Devastated! Just Found Out Husband is a Closet Alcoholic.I Don't Know What To Do Next.?
I have been with my husband for 10 years. Four years ago he was diagnosed with liver disease. He convinced me, the doctors, his family, and the transplant counselors, EVERYONE that he did not have a drinking problem and his liver problems were diagnosed to be autoimmune related.
We meet in college and used to drink together with our college friends but stopped excessively drinking when we graduated. We would have a glass of wine when we went to out to dinner. I thought we were 'normal' about alcohol but I guess I was wrong. Yesterday my husband told me that he has been secretly drinking for years (6 to be exact).
He had been drinking in his car on the way to work, leaving work early to drink, and drinking whenever I was gone. I work 70+ hours and go to grad school so I guess he had a lot of time alone. I feel like a complete idiot that I never noticed his drinking. It all makes sense now: the verbal abuse, the slurred speech, etc. I really thought it was liver encephalopathy caused by his 'non-alcohol' related liver problems.
I feel so hurt and used. Throughout his battle with liver disease I was the doting wife: I pay all the bills, do all the house work, work extra hours, and was going to grad school to try to get a better job, I wanted to start a family. I talked to the doctors, I researched liver issues. I now find out he was lying all this time!!!
I gave up opportunities, I missed out on so much and scarified so much for him and now I find out he was lying all this time. When he told me about the drinking (also, a possible drug, cheating and porn issue that I have yet to confront) - I got physically sick. I was able to get him to his brother's house who is getting my husband to rehab.
What next? My husband is off the transplant list now and will likely die because of his ruined liver. I don't know if our marriage can be salvaged. I don't feel any love for him. I have never felt so hurt and betrayed in my entire life. Any advice would be appreciated. I am just so lost.
To feel hurt, betrayed and angry at what has happened is normal and natural. So allow yourself to feel all those emotions and don't try and hold anything back, because in allowing yourself to feel, you begin to heal those wounds and scars, from which you'll be able to move on.
Unfortunately lies, deception and manipulation often accompany alcoholism - so your husband was simply doing what most alcoholics do - trying to protect his addiction. What he's done is in no way justified or excusable, but you have to try and separate the alcoholic from the person, to understand none of what he did has anything to do with you. It's his illness and his behaviours are a symptom of that illness.
So what you have to do now is focus on your own healing and getting in touch with your needs and what you really want from your life. That might require therapy and perhaps joining a group like Al Anon (for loved ones of alcoholics), where you can learn and gain strength from others who've walked in your shoes.
You can't cure or control your husband's alcoholism. So whether rehab is the start of a new life for him, no one can say. It all depends on how much he really wants it and whether he's prepared to put in the work required to maintain a life of sobriety.
The only thing you have any control over is YOU. So now is the time to focus on yourself, and starting your own journey towards healing and happiness. What that means for the future of your marriage, only you can decide. There will be many dark days ahead, but given time and with the right encouragement and support you can get through this.
And if you're looking for a bit more detailed info on how to handle this and what you can do to, consider getting yourself Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict: How To Survive A Relationship With an Alcoholic or Drug Addict.
Unfortunately space constraints don't allow us to go into all the detail here, but whatever you decide, know that it's usually during our darkest times that we learn and grow the most.
Best of Luck