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Is my husband an alcoholic?
February 5, 2000
4:33 am
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Brenda
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I need some perspective. Ive been married ten years and my husband comes home drunk every friday night and sometimes drinks an occasional bottle of wine or a few beers during the week. He enjoys his drinking and says it is his personal thread and that I should mind my own business.
He was supposed to take me and my children out last night for dinner last night but he stoods us up as we waited dressed up for a few hours for him to come home. He put the blame on me for calling him on his cell angry and said he wouldnt come home untill much later now. I was furious and said I was sick and tired of him neglecting me and our kids and choosing to drink with his single friends every fri evening. I never go out and am dedicated to my children. I am also ready to have a baby. I feel alone in this pregnancy and in this marriage. For our anniversary i brought him a gold ring, he brought me nothing. ( He had promised to buy me a gold ring since he had brought me nothing for xmas, when i say nothing, I mean not even a card.
I feel so betrayed, alone and unloved in this marriage. He says he works hard during the week and has his right to drink on fri nights. He drinks and drives and the car is insured under my name. I am disgussted with his reckless, selfish behavior.
He works long hrs and is a zombie during the week with lack of proper sleep and the combination of the permanent hangover.
I keep telling him he has a drinking problem, that its a problem if its causing problems in our marriage, his health and risk taking. He just laughs it off and says, "most guys drink way more than me"
He just came home in the wee hours of the morning and cooked himself something and left the oven on at a high temperature, it is old and did not turn off out of emergency reasons. I woke up to the smell of smoke and cooking, ran downstairs and found the oven left on and him asleep on the couch.
I felt like spitting on him.
Please, any advice would help.

February 5, 2000
4:34 am
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Brenda
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I wanted to also add that sex is about once ever two weeks now, if that, and very mechanical. I am a fairly young woman still, and I feel so dead around him at times. He rarely is affectionate. He says he loves me on the phone when he calls from work, almost every day, but I dont really feel it. I have so much invested. help.

February 5, 2000
6:49 am
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rmst
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brenda

get rid of him. he's a bum. there are lot's of men who will like you and give you more. drop him. he's a bum.

February 5, 2000
10:20 am
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KTHOMAS
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Brenda,

Like you...I found myself married to an alcoholic. Yes...I think anytime alcohol comes before a mate, family and responsibilites...alcohol is like the other woman. I used to say that to my husband...how can I compete with a bottle of beer? Beer was his choice of drink. Some days he functioned on it and I never knew he was drunk...others he would come home fall asleep and even wet the bed because he was so OUT. And he was a successful real-estate broker!

Only you can be the one to stop the cycle of neglect that is going on in your marriage. He may have been a wonderful man at one time...but alcohol really does warp and change them. I tried everything to get through to my husband...he always turned it around to be my fault in some way for his not being home or not doing something he had promised. I was slowly going insane. I finally asked him to leave. Five weeks later he got himself arrested...not just for alcohol...(he has had 2 DUI's since we were married four years ago)but the bar he hung out at also had druggies. So he is in for a drug charge...even though I know that he would never use them...but again alcohol warped him and I don't know what he was thinking. He has been in jail now four months...and for the first time since we were married (when we were dating and for the eight years I knew him before he was sober)he is sober. It is terrible to say but of course I fell back in love with the sober man...and I am here for him...putting money on his books, writing and visiting him. But when it gets time for him to come out...I am scared to death that he will drink again. Sure it is easy to be sober in jail...no bars there.

Brenda...I asked my husband to leave because he drove very drunk with my nine year old in the car and even had him lie for him. You must do what you feel is best for you and your children. I am so sorry you are feeling alone at a time of joy (having a baby). My heart and prayers are with you.

Karin

February 5, 2000
11:50 am
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Brenda
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rmst and Brenda, thankyou for responding. I am crying this morning, I just woke up and I feel so nauseous, I couldnt sleep and my two children have run to him sleeping on the couch. He is playing with them.
The drinking is getting worse, and it hurts so bad because we were really beginning to connect again and he promised me he would quit. After xmas he went right back to drinking with these single guys who i could kill if i ever saw them. I feel like confronting them all face to face and telling them if they were his friends they would not contribute to his alcoholism and the break up of his marriage like this. This stress is too much for me and I want there to be a big change around here.
He made it clear last night that his booze and self were more important than his family. I feel like screaming at him, begging him to see what hes doing. My heart is so broken.
Its so easy to say leave, but he wont leave me. If i leave, then i could lose parental rights. How can I prove that his drinking has destroyed our marriage and his parenting?
I deserve so much better than this.
Im afraid what this stress will do upon my baby. He was good, hes nothing now. I is not a husband, or a father or a friend. This is one of the saddest days of my life. I guess i should get to a alanon group.

February 5, 2000
12:33 pm
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KTHOMAS
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Brenda,

That would be a great start...the alanon meeting. Also...look into some agencies that offer counseling on a sliding scale...it really helped me to understand why I felt so hopeless and helped me to let loose of the control.

I am so sorry you are feeling so sad...I wish there were something I could say or do to make you feel better. Do you go to Church? Honey..you need a support system that you are not getting right now. Please do consider acting on your thought of going to alanon asap.

Keep in touch...

Karin

February 6, 2000
10:40 pm
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Brenda
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Well Karin, after much emotion, he has promised me that he will prove he isnt an alcoholic by not drinking for 90 days. He counted down today, 89 days to go he said. I said, yea what happens after that? He said, responsible social drinking..
I dont know, I had a meeting to go to but didnt go yet. I may feel out of place there, there are probably women and children with much worse addicts.
We had a pretty good weekend and he was very sincere in his promise not to drink a drop for 90 days and he was doing it to prove he loved and cared for me and our children adn for himself.

February 7, 2000
5:36 am
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hazza
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Hi Brenda,
I hope that he does prove himself to be a responsible drinker, but if he does have alcohol problems then you may just be prelonging the time it takes for him to face up to it.
I had many sober months with my partner and him trying to prove to me that he could drink responsibaly but he can't. when he was drinking he would end up drinking too much, drink driving and being aggressive. I kept hoping he would sort himself out but it only happened when i finally got so mad one day that i told him how disgusting he was and told him to leave, he knew i meant it and i think for him it was the rock bottom he needed to see how bad things had got. He did end up staying, but on my terms, he hasn't drunk at all for a few months npw and he knws that i won't be with him if he ever has a single drink again. It is me or the alcohol, but not both.
I hope that your husband can be responsible with his drinking but if he is an alcoholic he will not be able to moderate himself when he is drinking and total abtinence will be the only solution, you will know not by the times when he isn't drinking but by the times when he is, if he can have a few beers in a night and get himself a taxi home if he is over the limit, then fine. If he ends up drinking more than he planned to or drinking at inappropriate times then he probably has a drink problem and staying off it for 90 days won't help anyone, he will need to stay off it for life, people become alcoholics because the CAN'T control their drinking when they are doing it, goping without drinking for 90 days is not a problem for all alcoholics, if he is the typical BINGE drinker as opposed to regular alcoholic, then he will be able to go without for months but when he does drink, then he will have the peoblem of not being able to control the amount he drinks.
My partner was a binge drinker, and for ages i though he couldn't be an alcoholoc because he could go days without a drink, but he was a alcoholic because when he did drink, he wasn't in control.
There are many good web sites that have lists of characteristics that people with alcohol problems have, when i checked it out i found my partner had most of these symptoms, thats when i realised that he had a problem and he could ruin his life with it but he wasn't going to ruin mine. If you partner does have problems, make sure you look after yourself first and foremost. Go to the alanon meeting, read up about it and find out, don't allow the person with the problem to tell you whether thay are an alcoholic or not, they probably don't know , or won't admit it, you must find out and then decide what you want to do about it.
Good luck, I've been there and i know how it is
Hugs
Hazza

February 7, 2000
12:51 pm
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Brenda
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Thankyou Hazza for your wise words.
I cant bear the thought of leaving such a good man. He is a pretty good man and I am am going to have another child with this man.
I want to give my marriage 100% but also myself 100% I feel like if he is an alcoholic, then it would be like me leaving him or abandoning him when he is suffering from alzheimers or something. He has admitted his mistreatment of me during his drinking and non and has vowed to be a changed man. He does love us all so much and would do anything for me and our children.
I can empathise with his feeling "under pressure" which he admitted he feels when he drinks, he has a lot of financial responsibility because I can no longer work. We have a large home and a lot of bills to keep on top of. He has his own business and many employees. IT is a lot, especially with the baby on the way.
He has agreed to couple counselling and to sort out his underlying feelings regarding his drinking. He knows that he is not totally drinking for healthy reasons and wants to look at other options for handling his stress, so I have hope and Iwill keep the hope. I will also go to alanon.
Hugs back to you Hazza.
I think im doing the right thing

February 7, 2000
12:57 pm
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Brenda
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He also leaves his vehicle at home when he goes out on fri nights. He says he wants to continue to go out with his friends but drink soda water. I dont know how successful this will be. He said you can smell my breath when i get home if you wish. I thought this was something I did not want to do and should not be put in a position to do this in the first place. He vowed he will not drink, I wish he would quit altogether, it really upsets me.
He says this is controlling of me, if I can see that he can drink responsibly. I am willing to give it the 90 days and then see what he does. In the meantime I will go to alanon and if he screws up well thats his screw up not mine, obviously he cares more about drinking than living a happy life with his family. That breaks my heart but i guess its the reality for many wives of alchies like us. I dont know whether I should prepare myself for the worst or the best. Isnt preparing for the worst creating the worst? I need to have faith in him or he may not have faith in himself. Its a hard call, never thought I was the wife of an alcoholic before. I guess I was in denial. I will check out those sites. Some say it is difficult to diagnose alcoholism. Does anyone else out there have any experiences that could shed some light on my situation?

I appreciate everything both of you, K thomas and Hazza have said, thanks for caring.

February 7, 2000
10:44 pm
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Brenda
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guess no one else gives a shit

February 8, 2000
8:48 am
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KTHOMAS
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Brenda,

Man do I know how you are feeling. I have been there and done exactly what you are doing...and I know how hard it is to wonder if it is me...or him...or how can I change things...will he follow through...all those questions that are driving you crazy.

You must do what you think is best for you. What anyone else thinks or says doesn't matter. You know what is going on and you know whether you are ready to stop the cycle or not. I got all kinds of advice about how I needed to lose the bum...no one told me to stand by my man. If this is what you want to do then do it. Get the support system needed to do so.

I am standing by my man. He is in jail and I am still doing it. I know the good inside of him. It was the alcohol that I hated not him.

I wish you only the best. Follow your heart...

Karin

February 8, 2000
2:45 pm
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Cortni
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Are you sure he is just drinking with the guys? (or could there be some gals involved as well?)

February 8, 2000
3:59 pm
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Brenda
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Well, not so sure, but my gut tells me there isnt any gals.
I am pretty sure of my intution.
But thanks Cortni, just one more thing to obssess about.
Karin, im not so sure about your advice. I know you mean well, but theres a limit to "standing by your man" whatever happened to "standing by your woman" My children and I come first, I will not continue to help my husband if he doesnt help himself first. There is a limit. I think hes in early to middle stages of alcoholism and i have alerted him and drawn him to this truth and he has promised to quit drinking for three months and then we will reevaluate the situation. As far as him going out fri and NOT drinking, that kind of still pisses me off. I am wondering if I am being controlling in not wanting him to do this all the damn time. I mean come on now, I am at home pregnant with children and I NEVER go out anywhere. I certainly dont go out with a bunch of single women drinking and partying untill one in the morning every friday night. I am a married woman and I have self respect and responsibilities.
I think Im going to confront him on this issue. I dont like it,but where does trust begin? I mean he hasnt cheated on me in ten years..help
Now i am worried about other women.
He also said he wanted me to be business partner with him and then changed his mind yesterday saying he really feels i would be too controlling over him and it would cause marriage problems. Well i started his business and taught him just about everything he knows, now I want to be respected as partner and he refuses after saying he would?????He said he agreed because he was afraid to say no, when does the blame end?
Yet, he wants me to find him new contracts which I did in the past because he is incapable, doesnt have the confidence or experience. He said I should run them through my own company and then pay him and his employees..
I dont know what to think. He is also taking 20 to 30 percent of our money and putting it into his own account and says its for collateral for big contracts or savings when we need it BUT I cant touch it?
That also pisses me off, I am used to be financially independent myself and I feel like I have no control over my own financial situation. Should I start my own business or should i insist on being partner in "his?"
Should I insist he quit going out fri nights????
help

February 9, 2000
8:39 am
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hazza
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Brenda,
Hi again. We all give a shit, i promise you because we have all been there in our own way, and people gave a shit about us then at this site too.

SO firstly, well done. You see that there are some issues going on wioth you and your husband and you are facing them not running into denial. That is an excellent start.
I understand how you want to give him a chance, but you are doing it with your eyes open and if he lets you down i know that you will have the right priorities which is you and your children. Because you are wise about this i think you will be able to cope with seeing how it goes, also your husband had agreed to go to couples concelling. Good. Go, it will help alot.
It may not be the best idea being involved in his business, i know from experience of having a family business, it does take over your home life and relationships. But that doesn't mean you should do all the work for him and get none of the glory, If you are going to help in the business then you need your fair share, if not start up your own business seperate from him, it will give you greater independance.
Everyone needs time to socialise, if your husband behaves well and CAN only drink sodas then there is nothing wrong with him going out but you should develop a social life too, also the 2 of you should spend time together also.
I also hated being put in the position of being the adult in the relationship. It is not my job to "check " my partner to see if he had been drinking I did not want to made to feel like the nagging wife. This is part od the immaturity on the side of the drinker. It is not your job to monitor him, he must be responsible for himself. You must let him know what will happen if he chooses his drinking over you and you must be very clear and state your boundaries. After that it is up to him, it is not your job to keep telling him where those boundaries are, he is an adult. Many people run Businesses, have marriages, employ people, search new contracts, look after family and pay bills without becoming alcoholics. That is just the person looking for an outside event to take the blame of something that is a psychological part of themselves that they wont face up to. I ran the family business, paid peoples wages and dealt with the business having to cease trading and make sure that all my employies had new jobs to go to at the age of 24, i did not become an alcoholic, i suffered from anxiety disorder, but i don't blame all those events for it, it is in my nature to handle stress badly and it is that part of me that i am trying to cure, not mask it by self medicating with drink or drugs, although i have done that so i understand how people end up with addictions. Sooner or late we all have to take account of our own personalities and stop kidding ourselves that it is the outside events that make us do certain things, it isn't. It is how we handle things and sometimes we need to re-learn how to handle stress.

I don't blame you for being angry at him taking some of the money away for himself, what about you? Do you have your own income, how are you building up savings for your future if you ever needed it? Keep a close eye on the finacial side of things, if someone has an addictive personality they are often not so good at handling money matters, make sure you have access to any joint money and know what is going on.

I wouldn't worry about the other women too much! After ten years you would know if your partner has an eye for the ladies or not, don't look for things that aren't there at the moment concentrate on what is happening not what might happen. My partner had alcohol problems, although sober now, you can never way 100 per cent that he will always be, he would be aggressive and at times violent, rude and opressive but he never looks at other women! so i get to keep all those good qualities for myself!!! He is also loving sensitive and the kindest person i know? so it goes to show there is good and bad in everone but the bad must never be the part that controls our lives, if it does we have to quit, no matter what.
Good luck, and i hope that you resolve these issues and don't let them augment any futher.
Hazza

February 9, 2000
1:07 pm
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Brenda
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Hazza you are so smart! YOur advice was just the steps I had taken yesterday.
1) I told him my limits with his drinking and he agreed that he had early stages and he would stop for three months and limit his drinking thereafter
2) He was not going out EVERY fri night and all weekends were with me and the children. ( non drinking, pool only )

3)He loves more than anything and will do anything to keep us happy, as much counselling as we need and as much time together as we need :):):)
4) This valentines we are spending a romantic weekend on a remote island.

ok, so I realised this much, my hormones were making things tragic and obssessive for me. I obssess to some degree already over my relationship and being pregnant compounded it.
I realise he needs to have friends and socialise and I should not control and choose who. I also realised that I want him to have his business independence and me my own. I do not like the way he does business therefore we would end up arguing and cause more pressure on our marriage.
I also realised that i need to LET GO which I have and take time for myself.
He now knows my feelings and my limits and it is up to him to honor and respect them as I would for him.
Pain in relationships teaches us, i know eventually there will be less emotional pain and more joy. Thankyou all very much and I wish you all the best in your relationships and lives also:)

February 9, 2000
1:16 pm
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Brenda
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Oh, also wanted to add that he does put 70-80% into our joint account:) Im not stupid..:)
Oh and Hazza, the reason you probably experienced all that anxiety stuff is because, like me, you DO TOO MUCH and take on too much responsibility. You sound like me, im gonna try not to take life so seriously, how about you?:)

February 10, 2000
7:51 am
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hazza
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HI Brenda,
you sound like a very wise lady!
YOu have figured out alot of issues on your own well done.

I think you are right about your hormones and your own personality making you a little sensituve rught now, I have never been pregnant but i have a friends who has 4 times, she is a smart lady but when she is pregnant she gets really stupid, it is so funny, when she is due to give birth for the last couple of months we just say, look we'll talk about this after the baby has come and you have your brain back, she has some very funny stories of what pregnancy makes her think, and more often forget!! The lasdt time she actually knew she was pregnant because she kept forgeting stuff! But it gives us a good oppotunity to tease her cos usually she is so sorted.

So it is great that you have been clear with your husband and he is responding to your concerns, he is looking at his habits too and is willing to be aware that there might be a problem, this is great. He sounds very healthy to be able to listen to what you are saying and be objective about himself.

you are right about anxiety, i took on so much that i broke down with all the pressure and only now am i trying to get my life back again from the bully that is anxiety and agoraphobia.But i will make it and lead a life that is the right life for me - no more alcoholics, bullying bosses, family problems etc!

Good luck with your new baby, when is it due? and have a lovely Valentines day, think of me sitting in the London rain while you are on your island!!!!
Peace
Hazza

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