having hallucinations.

    So all that brings me finally to the last several month’s of my wife’s life. She continued to drink off and on (one week of being Ok then 2 weeks of drunkeness) after Christmas 2012 into January 2013. I again took her car keys so she could not drive to get booze. However, my daughter (who was home from college for the month of January) reported to me later that my wife was using her cash gifts ($600 from my relatives and hers) to take taxis to the liquor store, returning each time to two large bottles of vodka each time. We had a huge argument about it. But I knew by then that it is impossible to have any kind of a discussion with an alcoholic who has been drinking.

    I spent the last five weeks sleeping in the upstairs guest room, only seeing my wife stumble out of the bedroom (our master BR is downstairs, which is the usual design in Houston) to go outside and have a cigarette while I watched TV or worked on a project at the kitchen table. At the time, I thought she would end up getting better when she ran out of vodka. However, due to her newfound ingenuity in taking taxis to get vodka, she had a never ending supply.

    When I left for work on Friday 01-February, little did I know that it was my wife’s last day of life. When I arrived home at 6 pm after a long commute I noticed that her BR door was open with no noise, no blaring TV, no smoker’s cough… I looked into the bedroom and saw my wife facedown in a pool of coffee-ground vomit and she was not moving at all. I called 911 and while the ambulance was on its way I was told to try CPR on her. When I touched her body I know CPR was hopeless; she was stiff and cold, dead at age 49, less than two months from her 50th birthday!

    Thirty years of marriage. We started out with 18 good years. Ups and downs but always ended up happy together for those years. Then 12 years of a slow descent into hell. How does that happen? What a waste of a promising life.

    Early in her treatment for alcoholism, during counseling she once confided that she felt guilty for wanting to have an abortion in 1998 when our “lucky” accident happened and we had our son (her same birthday but in 1999 not 1963). And that was what maybe caused her problem which happened late in life. I remember telling her that it is actions that count in life and “thoughts” do not matter unless they become actions.

    I hope her tortured soul can finally find peace in heaven that it could not find in the last 12 years on earth.

    Sorry for the long message and no proof-reading.

  432. Tom Linde Says:

    Thank you so much, Ed, and I’m sorry for your terrible loss. It is helpfu to have your story, in part because it reminds us that alcoholism is a fatal condition.

  433. Dave Says:

    Ed, I’m so sorry, I just can’t imagine how you must feel. At least it’s over, I hope that you find the strength to find some peace for yourself.

  434. forestdancer Says:

    Today is the start of a new life for your family. I am so sorry for your loss, because I am sure your wife was an amazing person when she was sober. You deserve to have a life without depression, so know that your wife had a huge problem and that you have suffered enough years while she was alive. She would want you to know she is in peace now, and for you to live the best life you can. My husband scares me because he is so close to being in the same position your wife is in, but there isn’t a thing I can do to stop him. God bless you!

  435. Ed Says:


    Thanks for keeping this site going and your wise counsel on such complex issues. Perhaps, if I knew in 2001 what I know now, I could have made more of a difference.

    Although I was not able to help my wife overcome her disease I am now worried about our children.

    Our 13 y.o. son had (and still has) tremendous anger towards his mother, as she started showing the first signs of her disease just after he was born and all his life he only saw the beautiful woman I had married it intermittent bits. Very often, he bore the brunt of her alcoholic rages himself (of course once she sobered up she never remembered what she said or at least would say that she did not) I am trying to get him to go to counseling but he is very resistant to the idea.

    Our 20 y.o. daughter — who knew her mother as a kind person and very doting mother for the first 10 years of her lfe does not have the same anger issues; she realizes that her mother had a disease and she is going to counseling at university and has been for a while.

    The first several days after my wife’s death, I was simply numb. Now that I am arranging for her funeral and trying to take care of minor details, the grief hits me in waves and all I feel is a huge hole in my gut. Despite all the crap she put me through, I still loved her to the last day and I almost can’t believe that she is gone forever. Hardest thing I’ve had to do so far is go through all of our pictures and select those for her memorial service. Some of those pictures we had not looked at for more than 5 to 10 years. Each picture is a reminder of a happier time that brings me back to what we once had.

    Before she really got into her depression / alcoholism we often talked about how every person is really alone her on earth but that we had the good fortune of finding each other when we were fairly young so that we could grow old together.

    We used to sit together when on trips/vacations and pick out the older couples and try to decide which ones we would like to be like when we got older. I still have a hard time understanding how such a good thing can end up going so bad. Alcoholism truly is an evil disease.

    Since I was more than 7 years older than she was, I always expected that she would be there to put me in the ground; I never thought that I would be holding a memorial for her before she was 50.

  436. Bernie Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Ed. My brother a doctor always tells me that we have this one life before us and we have the choice to take out of it what we want. It is one’s choice to take as much or as little out of it as we want. I’m losing my wife to alcohol and understand your feelings about looking at past pictures and those great times of loving and sharing. I am getting help getting through my troubles by sharing my experience like you through this site and others. Your daughter should be able to help your son through some of this as she is his sibling and they share that. I remember a saying that I read one time that goes, “If you spend too much time looking and livng in the past, when you turn around your future will have past”. I wish you well and pray for all on this site including myself to seek that future out there. Let’s make it better for all of us.

  437. Ed Says:

    Bernie, Tom, Dave and forestdancer

    Thanks for your responses and words of wisdom. The are no answers, only more questions.

    I have now buried my wife of 30 years on Friday February 8th and I can only agree with someone else who went through the same thing who said:

    “Her death set her free and it set us free too.”

    My mother -in-law has viewed her daughter’s (her only child) illness as a weakness and I have never been able to convince her that it was an illness, unfortunately a terminal illness.

    Fortunately, our children do know that their mother was very sick and simply could not find her way out of her hell.

    I know that my wife put us through hell but her personal hell was very much worse than the corner of her hell we were in. I have comfort in knowing that she is in a better place than she was for the last 12 years.

  438. Ed Says:

    I apologize for continuation of the above but maybe my experiences will help someone else. Particularly regarding the dangers of combining Wellbutrin with large amounts of vodka.

    Jus got my wife’s ashes from the funeral home today. She died on 01-Feb and her memorial was 08-Feb.

    She had only been binge drinking (vodka — as another poster here as called it the “crack” of alcohols) for 12 years but she had many complications that led to her death. The foremost being that a 105 lb person (bulimic and a smoker too!) simply cannot consume the large quantities of vodka that she did.

    In mid-January of this year, I walked into the master BR closet and saw her on her knees guzzling vodka straight out of a 1-liter bottle. In the ten seconds I saw her she must’ve downed the equivalent of 6-7 full shots of vodka in that short time. I knew then that she was reaching the end but she still refused to admit she was drinking or that she needed to go to rehab (would’ve been a waste of money by then anyway). In the past, I would’ve poured out the vodka but this time I just did not care anymore and simply retrieved my clothes and went to the guest BR.

    When I cleaned out her closet, I found seven bottles of vodka (all empty but one) in many hiding places (shoeboxes, in the arm of a coat hanging in the closet, wrapped up in her underwear, taped to underside of the toilet tank top…. WOW!).

    Preliminary autopsy indicates that she died of upper gastrointesitnal / esophagheal (sp?) bleeding caused by liver disease. A contributing factor to her esophagheal bleeding was damage due to many years of bulimia.

    Her bulimia began when she was 14 years old and continued for her whole life. In cleaning out her things I came across some of her writings where she described how she started on bulimia when she was in high school. She continued with her bulimia during our entire marriage even though she never weighed more that 120 lbs on her 5’4″ height. Despite my constantly telling her that she was slender and very attractive to me, she never was able to overcome her addiction of bulimia.

    Another contributing factor to her developing alcoholism from the year 2000 to her death in early 2013 is the use of Wellbutrin.

    In retrospect and in my opinion, the combination of Wellbutrin and large quantities of alcohol make both depression and alcoholism much worse as both feed upon the other.

    When she came out of her first rehab in late 2003, she was given Wellbutrin for depression (the twin sister of alcoholism) and it seemed to work — at first. Later, in 2004-2005 she continued to take Wellbutrin but then relapsed heavily. The combination of Wellbutrin and large amounts of vodka caused severe depression and repeated threats of suicide. When I called her doctor in 2005, to report that she had threatened suicide, she was very angry that I had invaded her privacy. Of course, the doctor did not know that she was drinking alcohol. To solve her problem, she simply switched doctors and hid her Wellbutrin while continuing to drink vodka. As far as I can tell, she was still taking Wellbutrin even in late 2012.

    In cleaning out her closet, found some of her writings at the time when she started on Wellbutrin (things were getting better) and the writings continued as she started combining Wellbutrin with vodka. Some of the material is amazing, as you can see her writing style (and penmanship) change dramatically and her thinking go from lucid and happy to become completely addled and negative (she blames me and both children for all of her problems) as the Wellbutrin-vodka combination takes over. In a few cases, it looks like she is writing competently and in just a 1/2 page her thought processes change and her wrting becomes wild and incoherent as the drugs hit her brain. In a few cases, the pen mark trails off the page as if she simply fell unconsicous.

    In retrospect, I think it was mid- to late 2005 that was the watershed moment for her disease (started in ~2000), when the combination of large quantities of vodka and Wellbutrin did so much damage to her brain and body. By the beginning to 2006, the war had already been lost. It just took another 6+ years for her to slowly but surely die.

  439. Bernie Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the pain you have suffered watching your wife leave this life. I cannot compare the loss I feel now to the pain that runs through your soul. I hope that as time passes that you will know that it is not you who created this situation but that you had to live through it. Life seems to try to teach us lessons (many difficult), and many of us cannot comprehend what others have gone through. Please accept my condolences for your loss and I send you and your children the strength of prayer to help you through these times. As I walk through life I have seen much suffering and always wonder why or what the lessons are to be learned. We carry a burden that few know, that few see, that few will ever comprehend. I wish you well my friend.

  440. Bill D Says:

    Wow, i just heard my story over and over and over again. I cant believe so many other men are stuck in the same heartbreaking scenario i am. 18 years of marriage, 3 kids, great first ten years… Lots of love in the home, very passionate love life, blossoming careers, well respected in our community… Then something changed, new technology developed and text messaging, social networks, and many hidden things developed into her betraying trust time and time again engaging with ex lovers and fiances. When i found out she didnt careor accept responsibility for it

  441. Frank Says:

    I feel everyone’s pain I too am struggling
    With a acoloholic wife. Rehab , three times
    Detox 6 times 6 ambulance bills 6 hospital bills
    Wrecked car , hardy words , bit my son ….
    I am at a loss … Just came home
    It is in Gods hands no longer mine leaving soon and letting the
    Chips fall where they may …..
    Keep the faith God will prevail.

  442. Sarah Says:

    My sons father is an alcoholic. We are not married but for the sixth time are trying to work out our relationship. We had our 3 year old son was I was 22 and he was 20. We were engaged at one point but he broke it off for the reason that he was too young to get married. He really started drinking after he turned 21. He is not a heavy drinker but a social drinker. He works at a restaurant and goes out every night after work. He has no hobbies and in the six years I’ve known him he’s never had any real friends.

    He moved into my place two months ago because he said he had changed and couldn’t live without me. Yesterday he told me he wasnt attracted to me
    And hates almost everything about me. I told him if he moved into my place he he was going to have to not go out every night after work and we needed to do counseling. That worked for a few weeks but not I think he’s leaving again and has probably found someone new.

    He’s always told me that everything was my Fault and I’m boring and whatever else. I google symtoms of an alcoholic and I couldnt believe all the symtoms. They were all him!! No wonder our relationship can’t work. He’s an alcoholic! It’s too bad for our son!

  443. Jim Says:

    So much has happened since I posted here back on January 7th of this year. Part of me kept hoping that my wife would hit rock bottom and get help for her drinking once we seperated. She moved back in with her mother, who is now providing a safe drinking habitat for her. The drinking is worse, but now I have my wife and her mother constantly telling me that they don’t drink at that the only reason my wife drank was because I was such a terrible person. My wife has taken up posting all kinds of garbage on Facebook about how I was emotionally abusive to her – which in turn made her drink. In between these posts, she would let everyone know that I am a “stinking pile of dog sh##” and that “she wishes she could get away with killing me.” I was never abusive to my wife and I always supported her and tried to help her find sobriety. In return, this is what I get. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, last week she drover her mothers Honda CRV to my place of work at 1:00pm and smashed into my Ford Ranger. She came back two hours later and smashed into it again. Then she dumped out 6 empty beer bottles and drove back to her mother’s house. Luckily, it was all caught on camera, but my boss witnessed the entire second incident. This is now anyway to live your life and work is now terribly uncomfortable and awkward. I ended up filing a restraining order against her and still, she continues to drink. I miss the days when we first met and how kind and loving she was. I never imagined that we would end up at this sad state in our marriage. The divorce is still pending, I don’t know when it will end, but things are spiraling out of control and I am having a hard time coping with all the madness. I am tired of hearing about and reading about what a terrible person I am (I know these are just lies to get to me, but they still hurt!) and now I am embarrassed to go to work every day and look my boss in the eye after she brought all the drama to my office. To top it all off, I know that she isn’t going to get sober. Her mother is such a controlling force in her life and by supplying her with alcohol, she feels like she is able to keep her “happy and at home.” Why didn’t I see the warning signs when we first met? Again, thank God I saw the warning signs in time to make sure that we didn’t have children!

  444. Patrick Collins Says:

    Wow……I am so happy I found this site and my heart goes out to all men and women that have suffered through their journey with and Alcoholic. I have been in a relationship for the last two years with a functional Alcoholic and came home from a trip from Dallas on February to find out I had been kicked to the curb. To hope this wasn’t a bad dream from the beginning I found out that love is blind. I do accept my responsibility on enabling her but never understood the true meaning of an alcoholic until reading all the real life experiences here.

    Our first date was meeting at a bingo hall and where they didn’t serve alcohol and it was a fun evening and I fell in love with her that evening. I completely understand how everyone feels about their loved ones how great they are when they are sober and mine was my best friend and now I am sadden for the loss of my best friend. We had 3 fall outs during this past year when she would be up against change in her life weather it was changing jobs or trying to relocate where her ex challenged her in court on the move. She pays him child support and have 50/50 custody. She complains how much she despises him and it causes her to numb her self with a bottle of wine a night if not two bottles. I am at the house 4 days out of the week and every night she is drunk at times blacks out. I thought she was cute at times being a little tipsy however I have only seen 4 days out of the year that she didn’t drink. She has admitted that she is a functional alcoholic but hasn’t done anything about it. I have seen her 7 year old son physically push and kick her when she aggravates him when she is in the drunken state and I have also pulled him off of her.

    The evening she decided to send a text that she will drop off my personal belongings at my apartment gave me a clue that this isn’t good. I called her and heard the drunk voice on the other end and I told her that I will not talk to someone that is drunk and hung up….shame on me to think she was sober. Needless to say everything was left in my apartment as she promised. I sent a text to thank her and also suggested since she has decided to call it a day with me that she should get help with the drinking. The weekend past and I sent another text how she is doing and I received a phone call from the police stating that she claimed I was harassing her. The police officer said he didn’t see were I crossed the line however he had to make the call. With the concern of her son I asked the police with witnessing how she is with her son when she is drunk what should I do. They advise me to contact HSS and her ex and make them aware of whats going on. Needless to say I did contact her to let her know that if she didn’t seek help that I will have to notify them…..Needless to say she starts with the false allegations against me and throws in not to mention “Jack said I touched him” I came out of my skin that she would say something so horrible….I see a therapist every week and she advises me to contact HS to at least to protect her son. I am torn on calling them hoping she gets the help she needs desperately. I have usually heard from her within a week in the past after the break up by now its 2 weeks and I am starting to worry. I have come to realization that I know her dirty little secret about being a functional alcoholic in a corporate world and possibly the world can come crumbling down. After reading all the post I am starting to think I should contact HS to protect the child….

    Thank you all for sharing your life story and helping me to move forward…..


  445. Ed deZabala Says:

    Jim (March 7th)

    My alcoholic wife died a month ago after a 12-year battle with alcoholism, that started when she was 38 (which is rather late for an alcoholic to start).

    For the past 4 years, I often read the posts on this site and it really helped but I never posted anything until after I came home and found her dead on the floor (liver disease and upper gastrointestinal bleeding).

    I too never imagined that my wife would become a raging alcoholic who had a DUI with BAC = 0.30% (almost 4 times the legal limit) or a mother who tried in 2005 to drown her 6 year old son in an alcoholic rage (only the presence of his 12 yo sister prevented the tragedy, which I learned about after her death).

    Unfortunately, she did not start her alcoholic behavior until we had been married 18 years and we had two children.

    Please note that alcoholics will blame everyone else for their disease. I heard that I was the “most evil” person in the world. She also blamed her mother for being the cause of her drinking, even though we only saw her mother during holidays every other year and we lived 1200 miles away from her for many years. And she even blamed both children (20 yo daughter and 14 yo son) for her drinking. The fact is that she said things to me in the last 12 years that she never said once in the 18 years before that.

    One key thing I learned from Alanon (too late perhaps) is that alcoholics always look for someone to blame for their disease. But they will never get better until they realize that they alone are the cause and the cure for their disease. My wife never really faced up to that issue.

    Another thing I learned from Alanon (again too late) is that alcoholics will drink no matter what their partners do or don’t do. We are powerless to help them if they will not help themselves. My wife drank no matter what I did or said.

    From 2002 to 2009, my wife constantly threatened to divorce me but she never did anything about it. When I filed for divorce in 2009 — thinking that I was the cause of her problems and that she’d get better — she got into it and moved out to stay in California (with her mother of all people!). She did seem to get better and she begged me to stop the divorce, which I did and we got back together after a 4 month separation. At first things seemed OK but then the bingeing on vodka started again (despite AA, joint counseling, etc…) with the cycles getting worse until she died. The perverse thing I learned from her friends in California was that the main reason she wanted to come back (she even sobered up for a month) was that she thought she’d be dead in less than a year if she stayed there. Wow — that is some perverse thinking of an alcoholic mind.

    My wife went to rehab three times and tried AA each time she got out of rehab. But she never stuck with AA and she never decided that she needed rehab herself. Each time rehab was forced on her by me or by circumstances (legal system). IMHO, if an alcoholic does not decide for themself that they need to go to rehab then they are a lost cause.

    In retrospect, I could have saved our children and myself from many years of “hell” by simply divorcing her years ago. I always thought that I could help her beat the terrible disease that was killing her but that was a delusion because she did not think that she was “sick”.

    Hopefully, your wife will make the decision to go to rehab herself, as the disease can be cured if it has not progressed too long.

    P.S. Seems like her mother is a classic enabler.

  446. Tom M Says:

    As has been said many times, I have to thank everyone on here for submitting their experiences as the effect and benefit to me has been nothing short of life changing. Like most of you I have been through over five years of confusion, self doubt, loss of sense of self, confusion as to what’s real, worry over how I can ever know what’s real or be certain of anything being in my control for my future, loss of self confidence, depression, stress and huge financial loss due to a failed business. I have been madly asking questions for years trying to figure out why I feel this way, have lost my zest for life completely and am unable to move on from the same girl I keep going back to time and time again despite how bad she treats me at times. Endlessly asking myself does she love me? Does she not? Is everything my fault? Is it me wrecking things each time? Am I not being helpful or supportive or understanding or patient enough? I was literally going mad with lack of closure and understanding of the situation.

    Then I stumbled upon this website and within about half a dozen stories, I was in shock. Every single tiny detail of my relationship with this girl is word for word what people are going through here. Being made to feel a low priority, special occasions and any quality time together ruined constantly, lack of caring about my life, feelings and even what I was getting up to, lying and deceit, arguing, physical violence, emotional abuse and verbal venom, pulling away constantly, then jumping from me to other men within a week and coming back 4-5 months later when things hadn’t worked out, blaming her behaviour on me, calling me smothering, insecure, constantly questioning, making her feel on edge causing her to drink. I never understood why she acted these ways sometimes, yet other times would shower honey and love on me as though I was her saviour and god of everything. The connection and chemistry we had when she was sober was incredible, the sex mind blowing, we wanted the same things in life, she was gorgeous, the only girl I’ve ever met in 33 years (despite having dated a lot of attractive women) that I wanted to settle down with, get married and have kids with. I would have done anything for her.

    For the first year things were mostly good, starting off hot and heavy, she moved in after a month of meeting and soon she gave up her job to be the manager in a cafe I had just bought to run around my day job. There were isolated incidents now and then of her getting drunk and acting like an idiot but that was normal I thought, despite the fact that when she got drunk I hated the person she became. I get drunk from time to time as does everyone, and we all change, get a bit stumbly, laugh at stupid things, drop things, be clumsy, say things we wouldn’t sober – but underneath it all the underlying energy of most normal people when they’re drunk is good energy. This girl, was bad energy. She slurred her words, suddenly changed from being an intelligent and cultured girl to someone with the mental age of thirteen and slightly mentally backward at that, she spoke with a really put on posh british accent through her slurring, her eyes would glaze over, she’d smile to herself as her eyes wouldn’t focus and be like in a daze that noone else was part of, almost like she was on drugs. You couldn’t have a coherent conversation with her, the words she said made sense but they usually had nothing to do with anything you had said or asked, it was like she was in her own universe and she couldnt see or hear anyone else and she would talk like someone who was half asleep/awake when you are speaking english but most of the words as a sentence or concept don’t make any sense. eg

    Her: “The… uh… refrigerator is like…. you know…. mmmm… did you see it? Hmm?”
    Me: “What are you talking about?”
    Her: “Ah….. mmmm… you have to keep the pillows this way around…. or else they don’t know what to do… do they?”

    She was embarassing to be around and I felt embarassed to be her partner although no-one else ever commented on it and she would say her friends thought it was funny. But she would get like this after three or so drinks, and it was literally like a completely different person. She wasn’t destructive or angry or violent or anything, just stupid, like she was on drugs and poor company, and she would keep talking sh*t and acting weird until she got tired and crashed out in bed, snoring loudly. The next day she would smell of alcohol half the day, she would feel a bit embarassed or annoyed at getting drunk and feeling hungover and say she didn’t want to drink for a while. But it would keep happening.

    We started to argue in the first year and eventually she started drinking more to deal with it i assume, and the arguments started – we were arguing constantly, getting really heated as she didn’t seem to care much about the relationship or that we were arguing, she just wanted to go to sleep and leave me upset and without talking about things. She hated talking about the relationship and looking back, there’s probably every possibility she was drinking alone by herself back then which is why she had no interest in talking and just wanted to sleep. We eventually broke up when at my 30th birthday with all my friends, she had about 5 glasses of wine before any food even came and was acting stupid, loud and drunk and I took her aside and told her she was embarassing me and asked her to stop, but she went back to the table and ordered another glass of wine so I tried to take her out of the restaurant but she kicked up a fuss and started screaming so other people had to intervene and take her crying outside where I got a taxi to take her to a hotel to sleep it off. I packed up all her stuff that night and told her we were done.

    A few weeks later though I was missing her and felt hollow and sick about the whole thing and spoke to her on the phone, she sounded more herself and calmer and we started to want to see each other again so she came down and we got back together. More arguments again, another holiday ruined and I found out she was meeting an old married male friend from her childhood beghind my back, lying to me about who she was seeing, so I’d had enough and said we were done. She pleaded with me to understand it was nothing but I wasn’t having it. I came home from work one day to cook a nice meal for her as a peace offering to say goodbye fondly but she was acting depressed and withdrawn, I foudn out later she’d had a bottle of wine to herself at least while at home and was drunk when I returned. I couldnt handle her weird behaviour and vile things she was saying and was getting to the end of my rope. She tried to get in her car to leave but I stopped her as she could barely stand, she screamed at me that she loved me, tried to smash my phone, hit me, I tried to call her dad to come and pick her up as we needed to not be near each other to calm down, but she got more violent and was hitting me so I threw her down on the couch and shouted at her to calm down but she ran to the kitchen to grab a knife and I had to wrestle it off her – not knowing what she intended to do with it, cutting myself in the process. The situation was out of control so I called the police. She pleaded with me not to, but when I did anyway, she then called them and told them that I’d attacked HER with a knife. Finally when they arrived they separated us and after questioning, realised that I had called first and was telling the truth and she was drunk so they took her away to spend the night in jail. Released the next day and picked up by her dad and taken back to their place in the coutnry, wasnt allowed to speak to her beacuse of bail while they decided if they were going to charge her. We couldnt speak for 2-3 months and I was pretty sure it was over. I moved house, fresh start. But once again I started to feel empty and depressed and like I couldnt be happy without her, and I started to think maybe she had BPD, so thought perhaps if I helped her with it things would improve. Finally when the bail conditions were lifted, she still wouldnt speak to me and I sent a long heartfelt letter saying why I thought we were meant to be and should be together. Finalyl she contacted me saying the letter had touched her and she was down in the city to meet up. So we did, tentatively and she was scared and nervous but we still loved each other and we got back together, she moved back in with me in my new place.

    All fine for a few months but again the arguments started again, more drinking and more unsatisfactory relationship with her not seeming to care much about it, me always seeming to be a low priority to her, her pulling away and being distant, refusing to talk to me, saying things that hurt me, constantly putting me down. Then when things were not going well, she started to have something go on with her old married boss at work, she said he was making advances on her and making the workplace uncomfortable but I strongly suspected she was leading him on. She started goign out with work people more, twice she was out all night when she was suppoed to be home by 11, her phone was off and I didnt hear from her until the next morning about 11am when she finally came home and was all out of sorts, hungover and feeling frazzled about something. She admitted to me she kissed her boss once, but now he was pursuing her and the whole workplace was tense. He was in liove with her apparently and wanted to leave his family for her. A man doesnt do that just for a kiss, nor does a girl stay out all night just because shes drunk and crashing at a girlfriends house. Im not stupid. So finally with the arguments and violence on her part getting to an all time high, we broke up again after she’d just used me for buying her stuff and I was livid at how she just walked away and stopped speaking to me, didnt even break up with me, just started ignoring my texts and wouldnt answer my calls.

    That was our longest break, 9 months. Then somehow I just couldnt move on so I got back in touch, we started speaking (she’d had 2 relationships since) and we got back together, feeling old passions rekindle. Since then, the drinking has gotten much worse. Every holiday we have she’s been drunk and spoiling it half the time, arguing the rest. Every meal we go out for she gets drunk and its like trying to spend the evening with a child who has special needs, a complete waste of time for me. She would forget we had made plans, prioritise me and her last behind everything else in her life, I got the impression she was always lying to me about what she was doing when apart from me (we were long distance) and she was secretive about her phone and email. Every time I saw the second personality come out – and by this time I knew that personality as well as the first one so recognised it instantly, I knew the evening was over and I might as well go to bed as it was pointless trying to have a conversation or spend time with her when she was like that as she was like a completely different person, one I didnt love, like or respect. And because of the long distance, it seemed every time we spent together, she ruined and I never got any time with the girl I loved anymore, she was a distant memory.

    Over time it got worse and the last two times we got back together (9 breakups and ruinions now) she would drink heavily every day she was at my house while I was at work, and lie about it. And I would come home thinking she was sober and we would have a nice night, only to see the other personality already there, and I woudl start to find empty bottles of wine in her suitcase she was hiding from me. The more I got angry or asked her to stop, the more she would drink, making me feel completely like she didnt care at all about me or my happiness, so more arguments, upset and feeling like sh*t.

    Over the years the constant stress has also started to make me have recurring stomach problems with acid reflux, anxiety and stomach pains. This keeps happening periodically whenever the stress increases from her behaviour. I have also spent probably $70,000 on her in five years for various things I shouldn’t have, paying for courses, holidays, cosmetic surgery, trips away, presents, flowers etc, constantly feeling like I was doing something wrong and like I had to do these things to apologise. Because this took all my focus and stressed me out, I also stopped focussing on my cafe and ended up losing $250,000 on it.

    Last time she was down (a month ago), in 3 days she drank a bottle of champagne, a bottle of port, 2 bottles of wine, half a bottle of rum, half a bottle of vodka, half a bottle of schnapps, plus whatever else I didn’t find out about, which Im sure was also a lot. Most of this was drunken alone, while I was at work, and she tried to hide it from me. She even took a hip flask of rum in her handbag to go out shopping in the city and to meet her friend for “lunch”. Though when I met her later she said she was starving, and when I asked her that I thought she had just had a late lunch with her friend, she hesitated and said no she didnt really eat with her friend.

    There’s so many more incidents I could mention, plans cancelled, events ruined etc but Ill leave it there. They are all the same as everyone else posting on this website, and I can see that my constant questioning and wondering if she loves me or not, or ever did, was our time together a lie, is irrelevant. She loves alcohol and that is and will always be her number one love and I am a low priority behind that. I’m chasing the sober girl and that is who I love, but that person is almost a tiny spot of light behind a sea of blackness now, the alcoholism has gotten worse every time I get back with her and now she’s talking about going to rehab, counselling, books etc but I know she won’t stick at it as she has been talking about treatment and getting help for years now. And after reading this site, I now know where her path is headed and I’m getting out now before she drags me down with her.

    I now feel I have closure on whether or not she loves me and if there is a future for us, and why she seems to fall out of love with me and go into the arms of other men constantly, yet professes how Im the only guy she really wants to be with, all the while making me feel like when shes with me, I’m not enough to make her want to be with me. I now know I am perfectly fine as I am and the problem is her, not me. I am the strong one with prospects and a good life ahead of me, so long as I dont let her ruin it by trying to keep saving her. You cant save these people and the more you try, the more you are enabling them to continue their addiction. Leaving them, is the best thing you can do because when they end up alone and at rock bottom with all the people who cared about them gone and moved on, maybe that will be enough to kick them into gear to sort their lives out. Until then, they won’t change because they’re getting away with it and don’t realise how bad their lives are getting.

    Thank you everyone again and good luck

  447. Patrick Collins Says:


    Thank you for sharing your story and I can totally relate exactly what you are going through because I am in the same place. You love someone dearly with out the alcohol and when they drink they turn into some completely different. I was accused of smothering and needy and I couldn’t understand where that was coming from since all I did was babysit her when she got drunk. As of yesterday I saw her on a dating site and in the profile she was looking for everything that I have given her in the relationship and to think I was the needy person. I don’t and probably will never understand how an alcoholic thinks and why I was so blind to what was happening. It totally sucks feeling like the bad guy and again I am thankful I stumbled on this site in order to see things a little differently now.

    Have a great day!!

  448. chris Says:

    My wife and I got together 9 years ago. Somehow I let her excessive drinking pass me by. i liked a few drinks and it didn’t seem a problem.
    She’d been in an abusive marriage and was in a mess but I felt sure that someone who treated her good would make her better.
    Sadly I was mistaken as she had a breakdown . Her 11 year old son lived with us and on one home visit to his father we had to call a crash team because he tried to kill himself. Once he’d been taken away my wife kept her son downstairs while I cleaned up the blood in the bathroom. Fortunately I used to be a butcher so, as I didn’t really know the guy, it didn’t bother me.
    After 6 weeks or so off work my wife got over it. I was relieved as I felt we could move forward. However, the booze and pills continued. Another breakdown, then another, then another. broken ribs from blackouts etc, etc. I’ve seen the lot.
    It had always been a dream of my wife to go and live in Spain. We had an old ruin there which she dreamed about doing up and living in. As her son was at the end of his education it was now possible. At the same time I got into a new business which gave me lots of spare cash. I spoke to my wife about it and she was keen. I decided at that moment to commit myself fully to our marriage come what may . I was sure that once her dream was realized, or certainly possible, she would come round and we’d live happily ever after.
    2 years of hard work later we had enough money for the move. I wasn’t deterred by having to do everything. I even carried her to the car straight from her bed…

    We’ve now lived in Spain for just over a year. My wife has done nothing other than get up at lunchtime, have a few drinks, go back to bed, get up and drink until she goes to bed again. I do the washing, cooking, housekeeping, shopping, building and my work.

    About 4 months ago she started to get numb feet. I thought nothing of it as she is always ill. She got steadily worse but refused to go to the doctor, then about 2 weeks ago she lost her short term memory. I tried the doctor twice but once they heard the word ‘alcohol’ passed us onto someone else. She was in such bad condition I took her to the emergency room. The health service is very good in Spain so they gave her a battery of tests including CAT scans and xrays. At the end the doctor gave us the results. My wife is a chronic alcoholic (not news to me), she had the brain of an eighty year old despite being just 51, also the doctor said, if she doesn’t give up drinking she would either die or get alcoholic dementia in the near future.
    As you can imagine I’m devastated that its got this far. I’ve tried everything to make her see how good life could and should be but nothing has made any difference.
    The sad thing about it is, my wife has no memory of the diagnosis. I took her down to rehab clinic this morning with the threat of divorce.
    I won’t watch her die in front of me! She’s completely incapable of looking after herself if I left, so, what can I do?

  449. forestdancer Says:

    The alcoholic knows what buttons to push so that their loved ones are “frozen in place” and walk on eggshells. They yell, scream, stagger, pass out, call people names and break things. Regardless of that, I feel that they deserve love…they have a disease and maybe this is what GOD gave to us as our challenge. I dont think the answer is to run away, because we are married for better or for worse. If I got cancer or dementia, I would hate to think my husband selfishly decided that our marriage was over because he would have additional responsibility and couldnt have as much free time or as carefree of a life as he would like. We are taught to divorce at any opportunity, or better yet, not even marry. Our government has successfully made us all consumers and people who need instant gratification; by living separately, we arent raising our kids, but making them become the adults for us. We cant afford vacations or new furniture or even many necessities. Even though living with an alcoholic sucks; my husband is drunk in the basement right now, only coming up randomly to refill his glass with gin and loudly ask if he is going to “get any”. My teenage children can hear. I love him but at the same time am absolutely disgusted that he chooses the alcohol over his family every day. When he is sober is would do anything for us, buy anything, work as many hours as needed, plan vacations, etc. It is a confusing life, but I told my kids that I also wouldnt leave them if they were very sick, just because it was outright unfair. I dont understand why this challenge has been placed in my life. I am a very optimistic person who breathes every breath and feels every ray of sunshine. Shortly, I will take my kids to a show so we have a nice evening with “normal” people who arent screaming at us. They know this is a burden to bear, but they also know the benefits of supporting each other no matter what. We are a family, even if one lives out of a bottle a lot. We are an educated middle class family with no thought that my husband is doing the right thing. We have lost a lot of respect for him, asked him to go to AA, told him how we felt and more. He has been caught in the disease, tried to get out of it many times, but just cant. We make each day the best possible, and some days and nights are simply bad, but I would want someone to love me if I had truly lost myself, and not jump on the “divorce bandwagon.” It’s not always better to leave someone you once thought was your soulmate forever.

  450. Carol Says:

    Tears dripping from my eyes reading about the stories of spouse and children of alcholics. Its a disease and there’s no cure. How do you try to be nonconfrontational. My husband has been drinking for 25 years or more and the anxiety and fear has left me with lupus and cancer yes those are diseases to redendered from anxiety aynd fear. Yes right after work he will start drinking and then he gets ugly. He has no regard when he drinks and his drinking is getting worse. He can drink about a pint of hard vodka in two days and still work. Now he drinks till passes out. I cannot stand the arguing anymore. I would like to leave but because of my health and no health insurance I’m stuck. How do I leave after 35+ years of marriage.

  451. Ted Says:

    I am 33 and I am engaged to a 23 year old girl who is in my opinion addicted to Xanax and alcohol the Xanax is the less of in issue in terms if causing violence
    But they are prescribed to her so that of course justifies it in her eyes. they do not ever last as long as they are supposed to and as become something I feel she will never live without . We met 3 and a half years ago and the month I met her 67 year old father died of cancer and had other illnesses she practically watched the whole thing unfold and scared her for life by having to watch it all happen day by day taking care of him. When most people meet its filled great memories and and mostly smiles and laughing and so in it is usually of course one of the highest moments of a relationship. Though I fell in love with her when we practically met, she was a very dark person because what she had just experienced she was much more closed to her father than any person in her life. When we would have drinks together for fun in the start if we were out usually everything went ok but some times she would just get very depressed in general and I’m sure she wax mixing the pills which doesn’t help. All in all the depression is expected when u lose someone like a father at any age but of course for a young age like hers. We started living together pretty soon after meeting and the first two years really didn’t have any sights of a drinking problem just getting drink like an average college girl would she cheated on me once or twice but really wouldn’t let it be brought up much after I agreed to forgive her so I’m not really sure. I know we’re there were times were there a bad group of friends she hung out with she would drink get in fights when she hang out these girl. They were a group of girls she worked with she was a waitress at a bar go figure.

    The friends were the type in the wrong part of town who even visited the methodone clinic weekly to my knowledge she just rode along with them. When I would try to point out these We’re not the type of people she needed to be hanging out with I was just made out to be a controlling boyfriend who was trying to tell her what to do this made her rebellious and prolly brought the cheating in way. After sometime I finally got her out of that situation, she got a great job and even got a two year associates degree and have settled down. I am getting older and do want to start a family she demanded that we get engaged if I planned on marrying her I couldn’t wait for ever since things her a lot better i had no problem doing so after all I do want a family regardless of our age difference we are in love after all we have been through. Now the drinking, she has always drank and I have as we’ll I used to drink a lot more but I drink slot less now with getting older. She in the past year or so goes on spurts if she has her Xanax the drinking is less but if she doesn’t have the pills then its two beers a night which seems completely normal to a college age girl. Then the weekend comes and we intend to have a romantic dinner and drinks the slighted thing sets her off and she’s telling me she will take a taxi home or she will get out of my car in traffic one time completely sober she used her feet to bust the windshield in my company car from setting inside the passenger seat she has grabbed the wheel while I was driving while again she had been drinking, she has struck me she has kicked out of the house on repeated occasions just for telling he’d I don’t want her drinking. Of course she has called the cops in a drunk rage because she doesn’t want to have to leave the home we live in which my family owns and leases to us. Of course when the cops come they know she’s very drunk and I’m gone so I don’t get locked up for what ever lies she gets then to believe. I wouldn’t never lay a find on her I have never Even kissed another girl but get accused on a regular basis of cheating. Are relationship has a lot of the same problems that a lot of couples have to deal with added on with our age difference and the drinking and pills its no daylight in sight she’s on to drinking wine now because she thinks its classier than drinking the beer she does not think she has a drinking problem I practily hate drinking because how can I enjoy I drink I used to be able to have a drink friends alm the time no drama EVER girl or guy but its ridiculous now she says you drank when you were my age. My family and the people closest to believe she has drinking problem but some think she just has an anger problem. I think she has both and I have tried to get her to seek counceling. My father is very religious his brother was killed by drunk driver when he was 17 and both of my mothers parents were recovering alcoholics. I want nothing to do with being stuck in a relationship with someone like this I love her to death when she’s not drinking she went all week this week with out drinking but of course sat night two drinks wasn’t enough we had to go back out again and if I don’t take her she will drive drunk. I feel they if I marry her I will end up in jail losing my job or worse. How do in know if she is still coping from her fathers loss to my knowledge she started drinking at 13 14. I have waists 4 year of my life trying to better her life and be here for her while paying no attention to my own goals. I can’t look bank ten years later and think this is what I accepted she is a young girl who want to drink wants think she deserves to f’d up after a long day or a long week. PLEASE HELP

  452. Malinda Says:

    I came across this website. I am looking for the tips and advices. I read some stories, wow I feel so overwhelmed. I didn’t realize there are a lot of alcoholic out here in the world. I didn’t know it is really a disease. not just a choice, it is really a disease.

    I am starting to see this guy, I met him last year, he told me after 5th date that he is a recovering alcoholic. At that time, he was sober for 9 months, he was a newly recovering alcoholic. He relapsed after our date and went to the hospital and had a detoxification process. We decided to not seeing each other till he better himself and get his life together.

    Till recently, he still has my phone number, he contact me and I was so happy to hear from him because I really like him. I went on dates with different guys, I like him better than others. So we saw each other last week and our feelings grew stronger. Few days after, he was drinking and won’t allow me seeing him drunk. He wouldn’t let me in his house. I had to spend the night in my car. That is the thing, he doesn’t want me to see him drunk, I respect that. So I didn’t know what to do because I do want him in my life and I want to be in his life. I know it will be obviously hard. So I had to educate myself about alcoholism. I have see advices and tips about dating alcoholics and the advice is to walk away. For me, I can’t walk away- Am I wrong? or Am I crazy to stay with him? I need to find the answer. He is just a person with alcoholism. it is like to love someone who is physically handicapped ( Would you leave him like that?) I don’t know what to do.

    I did let him go the first time. Now we came back together again. I don’t know why it happened. I feel something pulled us to be together. This time, it is harder to let go.
    See, I m 27 years old, I m working on go back to school for Masters and Im not going to neglect that goal. Also I work as Direct Provider Support for the adults with developmental disabilities – I love working with them but it is overwhelming job, at this point, I m considering to look for a better job. So I m at the point that I still figure what I want to do next for myself, for the future.

  453. D Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am trying to make it through my day at work, with so much anger, guilt, etc., going on in my head. Two days ago, my wife again decided it would be “fun” to get drunk. She knows that she in an alcoholic, but uses the fact that it’s a disease to brush it off. To get to the beginning of this, a little back ground on us. We married in August of 2011, so we’re still supposed to be in our “honeymoon” stage. However; we were really never in that stage. Her drinking has been such an issue, and it only got worse last April when her father passed away unexpectantly. He was a big time drinker, and smoker, and died behind the wheel of his work truck from a heart attack. Her life has been upside down since. I’m having such a hard time dealing with her ups and downs, (doesn’t help that she’s also bi-polar) and her binge drinking. One day she’ll be the most loving wife, and the next day, the meanest b**ch around! We rarely have sex, she says she’s not in the mood, which I find strange, because I’ve always known girls getting drunk to want sex more?? So the other night she was drunk, again, and she started an arguement with me over not giving her all the details of my son’s driver education program… I mean really??? She went off the handle and escalated the situation to a point where I lost my cool and called her a name, and tossed the half glass of tequila in her face. Yes, I know that wasn’t the right thing to do, but she pushed me to my limit… I just can’t stand her drinking 4-5 times each week. I like to drink myself, but I definitely don’t have an issue, and I don’t need it. I’m more or less ranting at this point (Sorry). So after that night of fighting, we didn’t speak, and she slept on the couch. Yesterday I went to work, things were quiet, but I figured she was just hung over. Now, two days after the fight, she sent me a text message this morning letting me know that she is leaving me! She claims I don’t support her, tell her to stop drinking, and that I’m always right, and she can’t be with someone like that… WOW!!! I’m at a total loss for words, hell, even at a loss for thoughts right now. She wants to leave me, which I should be fine with, but she’s my wife, and I do love her unconditionally. She did just start seeing a therapist once a week, two weeks ago, and when she gets home from that appointment, she seems better. But then, only a few short hours later, she’s already got a drink in her hand. She knows she has a problem, yet doesn’t want to make anything better. How can I deal with this crap!?!? I just want to live in a happy home, without constant fighting, nagging, etc. When I tell her that I don’t like it when she drinks, she says, “you drink too!” How can I argue with that? I do drink, and I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy it either. However, I know when enough is enough, and she doesn’t. She will go through a 750ml bottle of Tequila in a night, and think nothing of it. To top all of this off, she has also gained upwards of 25 pounds in the last year. So she’s depressed, an alcoholic, bi-polar, and grieiving the loss of her dad. I just don’t know what to do to make any of this any better. I want to be happy, but I want to be happy with her. To make matters worse, there are 2 young children in the home, and my 15 yr old son there on weekends and vacations. They see her drunk all the time, and she doesn’t think anything of it. (sorry that my thoughts are coming out randomly, but I am not focusing like usual) So I have no idea what to expect when I get home tonight from work… Will she be there? Will she have already left? In some aspects I hope she’s not there… I’m so lost, I don’t talk about this with anyone because I don’t want her issues to be exposed to our friends or family. I just want her to stop drinking so much….. Is that so much to ask?

  454. Ray Says:

    SO VERY VERY SAD! Its like a reflection pond of sadness, broken hearts, dreams and lives. My wife too is 10 plus years of bindge drinking. Our children, 13 and 11, dont know the loving fun happy woman I married 15 years ago. She carries alot of baggage from childhood compounded by the death of her divorced parents only 1 month apart, all starting in Nov of 2002. The only bright spot in that time was for 1 year when she was court orderd AA and counseling. This stemmed from an arrest in Dec 2003. I thought I had her back we were a happy family for the first time. Once the court stepped out she slowly crept back to where and who she was before, so I thought. This time she brought even more “drunken rage” more “Anger” all fueled by vodka and four locos. I sheltered our young kids from this for the most part, and she did well in hideing in the evening hours, often finding her passed out in different parts of the house. I do not work a typical 9-5 job. I am a firefighter/ Paramedic I am gone 24hours at a time ( I have helped and dealt with drug addicts and alcoholics for almost 20 years). To me this completed the perfect storm. It gave her the ability to have a day all to herself, to drink and do as she pleased. I have taken so much abuse. Both Physical and mental. Dealt with the infidelity. Watched one on the most beautiful, loving and careing persons I have ever known become a MONSTER when the VODKA was added. I have lived though the half hearted sucide attempts many times, Watched her go to psych hospitals and done the rehab detox 3 times since OCT 2012.She has become masterful at lies and deception doing or saying whatever she has to to get what she needs. She too is on welbutrin amongst a drawer full of other medicines her pill pushing dr hands out. We have come full circle so many times. I can no longer whatch my children hurt, I can no longer be victimized by my alcoholic wife. I can no longer hear how sorry she is and that she will change ( I have been given enough empty promises to fill a football stadium 10 times over). I can no longer help her (she refuses to help herself). I have turned and tried for help from family to church leaders to doctors. I do not know what to do. I am partly to blame it has gone on this long, I have created the revolving door.
    I have exhausted all avenues for helping my children and myself. I guess I’m still here because I still care and love her. I have poured my heart and soul into my faith but I dont think he has been listening. Seriously Lost and at the edge of sanity……

  455. Mike Says:

    Wow, I feel for every single person on here. I could make a small fortune on all the vodka bottles i find around the house. I get to see my wife sober mon-fri., from 6 am to 7:30 am, right before work, then for about 30-45 min. after work. Something def. with the age. Primarily 40 yr olds. Wtf. They can make a pill for every other damn thing.

  456. sara Says:

    My life is spinning out of control while I watch. My husband is an alcoholic .he drinks every single day all day long untill he passes out and I have to wake him up to go to work then he gets off and continues to drink and play video games leaving me to do everything by myself . He thinks because he works he doesn’t have to do anything else . I feel like a single mom , to be honest I don’t even think my kids want to be around him and they are only 6 and 2 . He is a good looking man with a nice body and beautiful mind when sober but he is never sober and is now a monster who doesn’t see the problem . He throws pity party’s for himself and hates everything.I want to leave him so badly but I’m scared and I love him . I feel like if I leave he will get worse and my children will be even more fatherless . He turns everything around on me and can actually manipulate me into thinking I really waS the wrong one . His addiction is alcohol and my addiction is him in a way I guess . If I stay I will die .if I leAve he will die . I don’t know what to do . I’m tired of walking on egg shells with knotS in my belly . From what I’ve been reading lately being with an alcoholic will ruin you in every way 95% of the time they won’t change . I don’t want to be the woman who lives with this for 30years and then leaves or dies . How do I leAve????????

  457. J Says:

    Well… Where do I begin? I’ve been married for 13 years now and my wife has been drinking for nearly all of them. It’s been especially bad the last 4 years or so. We have two daughters and they have been exposed to things that I couldn’t imagine experiencing at their age… My wife drinks a .5 Liter bottle of vodka every night and constantly tries to hide it. I find bottles all over the house. In the last year, her behavior has gotten progressively worse. She has successfully alienated all of our friends and family, to the point where my kids have lost all respect for her (which is of course my fault in her eyes). Over the years, it has become more and more difficult to maintain any sort of normal life. She has put on a drunken display at several public social events and still questions why I never want to go out with her. It’s so frustrating, because from the time she wakes up in the morning until about 5:00 pm, all is well. At that time, something switches in her brain and the plotting to get drunk begins. She usually drinks the entire bottle of vodka in hiding in a very short period of time and then emerges a completely different person. There have been several occasions when she became physically threatening and borderline abusive to both me and my oldest daughter, claiming that I’ve poisoned her mind and that it’s all part of some master plan to make her look bad. She has broken doors, windows, shower walls, phones, alarm clocks and even glasses in an attempt to hurt me, but I’m sober, so she’s rarely successful. Just last week, she passed out when she was supposed to be watching someone’s 3 year old child and when the parents came to pick up their daughter, our front door was wide open and the 3 year old was roaming the house alone. I honestly can’t live like this anymore and I don’t care what it takes, I’m finding a way out of this relationship. It’s not worth the damage it causes me and my daughters.

  458. Bob, call me bob Says:

    Sara, I can tell you with great confidence that some of the best fathers in this world are single mothers.

    I found this website by accident while searching for “living with an alcoholic wife” and I appreciate all of your testimonials. I appreciate Mr. Linde for this.
    I will come back later and add my story.

  459. DJ Says:

    This page is priceless. My own story, 19 year marriage about to end due to wife’s drinking and especially her unfaithfulness.

    I have the same stories of hospitalizations (10), detoxes (6), near-death experiences (3-4), OWI’s (2), and embarassing social situations (10,000).

    We are both in our mid-40’s, no children, which is a good thing.

    My wife is kind and sweet and I see the good person “inside”, the “real person” so to speak — but alcohol turns her into a liar who is very clever when it comes to denial and protecting her right to drink.

    For me, I finally drew the line when she started covorting with other men. There had always been questionable friendships and relationships with men, but I caught her red handed trading “I love you’s” via text message. She was cheating on me. I confronted her (very hard for this people pleaser), but she took a position of total denial (despite the evidence) which she has stuck with ever since.

    She will not ever, ever, admit to cheating on me. So I stopped asking a long time ago. I filed for divorce.

    Let me share my experience: it has taken a lot of time and money, but after 2.5 years I am almost in the clear. We went to court, divided everything up, and moved into separate residences. Now we are finally selling our house. We are legally separated and now I am planning on converting to a divorce. She is crying the whole way, hoping we can save things, but one thing she can’t do (or will not do), is admit she was wrong, and stop drinking. No way. It’s not happening.

    I was in the same spot as so many people posting, “stuck”, “trapped”, or whatever you call that awful spot where nothing changes and the bad movie keeps playing over and over. I call it the merry go round. What I did, was put a stick of dynamite in the whole thing and just blew it all to heck! I just changed everything, and I have been steadily working for 3 years to bring this to completion.

    I have bent over backwards to do this friendly, to get her to move out of our house, to get her to agree to a super generous financial offer, to get our extra stuff put into storage, to sell our dream home and move her into a 2 bedroom apartment, to get her to understand bank accounts, money, and paying her own bills. I am trying to be her friend because I do think she is somewhat sick, confused, and borderline disabled, which makes me super sad.

    But after reading all these posts, I know I’m doing the right thing in getting away from her. I LOVE coming home to my peaceful apartment. I LOVE that I don’t have to do what she says. I’m getting better at saying no to her, because I don’t have to live with her, and she has no legal say over my affairs any longer!

    That is worth 1.5 houses, 100% of my retirement, all of my cash, and large monthly payments for 6 years. (I had to give her all of this, in order to retain my shares in our family business.) I mean it: IT IS WORTH IT. It’s worth it, because as so many have pointed out, life is short. Also, men and women were born to be free.

    Hang in there everyone and Lord have mercy on us all.

  460. Barbara Says:

    My husband is an alcoholic and a drug user. He doesn’t get fall down drunk. He just drinks enough (2 of the huge beer cans or Tanguray, or Rum or Vodka) just to keep his buzz going. He works from home (yes a functioning drunk) and starts some time after I leave for work, and stops before I get home. He is not nice. I kept telling myself, we could get through this… I would stick by his side. Well each time he said he’d stopped (both the drinking and the drugs) I beleived him… 10 years, 5 promises a 5 year old later… I’m done. Its not the drinking, its not the drugs… its what those things have done to him, had him do. We both have older children (teens) – he bought spy cameras and hid them in my teenage daughter’s room… I found the videos. I took them to the police and filed for divorce. Police filed criminal charges against him.
    Supposedly he is now sober and clean – he’s fighting me for custody of our 5 year old. I have seen/heard the promises before. I don’t believe them or him. (but beleive the court will)
    Our 5 year old has health issues and one slipup from his father during a visitation could kill him.
    We have been seperated for 5 months… divorce process is taking forever, I just want to know my baby will be out of harms way.
    My teenager has a FRO against him, she is in therapy. its a long road for her.
    His teenager, he still have 50% parenting time with.

    I’m just so hurt that he (my husband) could go that far down this scary road without me realizing.

    Glad I’m out.

  461. John Says:

    I can empathise with most of the above. I live in London, England. I have been married for 26 years and have 2 children, 23 and 16.
    My wife is an alcoholic and drinks at least a bottle of wine a night and often starts at the main line train station bar on her way home from work. At weekends it is usually a couple of bottles a day.
    She has been violent to me in the past and was arrested once and spent the night in a police cell.
    Most nights she ends up slumped in a chair in the drawing room like a soggy piece of toast, almost comatose, but before she gets to that stage she is first ebullient and happy (but it is always fuelled by alcohol), then she starts to get picky and turns spiteful and verbally aggressive and abusive.
    It takes her less to get drunk now than it used to, and I can often spot the signs after her first couple of glasses.

    I can tune out the verbal abuse and finger-jabbing aggression, but the worst thing for me is the loneliness.

    Why don’t I leave? God knows, I love her still I suppose.
    My children have both advised me to leave and honestly I don’t know how much longer I can cope. My sister says I’ve been saying that for 10 years.

    Great site, it’s nice to know not alone in my experiences.

  462. Chuck Says:

    Hello All

    My situation is a little more complicated as I work with my wife selling real estate. I have spent about 18 of the last 25 years not drinking at all. However when I met my wife I did drink about 9 years ago. In the 4 year after that we had an altercation and I once more quit since then except for about 2 months out the last 5 years. My wife, however continues to drink to the tune of about 6-10 liters of wine a week. She is not a happy drunk – quite miserable actually and her drunken states usually lead to screaming. Its not easy staying off the booze when you live with a heavy drinker.

    One of the ways I avoid booze is that I smoke a little grass, which I have always done medically for an arthritic condition as well as for pleasure for over 30 years. Note that I have a legal permit to do so for the arthritic condition – but it also serves as a very effective and far safer inebriant than booze as it is not a central nervous system depressant like alcohol, heroin or cocaine.I got a legal exemption for the marijuana recently as I was worried the police could show up during one of my wife’s binges – otherwise the odds of a white realtor getting caught are slim to none.

    My other means of staying healthy and off booze is karate, yoga and weights which I have also done for 30 years

    Anyway – my wife is very efficient working when during day when she is not drinking ( mostly ) and the mayhem starts after she consumes a 1.5 litres of wine.

    Anyway – she does her best to equate my consuming a small amount of marijuana daily ( legally ) with her awful and destructive alcohol habit. What was a little grass when we met is now a “DRUGGGGG HABIT” and if she even entertains the thought of doing anything about her drinking I have to give up the grass ( which helps me avoid drinking )

    So – to make a short story long – The end of this marriage is written on the wall as as my wife will not acknowledge the mayhem caused by her alcohol use. It generally leads to screaming fits which neighbours hear and is quite embarrassing.

    I spend my days working out at karate and all my wife ever does is lift a bottle. We are the same age and her looks are going fast as she is rapidly gaining weight from the drinking. Is she was to look at quitting booze – I could teach her karate and yoga.

    I am wondering how the business will suffer during a transition that will be painful. I do feel strongly for my wife – but I cant tolerate the the mayhem caused by her alcohol use much longer.

    Frustrated in Canada

  463. Tom Linde Says:

    Chuck, I have suggested to someone else much earlier in this discussion, that arguments about legality and about quantity can be something of a distraction. Those factors are relevant of course, but the primary issue is consequence. I think that you might want to emphasize with your wife the effect of her drinking. She, in turn, can talk to you about what she thinks about the consequence to the two of you from your marijuana use.

    Your issue is that you don’t like the artificial animation that she gets from her initial buzz, that you don’t like the anger, the raised voice and the finger-stabbing, and the later coma. Of course, she may have all kinds of responses- you’re exaggerating, you’re too sensitive and whatnot, but at the heart of it you’re stating what you observe, and what you experience. Ultimately, your own observations, your experience, your emotions and your wishes are non-debatable.

  464. Cait Says:

    Thank you for this site.

    Both my husband and I are alcoholics. Neither of us have been sober more than 48 hours (outside of detox and/or rehab) in our 8 years of marriage. We drink A LOT, nightly. I am a “relaxed drunk” and he is usually a “mean drunk”. I have done some shameful things under the influence that I can’t admit to anyone – and very dangerous to my own well-being. My health, my relationships, self-respect and hope are declining. We have zero company, zero interests, zero hobbies and I lost my job a year ago. We just sit on the couch and drink until we are numb. Our finances are in shambles. We are filing bankruptcy. Our house is being foreclosed on. I just sleep, eat, clean and drink. He works, but makes a very low income. His teenage daughter has left home and is doing drugs and drinking. He’s caught the house on fire a couple of times due to falling asleep with a cigarette. Out of fear and such a negative environment, I have left him a couple of times. The last time was just a couple of months ago and excruciatingly painful for me. I love him so much when he is sober. When he is drunk I don’t know him or like him. He talked me into coming back with the agreement that he would go to rehab. He went to detox instead, saying he couldn’t go to rehab for 30+ days and pay the bills, and they released him after two days saying he was not showing any danger signs that sometimes come with withdrawal. We stopped for beers on the way home. We are both completely ate up with this stuff. I’ve wasted thousands of days, weeks, years of my life. I’ve hurt so many people. My family worries about me, but I think they may be giving up on me too. I am lucky, I have a way out. I can go back to my home town where I have family and friends. My parents own property and have offered me a home rent-free for the first year. I have a friend with frequent flier miles who has offered to give them to me so I could see my daughter anytime I want to (she’s on the West Coast) or go anywhere else I would like. I am older and I don’t have a degree or good job skills, so that would be an obstacle, but one that could be overcome, I am sure. I’m 50. I want some quality time with family and friends and I want to be productive. I don’t want to die like this. I’m going to rehab this weekend and returning to a toxic environment make the chances of my recovery slim. Obviously, a better path is laid out in front of me. The problem: leaving my husband once and for all breaks my heart into a million pieces and feels undoable to me, especially without the alcohol to numb the pain of a broken heart and depression. I am socially phobic and don’t have a clue as to be anything but a wall flower in a social situation. I’m rambling.

    Thanks again for this site!

  465. Tom Linde Says:

    You’re not rambling, Cait. Yours is one of the most hopeful posts here!

    There is no denying that recovery is scary as all get-out, and comes with some heart-breaking losses. It’s an important time to be mindful of all there is to gain.

    Please catch us up in a short while, will you?

  466. Walter Says:

    I fell in love with my GF two years ago. I was a social drinker and I thought she was as well. We fell in love with each other immediately. I am divorced 40 yr old dad with a 10 yr old son that lives with me. I was so happy to fall in love and finally have balance in my life again. 5 months after dating we were so in love she sold her house and she and her 20 yr old son moved in with my son and me in my house. We both liked to drink a glass or two of wine in the evening during and after dinner, life was good we were all so happy. We both worked during the day and we both really loved coming home to each other and our blended family to make dinner together and enjoy each other through the evening. It wasnt long before the 1 – 2 glasses of wine started to turn into 1 or 2 big bottles of wine, I realised early on that I needed to stop this behavior and In my mind it was very easy to do so. For her though, it couldnt stop and the more I tried to say something about it the worse it got. Because I wasnt participating any longer in the drinking her moods began to change towards me very quickly and mine as well towards her. It became intolerable at times because she turned into the meanest and nastiest drunk and it seemed she took out all of lifes frustrations out on me. The words the names the things she would say to me were like daggers in my heart. She really wanted to inflict pain on me and hurt me really bad, almost in a way to let me know just how badly she was really hurting and sufferring herself inside. At times in the few hours of the day when she was sober she would actually tell me she was deeply sorry and beg for forgiveness not only for what she has done but more importanly for what she was about to do again. She knew she had no control over it any longer and knew what was about to happen. After 4 months of her being intoxicated, there was a one week period where she didnt even get out of bed, with the help of family we forced her to go to a Detox center for 5 days but it was unwilling and unwanted on her part and the minute she came out it was a trip to the liquor store. A few weeks more of Insanity went on, of falling down steps, of stumbling through the house, of yelling at me, and trying to hit me and fight me. Finally one evening it became so violent she called the police to the house and showed them bruises on her legs and body which were mostly from her falling down and myself pushing her away from me to stop her from trying to attack me every night. I was arrested…. let go that evening, in the days to come I could not take it any longer and filed a restraining order against her and had her removed from the home. It is now 7 months past and she no longer lives with me but I continue to see her. I am still very much in Love with her and really felt I had melt my soulmate. Tommorrow I am going to visit her in10th day of a 30 day stay in a Rehab center. Alcoholism is a disease and I dont blame her for having this disease, I blame her for not recognizing and treating it properly. I realized I needed to separate myself from her for myself and my sons own sanity and well being. Forcing her out of my home was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but i know I made the right choice. My biggest question and fear now is can I ever really trust this person again and possibly live together again someday? I hear so many stories of people relapsing after time.

  467. bella Says:

    I have been with a alcoholic bf for almost 2 years, we are less that 1 week separated, he is now with a new gf, I still miss him and love him, should I make an effort to get back to him? Or should I move on?

    In the past nearly 2 years, he had been violent few times when he got drunk, but for the past few months he had gotten better. There was a big argument that he raised his hand at me as if he wanted to slap me, that scared me so much due to my past violent experience with him, that I could not take the fear of staying at his house, and went back to my own house for a break.

    He has been seeing this new hot girl for less than 2 weeks before we had our argument, I can feel that his feelings towards me had shifted to this girl since then, and didn’t even bother to save our relationship.

    Shall I still make an effort to get him back? I had put in lotsa time and effort to change him to become a better man, I feel that it is a waste to just let go.

  468. Michael Says:

    I visit this site every so often and sure enough, up pops another story that I could have written myself about my wife’s’ drinking.
    Mid-June 2012 I finally called it quits with my wife whilst she was heading to detox/rehab #15. My two kids live with me and we had been through the iterations of me keeping her away from us for a spell while she tried to get her act together. That was an on-going thing for four years (out of eight of hardcore drinking); drank herself into the hospital, detox, rehab, MAYBE a couple months sober then right back to sneaking the vodka again (or entire jugs of “box wine” a night). We had been through all the classic alcoholic stories (stealing the kids allowance money, selling all her jewelry, drunk driving, the emotional abuse, the stress and anxiety and fear, bizarre behavior, lies, manipulation, isolation, etc..etc..). My kids and I had had enough and we circled our own wagons and hunkered down to make a home and life for ourselves.
    Well, since last year, she has been in two more rehabs and a detox.
    I am formally divorcing her now but that is simply a long process; I hope the court will have sympathy on my kids and I and not force me to pay her anymore support as it is only going to feed her addiction. No worries either way though, I have my kids and she stays away.

    My point is, a year later and for my kids and I things have simply gotten better and better. Were not out of the woods yet from the financial abyss my (soon to be) x-wife left me in, but we are far and away in a better place and our home is filled with laughter and good times, not walking on egg shells and wondering when the next hospital visit or police officer is going to show up.
    If you are reading this and your spouse has been at the alcohol for a number of years with no resolve to change, do you and your kids a favor, kick them out, leave them; do whatever you must (legally I might add!!! ) and trust me on this, IT. WILL. GET. BETTER. FOR .YOU!!! You don’t have to live in that hell and will be amazed after that “fog” clears what a different person you were and how much you will enjoy your old self “coming back”. It is harsh to say, I know, but this is the only life YOU get, don’t waste it on someone who loves the bottle more than you.

  469. Jenna Says:

    I was married for 10 years and have two beautiful daughters. My ex husband and I used to enjoy drinking together during the early days of our marriage, but once I got pregnant with our first baby, I stopped drinking entirely. He continued to drink, alone. Life progressed rather routinely in the suburbs, and we had a second beautiful baby. I enabled him to drink by taking care of our children and home and allowing him to drink to his content.

    Several years into the marriage, I started to feel that his drinking had reached an unhealthy limit because when he would drink 12-13 beers, his personality changed. He became argumentative with me, and it was scary to see my husband stumbing around. I started advising him to slow down, cut back, quit. He saw this as nagging. He said he was having fun. Eventually, when he would drink, he started to become verbally abusive to me, and finally, he became physically abusive and choked me infront of my girls because I was yelling at him to do his dishes. I stuck around two more years, praying for a change. Whenever he would start drinking, I took my girls to my mom’s house to get out of his way. A pattern developed and we were going to grandma’s every Friday night. I would endure verbally abusive texts during this time and crazymaking “silent treatment” for days after.

    One day, I decided I had enough. I was tired of his drama. I was tired of begging him to change. He was tired of me begging him to change. I filed for divorce. I told him I would not listen to his toxic mouth anymore. I felt sick that my husband — the man who was supposed to love me the most in this world and protect me — was calling me names, telling me I was worthless. This is not how I wanted to live!

    He says he is happy we are divorced because he can “be who he is” now. He already has a girlfriend, and they drink together. I cry after my girls are in bed for loss of family, the end of my dream. I hate alcohol for tearing us apart. He still tells me that he doesn’t have a problem, that I have a “victim personality” and that my nagging tore our family apart. I wonder if his alcohol will be a problem for him now, or if it was me. He seems very content now that his is allowed to drink.

  470. forestdancer Says:

    Jenna at least you had the guts to take a step forward. My husband has good and bad days and I never imagined that his “social” drinking would become a disease that he is falling for more and more everyday. I thank God that my kids are both almost out of the house and in college, even though they were growing up as his disease was progressing. Since my husband is so high functioning and has a great job, our lifestyle is ideal when he is at work. It enabled me to raise the kids, lead girl scouts, be the neighborhood “mom” for many kids and go back to school to get my master’s degree. I always worked from home and so had kept up my skills, but now have a great job and a supportive network of people. It is sad my husband is such a mess, and I love him for the person he is inside, but everyday I remember how he chooses the bottle, drinks til oblivion and then calls me names and tries to force rough and very uncoordinated sex on me. I have begun refusing him if he is drunk and let him know that I cant have sex with him in that condition…he doesnt really know I am there. He cant manage to go a day without drinking now, so there is pretty much no sex at all. I really believe you should stay married until “death do you part”, through better and worse, and that people shouldnt feel they are “owed” something in this life. God must have put me on this earth to endure an alcoholic husband along with the amazing rewards I have been given, such as amazing kids, a beautiful home, years of learning about my husband before the alcohol overtook him and more. I know that someday I will be back on this site telling you all that he either did something completely unforgivable such as being unfaithful, or that he will have died. Because he does have occasional days where I see his real self, I couldnt bear to just leave before it was really meant to be. Good luck to everyone! Please know that there is an answer for all of us, and it is in our hearts. Thank you all for sharing with me. On bad days, I go to this site and feel a part of all of you. Today is a good day and I am here to offer strength from my heart to you.

  471. Elle Says:

    I am wondering if I just have to accept my husbands behavior. Every relationship has problems to compromise. Is this my compromise? I am so desperate for him to see how amazing our lives could be. Makes me so disappointed.

  472. Canadian Bacon Says:

    My wife of 13 years and 3 children under the age of 10 is in rehab as I write this. She’s been gone 3 weeks and it’s been the best 3 weeks of the last 4 years.

    I spoke with her briefly tonight over the phone, apparently she’s “not very happy with me” because I have not taken the time to write her or call her very often. Truth is I want her to get better, but have given up thinking there’s anything I can do about it and honestly have just enjoyed her NOT being around. I too remember the wonderful person I married and had children with, but those days now seem so distant that all I am left with now is some anger and a feeling that she has been the most destructive force in our lives.

    I found this website tonight and while it’s nice to know I’m not alone, I’m not seeing many success stories here. This is her first inpatient rehab. 2 DUI’s and 5 years of prescription drug problems (thanks Docs, I think the drugs in the schoolyard when I was a kid were less harmful). But that’s an issue for another day.

    I pray there is hope for us, but I fear now that my expectations following rehab are likely unrealistic.

  473. Sally Says:

    Ive been married to a binge drinker for two years. He was doing it before we got married but I was silly enough to believe it would stop. I guess I always stayed with him because he was making good progress and his binges became fewer and further between. I figured since he was making baby steps that eventually it wouldn’t be an issue for us. How wrong I was…. Pretty much anything more than 6 beers and he HAS to go out clubbing or to the nearest casino – both of which are 40 minutes drive and $120 in a cab. He transfers money out of our savings and spends it all, even before I can transfer it into an account he doesn’t have access to. I’ve tried limiting his acces to money but it doesn’t work, he will just take my credit card and spend on that. I’ve tried giving him ultimatums and telling him it is his family or alcohol but it never works because he promises to never do it again and then six weeks later he just can’t help himself. When he leaves he goes all night and comes home the next morning, more drunk than what he was when he left and $500 out of pocket.
    I have asked him if he wants to be single because he keeps doing it but he says he doesn’t and he just can’t control himself. I have explained that everytime he does this his actions are saying to me ‘you (and our son) are not valuable enough to me to make me want to control myself’ or ‘our family doesn’t mean as much as alcohol does to me’ but he doesn’t seem to get it. The next day he always hates himself and begs for forgiveness and I give it to him. I get so worried and anxious and upset when he is gone then i get happy and relieved that he arrives home in one piece. I’ve been to an al-anon meeting and I don’t think it’s the right fit for me. I just don’t know what else to do. I feel like I’ve run out of strategies, ideas and options. I’m at my wits end, I obviously don’t want a divorce but I deserve better than this! Can Someone please give me some guidance on this? What do I do?

  474. Aiden Says:

    My story might be a bit different than others on this site. My girlfriend and I have recently agreed to part ways and I guess I just need to vent and possibly get some validation for my decision…

    We have been seeing each other off and on for 4 years. We’d break up due to fights and then slowly get back together. Though there were certainly other factors contributing to these arguments, the unifying cause that all had in common was alcohol. She drinks. Maybe not to the degree some have mentioned on this site, but its always right there.

    She had always been a party girl and additionally used alcohol as a means of self medicating herself for depression and anxiety. At its height she would drink to the point of being drunk 3 times a week. She would drive drunk, say rude things, and generally act stupid, but at least one of these would turn into outright abuse once a week. She would scream at me, sometimes in front of other people, throw things, break things, and just generally terrorize me. On a few occasions I had to physically restrain her for my own self preservation. Then I found myself leaving my own house just to get away from her.

    She finally realized she has a problem when I said we should end things and she should move out of my home. She started seeing an addiction specialist and swore she would quit. I agreed to let her stay a bit longer, but then noticed her having “just a glass or two” of wine when out with friends. They are big drinkers and her dad is ticked he lost his drinking buddy which was a weekly ritual they had very Thursday in my living room. Total enabler.

    It was hard, but I said I can’t do this anymore this weekend and she has started looking for places to live. This isn’t going to change. She might try to appease me or a while but this compulsion is going to return again and again. I see that now after reading all your posts which I appreciate you sharing. Genetic or not, this is in these people’s nature.

    I am 37 and want a child before its too late. The thought of having fights over this with a toddler crying nearby is terrifying to me and reminds me too much of my own childhood with an alcoholic father.

    I just need to know that no matter how much I love her or how lonely I’ll be that I made the right decision. Thanks for listening.

  475. Plman Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    My wife is a functioning alcoholic and has been for about the last 7 years. She does work and she never complains about how she feels in the mornings after she drinks…which is at least 4-5 days a week. She has gotten worse in the past few years and I am always scared to come home at night….scared I might find her dead.
    I have quit jobs in the past years because of the stress of coming home was too much. I have found jobs that I can work the same hours as she does, thinking that would be better. I now work until 2am and it is very scary for me to pull in the driveway and enter the house…afraid of what I might find.
    I now have an added worry, two weeks ago my wife drove drunk about midnight on a Saturday to go get more wine…she thought I was in bed asleep. Then a few days ago she got into an accident pulling out of our driveway on her way to get more wine…it was in the afternoon and I was not home, so I don’t know if she was drinking or not…if she was she is very lucky she wasn’t arrested. I just don’t know what to do…she won’t talk about her drinking at all and has some serious denial about it. It was bad enough just worrying about her drinking…now her driving while drunk is a major concern. I thought about just buying a hundred bottles of wine and putting them on the counter so she doesn’t have to think about driving…I know how messed up that thinking is. I am at a loss as to what I should do…I worry 24/7 about her.
    I know that I can’t control her drinking or anything she does, but it seems like I should try something different…I just don’t know what would work. I have thought about leaving, but I think that would make her worse and I would feel quilt if something happened to her. It is a real shit situation to be in. I guess the only good thing is – is that we have no children…we are both 52yrs old….too old for this crap. Any advice would be welcome. Thank You for reading !

  476. debbie Says:

    Im with an alcoholic who lets the littlest things upset him, will go to an aa meeting than come home and find a reason to drink. Im at my wits end, but I dont want to leave him. The struggle is hard but with my faith in God I mannahe to keep standing by him. His words are more than any woman should ever have to hear, but to me they are mere words. Someday I pray for him to catch on to sober living. Patience and time will be the best redemption for the two of us.

  477. Mark Says:

    Where to start.
    Like so many of the previous letters it all sounds so depressively familiar .
    I can’t possibly tell my own story completely ,it would be more like “War & Peace” if I did.The abbreviated version follows.
    I have been with my wife for nearly 8 years now,married for nearly 3 and between us we have 5 children, 2 each from previous marriages & a 4 year old son together.I am 49 & my wife is 44.My older boys live with there mum & stay fortnightly & always have & her girls live with us,or should I say lived with us.
    You see we are selling our house next Thursday & I am staying at my sisters with my two boys who are 15 & 11 until I can move back into a house I rented out & am getting redecorated.Thank god I didn’t sell it !
    Now to the nitty gritty.
    It doesn’t help that I don’t really get on with my stepdaughters as they have never accepted me,I’ve never tried to take their fathers place but he doesn’t like me &ive had words with him over comments he made to my eldest stepdaughter who subsequently passed them on to me.
    My wife who I used to love and fancy like mad has always refused to back me up regarding discipline where the children are concerned to the point where they refuse to do what they are asked or told to do. This has in turn caused rows between us which due to the conflict of interests she has between me and the children has made her into what can only be described as an angry,hurt,depressed,upset,aggressive and totally in denial alcoholic.
    There are other things like her accusations of me cheating on her which I hasten to say are groundless and night after night of terrible rows,screaming at each other with her banging on and on about the same old issues night after bloody night,all of it fuelled by her drinking.She has always drunk and so have I,probably both of us more than we should, she typically drinks between a bottle and a half of wine and two bottles of wine a night,sometimes more but only less if she has no money and I’ve not bought any.I wouldn’t actually mind her drinking if she was a happy drunk but she’s not.We used to have such a good time together but since things have gone downhill and she has relied more and more on drink she has become very unlikable,saying things like I’m the worst relationship she’s ever had and that she hopes I get cancer one day .Things that you just can’t take back.Im no angel and I admit to my lasting shame to shouting and swearing at my stepdaughters for refusing to get out of my bedroom at gone midnight as their mother drunkenly tells me all my wrongs and generally what a piece of shit I am while she slaps me round the face as hard as she can ! There is so much more to tell but maybe it’s getting boring now.Not for me,I’ll be back in my own house in a week or two and although I’m sad and have felt so upset for the last two years of how my marriage has fallen apart at least I can be on my own and not be responsible for everything else.
    I have begged her to stop drinking the wine but she just blames me and says I’m the cause of her problems not the drink.
    Well we will find out soon when instead of making sure there is sufficient food and believe it or not tooth paste and toilet paper in the house instead of her packets of ciggarettes and bottles of wine,that’s when the girls will perhaps admit I was right.Her best Freind is a thief and a drunk.She steals vodka and drinks a bottle at least a day of it.Thats the type of people she’s comfortable with.Im gonna miss seeing my four year old son on a daily basis and I’m gonna miss my wife to as i do love her and wish to god it would all work out in the end,but sooner or later you have to get out.Its her choice and I think she will live to regret it,but only if she stops getting drunk every night.Im not a prude,I like a drink but come on,if it make your life a misery ,WHY do it !
    I’ve pleaded and pleaded but unfortunately the drink has one !
    I just hope that she cuts it down fo the sake of my young son.Luckily we are only going to be living a few minutes away from each other and I should be ale to see my son during the week and alternative weekends to so at least I can be there for him.
    Good luck everyone,there’s no easy answers and its a real uphill struggle,one I ultimately failed !!

  478. Julie Says:

    Hello everyone,
    As I was searching for help and answers tonight about my husbands alcoholism, I found this site. I am grieved by all the stories and how similar they are to one another and to my story and shocked at how many women have this addiction. I personally have never had a desire for alcohol.
    I didn’t marry till last year at age 39. I had always said I wouldn’t get married unless I knew for sure that it would last. Now I’m faced with staying or leaving after exhausting every effort to help my husband. This includes giving up all worldly possessions and having only 94.00 left. When he is sober he is one of the greats as well but drunk he is a maniac. I have read the scriptures and what they say about the drunkard. He will not work and has not worked for over a year. He had a great 22 year career and lost it due to his alcoholism. I hide my purse so he won’t steal the money to get his fix of vodka but he goes and steals it from CVS easily. I now leave every time he is drunk but return when he is sober. Sometimes having to sleep in the car or ask a friend if I can stay the night. This is not living….

    He has often spoke of wanting us to die together in the vehicle left running parked in the garage….. He says he will never let me leave and that we WILL die together…..sometimes i feel like i want him to just die and get it over with when he proceeds to speak of suicide…..I have no more hope for him and feel that I need protected and now so traumatized from his actions that it is preventing me from being able to due my daily duties….. Please help me to understand my options, I have two beautiful sons who need me…..

    A cry for help

  479. Wes Says:

    Glad I found Tom’s site again. Well you all know as much as I do about the hell you go through living with the person who drinks till they are jello and gets as rude and nasty as they can be to you. I finally stood up for myself. It has been over a year now that I have been living away from my wife. In many ways it has been really good I do get lonely at times but I am doing better. I have not divorced her but if I had the money to retain a lawyer and end things I would. As many of you know money can be a big issue when the relationship you had with the drunk has left you in such a tight place you starve sometimes just to make sure all the bills you have are paid each month.But it has been over a year now of living with out the drunk. My head is clear now and I no longer blame myself like I did. The drunk spouse is a pro at making you feel lower than dirt and after 8 years I was believing what she was telling me in her drunk rages. But with months and months of time spent alone I am growing stronger with every month that passes. I love her and still remind her when she calls in a drunk rage that the reason we are not with each other is because of her drinking . I am still the one she blames for all her problems but after a year I have learned its not anything I have done. I am not sure for the rest of you but I know that this person will never stop drinking. I hate to say it but it is like this. Once a drunk always a drunk. I am better off and my children are better off not living in that abuse. There are still many hard times to come but I am away from it. I made a stand for my self and my children and that stand was to never let the drunk abuse me or my kids again. You love these people who drink with all of your heart but you have to also love yourself . The drinker will kill you as sure as they are killing them self. You have to stand up for your self. You have to be stronger than you have ever been in your life or they will take you down with them. They will always be alcoholics. You can not change them and if you think you can You Can’t …. Run for your life if you want to live …………

  480. Carlos Says:

    Not sure where my future lies, but I need to determine whether she goes or not. I’ve had nearly 23 good years of marriage and 5+ crappy ones. For 2+ years she was gone more nights then she was home, it started with 1 or 2 nights seeing friends, but then more nights were added, for business, for shopping, or for any excuse she could come up with. Friends of hers needed her to talk to, I found out later she was calling them til she found someone that would meet her at a bar. Otherwise she go there alone and find someone to talk to. This ended when I received a call from her past 3 am, she didn’t know where she was or who gave her a ride, or where the car was all she knew was that it was no longer drivable. It was the morning of our son’s 5th Birthday, I had to tell him that it’s not his Birthday until the sun comes up. We found Mom, then the car, I took them home, got her cleaned up, took my son to preschool and dropped her off to wait for the wrecker semi-sober. She wasn’t caught this time, looking back I’d made a mistake.
    I should have called the cops. The expense would have been well worth it.
    We both stopped drinking, my sobriety lasted 4 months, hers only 2. She started slow again and I thought it was under control, however in about 5 years it started back up again. I was working out of town a bit and I felt guilty about that so I let things slide. What I didn’t see was how history was repeating itself. The varied excuses, the lies kept coming, I started to confront them, only to be rebuked with anger, more lies and “why don’t you trust me?” Well this time it involved an affair with a barstool bum her Mom’s age. And it ended with a mental crash. She developed a strong paranoia to almost anyone (except me, go figure) . And she thought everyone knew of the affair and were out to punish her. Or worse going to hurt people she knew.
    At a time when I’ve had the worst emotional stab to the heart, I was the only one that could save the one holding the dagger. Not a good spot to be in but she is my son’s mother. At the time helping her back to health was the only choice I could make.
    It’s been 6 weeks of sobriety, therapy, and AA. Luckily she’s much better, the paranoia is manageable, her angers gone and she appears committed to never drink again (me too). And now that my mothering skills are not needed as much, I need to start thinking about me and my decision I need to make. It’s not easy. Do I throw out the woman I’ve loved for many years, because of her prior lies and infidelity, plus will this happen again in the future? Or do I work with her to repair our broken family?
    What I have to use for this decision is all of the lies that I’ve been told. She never seemed to be the type of person that would lie to me. Was it the desire for alcohol that made her lie or was it something else? Not sure which way to go. I’ll take time to make decision, but I need to decide within a few months.

  481. glynn Says:

    how did I end up here I don’t come from this sort of back ground,
    my partner of 13 years has become an alcoholic and ive made her ive also made her fat and ugly ,her words
    I met her in the year 2000 she was in a dead relation ship I used to call her every night and she would be in bed early with a glass of wine I never thought much of it
    I soon moved her in and before long she was drinking whiskey like pop and I got involved I was drinking it to, until one night a friend popped round at around 4 30 in the afternoon and I offered him a whiskey he said what , a this time of the day , I realised then what we was doing so I stopped straight away , just having the odd glass now & then
    two years later we had a daughter together that’s when I think her drinking started to get worse then after around 4 years I was sick of her being tired and in bed and angry at me due to drink as I see it now , and so I succumbed to the charms of another woman and had a brief affair which I got found out , and after that her drinking got worse and worse and she started to get violent with me I have been attacked so many times and had the worst things imaginable said to me , but as I had wronged her I put up with it ,I never know what type of woman im coming home to , but mainly its one whos in bed drunk I cant stand the smell of alcohol on her it oozes out her skin and being next to her in bed turns my stomach, this is the woman I would of done anything for and still love, but she loves the drink not me , she told me the drink is my problem not hers
    I have asked her to try not to start drinking until say 7 pm but she wont listen , and has now taken to hiding bottles around the house which she denies , and I have taken to taking photos of her booze hidden and not hidden she has so many bottles open at one time im not sure what shes drinking , I have slept in the spare room now for over a year after she threw me out the bedroom once again for something I had done wrong in her eyes , she don’t even know what that thing was but she says I must of done something wrong
    a few months back she punched me in my face in front of my daughter and told her I was evil and she didn’t know what I was like
    she also believes im trying to make her commit suicide and also rob my daughter of her savings
    we are very wealthy we have a successful business together , but she says if I leave her she will destroy me and it and make sure I regret it
    I left for 2 weeks but like a fool I went back thinking she would change ,she says I control her but its her who controls me and she cant see it , its like shes holding a loaded gun to my head,
    my daughter worships me and also loves her mom ,but she is losing all respect for her ,I was due to move out last week I found a great house to rent but one hour before I signed I asked if we could try again so I didn’t sign
    when I got home that night she was drunk again , I so regretted not signing and the following day we had another row and she downed a litre of vodka in a few hours
    a few days later it was my daughters birthday party and I came home from work to find her drunk with a drink in her hand and she even had the nerve to deny it
    I have not told anywhere near the full story but im just trapped and don’t know a way out I have everything a man could want except happiness
    please help

  482. James Says:

    I have been following this site for a while and it really helped pull me out of my heavy depression I had with my relationship constantly going up in smoke and taking a huge emotional toll on me. I felt beaten and like I lost the will to even try anymore with anything for many years, an on-off relationship with a destructive girl being the main cause. I couldn’t explain anything, nothing made sense, I questioned everything and blamed myself. Alcoholic partner 101. Finally after reading this blog a light bloomed and suddenly everything made sense, I realised she was a textbook alcoholic and our relationship was a blueprint of hundreds if not thousands of others and I was not alone.

    When she is drunk she reduces to the mental age of about 15 and has difficulty having an adult, intelligent conversation. She repeats herself, says extremely obvious things that there is no point saying, slurs her words, seems like she’s drugged up and basically becomes a completely different person who I don’t recognise and have no connection with or ability to have a conversation with.

    She has since admitted she has alcohol problems and been to see therapy, AA occasionally, reading books which is the main thing she likes to do for it, and boasts and beams at me saying how well it’s going and she doesn’t need a drink and has proven that to herself, or she can just have one with a friend and leave it at that.

    Recently I decided to give her another chance as she seemed like she’d made a lot of progress and really was going to get her act sharpened up and kick the alcohol into touch. I had hoped she wouldn’t drink at all, but unfortunately fairly soon she started asking if we could share a glass of champagne while away at a beautiful hotel. Innocent enough, so sure, no problems. She didn’t change and become the dumb and slurring person she does when she drinks, so I thought maybe it would be ok. We proceeded to have the most amazingly perfect weekend ever, picking out colours for my new house, painting together, shopping for interior furnishings, cooking each other lovely meals, romantic talks, talking about the future, you literally couldn’t have had a more amazing weekend and we were both so close and connecting on every imaginable level. If that was our relationship, I would marry her tomorrow, I have never met someone who I could have such a perfect, amazing and deeply intimate time with and when she’s sober, we connect 1000% on every level, emotionally, intellectually, creatively and physically.

    Then yesterday I was painting and she was preparing dinner. I was painting for a good three hours and dinner still wasn’t done. She’d also taken an hour 45 previously at the supermarket, which is only 5 minutes down the road. When I finally sat down to dinner with her about 11pm, she was the drunk persona. My heart sank.

    We argued and I went to sleep feeling bleak. In the morning I talked to her about it all and told her I was at the end of my tether and couldnt handle any more. She pleaded with me to trust her and she was sorry and would not do it ever again, that I had shown her this weekend everythign she wanted in life and she didn’t want to lose that and couldnt handle the thought of losing that. So we made up. She was supposed to go back home today but texted me while I was at work saying she had rearranged her schedule and was staying for longer as she couldnt be without me just yet.

    Then she phoned me a bit later for a chat and already on the phone I could hear her words slurring, her inability to have a conversation. Only hours after me telling her face to face that I wasn’t going through this again and if it happened again, I was gone, and her promises that it would never happen again as this relationship meant the world to her after the weekend we’d just have and she wouldn’t risk that.

    Alcoholics lie and do not change. They are incapable of change. And they can be the most perfect, amazing people when sober, your soul mate. But the alter ego drunk persona will always be part of the package and you need to decide if you can live with it or not. Because it will never go away.

  483. Steve Says:


    Its with a heavy heart I reach out. I live with my defacto partner(whom I do love) for 7 years & we have two beautiful children, who I cherish, however she is more & more reliant on alcohol to get her through the nights( steady to ongoing almost binge drink every night) ,she has become aggressive,
    abusive toward me (physically & emotionally). Every problem in life is now my fault, financially we struggle but survive on one income. She is a stay at home mum mostly & that is a hard job I agree BUT that does not give her the right to aggressively blame me for every day struggles, she physically hits out or slaps me & I just take it . I cant hit back & wont. Emotionally she is derogatory toward me with or without the children present. Every evening we struggle to talk(like we used to years back) as it soon descends into a blame game,arguement & I am supposed to walk out,leave our boys & home which I cherish. I work hard too ,come home & hug the kids I am a good dad. I have tried for so long to share a drink but stop at my limit before I go to bed alone .BUT every night after the boys are asleep ,I go to bed after being manipulated & degraded, She then drinks & drinks.Some where in there…it always end in her being the aggressor.Emotionaly she chose & chooses to sleep in a seperate bedroom . While I watch over the kids,sleep near them for my own comfort.

    All the while this revolving cycle of her drinking, me copping the blame for it. SHE never takes the resposibility. It is killing us, our family,the boys (4 or 2 years old) can see . They can see mums actions & aggression toward dad….What do I do, she will not go to counceling (marraige or alcohol abuse) she scoffs at it cynically & critises me for seeking counceling to cope with emotional abuse.

    I am a man, a father who addores being that a man, father & partner to some one I made a commitment to, but I live in a disfuctional relationship & I will not just “leave”…she will end up deeper in booze,struggling to cope & I will not allow my kids to be in that .

    She lies to her own mother & hides the truth that she hits out at me.
    VIOLENCE is unacceptable but how do I leave ,how do I stay.
    Sad feeling inside my heart & soul.

  484. Jessica Says:

    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 that sorry state. Was it my fault or was it him taking up the poisonous hair pill Propecia? At the end I just couldn’t take his drunken bla hoopla anymore. I didn’t want to feel anxiety over his drunk driving (he had 2 DUI’s). He will continue to do so until he injures innocent motorists and thrown into jail. He said that I was the best girlfriend he’s ever had and I naively believed it. I now know that alcoholics usually are skilled communicators and have leach like quality – they stick with someone who can put up with them. After I broke up with him I found that alcoholics can suffer from health ailments 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 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 our precious time. I now have a great fiancée who is very assertive and stronger than what life throw at us (also he doesn’t drink at all). 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 exhibited. The anxiety, the frustration and the anger are something we don’t want in our life. Life is so short even with a best kind of partner. No one can change alcoholics – they are very selfish, self-absorbed and they love their life style over you.

  485. steve Says:

    hello my name is steve and my girlfriend has been drinking to much for the past 3 years and we have been together for 13 years and she drinks before work at work and after work.and if I say something she gets real loud and hits me . and I love her so much but she just doesn’t care . so what should I do leave her or stay.and I do not drink. she always saying that I am a party popper.but I am the one taking care of her when shes drunk as she is calling me names as I am taking care of her . and it is hurting me real bad. in the heart and my mind,.need a little advice. thank you steve

  486. Ken Says:

    After another “interesting” evening with my alcoholic wife, I decided to search the web to find some kind of advice and have run across this website. Like so many of the stories above, I have been married now for over 32 years and my wife as been drinking basically on a daily basis, except when pregnant, for over 25 of them. It has gotten to the point that a quart of vodka at our house, lasts 2 days.

    Every night I come home from work and do not know what I’m going to get. Occasionally, she will OK and I can at least get along with her, but more and more, AND MORE, it is the “other woman” I come home to. The one who informs me that everything I do is wrong, that everything I say is wrong, I don’t care about her, etc. etc. etc. Back 7 years ago, I would come home at 7PM and she’d already be completely passed out on the sofa, these days that would be a blessing.

    I am so confused about what to do and part of it I suppose is that after growing up with an alcoholic, my father, I continue to believe that it’s my fault. That no one can be around me with needing to be drunk just to cope being in the same room with me. And, yes, my wife has pointed this out on more than one occasion.

    I have thought about leaving her, over and over again, but know full well that divorce court will be very sympathetic to her and that as normal, I will pay the price and not be able to support myself, let alone by college and high-school age daughters. And the damage I’ve let her do to them over the years is something that I’ll have to live with the rest of my life.

    I would turn to family for help, but outside of the kids, I have none. Her family knows and secretly wishes I would do something, but

  487. Ken Says:

    As I was saying, but they are not in any position to assist me in this matter either.

    Many of you have gone to Al-Anon, which may have helped you cope. However, that is not an option for me as she has to know where I am literally every minute of the day, from the time I leave for work at 5AM to when I get home at 7PM. In the evening, even 10 minutes late sets her off.

    Any ideas, suggestions, anything? I am so far and the end of rope at this point, that I’ve been contemplating a “permanent” solution for months! If not for my kids, I already would have.

  488. Stephen Says:

    Greetings all.

    Like many, I stumbled onto this website while searching for clues as to how to cope with my alcoholic wife. More specifically, I am attempting to find an answer to the “should I stay or should I go” question, as I too am beginning to feel that I am at the end of my rope.

    My experience, in many ways, mirrors the experiences of others as shared throughout this forum. My wife was what I thought of as a “party girl”drinker when we met. We have been married for just under ten years, and we have a nine year old son born in 2004. I presumed, rather foolishly as I see it now, that her pre-marital drinking was just social/binge drinking, that would abate after marriage, and growing up. I was wrong. Important to the overall story, my wife has anxiety and insecurity problems, and an eating disorder as well. She takes 75 mg Zoloft per day…

    For two or possibly three years after our son was born, my wife drank little, if at all. Then, in 2007/2008 her twin sister, also a drinker with emotional issues, began to have marital difficulties and began to show up at our house several nights of the week, and on the weekends, with a 12-pack in tow. 12-packs turned into 18-packs, and then into 24, etc., etc., etc.

    After hours, days, weeks, months, and years of arguments, and many humiliating embarrassments and disrespectful lies to family and friends, and after a couple of visits from the police to my front door, and many thousands of dollars thrown away, we fast forward to 2013… With the shaking hands of one that has been afflicted with some palsy, my wife begins drinking, 24 ounce cans of beer, between eight and ten a.m. each morning. She stops drinking when she passes out at night…stating that if she doesn’t drink enough, she can’t sleep. On average, she’s drinking 10 to 14 (24 ounce) cans (20 – 28 beers) a day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. Her record, 32 beers (and still functioning). Incidentally, in the past year my wife’s twin has been to rehab for guzzling vast quantities of vodka, and has been in trouble with the police for alcohol-related domestic and motor vehicle infractions. Sobriety for her lasted 48 days.

    A mild-mannered, quiet, some might call shy woman, my wife’s mood/persona, alters with each beer she drinks. She is a high-functioning drunk most of the day, but there’s always that magic beer that puts her over the top. She is never a quiet drunk, nor is she a happy drunk. She is a loud, slurring, sloppy, staggering, obnoxious, bitter, mean-spirited, argumentative, negative, hurtful, vengeful, disrespectful, judgmental, selfish, ridiculous, intolerant, dishonest, loose, and ignorant drunk. Generally, she begins the day treating me like a saint, and ends the day treating me as if I were Satan. So far she doesn’t spew her drunken garbage onto our son, but it’s just a matter of time. She is, however, drunk in his presence all day long. She goes to pick him up from school after about 8 – 10 beers… goes to ballgames after 12 – 14, drives with him in the car, drunk, or leaves him home alone to go get “a couple” more… Ugh! I’ve had enough.

    However, I find myself in the same untenable situation as many others… It would be easy, and would do me good, to just pack up and leave. But, what about our son? What about our house? (I can’t swing two residences) How will she live and care for, and feed/cloth our son without a job, and without my financial support? I live in a big-time mommy-state, so do I leave my son with a drunk in good continence? Evidence clearly shows that I have no chance of winning custody… especially since my wife has been rather lucky with regard to the lack of alcohol-related incidents on her record? I know what I should do. I know what I want to do. But, the vow I took says for better or worse, til death…

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for letting me vent.

  489. Brandon Says:

    Wow! So many familiar stories. I have been with my fiancé for 6 years. She has drank pretty much daily from day 1. Before reading these posts I never realized how much her drinking actually has affected me. From always knowing how much alcohol is in the house to knowing if she gets home from work before me she will be drunk. We are planning on getting married next summer and I am having 2nd thoughts. She is a kind, amazing person, she has never been abusive in any way. She just can’t stop drinking. It’s always “I’m going to slow down”. I know now that is not an option. She is a hider. She will never admit she has been drinking. She has had 2 DUI’s before we were together. If that’s not rock bottom I don’t know what is. I used to like to go out with friends and have a few drinks every once in awhile. Now I hate alcohol. I worry about being embarrassed at company parties, or that I will be babysitting if we go out with friends. I hate even taking her out to dinner cuz all I can think about is if she is going to order a beer when we sit down. Beer is her drink of choice, but, she will drink anything that is available. Just last weekend she wanted to go to her parents house (which is an excuse for her to drink, cuz her parents are always drinking) and I told her I would go if she promised not to drink, she did. I found her mom helping her sneak drinks. I know I am rambling but I have never let this out before. I would live some advice. HELP!!!!!

  490. Jessica Says:


    I feel that you know what you have to do. You hear the little voice of awareness in your heart. Be honest with yourself and don’t ignore your own feelings and instinct. At Al-anon meeting, they say that it is better not to give out a two choice advice (1. continue putting up with the alcoholic or 2. leave). I have experienced exactly how you’ve been feeling so I want to support you. Your anxiety, anger, frustration and resentment are all very real and valid. You don’t want to continue living with those feelings. You deserve to be treated well by your fiancé, so get angry the next time she annoys you with her drinking. Voice your concern big time when she is sober. You should be having the time of your life living with her instead of always watching over for her next alcohol consumption. I was always the designated driver with my old binge drinker boyfriend and I had to literally peel him off from a party house when he has annoyed and emptied the bottles of the hostess. This obligation to be the designated driver later on in the evening always stopped me from having any drink which I can’t drink more than one. However I still could have enjoyed a drink if I wasn’t with him. On the way home he was usually incapacitated and was like a baby slobbering on his T-shirt. He wiped his saliva on my sleeve. I screamed in my car and said “God, please save us!” he only said “Don’t be so dramatic”. That was a long 7.5 years I was with him. After breaking up with him, for the last 2 years and 3 months, quite often I consider myself lucky that I didn’t marry him while I was in love. He proposed me after I broke up with him and after I bailed him out from the jail for the second DUI. Needless to say my love bank account was reduced to none by then. His drinking pretty much killed his libido and I haven’t gotten any intimacy for the last 4 years in the 7.5 year relationship. He had 2 DUI’s just like your fiancé and was pretty much in denial since I’ve known him since 2003 (and still is fast forward to 2013). You in the other hand, do not have to burry your head in the sand. Look real close to the reality you have. Save yourself from alcoholic craziness. You are the only one who can protect your soul and spirits. With courage you have in you, you can walk towards a much better future. There are a lot of people who don’t drink in this world who make much better mates! I know we can all be obsessed with the alcoholics because of their sober time qualities in them. It is very sad that the alcohol destroyed so many marriages and families. It is truly devastating. Read all the post in a few blogs like this one and arm yourself with the knowledge gained by many out there who had suffered in the relationship with alcoholics. Knowledge is power, information is liberating and it could save you.

  491. Marlene Says:

    Tom, I read over all of the stories here concerning men living with alcoholic wives and their concerns, sadness and anxiety they go through each and everyday and I honestly felt that you were encouraging them to stay in such awful conditions; however, when I emailed you, you told me that you neither encourage them or discourage them from leaving or staying. All these people are writing to you for your honest opinion of their sad situations and you know they are truely asking for a way out that makes sense to them, that gives them permission to be happy in their lives, to leave and move forward in a better place, but you don’t give them that. Ok, you told me to write on here, so here it is. I have a friend who is so unhappy with an alcoholic wife, but feels quilty about wanting to leave, wanting to have a happy life and it makes me so sad to see this in his life. There is absolutely no guilt that should be felt for wanting a better, happier life; to want someone that loves and respects you and themselves in a normal happy future. You are not your wives keeper, she has to to be her own in any situation. If someone wants help they can find it on their own, if not then you are not responsible for that. My mother, with four kids, made her decision years ago and got us all out of a horrible alcoholic situation; she had nothing, she had no money, no personal belongings, nothing…she took us and herself and moved on…got a job…a home and a future for herself and her children…hard times, yes, but so much happier. If my mother could do what she did, why is it that you can not? There is no excuse for staying in such a toxic lifestyle. Take your kids and yourselves and go be happy. Your children deserve better then what they have in a set of parents in such termoil. I have always respected my mother’s strength. Please understand me, I know this is not an easy task, but really is there any reason why you feel you deserve to be unhappy, abused mentally and or physically and your children deserve to have to cope with so much sadness. What are you telling your children by staying, that it is ok to be abused? WHAT WILL THEY GROW UP BELIEVING IS NORMAL BEHAVIOR? Is it ok? NO, it is NOT OK! Get out of that relaionship, if not for yourself, for your children. Take those kids and leave. Afterall, maybe if you move on, your alcoholic spouse will do something positive for herself; that is her choice. You can only choose what life you want. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER LIFE, SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HER OWN. RUN!!!!!!! I can only hope that my friend will see the light and realize he deserves so much better. Hope all of you will as well. Oh, and yes, I have said all of this to him as well.

  492. Tom Linde Says:

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Marlene. It’s a prompt for me to try to clarify what I have tried to say before.

    I personally think that marriage and lifelong commitment is deeply meaningful and of great benefit. Generally. But it is not an unconditional contract. When there is abuse or addiction for instance, someone may have to move on. And I know that we can thrive without marriage too.

    As you can see, I almost never give advice here anymore. I prefer that everyone’s writing stands on it’s own, and I want to avoid having a pivotal presence. Also, realistically, almost all the stories are just so wrenching and complex that it’s simply too much for me to try to wrap my head around any one person’s predicament. This is a place to share your story, to read others, and perhaps to share ideas and support.

    What about the limited pieces of advice that I have offered? It is always about ways to garner support, to cope and to detangle what may seem like an impossible choice. There is no way that I can tell anyone else here specifically which choice to make, to stay or go. Nobody needs my or anyone else’s permission. And nobody can take a shortcut by more or less saying “I’m doing what an expert told me to do.”

    I could go on, but this is the gist of it: look here for perspective and to feel less alone; not for direct answers.

    Thank you, everyone, for reading and writing here.

  493. Bre Says:

    My husband is not as severe as other alcoholics, he drinks a few times a month when the kids and I are gone, but when we come home he is a mean aggressive verbally abusive alcoholic. Most of the time when he drinks, he either ends up in jail or in the hospital from aggressive behavior! We have been dealing with this for years now and have two children together. He also struggles with anxiety and bi-polar, which he takes medication for! He loves our kids and is great with them, and try love him very much too! I can’t live with this for the rest of my life, he says if I want to be with him I will have to live with it! What should I do, leave or stay? I am very independent and have no problem being on my own, but I love our family, just hate his addiction!

  494. Jim T Says:

    This forum is very good for those of us dealing with our spouses who are being controlled by alcohol. I think that is how I will describe it….controlled. I am new to these behaviors. The similarities discussed here mirror my home life and I find it scary. It has helped me is to see that the root problem is the alcohol and not that of me or my spouse. I long (5 years) to have the love and respect that I once knew in our relationship. I fight my resentment continually. It is hard to control my verbal retaliation when the demon alcohol is spewing hurtful, unfounded verbalizations. I want to tell her off or take other prudent actions. Many times I just ignore her mouth and internalize my issue with it. Had it not been for this forum, I think I would still be questioning our problems and why they have come upon us after 31 years of a happy marriage. I did not understand these changes and was barking up the wrong tree. I have found her stash and now I can begin to deal with the problem. The problem is the controlling effect of alcohol and now I have clarity to deal with the heart of our recent troubles. It seems that discovery of this forum may well have given me time to find a remedy before the addiction became irreversible. …thank you.

  495. Caroline Says:

    Whew! This website is amazing. Very level headed non judgemental advice for those of us facing addiction! So much of what I read about alcoholism and codependency is harsh and judgemental, and fills me with dread instead of empowering me!
    I am married to a charming, kind, loving addict. Primarily an alcohol abuser but as he has tamed his drinking I see he is an addict in general. It’s bizarre, like he is constantly looking to be stimulated and feel something. We have a daughter, 2 1/2, whom is the center of our world. My husbands drinking effects me, but where I struggle is that my anxiety and mental health and behavoir is actually more damaging to my daughter and myself than his drinking! I am constantly drained, anxious, controlling, manipulative, just not myself. I saw a counselor and I really didn’t much like It. Lots of leading down a path to leave my husband and not looking at my reactions and how to help me! I feel like if i leave today i’d still be bitter, rageful, and anxious! So where can I find a therapist who specializes on addiction and the whole family? I went to al/anon a few times but felt lukewarm about the ideology. So where do I find a counselor?!?

  496. Tom Linde Says:

    Caroline, I sure do encourage you to keep working to find the right counselor!

    Apart from your local referral resources, there are many good on-line directories. The largest is with Psychology Today and it’s very good with sorting, meaning that you can narrow the parameters in many ways, e.g. by clicking on “addiction” and “couples”.

    Another is through ABCT, a national organization of therapists who practice cognitive-behavioral therapy and who can help you with skills to regulate your anxiety, anger and impulsivity.

    Finally, for therapists who specialize in working with couples and families (and who can work with you individually too), try AAMFT.

    For the kinds of struggles you are coping with, Caroline, you might ask a potential therapist if they use a specific approach called Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT.

  497. K Says:

    Oh my god. I am one of these women. I didn’t even make it a quarter way down the comments to know that. I googled “dealing with an alcoholic wife” as I know my husband does not deserve this.
    My own mother was an alcoholic who had my siblings & I taken away after her heavy drinking & mental illness, now I sit, almost 10 standard drinks to my lightweight frame, and try to fathom the damage I am doing to myself, my husband and our little children. I love my children dearly but not sure if I love my husband anymore. Or maybe I do but can’t see through the drinking?
    I know I am “different” when I drink and do silly things and get argumentative & “poor me”…
    I’m stuck in a cycle, have tried aa & not stuck with it & get sucked back into “a drink or two” when the occasion arises which leads me back into this hell.
    People say alcoholics are selfish people and I agree they can be. But they are also hopeless, lost & addicted people which can seem selfish, but may not be. I can’t excuse or deny the pain an alcoholic family member can do; I see my mother & she breaks my heart daily, so I get it, I really do.
    What I do get sick of though is my husband always thinking he is right/ better/ etc because I drink. Even when I don’t, it’s like somehow he has it over me and I hate this.
    I drink to forget, to push away pain and I know it’s not right but haven’t yet found a better way to cope. I spend my time, drinking & sober, researching ways to get sober, staying sober, doing mindfulness, going to aa meeting, online recovery sites, yet the appeal of drinking still remains.
    I’ll get sober or die trying. Praying it’s the first option.
    I’ve on numeeous times given my husband my support if he needs to leave, not sure how I’d cope emotionally, spiritually, financially but I will make do somehow. He’s not perfect either though, yet every chat becomes about my drinking, which I often turn to to escape the pain (real) of a broken childhood, broken dreams and a breaking down marriage.
    I want my kids to grow up with loving, healthy parents but not sure how to do this. As I said, I spend my days reading up on alcoholism but can’t seem to stay sober for too long. I want to though; I journal, blog, do therapy, meetings, am open with friends/ family yet still have not achieved the abstinence I want.
    It cuts deeply & the guilt & shame of being an alcoholic mother/ wife are killing me, because the pain is something I know.
    All I can say to those with an alcoholic partner/ family member is care for yourself & walk away if you have to.
    No one chooses this path and while it can be gotten off of, it isn’t always easy, so even if you do need to leave, give the alcoholics in your life the basic humilty and respect that any human being deserves; we are human and sensitive.
    You don’t have to put up with abuse, drunken or otherwise bs or assault, infidelity etc though. I’ve never cheated or physically endangered my family but alcohol takes those akin to it to some dark roads, so get out if you need to.
    Any advice kindly appreciated. K

  498. Tom Linde Says:

    Thank you so much for contributing your story, K.

    My only advice is to be deeply skeptical of the idea that you cannot recover. There are so many addicts who are in recovery long after giving up hope. The more you work at it, the better your odds. The better you learn that you can tolerate the terrible urge to drink, that you can tolerate the pain that initially comes with sobriety, and that you can begin healthy new ways of coping.

    Please keep us in touch.

  499. Lisa Says:

    I didn’t notice if anyone mentioned anything about being involved with a dry drunk. I struggle daily wondering if he even really loves me. Oh he tells me he does. That is all. No emotion, affection, trying to do things I like to do, going out of his way in any manner. He has made no effort to join me in my life. I “get” to be a part of his life. I know I am in denial. I keep telling myself not to be upset because he is an alcoholic but I feel like I am literally being sucked dry by him. It’s getting harder to go over there (he never comes to my house) and pretend like everything is fine. We don’t talk, because any time the conversation makes him nervous he tells me “I don’t want to talk about that it gives me a headache”. I know I can’t take much more of this. I do go to Al-anon and it is helping me. I recently got a sponsor. I don’t want to make a hasty decision (I’ve done that before and boy did that backfire on me) but my emotional health is definitely suffering and I feel like I’m giving up really living my life in order to sit on a couch and rub his legs and get absolutely nothing in return. I know I am to blame. I pray one day God will help me to be honest with him and stop walking on eggshells around him. Not that it would change him, I don’t believe it would. But letting my voice be heard would help me tremendously. I am going over there tonight. I’m going to sit on his couch, rub his legs, watch movies that are no interest whatsoever to me, and NOT initiate any conversation. I keep hoping he will ask me what’s wrong and when he does that God will give me the words to speak where we can actually have a conversation with each other. I truly care for him. It wasn’t like this when we met.

  500. Andy ndy Says:

    I stumbled upon this site almost. by accident. and. am. so pleased I did. My story is much the same as many on here ~my wife drinks. 1 -2 bottles of wine per night and becomes a different. person – aggressive ,abusive (verbal and physical ) She blames. everyone else. ((Usually me ) for her problems and feels sorry for herselfconstantly. After being arrested for being drunk she. spent a night in the police cells – this. resulted in a brief. period of sobriety and a single visit to AA The. drinking is back with a vengeance but I have now been advised by my wife that she believes that she id bi polar (diagnosed by the internet!) and that the drinking is an inevitable. part. of this. condition . I,like. many. others here aam at the endof my tether and am beginning to realise that I may have to leave for the sake of my own health and sanity.

  501. Joyce Says:

    I’m impressed with all those who reach out for help on this site and share – I hear so much of my past in it and my present. I come from a family of alcholics, now recivered but when I was young I lived in foster care becasue of it. I went through countless boyfriends that had issue after issue – I leaft my husband of 11 years because I was tired of cleaning up after him, hosting all the parties, and being left at home on a friday night. Now I’ve decided to be in a relationship with a person I’ve known for 24years – to only discover – he is an alcholic. I’ve asked him to get help – he does not see he has an issue – he claims I’m controlling, abusive, and a I don’t let him live in the present, not to mention I don’t listen. I know Im repeating a cycle of picking abusive partners – I’m willing starting to walk around the hole I see on the sidewalk – rather then fall in it.

    I’m losing my cool- end of my rope – he tries to contribute finacially – but then asks for money for work items, prescriptions – therefore spending the money he gave me – then demands to know where it all is?…really? I now keep receipts and a spreadsheet so I can explain where its all going….

    I can’t make him go to counselling – Im in a support group – yet he tells me it’s not what he agreed to – I tried to ask him to leave – he won’t, he forces me to sleep beside him – even though I don’t want to. I’m worried about being disrespectful to him – I want to be the better person – I don’t want to pack his stuff up and put in storage, but how much more do I take- I thought about calling the police to have him removed – but the police will be too forceful – he has a note on file – proceed with caution – he tends to have police come at his full force. I don’t wish bad things on him.. I want the yelling, the manipulation, and the treating eachother badly to stop. How do I stop the negative converesations, Ive tried being quiet, Ive tried walking way. Ive tried saying – I don’t feel this is a health convesation for both of us. what I feel is like Im the crazy one and he convincing me he doesn’t have an issue and Im worng – this is rediculous! he drinks 28 beer now a week, a few months ago it was a 60 oz of vodka, before that it was a few 60oz a week.. prior to that cocaine and substance abuse. He does not see – he’s being a dry drunk, he does not see he needs treatment for underlying issues.

    I need to protect myself – how do I protect my thinking and know I’m on the right track – not let him manipulate me – he says he will go to a 3 hr alchol awareness session, but wants to do couples therapy – because he’s not the issue – you can’t help someone like that!

    I know the answer – which is leave for my own health and safety- but it’s my place – not his, he’s not on the lease!! I need encouragement to build the strength to be ok with letting him go – like I read previously- I have an addiction to him as well – which I need to get over.

  502. Wes Says:

    Hello everyone. I am sitting in my room its 11:49 PM . I just got off the phone with my drunk wife that I have not lived with for 14 months. She decided to call me in one of her shit drunk moods. Again she started in about all the things I do wrong and how she was going to do me like I do her. Guess she forgot that she lost her job 2 weeks ago. She was out of food had no money no job and her computer I gave her was a peace of junk and she needed a printer and other things to complete her job hunt. Yes I shelled out $150.00 bucks and I know she took some of that cash and drank up. To bad she didn’t end up in jail. Her rent is due in 25 days. Hope she can pay it because I am not going to. She is a looker so I am sure she could bed down with someone new to pay the way. As we were talking tonight she was being her rude drunk self and said some crap I could just care less about. Her last words to me were (Kapeesh do you understand me) Knowing she was just doing her normal drunk bull shit I held the phone out because her screaming was cramping my ear and I said Kapeesh I understand and then I smiled and hit the end button. Yes I was mad and I wanted to tell her to fuck off but I didn’t. It wasn’t long after that the txting from her started. She sent me about three nasty grams. I didn’t respond back because I know that it would be a waste of my time telling her anything. She has lost me. She has lost her job. Her son has moved so far away she couldn’t see him if she wanted. She has no money to her name drinks like a fish and always will. You know what Tom I have helped her with money problems and life problems and with all I can and I decided tonight when I pushed that end button on my cell phone in the middle of her drunk nasty trash talk that I didn’t just end the phone call I ended all contact with her for good. I helped her out for the last time and listened to her verbal abuse for the last time… We do not live with each other and I am glad I am not under the same roof with her drinking destructive shit. Tom the past two months the distance I feel in this relationship can not be measured. I am so sick of it that I don’t even want to hear her voice and can not stand the thought of spending even one night in the same house with her. It has been a good 14 months with out her continual drunk abuse. Tom I have been swimming for years in water so deep there is no light and I am ready to surface and find someone new to spend my time with. I am so done with her that even you couldn’t believe it . I do not need to get over her. I just did… 123time4me… Thank you Tom for giving me a place to talk and read of others with the same problems I have faced for the last 8 years…

  503. Jessica Says:

    I just had to express how much solace, peace and support I got from your forum and the comments by the fellow suffers of the harsh devastation of alcoholism. Your forum acts as life line to a tired swimmer like me who had swam so many miles in the dark ocean of frustrations and depression. Your forum is a safe harbor for all the lost people searching for any answers. I am grateful for your vision and the upkeep of this amazing support system, thank you. I was so moved by the comments by Ed, Barbara, Ralph, Steve and Wes to just name a few. Their life stories are truly devastating, lyrical, extremely powerful, moving and real to me. Everyone fought SOME fight! I left my alcoholic two and a half years ago. My case has been – closed. However I have been supporting an old friend of mine who is struggling with her 20 year marriage to an alcoholic. I have been solving a lot of “mystery and whys” toward my alcoholic by gaining large set of new knowledge on how so destructive the alcoholism really is… Alcoholism reduces life expectancy by about 10 to 12 years. I didn’t know it. What could women do when we often outlive our mates? The old alcoholic boyfriend from my past could die at around 52 years old!? The alcoholic’s life choice is just the two – sobriety or death. The progressive disease is very hard to overcome, even after finishing an impatient treatment hospital, within as short as 3 months, the number of successful sobriety decreases to 50%. At 6 months or a year mark, it decreases dramatically. After two years, the number goes down further to whopping 20%. It sounds like a narrow, uphill battle road to me. I could picture some old war zone where there are thousands of quiet bodies along the way.

  504. D.AO Says:

    I feel for everyone who has posted here, as I feel each and every one of your’s pains. My SO is addictied to nitrous and drinks about six beers a night and has been doing so for the last 8 years. His health has deteriorated rapidly in the last 2 years.

    A lot of the “do you have a problem with drugs or alcohol” tests seem based on the notion that everyone who has an addiction will have money issues. Good or bad, money is not (or is?) the problem. He can drop $2000 a month on drugs and alcohol without an issues of bounced checks or missed mortgages. I myself am in the financial position as well to just walk away. I honestly love this person, however, and that’s what makes staying (and the thought of leaving) so hard. Staying is gettiing harder and harder though. There is less and less of the man I loved 15 years ago left.

    I’m not one to believe in the devil, but “possessed” is the best term I can use to describe. What else can one say when the person you love starts spouting the most hateful things and lies ever just half an hour after drinking their first beer after dinner?

    My exit strategy appears to be waiting for him to just kill himself with the stuff. I won’t have any guilt, either. You can only beg, plead, threaten, coax, assist, and try and heal someone for so long. If they don’t want help, they won’t get it.

  505. Alex Says:

    This list is huge. Mammoth. I am some of all of you, and all of some of you.
    What do I mean? I read as much as I could and some posts were more terrible than my own story, and perhaps some less. All had something shared. None of them, I am sure, are _acceptable_!
    Stress, Embarrassment, Domestic Violence, Finance, Property, Children, Fear and Safety, Pride, Isolation. Love.
    I kicked my wife out nine months ago.
    Hardest decision I ever made. It was years in the making.
    (Domestic Violence is a pattern and can be Emotional, Physical and/or Verbal Abuse).
    Here I am now because the decision starts a journey, one that is not easy or well lit. Like many here that I’ve read I loved and still care for my wife, I want her to be healthy and cared for.
    Nine months out, I feel this was the right decision.
    From my list above you can remove Embarrassment, Domestic Violence, Fear and Safety, Pride, Isolation. This makes it a lot easier to deal with Stress, Finance, Property and Children (Stress = Property * Finance + Children) 😉
    Ok so you won’t get rich while you go through this. Big deal what’s new!
    I get down sometimes (sad) but that’s okay, I’m not a robot eh! I have faith that less of the bad must mean more of the good and good times will prevail in the end.
    Importantly I must add, my wife attended a 8 week residential rehab, and has realised some truths – I was made literally speechless by her change in attitude. Of course she would not entertain the thought of rehab before I KICKED HER OUT.
    We currently enjoy shared custody of our two young girls.

    Yes I kicked her out. Damn the law, lawyers and child agencies. I knew what was best for my family before and after that decision. Due to the SNAFU it took about 7.5 months for them to know that, but my mum believed me from the start (thanks mum :))

    I cannot go back to my wife.

    Tom says things don’t have to be so black and white. Could he be right? Some of the reason I can’t go back is the way we split. It was uncontrolled. If you first build a support network, you could try a controlled separation. Hah ever the optimist! (aka naive, trusting, head in the sand) whoops sorry just never get your hopes up eh 😉

    If you made it this far I will tell you a secret. The single best thing you can do is forget your pride and embarrassment and talk to friends and family about this. This is more common than you think, and you will be amazed at the empathy you receive and the weight that will lift from your shoulders.

    Keep talking to people until you find someone who wants to help. Talk to professionals. Teachers, Employers, Doctors, heck even your Gym Instructor! If they judge you just move on to the next person (and I bet they won’t judge you – they’ll tell you about their partners cousin who has the same problem).

    True story. Turns out my lawyers brother is an alcoholic (actual lawyer awesome). And a lady at work has a son who is a drug addict and my bosses wife’s brother is a rehab councillor.

    Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and take a positive step.

    Kia kaha

  506. Steve Says:

    Well I’m laying here at 4 o’clock in the morning next to my son who turns 3 in two days while my wife lays passed out downstairs.

    We have been together for 12 years but only got married 15 months ago. It seems as though our relationship has been a constant battle. We would have been married about 5 years ago but the wedding was put off as I wasn’t ready to commit the rest of my life unless she sorted out her eating disorder.

    She would say she wants help and would sit and take advice from myself and family but then every night she would drink her wine and start binging.

    We eventually split for a few moths which seemed to give her a reason to fight her disorder. We got back together and she fell pregnant with our amazing son.

    Once she stopped breast feeding, the drinking started again. I didn’t really notice until we were married or maybe I didn’t want to notice. I just wanted to be a “normal” family.

    She now drinks a couple of bottles of wine EVERY day. The only time I can remember her not drinking was about 6 years ago after she took an overdose.

    I am sick and tired of it all and have told her it needs to be sorted but she seems to think an alcoholic is someone who drinks all day long. I can’t stand the site of her when she has a drink in her hand. She’s 33 but her skin makes her look 50. I’m not interested in any intimacy with her and just fear that its not going to change. So I live with it or loose my son.

  507. Door Mat Says:

    Thanks Tom for setting up this site. I’m so glad I stumbled on it. For all of this time I thought I was alone so not sure if I should feel sorry that there are so many others suffering a similar fate as I.

    We’ve been married 12 years and have 2 kids between us and my wife has one from a previous marriage. Her mom is an alcoholic and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…. It scares me to imagine, that the cycle might repeat itself with one or more of her 3 children!

    My wife has always drank occasionally and always more than me. However, it was never a problem until about 5 years ago. I noticed the frequency increasing. When I’d bring it up I’d get shutdown “It pisses me off if you are counting my drinks” or “you’re trying to control me”, etc… So, I pretended not to notice. We’ve been in therapy for about as long and anytime I’d bring up her drinking she would change the subject and the therapist would never push the issue.

    About 2 years ago I discovered that my wife had had an affair. I honestly don’t know if it was one-time occurrence or whether it was with just 1 man considering I had to extract every little piece of information out of her and that was all she would cop to. She appeared remorseful and I was too scared to leave– where would I go? I have a career here and my family is across the country.

    Oddly, after her affair was revealed she put me under a microscope. If I went out with a friend she needed constant updates of my whereabouts and who I was with. If I came home too late it was because I was up to no good. If I was sending an email to a co-worker, to her, it appeared that I was chatting with some girl.

    I suppose her drinking picked up considerably when she was living with all of that guilt (I didn’t know about the affair until several months after it happened). So for over 2 years the only time my wife didn’t have at least 4 drinks is when she was sick. Of course, she says that she only has a cocktail or two but I’d have to be a fool to believe that since I see the number of wine bottles, beer bottles, tequilla bottles, vodka bottles we go through on a weekly basis– and since I drink none of it and the kids aren’t old enough to drink, well, there’s only one person left. She appears to start mid afternoon and continue up until bed time (she usually passes out by 9 pm).

    As for my part, I’m a casual drinker. I enjoy a few cocktails once or twice a week, usually on the weekend. I never even drank that often until she had the affair, so I certainly tried to numb myself a little bit with alcohol but now I actually enjoy it only when I socialize. However, in my case, it’s not something I need and I could easily give it up if I wanted to.

    My wife recently admitted that she is an alcoholic, so I give her kudos for that. However, she has put off getting treatment until it’s convenient for her and based on most of the stories here, it sounds like treatment usually fails eventually. So as of now, it’s not a horror story and honestly, other people have it far worse than me. I just don’t know how much I can take, the affair took so much out of me emotionally and I was a shell of a person for quite a while. I know the longer she continues to drink it will cause more pain to us and the kids.

    Now it’s hard for me to be intimate with her because I find her drinking so unattractive (not to mention the scars I still carry from her affair) and frankly she looks pretty ugly after a few drinks. She actually came home drunk late one night and woke me up because she wanted to have sex, I rejected her immediately and went back to sleep.

    I know nobody can tell me what to do and I suppose I’m just posting to vent since I really don’t have anybody I can dump all of my pain onto.

  508. Ray Says:

    I have waited for over 11 years for my wife to hit ROCK BOTTOM. It finally happened!! But it was not her. It was ME. My children and I have lived a life of pure terror when she drank. Even when things seemed to be good and she was sober, we walked on egg shells wondering when the bottom would fall out and get bad again. At one point that vicous circle was big and sometimes would take months to go from good to intolerable. Lately it is more like a 24 hour cycle. I have lived with rage, anger, lies, fists, slaps, deception, cheating, verbal abuse and her favorite spitting on me just to name a few. I have become the master at glueing, tapeing and fixing our home from the nights of destruction. I have sweep up enough glass to fill a construction dumpster. She has had 4 stays in the last 10 months at Psych/detox/rehab hospitals. Came back with a bag full of pills and a boyfriend each time. I wondered at the time why she was going to A.A. when she always said she wasnt an alcoholic, stupid me thought she cared enough about her family to stop. Found out boyfriend Kyle was court ordered to be there. I have threated to leave, I have threatened a millions things. End result every time was that botttle of Vodka, That always preceeded Im SORRY, I WILL GET HELP, I LOVE MY FAMILY. 2 weeks ago I drew the line in the sand and as usual she crossed it ( Stupid me let her cross it several times). The last and final time was when she drank the evening away while screaming yelling breaking stuff and slamming doors. . I went to bed as I normally do. Checked on the kids and my daughter was scared and asked to sleep in my room. About 30 minutes later the door flies open and the light comes on. There she is with a knife in her hand. My daughter and I thought she was coming to kill us. She raised her arm and said look what I did. She cut herself again. With blood dripping down her arm she walked over and wiped boold on my leg, then again on the wall as she left the room. I called the police and they took her in for another psych eval. She was placed back in the psych hospital. I made arrangement to see a lawyer the next day. Went to the court house, filed and received a protection order. Finally my children and I have peace in our home. So, as if God has not overfilled my plate enough, I get a phone call from the hospital that her insurance is up and that she is being released. They told me she was served the protection order and had no place to go. They explained to me this is not their problem and she was being sent to a homeless shelter. WTF, now I am back to feeling sorry for her. This is my wife the mother of my children, now she is in a homeless shelter. I cant help but feel that I abandoned her. I do still love her and always will. But this time was different I needed to think with my head not my heart. So I tried to reinforce what I have always known. She is an alcohlic, it is her choice to drink, it is her choice not to get better, only she can change any of this, she is where she is because of her choices. As bad as I feel I need to be responsible to my children first, and for the first time in 15 years she will need to stand her her own 2 feet and figure things out for herself. I will go through with the divorce. I need my children happy and healthy. My children and I are seeking counseling and will move foreard and start to heal. I am not sure if she has yet hit her rock bottom. But for her sake I hope she can over come this battle with alcohol and have some type of relationship with her kids. If she continues to drink she will not see them, and like the last 11 years the bottle will be her only friend. To everyone with kids that are involved in this type of situation. Protect them, It is your resposibility. They should and must always come first. Trust me, I have made excuses for my wife to them way too many times. I looked in the mirror today and actually felt good for the first time in a long time, because I made a true difference in their lives. Goodluck to everyone…..

  509. EricJ Says:

    Hello my name is Eric and I ended my relationship with my girlfriend of 7 years about a month ago. Our family consisted of her twin girls and my daughter who were all 8 years old. The stories of her behaviors were just like many of the above. She was arrested for drunk in public, crashed my car drunk, tried to commit suicide, and was lured into a man’s house and almost raped. This along with the endless nights of drinking to the point of blackout, failing in school, sleeping all day as I tried to keep everything together were the norm. The lies, the hidden alcohol and broken promises of getting help just became too much.
    I am not a perfect man and my approach has not always been the best during some of these instances but whose is. All the emotions of anger, frustration, sadness, stress, confusion, and betrayal become overwhelming. I did the best I could under the circumstances but I finally had enough.
    Now I am filled with loss, sadness, guilt, and the “what if” factor. She moved onto the next man within a week of splitting apart and has already had her twins who view me as their dad in front of this man. She says he is the one and this is her soul mate and plans to move in with his as soon as possible. I know she is just running to the next person who will support her habit and eventually it will be a disaster too but it hurts so bad to see her move on so quickly. When you love someone so much and all you want is to see them healthy and this is what you get in return. This makes you wonder if they really ever loved you at all.
    The positive outlook is every day I feel a little better. I am working on forgiveness and trying my best to let go of the past and move on. My focus is on my daughter who I have full time, she is my rock. I know I did the right thing for my daughter and I hope in the long run I did the right thing for my ex. Yes there are parts of me that want her to suffer and be able to say I told you so. But I am the lucky one, I am healthy and not sick like she is. I have no idea what it must feel like to have such strong addictions to a chemical that rules your life. She comes from a family of three generations of alcoholics and if she does not change her ways I can only see one of the twins making it a fourth.
    I will always love her and I pray for her health and happiness. I wish each of you the best in your journey as this was the hardest decision in my life to make. Everyone’s story is theirs and your decision is yours. All I can say is you need to love yourself first and make decisions based on that unconditional love you give to yourself.

    Take care,

  510. Scott Says:

    I guess it started while we were living apart. She would “fall asleep” on the phone, sometimes in mid conversation. I always attributed that to her early mornings/work schedule. It wasn’t until later that I realized that it was a sign of things to come.

    She moved in, we got married. She was drinking a lot, but never openly. I never actually saw her bring alcohol into the house (which wouldn’t have been a big deal as I drink occasionally, and I like to brew my own beer). She would just… be drunk out of the blue.

    I’d find empty vodka and wine bottles in random places. In the bathroom cabinets, spare bedrooms etc. I had a big, unopened bottle of vodka on top of the fridge (left over from the wedding). I grabbed it as we headed out to a New Years Eve party and she said “That’s not vodka”. She had removed the plastic wrapper around the label, drank the vodka, and replaced it with water. Every time I’d find something, empty bottles etc. it was always “That’s from a while ago.”

    The thing is, I can tell when she’s been drinking by her mannerisms, her posture, how she stares blankly at the tv in an effort to appear normal. Always denies drinking.

    She hasn’t found a job in over 18 months now. The only interview she has been on was one I set up and, shocker, she didn’t get the job. It was a referral from a friend of a friend. At this point, I assume she either tanked it on purpose, or showed up drunk.

    I feel like I’m in this marriage alone. It’s disheartening when I come home from work to find her drunk and struggling to put together a basic meal for dinner because she can’t focus on what she’s doing. Or she left the oven on for hours with nothing in it. Or she overcooked the crap out of something because she was drunk and forgot it was cooking.

    I’m certain she drives drunk often. I found empty bottles of vodka when our nieces were staying with us (6 and 7). I’ve heard her get in my car and take off like a bat out of hell after I go to bed.

    If we’re out and headed home, I’ll ask “Need me to stop at the store and pick something up?”, I get a “No”, but once we get home she now has to “Run out and pick something up”.

    Out visiting family, she’ll try to sneak a few drinks outside of my notice. Even pushing them away or setting them down elsewhere when I’m in the same room.

    I stopped brewing beer when I went to my stash I had conditioning in the bottles to find them all empty or gone because she had drunk the entire 5 gallon batch in the space of a week.

    We fight all the time. I’ve started to just ignore her in the house because I have no desire, no will to deal with her in her drunken state.

    I don’t know what to do at this point. If I ask her to leave, I’ll feel like a failure as my second marriage dissolves. She doesn’t have a job, I have no idea where she will go, what she will do. I love her, but I cant live like this. I can’t do this on my own. I can’t deal with the lies, the excuses, the bullshit. I can’t keep on feeling like this is my fault when I know it isn’t. I can feel my self esteem eroding away. I don’t feel like myself any more. I feel numb. I feel like I’m underwater.

    Reading this site has brought tears to my eyes.

  511. George Says:

    Today is the 37th wedding anniversary. Actually, we were married exactly 37 years ago just short of a couple of hours now. I never dreamed that all of these years would pass and that I would be writing this on a day which should be cause for celebration My wife is an active alcoholic in total denial. She is a closet alcohol and drinking consumes most of her day. She never drinks in the open, but always behind closed doors. She has been in rehab twice now. Once 18 years ago and then about 7 years ago. Her blood alcohol has twice been measured in excess of .350. She has had multiple falls and trips to the hospital in an ambulance. No amount of preaching by friends, family or doctors have any impact on her. She refuses to admit that she has a problem with alcohol.
    I have been aware of her alcoholism for the past 20 or so years. As I look back on our life I now realize that her drinking started many years ago, probably long before we met, probably when she was in high school.
    I have threatened, pleaded, cajoled and supported her through previous rehabs. I have finally come to the end of my rope. My wife has gone from being an intelligent, productive member of society, to someone that is basically non functional. I have become the classic enabler, I cook, wash, do the books, take care of our business, do the shopping, etc., etc. I have finally come to the end of my rope. I love my wife. Tomorrow, I leave her. Today is a very sad day. We should be celebrating our nearly 4 decades together, instead, I find myself writing this. I wish I had some answers, I do not. At 71 years of age I find the future looking bleak. I hate holidays, I have isolated myself from friends and company out of shame. I now live alone in my motorhome, just outside of our home. Tomorrow that will change. If God answers prayers, he certainly has not heard mine. maybe he has another plan for me, or maybe, just maybe, it will take my leaving to force her to realize that only she can change the future. Somehow, I doubt it. I believe that alcohol has a much too powerful grip over her. I have come to realize just how powerless I really am over her drinking.
    I love my wife, I would gladly give my life in exchange for hers if she could get healthy again.
    The sharing on this site is helpful though I find no answers. Some things are difficult…tomorrow I start a lovely new journey. God bless you all.

  512. Slowly Drowning Says:

    I sit here in dark at 10pm on a Sunday night, while I hear my wife in the kitchen heating up her much delayed dinner in the microwave.

    I had barely ever drank when we met 25 years ago, but became almost a pro just like her, as she has drank a minimum of 6 to 10 beers for most of those nights after.

    For myself, only after 2 years, of limiting myself, and some weight and health issues, have I been able to see this more clearly.

    She turns things around and makes it seem like I’m trying to control her, but I believe I do that for the greater good of her health, and because I do care about her. Her family has never been any help, and has never set a good example. (mother the same, but now sober for 10 years, military brother, and father who died 10 years ago( and who my wife pines for regularly.

    This has shaped my decisions over the years. No kids, and a strict separation of finances, that are separate but equal.

    It’s severely limited my own career and in general my ability to achieve a rich and fuller life.

    For the last 5 years, we usually retreat to separate rooms to get lost in TV or the internet. I’m embarassed for her most times, and really don’t want to take responsibility for her when she gets so drunk at her own work functions, etc. Somehow I think that people think I leech off her, because she happens to be the breadwinner at this point, but I’ve been gaining in self esteem and self respect with my own sobriety.

    She’s never been fully truthful in therapy or marriage counseling.
    I get a desperate sinking feeling that no one cares about me, and that I really don’t have any one to confide in that will be on my side, or understand my point of view.

    At mid-life, I need to (but am very fearful about my prospects) reclaim my career skills and a new path.

    I don’t want to have regrets, but think I could have a much happier life.

  513. Walter Says:

    I find a lot of sadness in reading the stories. I agree, there is no easy answer for anyone in a relationship with an alcoholic.
    Out of all of the relationships I have been in, I have never found a more giving and caring person.
    When we met, 3 years ago, she told me about her recovery program. She had been married once before, in rehab twice and wanted to be honest about her addiction up front. I fell in love with a wonderful woman but, about a year in, the bottom fell out. She totaled our SUV and was very lucky to come through as she did. I truly thought that was the bottom. 4 months later she
    found out she had cervical cancer, stage 1. We caught that early and had only minor complications. We went through an intervention and she went to rehab, again, for 5 weeks. three weeks after she got home she began to drink again. Her choice is beer. She hid beer in just about every place you can imagine. I would find it, empty or full and she would deny it was from that day. I would find it in a closet with ice bags etc.

    My wife has embarrassed me in front of family friends and it just kills her 86 year old mother who has put up with this since my wife was 18.

    It is like hanging on to the edge and hurts as if someone bangs your finder with a hammer.

    I am 68 and she is 60. Everyone loves my wife. Considerate, kind, giving and loving but she doesn’t like herself. She attends a couple of AA meeting per week
    but say she has been through the book so many times
    that meetings don’t help.

    Deep down in my heart I know we need one another.
    Her mother is in very poor health.. her father died 3 years about and both of these events have caused her
    a great deal of depression. She drinks to hide.. she sleeps to escape. I pray that the Lord with heal her. She prays that will happen too.

    I don’t want to leave her because I know that under all of this difficulty, there is a wonderful person. 80% of my wife is angel. 20%, at this point is someone I don’t know. I am beginning to know that part but excepting it is very sad.

    I enjoy the days and the good times between these bought or slips. I have to have courage my prayer is that can change. I know all of you know how much it hurts.

  514. Brad Says:

    Hey everyone. So what is it that I’m supposed to do when my alcoholic wife insists that I am the one who is causing her to drink? I’ve been/ am a addict myself, which makes this so much harder to watch and so irritating to live through. I am the one who wrote the book of excuses… you know what I mean, I’ve said them all, twisted everything around that could be twisted. I’ve manipulated every gullible person that I could, I’ve been in her place and done this all before.
    I love my wife very much, we have two wonderful children together, and I love my family very much. I guess I’m posting to complain or just to vent, but I also am hoping that there is someone else out there that is going through something similar. The biggest problem that I am having to deal with emotionally, is that I’ve been down this road myself, and I know how hard it is for her. I know that she will never get better, unless she wants it for herself. I try to support her, I try my best. But I’m so fed up with everything. I’m tired!! Her alcoholism is potentially risking my sobriety. I cant stand to see her when she’s drinking. She gets so angry with me, and seems so displeased with her life, unless she’s dry. Then she’s so proud of me and she loves her life and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
    So lately I’ve been a little bit harsher, less tolerant of her crap and excuses. Quiet frankly I’ve had enough of all of this. She isn’t the person that I married, nor is she the person that I love. She’s constantly drinking. She is trying to tell me that its maintenance, and that it is dangerous for her to stop cold turkey. I understand the risks in this, so what do I do? Do I risk the money that it will cost for detox, and treatment on someone who seems to be in total denial, and hope that she will catch on and stick with it? The costs alone would put us in such financial restraints that we will lose much of what we have, or continue to wait her out and hope that her bottom is just around the corner. It took me 15 years to reach my bottom. 7 years later, I’m sitting here reaching out for answers to a situation that I have no control over. I’m not sure how much longer I can wait around knowing what the risks are. I don’t want to sit around and let her do this on her time, I already know that I am enabling her to continue, by allowing this to go on, however, I also am fully aware that I cant stop this either. So if you were in my position. You had two children, money was tight, and a wife who was in denial, and blames you for her drinking, what would you do? Put your foot down, or ride this horrible life out like so many others have done? Please give me some input, anything would help. its hard to separate myself from this situation. Thank You, and if you’re on this blog good luck!!

  515. Greg Says:

    Tom, I won’t repeat my story since it is the same as many on this site. Instead, I have a simple question – Is it wise or OK to discuss my situation with my family? (father, sister, brother?) Thank you.

  516. Jessica Says:

    Hi Brad,

    I feel your pain and torment, it is incredibly hard to put up with an alcoholic partner. You have survived your addiction with your unusually strong will to have beat the slim odds and because you have concurred it, you want to pull your wife out of it also. Can we really save others? You have once saved yourself. To me it was one real accomplishment that is really hard to achieve. You are the winner and you have to remain strong-willed. You are the proud person who has won the demon. If you continue putting up with your alcoholic wife, you will continue to be annoyed by her, consumed by her, continue diminishing your own spirit and sanity in the future. Would your wife hit bottom this detox time around after you would hand over all of your savings to the center? Or would she hit bottom 10 years from now? Are you really responsible for her life? Shouldn’t she be responsible for her own life and shower you and your children with normal care and love? When was the last time she contributed to the house hold income? Is she all she ever wanted to become? Has she achieved her own dreams? When was the last time she put together things that require plans, determination and efforts?
    Now is the time to possibly set a healthy distance from your wife and start saving yourself and your children from the alcoholic madness. This doesn’t mean immediate separation or divorce. However, you can admit to yourself that you can’t save your wife whether you love her or not. Withdraw all of your support both emotionally, physically and financially. Stop trying to solve the alcoholic’s problems, stop trying to help. Spend all of your power, time and emotion helping yourself and your children.
    I have always wondered why we put up so much of our heart, time, and patience and in return we get such unsatisfactory results? If it is a financial investment when the return is so bad wouldn’t we withdraw the investment and get a better one? Have you heard of any alcoholic partners who recovered and paid back all the dues, putting up incredible amount of efforts to erase the pain they have caused? Have you heard of any former alcoholics who have come back and made the families the happiest families in the neighborhood? Don’t they all move on to other convenient relationships? Don’t they all end up with other alcoholics who are junior?

  517. Mark Says:

    My wife is on record pace for self destruction. Reminds me of the old ozzy song. ” wine is fine but whisky’s quicker, suicide is slow with liquor.

    That is literally what is happening right in front of me. I’m watching my wife slowly killing herself. And I can’t stop it. It’s supposed to be my job to protect her, keep her safe. How do I protect her from herself ?

    I’ve heard all the same excuses I read on here. “I can quit whenever I want” / “I don’t have a problem” / and my all time favorite ” I’ve only had 2 beers”

    Her new routine is get up between 12 and 2pm, then the daily trip to the store usually around 3 or 4 for her six pack. Those are gone by 6 . Seven days a week. And that’s just what I know about. I can only imagine what goes on behind my back. Her justification is “it’s only a six pack”

    I’m 43 years old now, my youngest is now 18, and I have things I want to do now that the kids are all grown. I envisioned traveling, and just spending time with my wife during this time in my life. That’s not going to work.

    I’ve told her I don’t want to be around her even if she has 1 beer. So she drinks her daily fill, and stays away.

    I feel like if I leave, that will only speed up the process, then I’m “abandoning” her. But either way, the end result will be the same.

    So, the million dollar question is ? What to do.
    Watch the woman I once loved, more than anything, slowly die in front of me, or from a distance.
    Hope I can make a decision one day.

    Thanks for providing a place to vent.

  518. Tom Linde Says:

    Greg, I cannot tell you what is best with your own family.
    I can say that, very generally speaking, addiction tends to thrive in privacy and secretiveness.
    And that partners tend to be lonely and to disserve support, encouragement, sanity-checks and the ideas the come from an outside perspective.
    I hope this helps.

  519. Katy Says:

    I have been married to my husband for 5 months. We dated for about a year prior to our marriage.

    Before we were married, we had the typical conversation where we put it all on the table: we talked finances, his previous marriage, my previous relationships, and any problems we were concerned about before marriage. I explained my family has a history of addiction in it (my half brother is addicted to methamphetamines, and I have a few uncles with drinking and gambling addictions.) I do not have any addictions like that. I asked my husband if he feared he had any addictions. He was adamant that no, he did not struggle with addiction.

    Little did I realize, he has been dependent upon prescription anxiety medication for 3 years, and supplementing with alcohol.

    10 years ago, he wrecked a car while driving drunk, and lost his job right around the same time (likely due to alcoholic behavior) , resulting in an intervention of family and friends fearful of his drinking getting worse. He joined the navy 2 weeks later, and apparently was hoping it would straighten him out. He did well in the navy, but decided it was not for him 5 years ago. He was honorably discharged. I never heard this story, until I called his brother yesterday reaching out for help. All I knew was he joined the navy…never knew or wondered why.

    18 months ago when we met, he seemed perfect. We have great chemistry, and he is so loving. When we met, he was taking a sabbatical from the stressful sales field he worked in, but as he and I got more serious, he took a new job back in sales. That went well for about 3 months, but then one night he got a DUI. Everyone makes, so I brushed it off. We were married 6 months later. He was drunk during the ceremony, and I was devastated.

    We pressed forward, but the drinking seemed to continue, me finding empty bottles hidden around the house, him being ‘exhausted’ and sleeping 15 hours per day after work. One night, his balance, vision and speech were terribly impaired. I feared he was having a stroke. After assuring me he had not been drinking, I took him into the hospital. Blood work showed he had a very high BAC. Just last week, he crashed another car.

    He promised he would stop (many times), that it was his dependency on the prescriptions, everything but actually stopping. I believe it is the alcohol and prescriptions both contributing, and that he is not capable of handling the stress of being a “grown up.” Things were so much better before we married.

    The past 3 months, all we seem to do is argue about it. Last week, he had another of those episodes, falling and giving himself a terrible concussion. He is on the verge of losing his job, and I find myself depressed that I am living the life I feared: being married to an addict.

    In addition to that, I am angry that he deceived me before we were married, and continues to lie.

    He has promised he would get help: he asked me to take him to a rehab appointment he made for today.

    I don’t have faith that he can get sober, at least not for any length of time. I worry he is just trying to escape his problems, years ago with joining the navy and now with marrying me.

    I regret that we got married, but I love him profoundly, and worry about him. Sometimes I think I am being too hard on him.

    I just want him to get better, and I want to be in his life. I think the stress of life is making us both miserable. I know that if this problem was around before me, my presence in his life will not change that; he will have to change his addiction. I don’t have faith that he truly wants to change….however much he cries and begs me to help him…..I just can’t believe that if he wants to change, that he wouldn’t have changed by now. He is 40 years old….I am 30. Time is ticking for both of us and I don’t want to keep living like this, but I also can’t trust him, and at the same time, I don’t want to be without him.

    Am I being too hard on him, am I giving up too quickly? Or should I get out now, before there are any children involved?

    Is there any hope?

  520. melody Says:

    Last week I finally broke up with him because I cannot take it anymore. We had been together for 2.5 years. I don’t want to talk about my problems with my friends. When I feel lonely and weak I will read the posts here and remind myself of the reasons why I ended this relationship.
    I still miss him and I guess I still love him? Maybe someday I will also post my story here.

  521. Very exhausted Says:

    I have gone to many different sources for support over the years to try to begin to find out how this misery occurs to people. I have spent about 5 hours reading the posts and feel like I finally know where I am at as a spouse of a problem drinker. ( I’m male). I have a beautiful wife and two gorgeous limitless girls and a relatively nice life, minus the wife’s issues, her mother and my parents. I come from extremely disfunctional, selfish parents. The last of three and was essentially austracized emotionally and financially from the beginning of my memory. My wife it turns out, and has been a good friend since 6 grade, has an extremely sad family background as well with her mother knowingly being sexually abused by family members while her mother looked on. She used/ uses alchohol and drugs as well as infidelity and neglect of her family to cope. My wifes biggest isdu was that she was abomded by her mother. Not literally but emotionally. Her mom went out all night and drigged and chester while family slept.
    We all drank and drugged in high school and college to some extent bu I never viewed this as anything more than typical small town behavior. Fast forward twenty years and I have seen my wife stay out for over 36 hours bingeing on coke and alcohol while I thought and sometimes wished she be found dead or killed. She always did thus with other guys as part of the smack to me. We have been through counseling. She has been through do many other help sessions but the door is always closed by her as soon as real things get discussed. History, mom, oppressed memories, lies, etc. I need to say that my wife is a gem (no, a cool looking bird feather perhaps) when she is sober. When she drinks she changes instantly and becomes an ass. HAS ANYONE EVER EXPERIENCED A DRUNK THAT PHYSICALLY MORPHS IN THE FACE AFTER THE MAGIC ” flip the switch” DRINK. IT’S AMAZING. At any rate, my wife is in complete denial after 7 years of counseling and self help. She problem drinks roughly one or two times a month. Last night she hit an all time low with me when she told an alcholic who’d been sober for 6 years that that was nothing and shed been through AA several times. Her mom has said the same type of thing. I should also mention my wife was very sexually active from age 12 and enjoyed playing head games with multiple males at any time. I should also mention that I am not a push over or problem drinker and work hard to not be our parents. Unfortualetly I have hit my wife several times as a result of her drunken and drug fueled tirades and typically after showing up 24 hours later. Looking like she was rode hard and put away wet and basically smiling and telling me to fuck off in more or less words. I scincerly regret being put in a situation that caused me to hit her but my wife knew what she was doing as stupid as her behavior is. We all now how crafty a seemingly helpless and distracted drunk is when it’s all about the self enabling and getting through till th next time. My wife is an argumentive genius when she’s drunk. I’ve never known a less educated person with a penn state degree. She just asked me what an anvil was the other day. We are 37. I have finally realized that I have to leave my family and I have promised in the past I would. In this case I am leaving leaving. Like in the middle of the day for a ride to visit a friend and never returning. This is horribly painful for me as I am in love with this person and adore my two kids. But my wife will sabotage me and my relationship with my kids and everyone else because she is a childish, emotionally, socially and intellectually stunted reject who refuses help. I have too man dreams where I kille my wife in very violent fashion and have even day dreamt about it. I went as far as making all the plans to set it in motion that the next time she gets drunk and pisses he self o turns into a junkie whore that I could act like I was cool with it( which I have done in the past) and then just drive down to north Philly and essentially give her to the scariest nastiest people in America and perhaps life in a basement being ravaged by animals would make it all go away. I would not have to worry about lawyers or money and buy the way there is nothing illegal about abondening your coked out drunk wife in an area of north Philly where you she will be ravaged by savages untill dead. It just shows you don’t care about her. In my case she would go willingly if she was under the influence and the switch had turned. I know my wife will never change. All addicts are a horrible scurge and should be sterilized. I now realize that these are the thoughts of someone that has been hurt too much to ever fully trust and care for my wife like you should so I have decided I must leave unannounced and permanently. You can imagine the feeling that are brought up when you feel your being forced to abandon your family forever. If you are an active addict please just kill yourself. This ultimately what I wish my wife would do. Her mom tried it over and over but like everything else that wasn’t involving drugs and drink, she repeatedly failed.

  522. Ash Says:

    At end of tether, she drinks 2/3 bottles of wine every day then goes to bed blind drunk or just snores on sofa. Every day is the same but I see no way out as I am the house husband who looks after the kids and if I leave I wouldn’t have anywhere to go nevermind any way of providing for the kids. She has a good job but we have no money as she drinks it all away all the time. I have lived this life for 12 years now and can’t go on like this.

    I dread her arriving home from work as within half an hour the wine will be poured and off we go again on this never ending cycle of misery. Safe to say there is no intimacy in our relationship now as she is too bladdered to do it and who would want to with a drunk anyway?

    Trying to stick it out till kids finish school but feel i’d be better off out if only I wasn’t a coward and plucked up the courage to go. I hate winter as it seems to last longer with the long dark nights sat watching her drink herself to oblivion. Sometimes I wish she’d end up in hospital as me begging her to stop hasn’t worked and maybe a real health scare might shock her into giving up but I know deep down that is not likely to happen.

    Stuck in a rut and no way out.

  523. Tony Says:

    My wife hides drink in her bag and down the local pub drinks soft drinks and goes to the toliet and drinks out the bottle.

    she hides it up drain pipes, old kids school bags, boot of the car, under decking, tumblew dryer, dish washer etc

    She lies through her teeth and will get very angry with me if I say why do you do this to our family.

    I should leave asap, but I told the kids I will not let them down. One is 16 ans has already left and moved in with his nan. I fear the 13 year will do the same.

    If this happens I have tried my best and I will leave.

  524. Robert Says:

    I wonder how society decided years ago that alcoholic beverages should be legal to purchase and consume? It is a destructive and addictive drug, so why is this particular “drug” legal? Is it that we as a society must have at least one mind altering substance that we can consume on a socially acceptable level? Look at the carnage wrought by the drunk driver, the families and people destroyed by alcoholism. I’m not saying that making it illegal would stop those that want it from getting it, my question is, why do we as a society endorse this horrific drug?
    My heart goes out to all of you who have or are suffering through the madness of being involved with a drunk, get out as fast as you can, they don’t love you, they love the bottle and always will. They are never cured, they are always one drink away from the same hell that you are in now.
    Spoken by one who has been there, for too long as well……..

  525. Katy Says:

    I wanted to update you all on my story–I posted on October 25.

    My (soon to be ex)husband never went to the rehab appointment he made, but when he heard his bosses were coming to town to fire him and collect his work equipment (he worked in sales from home.), he promptly checked into detox/rehab, just to avoid his bosses’ wrath.

    Since he was not around, I had to take the afternoon off work to tend to his bosses. It was a humiliating experience to say the very least. He returned 3 days later with a $1200 bill for the ‘detox’, and promptly began making excuses, as well as drinking again. His only concern was to replace the car he totaled a few weeks before (in an alcohol related accident that he only narrowly missed a DUI on because he got a ride away from the scene of the accident before cops could arrive to prove it was him driving.)

    I moved out because I just couldn’t handle the uncertainty of coming home to a picture perfect husband one day, or a mess of an alcoholic another. His family all joined together to try to convince me it was my “duty” and “obligation” as his wife to stand behind him. They demanded I move back in with him. I refused.

    Without the faith that he would change, I found myself feeling trapped and hopeless, even after I was living apart from him. I was losing hair, losing weight, losing sleep–I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown from the pressure he and his family applied to me. I decided that I couldn’t live that way, and that a divorce was the only choice that made sense for me.

    As soon as I made that decision, it felt as though a load was lifted. I started scheduling out my week of work and personal activities, and stuck to them faithfully. I have been doing that for 3 weeks now, and the structure keeps me on the right track.

    He has since left for an extended vacation to see his family out of state, leaving me to tend to all the bills (the lease on our home, and all the associated bills–not fun, but at this point, the financial side is the least of my worries.) I have began the process to file for dissolution, and have notified him of my intentions.

    This is where I am saddened and shocked–his true colors are showing. The man he once was–confident, caring, polite, loving–has been replaced by a monster. He says the most manipulative, hurtful things. Things like “You will never be happy without me,” or “You are just abandoning me without even trying,” or “You will see what a mistake you are making.” I am unaffected by them now, as I have removed myself emotionally from the situation, and though I still wish the best for him, I know even if he began making the right choices, I will never be happy with him again. Not after all the hurt and humiliation he caused me.

    Every person I have talked to about this has been so incredibly supportive–more than I expected. When I tell them my story, most people share a story of their own that is usually pretty similar. People who grew up with alcoholic parents, who were married to alcoholic or abusive spouses, circumstances that all seemed more hopeless than mine, and they all made it out safe and sound. They all tell me I’ve made the right choice, and in my heart I truly believe it.

    It was amazing how quickly everything has changed for me. I have never been more productive in my work, and my heart has stopped aching. I am certainly not ‘healed,’ not so fast of course, and the nights are still pretty lonely–I still wonder where my life is going to take me and what I will do now that I’m back to square one. Of course there is a long road ahead in terms of trusting someone again or wanting a relationship, but I am surprised at how resilient my emotions have been. I feel like I am back to the old me again (or closer to it than I’ve been in a long time, anyways).

    I wanted to share this so that in case someone else out there is looking for hope as I was, wondering if they are making the right choice by taking care of themselves first…I have to tell them, you are. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Don’t stay with someone just because you feel obligated. Don’t feel worried (as I did) of what other people may think or say.

    This is your life, and you have the choice to live it how you see fit.

    In a lot of circumstances, the unknown is better than the uncertainty you may face if you live your life with an alcoholic.

    I am not qualified to make a choice for anyone else, but I just want to support all of those who feel like I did (and do). Life is too short to be sad so please….listen to your intuition, not your fear. Choose whatever makes you happy, and don’t look back!

    With Love,

  526. Brad Says:

    30 years, 2 kids, 20 years of living with an alcoholic wife. no relationship, no sex,no friends, i cant take her shopping, i cant go for a walk with her, cant talk to her, But if i leave, she will surely die. i hate my wife and my life. the kids think i’m a real coward for staying.why am i still here? i need someone who truly knows what its about to help me figure this out.

  527. Andrew Says:

    I posted back in 2012 about my girlfriend of then 4 to 5 years as that was when the fog started to clear and this website helped me to start make some sense from the madness. I wanted to follow up with some thoughts as I believe I have come through the darkness to a place of strength, peace and understanding for everything that has happened. I no longer remember how it used to feel to be helpless, angry, in tears, emotionally raw, desperate and in need of her validation and love, caught up in her games so it is not as easy for me to empathise and relate to many of these stories, my outlook is clearer and stronger now and I can see people like her for who they are.

    The biggest piece of advice I can give – and obviously everything I say here is just my personal opinion and in no way a claim that it is the universal truth – is that these people’s biggest weapon is your belief that they will get better. They learn that very early on and they prey on that in an incredibly subtle and manipulative way. I see hundreds of people here wondering if they should stay or go, put their wife through rehab, do this, do that…. the single biggest thing I have learned about being with an alcoholic is that nothing you do makes the tiniest amount of difference. The belief that your kind and supportive spirit, your determination and goodness and love will pull them back and give them something to hold onto or a reason to fight, is false. It’s a lovely thought and what you want to believe more than anything but I personally have tried every single variation of this over the years, from the grand gestures to the financial support, to writing CVs, finding therapists, receommending books, encouraging good mindsets, playing it down and trying to keep her light hearted and positive, holidays, creative inspiration, hope for the future, reigniting passions…. her illness has done nothing but progress worse like a runaway train with no brakes. Not one thing I have done has helped or improved her at all and her condition deteriorates every time I see her. Her behaviour makes no sense, she has every reason not to drink, I have given her everything shes wanted or needs, her life could be perfect, she knows she has an issue, has admitted it, there is no LOGICAL reason for her to touch a drop. Alcoholism does not obey the laws of logic and while you try and deal with it in