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40 Years Into an Alcoholic Marriage. Now What?

Tonight I went out to the car after my husband passed out in his chair, found the half-empty bottle of brandy under the seat and dumped it out on the ground. Whenever I find hidden bottles (usually by accident, but sometimes I get mad and look for them) I empty them.


I figure he's had so much that when he goes to look for it tomorrow he won't be sure he didn't drink it all. I wish he would ask me about it. I am crazy about this man, we've been married almost 40 years, we have four great kids and a mostly wonderful life together. This is an issue that has been getting progressively worse over the last 25-30 years.

At times he controls it pretty well, but is not happy in his line of work and tends to blame the drinking on that. He's never abusive but does start stupid arguments that he won't drop, and gets even more insistent if I try to opt out. I usually just try to avoid him if I can see that he's been drinking. What fun.

He started hiding bottles outside several years ago when I began to express my feelings about his drinking. He never drinks and drives, it has never affected his work, he never drinks until about 5 in the evening. But most evenings he goes outside about then, wanders around the property (we live in the country), comes in about 6:30 or 7, finds himself some supper since he usually misses it, sits in his chair, starts a movie, and is out cold within 10 minutes, leaving me to spend the evening alone.

In the morning he's back to normal and everything is good. There is never any conversation about it because this is the one issue he refuses to discuss. Anything about it from me freezes him up. I do worry about the effect it has had or may have on our kids (we still have a 12-year-old at home).

My husband's father was an alcoholic and the youngest sibling has no fond feelings for her dad. I don't want to see that happen with our kids. I've stuck around this long and will see it through to the end because I do love him, but he could make life better for both of us if he could face up to the damage it's caused and continues to cause. Not looking for sympathy, even advice, but it helps to unload.

Comments for 40 Years Into an Alcoholic Marriage. Now What?

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Nov 29, 2013
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Trust in your inner voice
by: Anonymous

May you live your life well and make the best choices for you your children and your husband.

May 12, 2012
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In the same boat
by: Anonymous

I too have been married for fory years. My husband turned into an alcoholic after he retired from the Army. I was so very much in love with him and also very proud of him. Now everynight I can't wait for him to pass out. It is a very lonely life. Both of our children were in their twenties when this happened and on their own but it still has affected them.

Jan 06, 2012
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Intergenerational conflict
by: Anonymous

I wish my mother had saved me and impish I had saved my son more quickly. Alcoholism is the gift that keeps on giving - you still have time to save your child. Alcoholism makes all of the grownups selfish- ask your child what kind of life he or she would prefer ...

Jan 02, 2012
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it doesn't get better
by: Anonymous

I have to give you sympathy for your courage to stay with him. However, if you think the kids don't notice you are blind. They see more than you think. I should know since I have a father like this. It does affect the children and they will get alienated by it. Even if you can get him to get help in rehab it is not the same. Ask your older children if they noticed it adn you will find it already left a mark on them. I bet they have and have never told you. I am all for the happy marriage but there comes a time when you have to confront them and think of your children first. I hope this helps and do what you think is best. Above all seek help for yourself and the kids.

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