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Alcoholic Husband-When Should I Leave Him?
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Alcoholic Husband-When Should I Leave Him?

Hello,
My husband is an alcoholic.  We've been together for 7 years, married 4.  He was a recovering alcoholic when we met and started drinking again shortly before our wedding.  I asked him to leave once about a year ago, but I was weak and allowed him to come home after only  4 days.  He gets really angry and loud when he drinks.  He has gone out with our son perfectly fine only to come back and he's all drunk already.  It makes me mad that he does that when he's with our son, driving! He's called me names infront of our son, infront of my family...We went out one time, he was sober; then he stopped to get Chinese Food and came out of the restaurant drunk (he drinks hard liquor). I got out of the car, left the door open so he wouldn't drive off before I could get my son, but he drove off anyway.  Scary stuff has happened.  He's gone to AA meetings, never keeps going.  Swears he will change. When he's sober, he's the best husband and father, but because I want us to stay together, I think maybe I should ask him to leave again and not let him come live here again until he's been sober for a few months.  He's gone 4 months without drinking before, but then he starts again.  Recently he stopped from February until two weeks ago.  Now he does it every time he's off work.  He drove with our son like that two weeks ago.  He apologized and gave a heartfelt speech, then later that night, he drank again and acted dumb, angry, screaming, crying... I don't know what to do.
Should I ask him to leave?  I have tried talking to him.  He just tells me to stop and that he's sorry, that he knows he has a problem.  He doesn't really allow me to express myself. He actually has the nerve to get upset that I "nag" him about it like he says.  I don't know how else to help him.  I keep forgiving him, talking to him, suggesting things...
How else can I help him without asking him to leave?
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Avatar_f_tn
u cannot help him..its obvious he doesn't want to HELP HIMSELF! do not allow him to take that child in a car..please don't!he needs a final ultimatum..one u must stick too..either he goes or u should....for ur own sanity and the safety of ur child!
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Avatar_f_tn
You can't help HIM - he has to help himself - BUT you can help yourself and your son.  Take it from someone who has stayed in an alcoholic relationship too long.  Get out - either you leave or have him leave and stay strong -  Don't let your son grow up in all the craziness.
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Avatar_f_tn
Because of my belief that the Bible should guide the way I live my life I wanted to make sure you knew the following.
Did you know that the Bible says there is only one reason to divorce that God accepts?
“I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.” Matthew chapter 19 verse 9.
Separation is a different though. At First Corinthians chapter 7, verses 10-16 the Apostle Paul encourages marriage mates to stay together. However, there are times when it accepted by God to separate. One of those circumstances is extreme physical abuse such as if your husband often gets drunk and causes you physical harm. To help you see God's viewpoint on drunkenness and physical abuse please read Proverbs chapter 23 verse 29-35, Galatians 5:19-21, and Titus 1:7. Another circumstance in which separation is accepted is for a husband's willful nonsupport financially (First Timothy 5:8).
Whenever it is necessary to separate God wants it to be for only a short period of time, not permenant. Notice again what First Corinthians 7:10 & 11 says:
"To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord, that a wife should not depart from her husband but if she should actually depart, let her remain unmarried or else make up again with her husband; and a husband should not leave his wife."
So if you do separate, this scripture shows that it does not mean you can be with someone else and you should do it with the intention of being able to "make up again."

I hope this insight on what the Bible says helps you make a decision. I sympathize with you sooo much. I'm sorry you have to go through this. And please keep your son safe!
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Avatar_m_tn
Beth,

The Bible also uses the word Adutlery to cover a multitude of sins that pertain to being unfaithful.  If a husband is more interested in drinking himself to death than seeing to the needs of his wife, I would contend that he HAS commited adultery and his mistress is alcohol.  
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Avatar_f_tn
The Bible says that it is on the basis of fornication that one could get a divorce.
“I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.” Matthew chapter 19 verse 9.
The Bible is very clear on this subject. If you would like the exact definition of fornication or adultery you can look it up in a dictionary.
I am not looking to debate anyone I just want to give her some Biblical advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well Beth, you're on a public forum, which really means that your putting yourself in a debate.  Jesus also said that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, you've commited adutery.  Being the fallible sinner that I am, I'll have to rely on the forgiveness of Jesus for this sin, because I can't say my mind hasn't wandered.
My problem is that this is a forum for alcoholism, and those adversely effected by alcohol.  The original poster is in what amounts to be an abusive situation from an alcoholic husband.  There is more than one way to break the marriage covenant.
I hope they can work things out and that they don't get a divorce, but if he persists in this behavior, then sometimes there is no other option.  
I'll stop posting on this subject, because I dont' want to hijack this post any more than I have already.
As for you, babypooh, hold your husband to account - if he promised to "honor and protect you" in a mariage vow, then that is a vow he should keep.  It's time for him to grow up and to begin putting YOU before his own needs, because that's what marriage is all about.  
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Avatar_f_tn
u can quote bible scripture here til the cows come home...but i do not believe God intended for any man or woman to tolerate abuse in a marriage of any form...verbal,mental,physical liquid or drugs..and to endanger the life of a child driving drunk with that child in a vehicle!
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Avatar_f_tn
Amen!

Enuf said.
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Avatar_f_tn
Amen back with thanks!jeez!grrrr!
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Avatar_f_tn
jacker is indeed correct. those of us who have this deadly disease still must be accountable for our actions. being an alcoholic in no way excuses the behavior you have described. your first priority is that baby--another child of God--and your second is to you--a child of God as well. please consider alanon to learn how to to live with disese (disease)--or not--and explore your options. having had to live in a battered women's shelter for an entire year due to abuse i, in no uncertain terms, suggest that you make a decision and make it today. devon
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Avatar_n_tn
I wanted to thank you for sound biblical advice, I also live with a alcholic and I am a christian who believes like you, I don't want a divorce or to leave but it is so hrd to live with he is so sweet generous and kind in the morning but when I get home he is already drinking and slurring it's like he's not there he get's mad easily what can I say it is awful and  I am lonely it is such a empty life I feel like I can't take it anymore I love him so much and I really feel sorry for him I'm not as angry anymore I have a condo and I thought I should leave I don't want a divorce but maybe he will wake up if I go I really need to pray about this it's hard either way.

I hope I am making since I am at my wits end and I love everyones comments thank you all it has helped me I feel all alone!
Sandra
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Avatar_n_tn
I really understand where you are coming form.  I am in the same situation.  My husband drank when I met him, but so did I .  I didn't drink everday but he did.  I quess it didn;t bother me as much then, because I was young when I met him and didn;t realize how drinking would become a problem in the future.  As time went on I realized how bad drinking was because I have children, a steady job and ZI want more out of life.  I knew my husband was an alcoholic when I me him and later I discovered he was also a drug addict.  He recovered from the drug addiction but not the alcoholism.  Sometimes I wonder if he's using the alcohol to cover up the drug addiction
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't allow your son to be predisposed anymore than he has. The key is to be proactive and stop playing the victim. It's about your innocent child not you or your husband. His behavior will have alot more impact then you may realize. I would ask him to leave and not come back until he gets help. Seems to me that aa is not enough right now, demand he goes into at least a 28day treatment program to give him a jumpstart into recovery. I promise this will only help him return to you and your son in a healthy way sooner. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, without a Higher Power and AA we are doomed to a life filled with resentment, shame, and guilt. In his mind right now it's all about him, not you or your son. GET HIM INTO A TREATMENT PROGRAM ASAP !!!!
                                                                                                                         T
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Avatar_n_tn
Alcoholism, Drug Addiction it's all the same !!!! It's not about what we use, it's about why we do. Acohol is a DRUG. Addiction is a disease of the mind ! We desire the need to escape reality as we see it. We cary shame and guilt with us all the time.  T
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, so only the person who feels cheated on can break the marriage, otherwise, God doesn't honor that decision. So a man is unhappy in his relationship, but feels tied to the home, due to children, finances and just out of blame habit...he finds a girlfriend, someone he can really talk to, who he is attracted to and he becomes intimate with her...under your theory, he is to remain in that marriage, and can only leave if his wife files for divorce due to his adultery?  You are kidding me right...if you're unhappy, get out...doesn't matter who did what..if you aren't happy you need to move on and be happy. You can never love someone you don't love..it doesn't work that way...people fall out of love, people change. Although I think you would rather have people stay in something that is not fulfilling, just because god says so...we're human, we make mistakes and we don't remain the same throughout life, how incredibly naive of you. I want the choice to leave or stay and if I'm no longer in love with my spouse, if I am no longer attracted to them and would be giving them less than they deserve, then it is my duty to leave and allow them to have an opportunity at a life!

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I so disagree. Life is not all about being happy. Life is about doing what is right! Once you marry someone and have children you have a responsibility to try to make it work with your partner, even if it is not always fun. Some men find girlfriends because they can't deal with the reality of "real" life and commitment. Have fun with your opportunity at life and make sure YOU get what you deserve.
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't mean any offense, really. But personally, I'm a rather hard-boiled atheist, so you can probably guess my reaction to the idea that someone can make difficult decisions such as divorce by referring to the dictates of a contradiction-riddled book written thousands of years ago by ignorant, bigoted men living in a primitive culture.

But hey, if you are a believe and that's the way you want to make your decisions, then I sincerely wish you luck. You'll need it!
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Avatar_m_tn
I found this forum looking for the same answers you were looking for.  I am in the same predicament.  I want to do the right thing, too.  I know you love him.  You get so excited and happy when he is "him".  The man you married.  The guy you fell in love with.  It makes the night before seem like it never happened.  I liked most everyone's comments and appreciate the verses from the Bible that I was looking for.  Thank you Beth.  I do know what I'm going to do.  I'm going to separate from my husband until he gets better.  It's too hard on us to watch him destroy himself.  But, I'm going to love him the whole way through it, even though that will be tough, cuz you know he's going to hate me for it.  I want to do the right thing and I think that a lot of prayer, love, patience and kindness will help.  It's going to be tougher than staying with him, because I will have to probably get a second job, and won't be near my children as much as I'm use to; but my children are miserable around him, too.  I have a lot of family to help, so crossing my fingers that I won't need to get that second job.  I hope for healing for him and my kids and myself.  I will send prayers your way for healing for your husband, family and child, too.  God can make it possible.  We can love him from a distance, stay strong and make it our goal to live for our kid(s) so that they are brought up the way we know they need to be brought up.  I won't be looking for love again; only love I need is from my children and the Man Upstairs.  I have a lot of love to give and I will give it where it's needed.  I won't be a victim and I think he will come around and see what I did was for the best of us.  God bless you and I hope you find happiness and the answers you're looking for.
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I am a recovering alcoholic as well as a husband of a recovering alcoholic.  I am still currently active in AA however my wife is not.  It has been a few years clean for both of us however some of the "old behaviors" still come out.  Early on I had a lot of trouble dealing with my wife's behavior( yelling, attacks, throwing fits etc.)  It was suggested that I try Alanon so I gave it a shot.  One of the things I learned was that if I bought into her bad behaviors and fought back it would usually make things worse.  I basically had to stop fighting.  That doesn't mean give in to her demands.  For me in meant taking charge of my own life.  I would let her know what I was going to do and I then stuck to it.  I made no demands of her.  I let her decide what she wanted to do.  I kept my reasons for my behavior on me.  For ex.  Instead of saying "I'm leaving because you're are mean when you drink."  Say "I am leaving because I am unable to tolerate your behavior."  Can you see the difference?  It is about accepting responsibility for our own behavior.  Controlling and changing only what we can---ourselves.

Another thing was "detachment with love."  For me this was all about letting her figure out what she wanted to do.  I couldn't make her change.  She had to become miserable enough as she was so that she would want to change.  Be aware of things you do that fuel his fire when he's drinking.  I found that fighting, arguing, or trying to persuade to get help made things worse.

I understand that there are children involved so you must do what is necessary to protect them.  It is selfish of us to put family members at risk because we want to maintain a relationship.  I'm not saying to leave.  I'm saying to try and come up with a solution where the family is safe.  You know your situation better than we do.

You may also want to pick up a copy of "The Big Book of AA".  There is a lot of good info in there that has helped me out quite a bit.  I wish you the best of luck.  God Bless!!
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Avatar_n_tn
here is the question:  How many times do you try before you can finally say " I just can't do it anymore"?  I do not believe that God's purpose is for us to be miserable.  I have been trying to fix my marriage for years, a few months will be great, then it is right back to where we started, the drinking is the only thing that seems to make him happy.  It is hard to feel constantly like you just aren't enough.
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Avatar_f_tn
i scratch my head when i read a woman saying i've been trying to fix my marriage..or a man for that matter...isn't a marriage TWO ppl?how does a relationship get repaired if both parties aren't addressing their respective parts in it?what happens is if one is trying to fix and the other cares not to do their part?the fixer-upper-attempter get a sore head from smacking it in2 a wall........that ain't no way to live!
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Avatar_f_tn
Im in a very similar situation and hes a great dad and husband when hes sober, but thats rare. he comes home from work, drinks until dinner and then passes out. he spends the weekend drinking from morning till about 6 when he wants to eat and then pass out. we have a two year old and im 7 and a half months pregnant. i always want to stay in hopes that he will change one day, but i fear that im wasting my life with someone who will never change, and what worries me is the kids, when they are old enough to understand, will they hate me for staying. my parents were both alcholics and abandoned me at 5 years old. i didnt want a broken home, but im starting to feel like im also wrong for staying. thanks to everyone for their opinion, it helps to know other wemon are in the same situation, i believe time will push me into a choice
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Avatar_f_tn
i hope u get urself to some Al-Anon meetings....many women there who have weathered a situation like urs.....and have had to make some difficult decisions....u r so wise to consider the long term effects of this on ur children...please take good care of urself and the baby to come!
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Just do whatever Ibizan says, it's you best bet! I'm going to bed!
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I sure can say that it takes what it takes. And for some people losing their family isn't even enough to get them to bottom. I can say also that one of the sad realities of this disease is that people lose the things most dear to them because they are sick. And rightly so, being around an alcoholic is too much emotional stress and physical danger than any person should have to put up with, especially a child.

Alcoholics and addicts need a bottom line sometimes to change - Let him know how his addiction has negatively affected you, and what will happen if this continues. Ultimately it will still be his call what he wants to do, but you must decide what you want to do in order to get better yourself. I know when I was drinking I isolated away from family, and it took me hating myself enough to make that change and get sober.

I hope that you find what's right for you, and do what you feel is right in your heart. Good luck hun..
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Avatar_m_tn
I can relate. Keep praying, God knows what is going on, He knows how much we can bare. It is a lonely way of life, because it's hard to to love Dr. Jekle and Mr.Hyde.
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Avatar_f_tn
Everyone has placed in their own beliefs. I am a big believer of the bible as well. I also am a wife. I have been through many things with my husband including abuse of all sorts. About 3 years back we started attending a church together, and our relationship began to change. What I learned from my experiences is you are the only one that knows what you can handle. So, do what you know you need to for you and your son.

The other thing I want to say is that I believe as done of the others have said a mistress can be anything that your husband loves more then you. In this case it's drinking. In fact just tonight I asked my husband is that what he wants time with more then me? He didn't like that and got angry at first, but I think after a bit he realized it seems that way at times.

So, I get what you are feeling in more ways then one. Luckily I have no children who have had to be around during all our ups and downs. But I have two step children who come around every other weekend and it pains me to know my little girl has seen how her daddy treats me. She is 11 and is just starting to understand.

Like I said I understand your pain. I will be praying for you and your family. If you ever are just wanting to vent let me know. May God be with you and your family,

Kimberly
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Avatar_f_tn
I am struggling with a similiar problem - alcoholic husband and 2 children.   I have come the conculsion that it is very rare for an alcholic to stay sober so you have a choice - stay on the mouse wheel or go make a happy life for your children.

We met 30 years ago, as highschool sweethearts.   We both drank as young kids in college and just after, but his drinking accelerated as we got full time jobs.   That is when I realized I married an alcholic.

I prayed often, but I also nagged alot about his drinking.   After years, I told God I was tired of waiting on an answer.   Within a minute of that prayer, I heard a crash in my neighborhood - my husband wrecked the car.   We separated and I was done.

But then, for the first time, he was required to go to a longer term counseling program as a requirement of his legal troubles (there had been > 4 at this time).    To my surprise, we really talked about how his drinking affected me and how we could support each other.     After 6 months, we got back together and had 2 beautiful children.

Then, he started drinking again (at the youngest 1st birthday).   I tried to reach out to tell him I will support him to get back on track.  He told me ' I got this'.     I learned in the addiction program that I cannot 'make' him do anything.    He is a good, involved father, when is he sober.   So, I was careful about our children being in the car if he was drinking.   But all I could do was watch and wait for things to escalate as they always did.

Then he got caught again.   He was surprised I did not scream or yell.   I just said - I knew it was going to happen soon.    During the legal process, I realised he was only sorry for getting caught and was 'buying' his way out of the consequences and even before the last day of his counseling, he was drinking again (sneaking ... but I can see the drunk wobble from across the room - and the receipts dont lie).

I have given him multiple chances and I doubt he will change.   I cannot do this 'groundhog day' over and over.    It is not fair to me or the children.

A lawyer told me years ago, < 1% of alcholics ever stay sober, your best to just divorce now and move on.   That was 15 years ago - I have to admit he was right.
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Avatar_f_tn
it is estimated that 1 out of 10 ppl in USA are alcoholics.Even tho the stats are grim on long term sobriety i have encountered many in my 29 years of recovery that have long term sobriety of 5 10 and 15 plus years of sobriety.I took responsibility for my disease at age 28......i made a comittment to myself to not let it destroy me.It is WORK...hard work but it can be done.The person has to WANT to get sober and do their homework!No one.. but them...can do it for themself!
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Avatar_f_tn
Jeez! All of this talk about you and him.

What he is doing is CHILD ABUSE! CALL THE POLICE! ENDANGERMENT OF A CHILD!

I'd call the police if I knew where you live. I'd call Child Protective Services. If you won't protect your child:

YOU ARE COMMITTING CHILD ENDANGERMENT!

My girlfriend went through this same thing. It made her darling, handsome, charming, successful husband/loving father wake up.

They still divorced after he got sober. She could not get over her resentments. When someone is truly sober, they are a totally different person. Often, when I was just sober, I was so busy trying to atone for the badness of when I was drunk, I was more fantastic. It is kind of like the "honeymoon" phase of an abusive relationship. ex. Oh I just beat my spouse up and now I feel horrible! Let me be nice so they won't leave me. At least until I do it again!

I am a fantastic person, but I am so different. I am 2 years sober and I LOVE life! Don't live miserable. Don't let anyone threaten your child's life. Why do you think that DUI is being considered to be a felony? Look at the statistics. Would you let anyone else drive your child who was drunk? I wouldn't let anyone drive me who was drunk. Your child depends on you.

I know this is an old posting. Driving while drunk is only part of the problem you are allowing to happen. Your child knows. You think your child isn't going to have problems growing up watching Daddy call Mommy names? Being afraid of coming home from school, wondering which Daddy he gets to see that night? Eventually modeling his adult behavior after his Daddy? Oh, let's see... adult men go out and get drunk, call their wives names, then adult men cry like babies cause they're scared their wives will leave them. Adult men go out and get drunk (what else while they are out? Flirt with other girls? More?)

After you have him arrested, get out! Get help! After he has paid his penalties (jail time? forced rehab? court ordered UA's to protect your son?) don't let him near your son if you suspect any alcohol.

He cannot drink again. It is the only way. Your child will thank you for it. You will thank me, when you realize the world is a beautiful place and you do not have to put up with this bull crap!
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