View Full Version : might be long -- need to get it out

December 29th, 2007, 11:36 AM
I'm new to this forum, but unfortunately not new to being married to a problem drinker. Quite a few years ago, my husband was a heavy drinker and could not control it. He would begin his day with a half bottle or so of brandy and was hiding bottles everywhere -- including in MY dresser drawers! They finally figured it out at work from the way he was acting and they forced him to have a blood test. From there he went to a program which he did not finish because he was asked to leave due to him being dishonest with the counselors. A few months later, he up and quit by himself -- just decided one day that he wasn't going to drink anymore and for the most part he didn't! He got to the point where he didn't even think about drinking -- this lasted for several years. Then he started binging -- I'd say once every 6-12 months. He would always feel horrible after and stay dry and sober until the next time. Until this past spring (March, maybe?) he had not had a drink for almost three years. Then he decided he wanted to have a couple of glasses of wine with a neighbor. When that didn't turn out so badly, he decided that it would be okay for us to keep some wine around -- for once in a while. I knew better, but I also knew that if I said no, it woldn't matter because he would just hide it. Well, once in a while has now progressed to hiding again. He can drink at least three bottles of wine and NOT have a hangover the next morning. Last time he was drinking heavily and out of control, I was able to separate him into two different people -- the sober one that I loved (and still do) with all of my heart, and the jerk who took his place when he drank. I'm having problems with that this time. I think I just want my husband back so badly that I can't see straight -- literally. I'm walking on eggshells. I don't like the way things are right now. I want my husband back. I know I can't stop his drinking -- only he can do that. I have told him that I would support him in any way I possibly could if he wanted to stop drinking but that if he did not, then I needed to know that also so I could figure out how I was going to deal with that. I can't tell him I am going to leave him because I honestly don't think I could. I love the sober him so much!!!!!! I've lost contact with the support I had when he was in the program before; we have no mutual friends that I can go to for help or support; my family knows about the issue, but they don't truly understand it. I found this site and was hoping for at least a place to get things out and maybe get some support or advice. More often than not, this is what I look like lately --:upset: -- and I don't like it. I feel like I need a hand up out of this hole but no one is offering one. I just feel very alone.

betty boop
December 29th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Wannahelp :welcome: to MWO, unfortunately in my family I was the heavy drinker, and I was hiding bottles too ...... you can never explain what goes through a drinkers mind and the excuses that we tell ourselves ........

Keep reading here and you will learn a lot, I'm sure that DX will be along soon, she is the wife of a loved member here and she will be able to empathise more with you .....

Love & Hugs, BB xx

December 29th, 2007, 01:55 PM

I'm sure your husband loves you as much as you love him.....it must be such a painful experience for both of you :l

MWO has members all over the world so the time difference means people show up at different times......I'm sure others will be along soon who have some support/advice to offer......in the meantime - welcome and keep checking back!

Suze x

December 29th, 2007, 05:17 PM
Hi there

I am sorry to read that you are so distressed. This is a website for alcoholics or people with drinking problems and there are not too many family members/spouses here.

I do believe that it is up to the person with the problem to get help for himself or herself. However, I also believe that a spouse has a stake in the recovery so has some rights here and can apply some pressure to the person with the problem. We have had a few fantastic male members here who got sober because they knew they would lose their family if they didn't shape up (AAthlete's posts come to mind, and you could look those up, another member named Satori has shaped up in part because of the negative impact on his family, Determinator and his wife Determinatrix are here).

Have you laid down an ultimatum to your husband? How assertive are you in spelling out what you will and will not accept? Do you feel you have any control here? It's a really complex problem so I am not surprised that your family does not understand. I am not a fan of AA but I hear good things about Alanon, for family members of alcoholics.

AS I wrote to another member who posted here, I am all for compassion and understanding, but not to the point where your own life is at stake or where your own happiness is sacrificed for years on end.

take care,

December 30th, 2007, 12:52 PM
HI wannahelp, I'm glad you've come here. I can imagine how alone and frightened and sad you must be. Does your husband want to quit? Well, I guess all of us who have drinking issues 'want' to quit, but often the 'want' to drink overrides for a period of time. That desire sometimes can last so long that relationships and lives are ripped to shreds. I hope that your husband sees the light soon, dear. But it will really need to be him seeing the light for himself.

Meanwhile, you take care of yourself. As Nancy says, find a local Alanon group so that you at least can share your feelings with others in the same boat.

December 30th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks for the support

Thanks for the support everyone. Support is something I don't feel I have much of anymore -- so every little bit helps! I went to alanon last time my husband was drinking and didn't really find it that helpful -- though I know it does wonders for some people! As far as the question "does my husband want to quit drinking?" -- I don't know. He won't talk to me about it. He just says that this time is not like last time, that there are no similarities. Huh. No similiarities? He must have forgotten that last time he also was beligerant and nasty with me -- just like this time. (he only gets that way when he is drunk). He was hiding bottles last time and he is again this time -- another similarity. He comes home from work drunk this time just like last time. I could go on, but you get my drift -- and know what I am talking about. He is in denial. Someone else asked if I had given an ultimatum yet -- the answer is no, I haven't. The only ultimatum I can think of is quit or leave (or I'm leaving) -- and I honestly don't think I could follow through with that. I have been thinking about that a lot. Unfortunately, alcohol is not our only problem right now. See, he has this "friend." She is a 23 year old former student. She has some family problems and exboyfriend problems and he has a sympathetic ear. I don't believe that is all that is going on -- no matter what he tries to tell me. He is just too secretive about seeing her and texting her. I don't think anything physical has happened -- yet, but am afraid that if this keeps up, it could lead to that. By the way, hubby is 52 -- old enough to be her father. Whenever I try to confront him with how I feel about his "friendship" with her, he just says she is his friend and that I should stop worrying -- then he clams up. But things like today just bother the hell out of me. He woke up not feeling well (I wonder if it had to do with the 3/4 bottle of wine followed by SEVERAL shots of schnaps on top of whatever he had on a six hour "walk" he had yesterday?) and slept until 12:00. Then got up and dressed and said that he was going to meet her for coffee for a "few minutes" because she was upset about some exboyfriend thing. Well, a few minutes turned into 2 hours. We are going to my mother's for Christmas today, so I offered to pick him up (he walked). He said no that SHE would bring him home. I have no idea where this girl lives -- it seems to be a secret that I'm not allowed to know. Since he won't talk, I end up putting things together that may or may not be true -- and these little movies run through my head constantly. I know that she is bad news for our relationship, I just can't seem to get him to see that -- and I believe that his drinking is a big part of why I can't seem to get him to think straight about little missy. I know very well that I can't make him stop, that he has to want it for himself -- but I can help him if he wants it. I keep offering it, hoping that I'll hit a moment when he DOES want to stop. One problem at a time -- that's what I keep telling myself. One problem at a time and one minute at a time (I'm not up to one day at a time yet -- a day is too long.) Meanwhile, I keep repeating the Serenity Prayer -- at least it keeps my mind occupied.

December 30th, 2007, 05:38 PM
Hi there, I feel for you, I have a son who is an alcoholic and I have been battling with him for the last 3 years, trying to get him to seek help. I have endured much pain and frustration during this time. but at last a couple of months ago I found this site and printed out some testimonials for him to read. He did so and agreed to start the program. I think it was more because he wouldnt have to go to "group therapy" which doctors had insisted he do before they would help, he could do this on his own at home. It was not an easy thing for him to agree to. It was not an overnight success, but over a couple of weeks of taking the supplements (his doc would not prescribe Topamax) things suddenly changed, he went from drinking heavily every day, to once a week. We had a very pleasant Christmas day without arguments and abuse, he did drink a little but was totally under control. The first time in 3 years.
I guess what I want to say is hang in there, it sometimes gets a whole lot worse before it gets better, but there is hope and I hope and pray for you that it happens soon.

December 31st, 2007, 06:42 PM
Hi Wannahelp and welcome. Your husband is such a lucky man to have your love and support!! Perhaps you can suggest to him to take a peek at this web site -- it has truly been a godsend/blessing to me. I would be careful with an ultimatum because (sorry Nancy I really believe this in my heart of hearts) it can actually drive a person (depending on the person of course) to drink more, out of incredible anxiety, and I say this from my own personal experience. This website is full of smart, inspirational, knowledgeable, supportive, non-judgemental and funny people from across the world ... I enjoy it so much and have learned so much. Perhaps he can too. Take good care and let us know how you are doing, j

January 1st, 2008, 08:50 AM
I understand very well what you are going through. I had boyfriend who had serious drinking problem and was a problem drinker and did crazy things when he was drunk. I remember this time as terror. I completle changed. I forgot myself and just thought about how he was doing and what he did ( like run away to anthother country) had some other girls and everything was fucked up. But THE DAY AFTER is something were my day. Then he feelt guilty and it was my day to punish. I see it today how this all was sick.
We are finished together after painful 9 years.
Then my drinkproblem started to become worse. I did not drink much but when I drink I completle change personality. I can be mean , say things I would not dream about to say or say opinions that I dont find. When I drink it is like russian roulette. Most of the time I embarrese my self , say thing I regrett or do. I tend to get black outs all the time. My THE DAY AFTER to day is nightmare. What can be worse in the world than to wake up and dont know what happened last night.
I feel sorry for you and your husband, I understand you both. But he must get to the bottom, does he feel bad after he has been completle drunk? The shame and guilt keeps me away from the bottle. Your husband has to show some responsibility to his problems. If you dont see any signs from him that he regretts, then the situation is difficults.
Please , I know it is hard, dont loose your self complete in his problem. If his first luv is the bottle ( many I know have choosed the bottle and drugs over their loved one) then you have to love your self.
I hope you understand my message ( I am foreigner)
Take care

January 2nd, 2008, 06:54 PM
Welcome Wannahelp!

Sounds like you are in a tough predicament, and I hope you can find the answers that you need. Have you ever read the book "Boundaries?" It doesnt just deal with alcoholics - in fact it may only mention it. But it deals with when people in your life, especially those whom you live with are "crossing your boundaries." I realized when I read it that I didnt even HAVE any boundaries, but more or less was a victim of whatever took place in my home. It will teach you how to set healthy boundaries even if you have never had them before in your relationships.

I think you definitely need to have a serious sit down talk with your husband when he is completely sober and assure him of your love and how much you want him to succeed, but that you will not longer tolerate blah, blah, blah... and then think long and hard about what you ARE willing to enforce. Maybe a temporary separation, notifying his work, not covering for him anymore, etc. Do you have children? I know for me, it took my husband sitting me down and telling me that either I find help for myself, or HE would find help for me (which scared the heck out of me). So I got online and found this website and asked him to give me a few weeks or months to give it a try. It worked. But it wasnt until my husband sat me down after years of looking the other way and putting up with it. He was kind, but firm. I knew he was serious and that if I wanted my marriage, I would have to make drastic changes.

Also, regarding the situation with the 23 y/o young woman -- this is WAY crossing the boundary. He is only getting away with it because you are allowing him too. Under no circumstances in a healthy marriage should a married man be giving boyfriend advice to a girl half his age unless she is his daughter or a niece or something, unless he is a professional. He should be including you and asking for you to go with him to talk to her if he truly cares about her well-being, or better yet, he should defer her to you altogether. I would also get a hold of his cell phone records b/c you can see the amount of texts back and forth between them and at what time they are sent. The next time your husband announces that he is going to meet her for coffee, I would grab my purse and announce you are coming along as well. If he balks, remind him that he has nothing to hide, according to him, so why should he care? From what you say, this does not sound good. My husband also had a sympathetic ear before and we went to counseling for our marriage, and our counselor let him know right up front that it is a complete set up for disaster and a typical cover-up for something more under the guise of "just helping out a friend". I know you cannot ultimately control what he chooses to do in the long run, but I would certainly not sit by and let it happen right in front of you. If you feel he really loves you and wants the marriage, he will most likely respond if you change your tactic, but if you dont, you are enabling him to continue to do as he pleases.

I wish you all the best, and I hope others here have words of wisdom for you! I agree, it might be good to show him this website?

Good luck!


January 2nd, 2008, 10:54 PM
I just saw this post and I hope I am not too late.

First off, I agree with P4T that your husband meeting more than once with another woman is inappropriate. You need to ask him to stop. I think his response to your request will say a lot. If he does not care about your marriage, and if he is too drunk too often to have a heavy discussion about saving your marriage, then you have bigger issues to deal with.

Is he drinking with her? If he is, this may explain why he feels this time is different. This may explain why he does not want to quit.

I am not sure how long you have been married or if you have children. I feel for you because your words give me the impression that your marriage is in trouble. Meeting this woman is inappropriate without the drinking.

My husband struggles with an alcohol dependency. And as you write, I hated when he was drunk. Other than that, our marriage is wonderful. It is up to you to weigh your marriage.

You will need to decide what your vows mean to you; what you deserve as a human being on this earth. If this story came out of the mouth of your daughter or best friend or sister what would you recommend?

Treat yourself well. Expect good things.


January 4th, 2008, 06:56 PM
DX --

I have tried to talk to him about her -- he just gets mad and says I should stop worrying that sheis just his friend. He and I have been married for 17 years -- together for 20. I don't have kids to worry about, so that is not an issue. He DOES drink with her, I know that for a fact. He disappears for hours at a time and is unreachable during those times. He says that I'm trying to control him, but really it is the other way around. He controls when I get to see him, when I get to talk to him, whether or not he drinks, where he sleeps... I have no control over him or any part of his life. I'm trying to get an appointment with a counselor of some kind, but my efforts keep getting thwarted. The first one who was highly recommended was not on my insurance list, the second wasn't taking new patients, and now the third one I've left a message for just this morning and she hasn't called me back yet. I love my husband dearly and take my marriage vows very seriously. Some people have advised that I do to him what he is doing to me -- not get a "friend" just not come home until I'm good and ready, not answer his texts... but I see that as striking back and acting as childish as he is acting. I'm trying to fix things and I am terrified that something I do to "show him" will send him away for good. I feel very much like I am just going crazy. A month ago I weighed in at the gym at 128 -- and that was wearing biking shorts and a tee shirt. Now? wearing jeans and a sweater I weight 115. I know I need help dealing with this stuff and trying to sort through everything and figuring out what is the right thing to do. All I want to do is cry or sleep. When someone asks me a simple question -- like "how are you?" They end up getting the whole story whether or not I really want to tell it. I compare it to being sick and throwing up. When I'm sick, I always feel better after I throw up -- and if I'm sick enough, the more I throw up the better I feel. Sometimes it feels like I'm "throwing up my words" so to speak. I start to give a simple answer and out comes everything -- whether or not I want it to. As I said in an earlier post, I tried Alanon years ago, and it just wasn't for me -- which is why I'm searching for a counselor. I am currently waiting for him to come home -- says he'll be home by 7:30. We'll see. meanwhile, he has been unreachable since 2:30 until just a few minutes ago when he decided to text me to say he would be home by 7:30. He wants to go to Skyline (yeah, I'm from the Cincinnati area). I love Skyline, but if he has been drinking, I don't want to go. But if I tell him that, he will just get mad and be mean and nasty. I'm not afraid of him hitting me, he has NEVER even threatened to go that far, it is just his words that are mean and nasty. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I don't know if it is my husband that is coming home or the jerk that takes over him when he drinks. :confused: Guess I'll find out soon enough.

January 4th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Well looking at Prest4time's response vs mine it's clear who has the experience here! (prest of course)

I think it can take time to get a counselor but don't get discouraged. I think you should get a list of 10 names and probably you will get one hit. It's good to start out with names of people who are covered by your insurance policy. Finding a counselor to work on these things is a lot more productive than playing the kinds of games some people are advising you to play. As prest said, maybe a counselor can confront this (I am imaginging Dr. Phil!) and just tell him flat out that his behavior with this girl is inappropriate.

Try to keep your cool though. Don't stoop to his level and keep your anger in check. Doesn't mean you have to be a pushover but just act in ways that won't make the antagonism worse.

disclosure: not married

January 4th, 2008, 10:06 PM

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate.
Do you have family around that you can spend some time with?
I hope you are able to find a counselor that will work for you.

Let us know how you are doing,

January 11th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Well, I just wrote a big long update and it disappeared. I don't feel up to rewriting it, so i will just say that life sucks. I am staying with my parents and have been since Saturday. My husband and I have been talking through email this week and I felt like we were making some progress -- he even agreed to stop drinking! But now, he is MIA. I have been texting him since 4:30. I checked my email a little bit ago only to find that he had sent me an email saying that he had worked way too much this week and was going out. Between this email and his not answering texts, I'm guessing that he is either drinking, with HER, or both. I might be able to talk with him tomorrow and find out what is going on now or I may have to wait until Sunday when I see him -- we had planned to have a date on Sunday. We'll see, I guess. Only time will tell what is going to happen.

January 12th, 2008, 12:19 PM
This may seem crazy for me to suggest this, since I am sure your brain is completely polluted with your marriage. However, it is important that you don't put your life on hold. Think of something small you have always wanted to do and never got around to it. Have you wanted to check out the new addition to the local zoo? Ride your bike you haven't been on in two years? See the featured artist at the nearby museum? Do do do and be so exhausted that when you lay your head down at night you are too tired for nightmares. You need to get your brain and energy in a positive space. Find your happiness.

March 9th, 2008, 09:14 PM
It has been a while since I've been on here, but wanted to post an update...

I left my husband for 2 months and went to live with my parents. Things got better for me personally -- I gained back a couple of pounds that I had lost, I was down to almost 100 pounds just from the stress of living with him and his issues. After much talking, emailing, texting, visiting, etc. we are now back together. Have been for two weeks now. During the past two weeks, he has only had one night when he drank. Other than that, things have been wonderful with us. He is still friends with the young lady mentioned in previous posts, but we are working on that. He is spending a whole lot less time with her and a whole lot more time with me. He actually enjoys seeing me and coming home to me now. For the first time in 6 months, there has been intimacy with us!! I start counseling tomorrow -- have been WAITING for someone to finally call back saying that not only are they on my insurance, but they are also accepting new patients. So. Things are looking up for us -- I only hope and pray they continue this way...

March 11th, 2008, 10:24 AM
That sounds wonderful!
So glad things are going as you wish.

Thanks for the update.

betty boop
March 12th, 2008, 12:34 PM
Wannahelp, that is wonderful news, thanks ever so much for taking the time to update us ..........