Marriage Missions International

HELP! My Spouse Drinks Too Much

What do you do when your spouse is drinking too much and it is affecting your lives together in a negative way? Do you continue to close your eyes to what’s going on and hope that someday he/she will finally wake up to the problems this behavior is causing? If you’ve “been there” and “have done that”, the question is: “How’s that been working for you so far?”

Do you yell and scream and try to shame him/her into stopping this behavior? Same question applies: “How’s that been working for you so far?”

And then there are the excuses —you’ve probably heard a million of them! “I drink to forget” “I feel better when I drink” “I’ve tried to ‘get on the wagon’ …’every time I fail’” and more.

“Alcoholics offer many excuses — ‘Drinking makes me feel better,’ ‘It calms me down,’ ‘I’m more fun when I’m drunk’ and more —but these explanations only skim the surface of the deeper issues that usually drive and fuel a drinking problem.” (Ashley Michael, from article titled “But I’ve Got Reasons” formerly posted on Focusonthefamily.com)

And what about the promises your spouse has made that “things will be different?” (That is, if you’ve even received such promises!) Perhaps you can relate to the following comments that came from a wife whose husband has a drinking problem:

“I couldn’t count the times Bob promised he would never drink again. That must be the most frustrating part of the experience — having Bob look me straight in the eye and tell me he’s through —really done with bingeing. He’d say, ‘I’ve seen how it hurts you and the kids, and I’ve had it. I promise you that I’ll never do it again!’

“Then in a day or two he was dead drunk. I thought he was lying to me. How could he love me and lie so many times to my face? But he wasn’t lying. He couldn’t keep his promise. Bob thought he could whip this problem with willpower. It’s like trying to stop diarrhea by making up your mind to do so.” (From the Focus on the Family Question and Answer article “If my husband drinks a lot but doesn’t get drunk, is he an alcoholic?”)

That’s not the most inviting word picture to think about, but it has some truth to it, don’t you think? Your spouse may have good intentions but he/she is in a state of denial both mentally (not facing the truth) and in a state of denial physically (where the needs of the body deny him or her the ability to stop reaching for another drink unless he/she has serious help).

It’s difficult to talk to someone who is in a continual state of denial, as well. That is why you often need help to know how to best work with the situation you have been handed. It comes down to the fact that when you are dealing with a person who is a heavy drinker —particularly if he or she is is drinking at the time, you aren’t speaking to your spouse so much as you are the alcohol he/she is using for numbing purposes —to cope with life in an unhealthy manner.

When you are trying to deal with this type of dysfunctional partner you truly need wisdom and help from someone who isn’t so close to the situation and can give you objective advice.

“A comment I often have clients, who are frustrated with a dysfunctional partner, repeat back to me is:  ‘Do not expect functional behavior from a dysfunctional person.’

“Learning to get our expectations in line with reality is a first step in dealing with reality. We are often the first person that needs a change of perspective. In therapy we call this ‘re-framing’ the situation.” (Delores Stone, Counselor)

You need to “get real” within yourself and with your spouse. To help you with this, please click onto the web site links below:

• GAMES ALCOHOLIC FAMILIES PLAY

• ARE YOU AN ENABLER?

So, in light of what’s been discussed so far, you may find the following advice from author Angie Lewis, to be helpful:

“Detach With Love. Be loving and supportive of the person you married, not the alcoholic. Don’t take any of the emotional garbage they dish out while drinking. Have you noticed how when your spouse drinks they start to berate you and want to start arguments? Don’t argue or fight back. Let them know you will not argue with them while they are drinking, period.

“Above all, never allow the alcoholic to trespass against your spirit when they are playing one of their mind games. Walk away and close the door behind you. Go visit a friend, take a walk around the block, or put some earplugs in your ears. Your mental health is what helps the alcoholic the most. This is what detaching with love is all about. Detaching yourself from the disease is what helps the alcoholic see that he needs help.”

To learn more read the following article written by Angie Lewis:

Married to an Alcoholic: 7 Steps to Helping Them Get Sober

Also, fom Skyler Sage: Realize that:

“Alcoholism is a Family  Disease. “This means that we are all affected by the substance abuse of a loved one. Not only are we affected; we play our OWN part in the continuation and manifestation of the disease. Our marriage, our family, is like a mobile. Each of us has our own little piece of the delicately balanced structure. Every action on any of our parts shakes the mobile. Tenuous balance quickly becomes imbalanced, shaken up, disrupted. Our role as spouses, children, friends on this mobile is just as powerful as that of the alcoholic’s.

“I believe this awareness is the first key in coping understanding that we play an equal part in the drama of living with an alcoholic. We are either part of the problem, or part of the solution with every word we speak, every secret we keep, every action we take, every action we avoid taking.”

To read more, please click onto the following web site link:

• TESTIMONIES: Coping With an Alcoholic Spouse – Skyler Sage

From Melinda Cook, comes the following advice:

“If you are not in any danger, continue to encourage your spouse to get help. Do not make it seem as though you are lecturing them though, they will rebel and continue in their disastrous ways. Find a support group, go to Al-anon meetings, and learn all you can about addictions. When they are willing to admit they have a problem, find places they can turn to for help in getting better. Coping with an alcoholic spouse can tremendously take a toll on you and your family.”

And it can, as you know.

To read more of Melinda’s story, please click onto the following web site link:

• TESTIMONIES: Coping With an Alcoholic Spouse – Melinda Cook

And then several additional helpful articles:

• DO YOU LOVE AN ALCOHOLIC — Stop Rescuing (Pt 1)

• DO YOU LOVE AN ALCOHOLIC — Setting Boundaries (Pt 2)

• PREPARING FOR A STRUCTURED INTERVENTION

After all of this, you wonder, will the information help me? Is there hope for my spouse? To read the encouraging answer, please click onto the Focus on the Family web site link to read their response to the question. And then afterward click into the Todayschristianwoman.com web site to read what one wife of an alcoholic learned:

• My Spouse Is an Alcoholic Who Has Tried to Quit Drinking. What Should I Do?

Twelve Steps to Change

We realize we have given you A LOT of information to pray about and consider. We want you to know that we pray the Lord opens the doors of heaven and pours out His Spirit within you and your home, and speaks powerfully to your spouse.

To give you some type of direction where you can get help, the following are a few helpful organizations you may be able to contact (we realize that they are not available to help in every country, but for some of you, they may be able to help in some way):

What do you do when your spouse is drinking too much and it is affecting your lives together in a very negative way?
a
The following came from a wife whose husband appeared to have a drinking problem. Can you relate?
“I couldn’t count the times Bob promised he would never drink again. That must be the most frustrating part of the experience — having Bob look me straight in the eye and tell me he’s through — really done with bingeing. He’d say, ‘I’ve seen how it hurts you and the kids, and I’ve had it. I promise you that I’ll never do it again!’
“Then in a day or two he was dead drunk. I thought he was lying to me. How could he love me and lie so many times to my face? But he wasn’t lying. He couldn’t keep his promise. Bob thought he could whip this problem with willpower. It’s like trying to stop diarrhea by making up your mind to do so.” (From the Question and Answer article “If My Husband Drinks A Lot But Doesn’t Get Drunk, Is He An Alcoholic?”)
That’s not the most inviting word picture to think about, but it has some truth to it, don’t you think?
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The above article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or  you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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71 Responses to “HELP! My Spouse Drinks Too Much”
  1. JEANA says:

    (USA) This site brings some comfort realizing that I am not alone or the only one that is called all the horrific names and things a person can be called by a spouse that took me to be joined as one. I am 46 years old. I have a 20 year old son and a 9 year old daughter. I have been married for so long that I lost count –not because of the years, but because of the loss of celebrating anniversaries, spending holidays, our children’s birthdays, even family vacations alone. Well, apart from my husband and their father.

    I started to believe that I might be everything that he has said I am, the very reason he is the way he is and the reason he drinks, takes morphine, percocet, soma, and valium that are legally prescribed to him monthly. I called his doctor, and his drug dealer. His medical reports from this doctor have been sealed from me, which made me more bitter and angry because I am the wife and partner. There’s no sealing of anything except our vows, so I thought. I am past what most of what everyone has described –the sadness, the doing of everything without the slightest of appreciation (however, when he does work, which is very few and far between throughout our lives together) he says he always works his but off for me. I give up with my once rebuttal, “what about all the years I have and continue to work? I never just do it for you, but our family.”

    He acts like he resents working or worse, the fact that he had to do it for me! Not our children or the fact that without us he would still have to work somewhere for himself. Now his “visits” to detox are more frequent and closer together as he is 50 and knows that he is pushing it. But he can’t seem to do the 12 steps or follow through as he knows everything. His sarcasm in the beginning was taken as a joke and cute, but now it’s cruel and mean and my son just now is feeling able to voice his feelings toward his father, although in anger. My son tells him that he has no right trying to tell him what to do because he was never around. My husband gets so angry with him. All I can do is be quiet. I understand my son’s feelings, but my husband says that I am taking my son’s side. My side is that we should be able to voice how he has made us feel if we are asked, but he doesn’t like the answers given, because he is angry with himself.

    My husband calls me so many names and then I get angry and start throwing up things that he has done or did. At the beginning of him starting an argument, which is him only searching for a reason to leave and get drunk and high, of course, he blames it on me. He has to get away from me because he doesn’t want to argue and listen to me, according to him, and he will say this to our children as they’re begging him not to leave because he may be gone for a few hours or months. We never know. “YOU KNOW WHAT A -SHE IS AND YOU KNOW I CAN’T ARGUE OR LISTEN TO HER.” But the arguments usually start with him trying to whisper in my ear, pulling me by the head and throat to his mouth, with his face red, eyes filled with hate and fire, and calling me the most horrible names that he can think that will push my buttons. The reason he pulls me near is because he thinks our children can’t see or hear. Our children love him, but they never know when he’s going to be a dad. The know he is their father and blames their feelings of sadness and fear on him leaving me.

    He says that I tell them to hate him. He acts like his faults are invisible to their eyes. His last few visits to detox I have learned that he has learned a new art of picking up younger (1 or 2 years older than our son) “women” and preying on their battles with addiction. I learned from another young woman that I found him at her apartment that she had been in Detox with him and he supposedly went to her apt. to see if she had any needles. The term she uses for needles was new to me, until she explained and thought I was going to faint. He puller out of her apt. as we followed behind. But instead of following him “home” we followed him straight to his mother’s. He had some clothes in the vehicle. We watched him remove them. He has been there for 2 months now. His new thing, I guess is shooting up Morphine. I’m afraid of Hepatitis C, etc… and that is only one fear, also that he is going to die alone in a room that his mother refers to as the cave. She doesn’t check on him until the evening and tells him good night. However, she isn’t the most honest person in the world either. She loves the drama but hates cleaning up after him and the all the burns and things he breaks on a journey to the bathroom.

    The last time he went to detox he was so horrible that he lost all control of his bowels and urine. This site is bittersweet with the comfort of knowing we are not alone, but the fear and sadness that we are not alone.

  2. Kathy says:

    (USA) I have a husband that comes from a long line of alcoholics. He has a pattern of drinking but sometimes will do things that don’t fit into that pattern. So he’s unpredictable. It rules my life. We have been married for 41 years and it has gotten worse with age. I feel I have no life and I am too old and tired to leave so I endure with resentment and hate at times.

    I don’t know what to do. I have prayed, gone to alanon and try to stay positive. When he is sober he’s great but as soon as he starts he’s horrible. He isn’t abusive physically but emotionally he just isn’t there for me. I have become frozen and lost all interest in life as time goes by. I don’t wish he would die, but sometimes I wish I would. I don’t know what to expect from him at any given time so I have given up on planning anything and therefore have no life. How can you go about your business when your mind is totally consumed by an alcoholic. I don’t drink much so I am an observer.

  3. Maria says:

    (AUSTRALIA) OH MY GOD!!! Reading everyone’s comments make’s me feel I have no hope. I’m in my second marriage and my current husband drinks all the time as well. But he’s never hit me, only blame’s everything on my two children from my first marriage. He also has 2 children of his own but my kids are the bad one’s because they’re lazy. I’ve had enough of his drinking. We’ve been trying to have a baby for 2.5 yrs now and I now know it’s never going to happen as we both are in our mid 40′s. I blame him for that, due to his drinking and lots of it.

    I’m so glad we have this web page to chat with other ladies in the world about the same problems. But to read everyone’s comments, it’s like we don’t have much of a chance with our husbands… Why? Do women need to suffer so much?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Hi Maria, Trust me, there are lots and lots of wives who are the abusers of alcohol too. It’s not just husbands. Prayerfully, your husband will wake up before it’s too late and hate what he is doing and will change. It’s not hopeless, unless the offending spouse keeps making the choice to do that which is hurting your marriage.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t try to have a baby unless I had a good home in which to raise him or her –and with alcohol taking control of your husband, I’m not thinking this is a healthy environment to bring a baby into. You both have 2 children who are having to witness and live in this problematic home life… I would just concentrate on helping the children I have and leave it at that, unless things change drastically for the better, as far as the drinking. And I’m not talking about a day or so, or a week or a month or so, here or there, but a consistent pattern of having a healthier home life for you and for your children and any other child you may bring into the world. I’m not trying to be negative here, just realistic. It is what it is. You can’t change your husband –he needs to do that. But you can do your part in trying to bring healthiness into your children’s lives and living yours as best as you can. I hope you are able to do so. I pray for wisdom for you, Maria.

  4. Joy says:

    (USA) I’ve read through this material with mixed emotions. My partner of over 10 years is an alcoholic. We both have grown children, but no children together, although he was a very big part of my children and grandchildren’s lives. We never married because I was hesitant to commit because I was scared of his drinking. Over the past few years his drinking became progressively worse and his tolerance less and less, to the point where only a couple of beers made him appear and act drunk. He was up at the corner bar 4-5 nights a week.

    I am not a screamer, I didn’t get angry, I didn’t threaten or shame him, or plead with him to change. We had many rational discussions about his drinking. He always said he wanted to drink less, but would not own up to it being out of control, or even a problem. He tried to quit many times, many different ways, but nothing lasting more than a couple of weeks. I began attending al-anon meetings and really made an effort to “detach with love.” When he was sober, I was his best friend, his lover… we truly were soul mates and had a wonderful relationship, we were very in sync with one another emotionally, liked to do the same things and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. We traveled, we did things and went places, we had friends and spent a lot of time with our families. Although we disagreed now and then, we rarely argued or fought about anything. But when he came home drunk, it was a different story… fortunately he was not a mean drunk and really didn’t even try to pick fights very often as usually he was mentally checked out and in a stupor when he came through the door. I began sleeping in the guest bedroom when he came home drunk. I didn’t wait up for him and most nights I was asleep before he even came home. This made him angry, although he rarely said anything. My intention was to not enable, to make it clear that this behavior was unacceptable to me, and that I was not going to let his drinking control me or my life. I had hoped that he would come to see that there were consequences for his drinking.

    Things hit a bump in the road though. After about a year of me sleeping in the guest room when he was drunk, he stopped coming home at night when he was very drunk and I found out he had taken up with another woman. I was very frustrated because everything I was working so hard to accomplish was being negated by this other woman. It wasn’t as if he had given her a story, she was very aware he was in a relationship. I spoke with her one day and explained the drinking. I told her that if she really cared about him, she would stop enabling him, stop rescuing him and stop giving him a place to go where there was no accountability or consequences. She told me I was the reason he drank and that I simply did not understand their relationship. Of course, I didn’t buy this.

    He insisted he did not love her, he did not want to be with her and that it was just a situation that had gotten out of hand, although he did throw in that since I wouldn’t sleep with him, he found somebody else who would. I gave him an ultimatum and told him that if he was going to continue seeing her, I was going to leave. He apologized profusely and seemed genuinely sorry. He did stop seeing her for a couple of years, but then it started back up (didn’t help that they worked together). So about a year ago I left him out of respect for myself. Of course, the girlfriend moved right in, convinced that she had “won.” I still don’t think she gets it. They now hang out at the bar together and he is drinking more than ever (so much for me being the reason for his drinking).

    Although I know I shouldn’t, I worry about him, his health, his quality of life… and in many ways, I miss him, the “him” he was when he was sober. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that if I hadn’t detached, if I had just continued to be a doormat for the drunken him, I’d still be there with him –although I would have the bad times, I would also have the good times. Other times I ride a roller coaster between “good riddance, now I can live my life” and “he will one day realize what he threw away and come back.” Most days I just wonder if it will ever stop hurting and I will ever be normal again. Alcoholism stinks.

    • Jenine says:

      (USA) Joy, I am so proud of you for making the decision to leave. I know it must have been tough. Be strong, read your bible, and be encouraged that you made the right decision. God knows you and will help you deal with your hurt.

  5. Sarah says:

    (UK) I think my husband drinks too much but am not sure if I am making a bigger deal than it is and was hoping for your opinion.

    My husband doesn’t drink everyday but is a social binge drinker. If it’s just the 2 of us we drink in moderation but probably also because that is where I draw the limit. We live in London and everytime he goes out for drinks with his colleagues, he comes back drunk. When we go out with friends or have them around at ours, he usually drinks faster than the rest of us (bar one or 2 other friends). The level of tipsy to drunk is really dependent on how long the night lasts! And the further it goes into the wee hours, the more drunk he becomes to the point he puked in the cab and had some on his coat!!!

    He denies he drinks too much or has a problem. He says he works hard so he’s entitled to enjoy his drink. When entertaining at home, he always serves too much alcohol. Even if everyone said they had enough, he keeps topping up glasses so we always end up throwing good wine away but of course he would drink his glass. When we are out he keeps over ordering wine or buying shots no one wants to drink. We joke about it all the time about how he always arrives with the shots but it’s no longer funny to me. We’ve been together for 10 years. We met as students and his drinking has gradually increased over the years to a point I am now concerned. Everytime I discuss reducing the amount he drinks (like new years resolution time), he never sees the need to reduce his alcohol intake.

    He is a very happy and jovial drunk so I’ve never had any incidence of physical or verbal abuse or fights. He is otherwise a very good husband and honestly the best guy I know. He’s generous with everyone, a good provider, very patient and loving with me (God knows I have many flaws), loved by his boss and colleagues and is good at what be does so I can’t really complain. It’s hard to explain as this issue has gradually crept up. It’s almost like a person who started out skinny and eats a lot. At first it is ok because he could use some extra weight, then once you past average the lines between fat and obese and morbidly obese are not entirely clear. His alcohol intake is something like eating too much. I don’t want him to reach obesity if that makes sense?

    Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or does he have a problem? He vehemently denies having a problem. Tonight we were out for dinner with friends, he said he was just tipsy but on the way home he hugged a random guy in the tube who came up and chatted with him and didn’t remember when I asked him about it when we arrived home. I persuaded our friends to cut the night short because if it went on we would have adjourned to a club where more drinks would have been consumed.

  6. Sophie says:

    (UK) I am too embarrassed to tell anyone about my husband’s weekend drinking habits. So I am taking the opportunity to just get it all out here. My husband does not really drink during the weekdays but usually at least once per week he goes out with friends (he is 29 years old). He never comes back until the last bar has closed and at that point he is so drunk I wonder how his body can even function.

    I am usually worried every time he goes out because I know exactly how it is going to end. I am also worried he will hurt somebody or himself. When he comes home, he is very loud and annoying. He will kick the door to our bedroom in, and start talking loudly to me about weird stuff that does not make much sense.

    His actions are violent, and he kicks and hits but not really to hurt me. It is more like he is joking about it. I never got any bruises or anything like that. His behavior is very scary though and I do feel a bit threatened. He also starts throwing things around in our apartment for no reason other than he is drunk and that he has a pretty angry personality. He occasionally gets into fights when he is out, so I am also worrying a lot if something serious will happen to him or others. I do not think his friends see a problem with his behavior and I think he usually behaves better while out and take most of his anger out on me when he comes home.

    The worst part is probably the things he says to me. However, I am so used to it now it does not bother me as much as it used to. I try to just not listen. During the first years when we were together, I would start arguing with him but obviously there is no point in arguing with a drunk person.

    Now, when he comes home my only goal is to try to get him to sleep which is really hard. I almost wish he was the person who would just pass out when he is drunk but the opposite happens. He is wide awake and it usually takes at least an hour before I can get him to sleep. I have told him so many times I will leave him if he does not stop drinking. He does feel a bit sorry and embarrassed the next day but he says he can’t remember anything so it is hard for him to really feel that it’s a problem.

    Sometimes, when his actions and behavior is really bad I can get him to not drink for about a month or so. But then he usually misses hanging out with his friends. Apparently the only thing they do is drinking in bars. I try to encourage him to play soccer, or go to the movies instead but they always end up going to a bar afterwards anyway.

    The only reason I can live with it, is because it ‘only’ happens a couple of times per month. But I love him less every time he does it and hatred starts growing bigger inside me. Actually, the same old story happened this morning. After the usual trouble, he fell asleep and I left the apartment as quickly as possible. I could not possibly leave before he fell asleep because I know for sure he would make a scene that would wake up all our neighbors. Once I did, he took his car and drove naked out to look for me (yes, still drunk as h…). Of course, he did not remember when I told him about the car incident. Probably one of the craziest things he has done.

    I know he will hate to wake up and find that I am not there and I want him to feel frustrated. I am going to stay away for as long as I can find something to do today. I am now writing this post from a nearby cafe. Apart from this plan, however, I do not know what to do. He treats me very well when he is sober despite his angry personality and occasional anger outbursts. When we are face to face again, I know he will ask me “What happened?” and be back to his usual mostly sweet and loving person. I am really tired now. He makes me tired.

  7. Chrissy says:

    (CANADA) I am also with a husband who is an abusive drunk… and step kids who push drinking with him. They’re adults and think I’m the problem and that his drinking is ok, including all the drunk driving they do. I’m so fed up with this week after week. I find him selfish. I don’t see this as a disease, which has conveniently been given to them like a cancer diagnosis; it is something they choose to do because they can’t function with normal people. I actually am to the point of hating him; he ruins everything around him… for what? A drunk night with deadbeats, just like him.

  8. April says:

    (USA) I am twenty eight. I have two beautiful and sweet daughters but I also have a same age husband that prefers alcohol to family time. He is the only one working in our family and works 40 hours a week from 7-3:30. When he comes home he begins drinking. I have requested weekends, waiting until the kids go to bed, etc., but it’s not that easy. Monday through Friday it could be a six pack of tall boys or a twelve pack depending on his mood. I think it would be ok if it wasn’t EVERY night but unfortunately it is. Weekends he can go through a thirty pack a day unless I get lucky.

    I have tried to talk to him but listening when he is drinking is not gonna happen. If I refuse to go get more beer for him he will her in his vehicle and go himself only making things worse. I have locked myself in the room numerous times to avoid any fights with him. I no longer know what to do in the situation. His dad is the same way, except he doesn’t work at all and is drinking from 5 am until he eventually passes out. I don’t want him like his dad. He has mad over enough promises to either slow down or quit drinking because he knows it hurts our relationship. I sometimes don’t know what to do or how to act and our communication is decreasing the more this issue is occurring. God be with all of his children going through this.

  9. Allison says:

    (AUSTRALIA) This is the first time I have ever written on a discussion website but it is now 3:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. My husband and I have only been married for 2.5 years, but have known each other since high school. I always knew of his drinking habits but deep down there was always a hope that he may change, grow up (he is 41!) or realise that his drinking habits were unhealthy. He needs to drink everyday –at least 6 beers after work, and on weekends he could consume at least a dozen or so each day if not more Saturday and Sunday. If he or somebody brings a bottle of wine in the house, he is not satisfied until it is all gone.

    We have a son together who is now nearly 2. I never drink now, as there is no way I could possibly function with a busy boy running around. I have now come to the point that I am so over it, because not only does he fall asleep early and I am left on my own for the evening after being on my own for most of the day, he doesn’t seem to get the expense of his habit and how that money could be spent or saved elsewhere. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing money literally being peed down the toilet or in his case, over the floor. My family can see what is happening. For so long I have been defending him… but I can no longer deny his problems because it is effecting my happiness, my health and in turn our marriage.

    Before we were married he lived with his Mum and she too was always frustrated with his drinking. I think that she also hoped he may change with marriage and children but time is ticking away and it is the same old story. I have bailed him out financially since we have been together because I couldn’t bear him paying so much interest on credit debt, and paid all the bills when he was unable to find employment for nearly 12 months, but he still drank that whole time.

    Anyway, I have been stewing away inside for a long time –no wonder my blood pressure is high. I have asked him for a long while now to please cut back etc, without the whole wanting to nag him, but there alway seems to be some excuse and I am so over it. Mentally I have been packing my bags because I have been in a similar relationship before and life is too short to be unhappy for the sake of others. I have no hesitation in going, as I do not want our son thinking that what Dad does is acceptable on any level. He is a good man and a great father, and because he still looks reasonably fit and healthy, he doesn’t seem to get that on the inside it must be eating him away. He always gets up for work and functions well throughout the day… but beer o clock is always at the back of his mind.

    Unfortunately the whole “tradesman/beer/pub” mentality is so socially acceptable that it must be killing so many relationships –not just ours. His father passed away at the age of 57. He also enjoyed a drink but I believe that other issues lead to his passing. I know that his father would have loved to know his son’s son… maybe this is an underlying issue that needs addressing somewhere down the track. Anyway, hopefully with these issues out in the open, he hopefully will come to his senses before it is too late.

  10. Cat says:

    (UNITED STATES) I just ready many of the posts on this blog. Even though I am very hurt to know that so many Christians are in the same situation that I am in, I am also comforted that I am not alone. I wanted to reply to every single post and give you all a group (((HUG)))

    I have been married for 17 years this time around. I attract addicts unfortunately. My first husband was an addict and I left him. I ended up with another addict. I knew it full well before I ever even married him but I just wanted to “help” him and his children. I have two boys, one from he first and one from the 2nd. My husband is actually a drug addict. He does everything. He smokes cigarettes too. I abstain from everything. I cannot stand drugs or alcohol and despise what it does to people even the second hand effects.

    Even though I am still married to my husband, We have not lived together for 7 years now. This being our latest separation. I have remained alone and have not dated or even looked at another man. Part of the reason because it is my second marriage and I know what the Bible has to say about marriage, divorce and remarriage. Second because I’m afraid of falling in to it again. Third because of my children. They are grown now. My first is married and I am going to be a grandmother. my second is 15 and he is a God honoring, God fearing young man. I have ignored my husband’s problem all these years. I have seen him through the years he spends time with the kids when he is not in rehab or in jail. He lives with his parents. He cannot live alone. He is like a small child who cannot handle life, never has been able too.

    Just recently 2 summers ago, he asked me to come stay with us to be with his son. He asked me to give him another chance. I did; he stayed here 9 months and I insisted that we kept it platonic and work on our issues and work through all the past pain and hurt. It was hard at first. It got easier. Just when I was ready to open up intimatley and become vulnerable again he messed up and I found out he had been using in little amounts for weeks. Of course it’s not simple as that, nothing is. It is much more complicated but I had him leave.

    Just recently, about a year after the last incident I decided to give him another try. He had worked through some of his legal issues and bought a vehicle for the first time in over 5 years with a mandatory breathalizer installed in it. I thought that would help him stay sober but he was not working any kind of recovery plan. My support has always been the church. That is where my children and I get all of our support. Well, we tried him coming on weekends for about 4 months and I pushed myself to be intimate despite the fact I was not ready for that but I thought maybe just maybe that will do the trick. It did not. 2 weekends ago he was over for the weekend, said he felt sick and without telling anyone a word he left got a motel and started binging. I have said all that to say this… No matter what you do it does not get easier. I have left him so many times. In 18 years of marriage we have been living together a total of about 8 years and they have been broken up 3 years here 2 years there and another year over there.

    Nothing phases him. No matter what I do or how I do it and I have done everything, the intervention, the counseling, the alanon, the separation, giving him intimacy, I cannot do anything, only he can. I just hang on to God. I thank him every day that my children are in his ways. I stay sane and healthy for them and my grandchildren coming. I refuse to live in a house with a person that chooses drugs and alcohol over the family. It’s not easy, it’s hard to be a single mom to two boys, it’s hard to be angry and bitter sometimes, it’s hard to be lonely but God will be there for you no matter what you do.

    Remember always, you cannot change the person or do anything to make them change, the person does not drink because of you! It’s not your fault. Don’t take responsibilities for their actions. IT is their actions. I know you are one… that is what hurts the most. When you got married you became one, everything they do hurts you. That is our cross… the thorn on our side. Give it to God daily, stay in his word stay in fellowship, and pray for your spouse when you can. Try to do it as often as possible. Don’t be ashamed to talk to others about your issues. It will help you to talk to people you confide in but do not talk about it too much… it will drain you and rob you of your time. Focus on God, you and your family and you will get through this. Your spouse will have to shift the focus to God to get through this too. Pray for that.

  11. HEIDI says:

    (USA) I am just reaching out now for the first time, and I am because as I’m reading these… it’s my life. My husband has his “too much drinking” every once in a while. I get so angry I tell him, Is this what I deserve? Really?

    I do go out for a drive to the store so I don’t have to continue listening to his nonsense. I also ask him if he’s done when he’s yelling at me. I am struggling with the thought of getting him out of my life. I am so end at the end of my rope. I don’t deserve this, no one does, really.

  12. Mary from United States says:

    To everyone on this website, alcoholics don’t get better, they are an alcoholic for life. If he or she does not practice the 12 steps and REFRAIN from ALL alcohol, they never will. You are wasting your life, wake up. They have fancy names for us, enabler, yes we may be or should I say, yes we are. Why we are is as sick as them. The verbal abuse we take, the unhappiness we have, why?? Why do we stay? If they are in denial and I would say most all alcoholics are, there is no hope. If they acknowledge a problem and do something, and refrain entirely from alcohol, there may be hope of having a good relationship.

    My boyfriend of ten years drinks everyday seven days a week and counted the hours, 30 hours a week at least. I am well over retirement age and just waiting for the house to sell to get out. I wasted my life, don’t waste yours. I have read all of you above and it is the same story, they drink too much, become mean and stometimes cannot even walk, forget sometimes, lets say most of the time. They wreck the house by falling down, they embarrass you when you are out for dinner, because they are loud and obnoxious. Yup been there, done that, no longer go out to dinner, no fast food drive ins because he would insult the person getting the food. So there’s nothing; I’m home 24/7. It’s to the point even our friends do not want him there because he insults their guests.

    Sound familiar? Read all the stories above you including myself. There’s one thing in common, we are UNHAPPY. Time to get happy people, time to live your life, and take care of yourself and your family. They will not help themselves unless they hit bottom, lose everything and still WANT to go to AAA. Other than that, if they don’t, they will drink themselves to death. Why do we have to suffer along with them? I am getting out. Quit praying they will get better, they don’t (again, there are some that will do the 12 step but they must be willing to never drink again and those people are in the minority and few and far apart). Please don’t waste you life wishing and praying. Maybe we should look at ourselves, forget them. Do you think they are thinking about us? It is a disease that they cannot control without help, period. Either they get it or they don’t!

  13. MR from United States says:

    Dear God, Please guide my husband to drink non-alcholic drinks. He drinks every single day. This is very upsetting to me and our boys. He’s a great man if he doesn’t drink and then has affairs, starts to become verbal abuse and doesn’t pay any attention to me. Help him to the right path and way. Lord, help our marriage grow stronger together forever. AMEN. -MR

  14. Rose from United States says:

    My heart, love, and prayers go out to all of you. Your comments make me feel that I am not alone. Thank you. My “husband” and I have been together for over 4 years (not married due to his past financial issues). I am 42, he is 49. Sober, he is kind, gentle, sensitive, funny, loving, and works very hard. Unforturtunately the only time he is sober is when he is at work. Most days he can barely make the 20 minute drive home fast enough, then walk fast enough to the fridge to grab his beloved beer; 8 to 12 bottles a workday; 30+ on each weekend day.

    He drinks to drown memories; abusive childhood and the horrors of wartime military service. I did not know he was an alcoholic when we ‘married’. He hid his drinking while driving truck over-the-road. Home daily though -I couldn’t help but know. And now, 1.5 years with him at home, our lives are miserable.

    Most times when drunk, he simply relaxes, then becomes annoying (slurs words, is impolite, stumbles and falls, loses all ability to be rational or responsible, then eventually falls asleep). I feel like the mother of a toddler. But then there are the bad days. A change moves across his face like an ocean wave -and I know we are in for a bad day. He questions and accuses me of lying, stealing, and cheating. I have never stolen from him or cheated on him -but I find that now I lie to him all the time. When he is happy drunk -I tell him anything he needs to hear to keep him from becoming mean (yes, I love you! No you aren’t drunk! Yes, I saw the bomb drop outside but miraculously the explosion went the other way and no one got hurt!). I am very weary of coddling him and controlling the world inside our home to maintain sanity.

    On bad days he berates me, says mean and horrible things to me and about me, calls me hurtful and hideous names, tells me I am awful and no-good and lazy and on and on and on. Once, for a two-week period, he physically and sexually abused (tortured) me near continuously. He NEVER remembers anything he says or does during these times. We have a couple of times discussed them – and he’s appalled. He promises to stop drinking, promises to change, tells me he loves me so much and that I’m his whole world.

    My son is 8, and has started to lie. I thought I had done a good enough job protecting him from the situation, but now know I have failed him. I don’t know what to do. I would like to leave him but haven’t for two reasons. First – I still love him. He is sick – I wouldn’t leave him if he had cancer or something – why would I leave him because alcohol makes him sick??? And he is my true love and soulmate when sober. And second, once during the 2-week bad time – he guaranteed me that if I ever left him, he would not kill me (because he loves my son and wouldn’t hurt him like that), but that he would kill my family to make me suffer. Was it the alcohol? He is a trained assassin. I cannot take the chance. My family does not need to suffer for my mistake; my son does not deserve to lose his beloved aunt or grandparents.

    So, I pray. And I endure. And I detach and strengthen my mind and heart and soul. My day will come – God will set me free so that I may someday be happy and live a productive life. My primary concern is for my son. He is not strong – yet. I pray this will help him to be strong and wise; and better able than I to make good life choices… Thank you for listening.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Rose, I don’t understand why you are still with this guy. You aren’t married, he is beating you up in every conceivable way, he’s a horrible influence on your son (who is now starting to act up), and he has threatened your life and the lives of family members. You say you love him, but is this a healthy love? I’m thinking it’s a toxic love and is poisonous in so many ways. I HIGHLY recommend that you talk to a counselor at an abuse center for domestic violence (we have several listed in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic where we provide links, or you can find a local abuse center). I say this because this man is dangerous on so many levels. As you said, he is a “trained assassin.” This isn’t just a matter of alcohol abuse, it could very well be a life and death situation, emotionally as well as physically. If you read through just the quotes we have in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic, you will see that abuse escalates with time and substance abuse kicks it off into a whole new level of vulnerability and danger.

      And even if none of that were true (which it is), what is all of this toxicity in your home teaching your son? It will change him forever in a negative way. He will spend the rest of his life battling the wounds he is emotionally receiving from all of this. If you don’t value your own life, your own peace of mind, your own sanity and mental health, please think of how all of this is writing on the slate of who your son will become –with the difficulties he is living through right now and WILL live through because of how this guy is inflicting all of this on you.

      I love your heart that you wouldn’t leave him if he had cancer, but this is a cancer that he is giving to YOU and to YOUR SON and also to your other FAMILY since he is threatening their lives too. Again, you aren’t married. Your staying with him isn’t a noble thing, it’s a suicidal and emotionally killing situation. Please talk to an abuse counselor so she can help you in the ways you need it to protect yourself, your son and your family. It’s the healthy thing to do. Please be a hero and champion this for your son. If you do it right, it may just give this guy the wake-up call he needs to start straightening up his own life. This way sure isn’t working as it is now. I hope and pray you will –for ALL of your sakes.

  15. Jo-anne from South Africa says:

    Hi Geraldine, My husband is the same according to the drinking. He’s been to A.A. but I don’t know that it helped much. How is it going with your husband and alchohol now?

  16. Marion from United States says:

    I have been married for almost 25 years. I believe my husband is a functioning alcoholic. I can tell the MINUTE he’s crossed over into being drunk.

    1. First stage… He’s Mr. Funny.
    2. Second stage… He’s Mr. Prolific. One night I timed how long he talked. 47 minutes without a pause…Talked and talked and talked… it’s just OVERwhelming.
    3. Third stage… I become his target for “teasing.”
    4. Fourth stage… Angry, petulant, and then sleep.

    The next day he claims to remember nothing. He also has the nerve to try and turn it on me. Conveniently he will remember only if I finally say something. For instance, he corners our children in the “prolific” stage and starts to lecture them on something. Most of it makes no sense… They both try to be polite and it’s only when I have to cut him off that he then says… Oh, I guess I’m done now… and then gets angry with me.

    I am SO over it. I have told him before… when he’s drinking DO NOT tell me that he loves me. DO NOT even TRY to have sex. I do NOT engage him. I become very quiet and I just go to my quiet corner in the house…

    In the day… he’s perfectly lovely to be around. He DOESN’T need to drink to be funny. I will NEVER understand this side of him. It’s caused MOST of the problems in our marriage and apparently I am NOT worth the effort to fix it… Because after all, that would make him wrong and that just never happens… Good luck everyone.

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