Wondering How to Handle An Alcoholic Husband

We've been married for 5 years. But it feels as if it is longer than that.

I don't exactly know which is worse... having an alcoholic husband or playing dumb as if we're living a perfect life.

I guess I am a great actress and I bet most of the wives who have alcoholic husband are great actresses too. Its a stage full of loneliness, hatred, and lies. We all wear a happy mask.

I keep believing that what I have is a happy marriage and what we have is love. But deep inside I am dying of loneliness. I often find myself crying at the very instance that I am left alone, whether its in the bathroom, office or kitchen.

I burrow myself with work so I wouldn't notice the imperfections that my husband has.

I put on a happy face every single occassion. I put on my happy mask even when we are both together.

At first I tried to confront him against it. But he is too stubborn to listen and I eventually got fed up of putting up a fight. So now I play dumb and stupid.

I know I am strong. But how do you really handle an alcoholic man? If you confront him he'll get mad. If you dont pay attention to it he will get worse.

God knows how I exhausted all the understanding that I have left in me. all of it.

but sometimes i reach a breaking point. that I too am weak... that I have burdens I can no longer handle alone.

I wonder if most wives of alcoholic have always felt that they handle family life alone, that the husband mo longer takes responsibility.. cause I do. I am alone. I am alone trying to build this family.

I wish I can but some times I feel I can no longer take it. Makes me want to run out of the door and leave

but the guilt feeling of knowing that all he have left is me is holding me back.

i dont know why my heart still loves him despite everything else. when my mind is despised of him

I am confused, depressed and lonely about my marriage and my husband

and the saddest part of it all is that I dont have anyone anymore to share this with








ellathinks ellathinks
19 Responses Apr 2, 2009

When i was reading yor story..l was finding myself..m suffering d same thing..m married..completed 3 years.but in these 3years my husband gave nothing but tears...he is an alcoholic...i m really getting frustrated day by day..he has become so insensitive that he doesnt even care about my emotion also.but the really funny thing is instead of facing so much of cruelty ..i still cant leave without him

You are not alone. I feel the same way too. I wish this is a bad dream. 😢

I have been married for 35 years. The last ten have rough but the last 5 horrific. Like all of you know you can plead, get on your knees and beg, threaten but it is up to him. He can be so fun when he is sober but after a few days, a couple of weeks he dives in again and seems to get worse and worse...the arguments, putting you down, telling you how bad a person you are. It wears on you and one of you said it perfectly...you truly love him but also hate him. Well I finally left and that is how he sees it...I CHOSE TO LEAVE. he doesn't realize he has left me know choice, he drove me away. He calls at least once a day with who did you tell, what are you saying. Our employees knew, without being told by his outbursts, lack of focus and inability to function. For years I have covered for him...I feel quity for that too.now comes the tough part...our Grandchildren! Where is Gramma or where is Grampa? Do you live in this new house...why. I can't answer them... I don't know how. But I will have to. my daughter tell her children that the new house is my office...well then why is there a bed. As they walk away I cry my heart out. I told myself and my children..married adult...I have to do this to give him a wake up call and he will get help. Instead he seems to be diving in deeper. I'm scared he may hurt some one else if he goes out on the road.
It is so hard. I want to be happy again...I'm tired of crying, hoping and being lonely...but you know...it feel better being lonely with calm.

I just ran across your story, while searching for some kind of answers to a life just like the life you have been living. Our stories are so much the same that I can't quit sobbing. I notice the date was almost to a year ago this month. I have been married 28 years, to my high school sweetheart. We were married when I was a jr in high school after dating for 4 yrs. He is and always has been my only love. So we 3 daughters grown and gone. We have 4 grandchildren and they are absolutely crazy about there G-dad. I wished they would have gotten the chance to meet and know the man and dad that I fell in love with. He was an awesome husband and father and G-dad to the oldest grandaughter. But in the last 5 yrs alcohol has taken over his life and the rest of the families as well. It has the last 2 yrs being horrific.
I fee like im at the end here, by no means do I want to up and leave I want my husband back but I'm so new to all this as far as reaching out for help and educating myself with this. This should be the time of our lives with our Grandbabies , we married so young and survived all the ups and downs that came in our lives. My heart is broken , and my husband is broken so I was really wanting to hear the outcome of your passed yr after moving out and leaving. This is were I'm at but I come up with a million reasons of why I can't leave him , until the next drunken outrage then I feel like a weak weak person for staying and putting up with it. I know there is no guarantee the outcome of me leaving will wake him up.
I know God has a plan and everything is on his on time . Your story just touched me so much I was hoping that you had a good happy ending. Thanks for listening any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking for some calm waters again.

Crying right now because I'm on those shoes...

In those shoes...

i see myself in your words......the phrase "You are not alone in this" angers me because when it's time to break down and cry, there is no one else in that bathroom or office with you. it's just empty and no matter how hard and long the tears come, you know that there is more around the corner and no one will ever see them....

hello, how do you do?? even i have been married to an alcoholic, smoking and kutka using person, married 3 years but seems to be 30 years. the life is like hell to me, he dirnks and harase me beat me, torture me, he is a psychic. i can understand your feeling becuase even i am there in the same depression, frustration and dont know how to overcome, i cry loud when im alone in home, im left alone, many times i thought of commiting suicide, that why god has given me this life when i have good parents and sisters and all well educated. still wating for good life..................................

I get so tired of the alcohol, of not being able to plan activities because I don't know if he will be sober. I too have gotten to the point of just ignoring it, it is sometimes easier than the arguing. Today is one of those days though that I don't know how much longer I can handle it. He has his alcohol and I live on antidepressants.

Hi Ellathinks! I don't know if you're still out there, since you wrote this 3 years ago, but I would like to talk to you about your dilemma, your feelings, and what you are doing now.

Oh boy! Sounds familiar. I'm dying inside right now. My husband goes through bouts n then he doesn't drink so much for awhile n things r great but it's a cycle. The fighting, anger, resentment, lonliness , the confusion all of it isn't any fun. I love my husband and want to be with him but right now I think he has another woman in his life. He doesn't come home, he drinks from sun up to sun down and when I ask what's going on it's a huge fight. I think he is Bipolar too so I'm completely at a loss right now. My heart is totally breaking!!!

I understand how you feel, I have been there too. Part of me felt like a single parent with an extra child (a very delinquent extra child). I cut myself off from friends and family as I didn't want to have to talk about it. I knew they didn't understand. We were up to our eyeballs in debt and I was afraid to answer the phone because it was always the debt collectors. Part of me felt hopeless and yet I couldn't leave, I was so alone but the thought of life without even him filled me with fear. I spent most of my time worrying, phone calls were unanswered and I used to trawl the local pubs with two kids in tow looking for him. Shouting doesn't work, crying doesn't work. Sorry but the only one who can stop him from drinking is him. I know you feel all alone, but you are not; there are women like us all over the world, I hope this is of some comfort to you.<br />
I found some consolation at church, but Alanon may be more helpful if you are not religeous. It is a meeting of people like you, people like us, the families of alcoholics.<br />
I was lucky my husband had a religeous experience and stopped drinking three years ago.

Trying to move forward. Doubting sobriety. Feeling more like a private investigator than a wife. I am the only one on the cheerleading team, ecouraging him to keep it up, His family doesn't seem to care. I think he wants them to care, it matters. I know alcoholism is a disease, I just like to blame someone. My life has been spent with addicts and I know it is selfish for me just to want love, life and happiness. <br />
Im trying!

I know exactly how you feel. My now ex-boyfriend was not the abusive kind though. He'll cave in every 1 or 2 months and come home drunk. All he would do is apologize profusely and then goes to bed. Even though we talk about his alcoholism openly (he goes to meetings and sees a doctor almost every week) there was always this nervousness I would feel. It also doesn't matter how I handled it. Whether I yelled at him, or gave him the silent treatment or just forgave him and tried to be understanding, he'd still end up drinking.<br />
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While he would to get things together (and usually fails), I would do most of the work around the house. He's super successful at work, yet at home, he would seem depressed and spend his time playing video games to cope with stress when he didn't turn to the bottle.<br />
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All I can say is, whether he is a an abusive guy or not, there will always be this loneliness. I was doing all the work around the house making sure he didn't get stressed out. He became the child and I became the mother. But taking care of him still didn't work. He would still drink.<br />
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We broke up not too long ago. I didn't want to break up, but he said it was for my best interest as he realized how he became the child and I became the mom. He said this isn't the life I should be living. And it's true. We all deserve better. We shouldn't be breaking down crying or feeling lonely. I'm still grieving over the breakup and I still love him, even though like you, there were a lot of things I didn't like about him or the relationship. With each day I'm getting better without him though there's still a long road ahead. Sometimes it's best to think about yourself and what you want in life. It's not easy to leave someone you love, but you have to love yourself too.

I feel so mixed that at times I can not stand this man who becomes so obnoxious and threatening while binge drinking,yet we have so many things in common that we enjoy together but when he uis drinking he really only cares about his wine and threatens me if I dont get him more then cries and is so ashamed when he stops drinking .He has chronic liver desease and is killing himself goes to aa when he stops for awhile then starts all over again.<br />
I do not want to be an enabler but if I leave him he has no one to care for him what so ever.

i married the love of my life 4 years ago. i quickly learned that I also married an alcoholic. i come from an abusive childhood and abusive 23-year marriage. My new husband is an all around mr. wonderful, including when he drinks and even too much to drink. no anger, no negativity. <br />
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however, i discovered he got a dui offense 2 years prior to meeting him. he got another dui last year. it is killing me!!! he still does not see that he is an alcoholic now that jail and court hearings are behind him. all of his shame, humility, embarrassment, guilt, etc on the day i bailed him out-- are gone! he is back to drinking, going to aa meetings 3 days a week, aa group meetings once a week to apply for a hardship license after a year, 5 months of court ordered alcohol counseling, probation 1x month, community service. I love him but hate his disease! i really thought his 2nd dui would have been his rock bottom, but somehow it is not.<br />
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I was completely debt free when we met 5 years ago. we remodeled my home, paid off his 2 cars and credit cards. he lost his job a year later and we lived off of credit cards for 2 years. we are now $245k in debt!!! together we have 5 college kids (gulp) <br />
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i need to breathe, but i am stuck! my faith is what is holding me together. i want out of the disease, but i fear the only way out is to leave, or have him leave.

I feel everyone's pain on this thread. I've been there as well. I don't know where you may stand in faith, but if it weren't for my trust and belief in God I never would have made it this far. And just as I was about to give up on it all, God grabbed my husband by the scruff of the neck and said "Son! Listen to your Father!". Lucky for me, he did. I know he will always be an alcoholic...they call it "recovering", but I don't think they actually do. Sobriety is truly a life changing commitment for both the alcoholic and his/her spouse.<br />
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I guess if I have any advice other than lean on your faith, it would be to decide how you are going to handle it if/when your husband hits his rock bottom. I didn't know until it happened and I was very surprised by my reaction. I won't go into what his "rock bottom" entailed, but I will tell you that a week earlier I had told him that I couldn't take any more and though we were married, I no longer felt as though we had a marriage. I was at the end of my rope and quite frankly he absolutely disgusted me. His actions the night of his rock bottom incident would have been enough that if I would have left him no one would have blamed me. And he was pretty sure that was exactly what I would do. It wasn't until that moment when he realized on his own (as opposed to me telling him I was going to leave because he had a drinking problem) that he was on the verge of losing everything because of alcohol, that he came to terms with his addiction. I had a choice to make that night and it all depended on how he reacted. If he denied his addiction I would have left. But when he looked me in the eye, told me he was an alcoholic and needed my help all the love that I had felt for him earlier in our relationship and all the love that I had lost came rushing back. I decided if he committed to sobriety, I would commit to supporting him. <br />
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It's only been 3 weeks, but that's 3 weeks, 6 AA meetings and zero alcohol. I had forgotten what a wonderful, loving, caring, Godly, sexy, funny man he was. But I have my husband back and boy did I miss him! <br />
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I guess what I'm trying to say is that if/when your husband makes the decision to become sober, you have to know in your heart that you will be able to forgive him for the past and love him for the future. He'll need you in order to win the sobriety battle. He'll need to know that you have his back. Thedisquietedwife is right...you may need to rock his world by doing something drastic for him to understand what he is losing. Just be prepared to forgive and move forward once he does. If he doesn't...well, maybe it's time you move forward with YOUR life without him. Alcoholism is a disease, but it doesn't give the diseased the right to ruin someone else's life. <br />
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God bless you all! I will pray for you all that God gives you strength to do what you need to do to provide for yourself and your families. I'll pray that you find the faith you will need to lean on when you don't feel you can take any more. I'll pray for your husbands for the wisdom and healing of sobriety. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you just might have to dig through some rocks and dirt to get to it.

I can totally relate to you I'm going through the exact same thing right now with my husband. I know its easier to ignore, but you're right, that just makes it worse. You can't be an enabler, by not saying anything anymore you're letting him think there isn't a problem and that his behavior is okay, you aren't doing him or yourself any favors. You have to hit rock bottom before you can work your way up, I suggest telling your husband if he doesn't start working on quitting and getting help that you'll leave; and you have to mean it. Unfortunetly he probably won't take you seriously at first, and you will have to leave. He has to lose whats dearest to him to let him see the light. Alcoholics rarely realize they have a problem and seek help, so you have to give him a reason to. I just did this with my husband, I packed up my daughter and I left. Maybe he didn't want to quit drinking, but he realized he doesn't want to lose his family either, so he chose us. He's not cured, but we're working on it together, we have our first AA meeting on sunday. I hope you can implament some of what I said here, or if not, that you find something that works for you two. I know how lonely being an alcoholics wife can be. Not being able to tell anyone about it for fear that they'll judge your husband or you. Or that they wont like him anymore and see him in a different light. Feeling like you're the only one working on him getting better is a hard burden to bare. The best of luck to you, and let me know if I can help, as an alcoholics wife I'm looking for support too.

my life is the same way to

Your story is so sad, but not uncommon. Have you ever been to an "Alanon" meeting? My ex had alcohol/ drug problems and the meetings helped me a lot during that time. They also have a Web site, but not sure what it is. zyou could probably "Google" it. God bless you, you are in my prayers tonight.

Hello, I relate to you My spouce was addiated to alchool,<br />
If I can offer some advice, it would be, to learn all you can about this problem. there are self help groups, who can help you.. You will find people to share with you.<br />
It is truely A new way of life, to find A group of people who have the same problem.....Hang In There;-)