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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. Answer

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

Comments for Devastated! Just Found Out Husband is a Closet Alcoholic.I Don't Know What To Do Next.?

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Woman in the Same Sinking Ship
by: Anonymous

I, too, just found out recently that my husband of 5 yrs had been a closet alcoholic for over 25 years. I consider myself pretty world-wise, but I did NOT have a clue!! We would have a small glass of wine with dinner together most evenings, but little did I know he was spiking his own "Crystal lite" that he carried around all the time regularly with vodka. His secret began to unravel when he had to have his upper teeth pulled and almost bled to death in the middle of the night, which led to an emergency room visit and the beginning of a horrific nightmare for us both. The alcohol had affected his blood's ability to clot, which led to the exposure of his BIG HAIRY SECRET!!!!!! The irony here is that I SWORE after 2 previous marriages that I would NEVER, EVER, EVER marry again, but he treated me like a queen and manipulated me every step of the way. Now I am seething with fury!!! How could I have been such a FOOL?!?!?!?
I told him that HE was the one that broke the covenant of this marriage and HE is responsible for it's demise. I am divorcing him and he says he completely understands. The problem at this point is his declining health. He doesn't have much family.....a distant brother and a troubled son in his early 20's who both live far away. He has destroyed my life and placed me in a very difficult situation financially. But, I WILL survive and it WILL be WITHOUT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One further note....let it be written in stone....there will be no other men....EVER!!!!!
I've learned my lesson once and for all.
I may sound bitter, but I will move forward and find joy and fulfillment once again for my life. I will not allow anyone to steal my heart & soul nor my happiness for which I know I am ultimately responsible.

Just a little more info
by: Chloe

I went through a long period of shock and I felt the same way. My best advice based on what I went through is to try and be around people that are supportive and in your corner. I was fortunate to have such good family and friends to take care of me and I hope you do too. You'll likely feel very confused and go through a roller coaster of different feelings all at the same time, I was angry and depressed a lot. Reach out to people if you need someone to talk to, it is difficult, but I did it and it helped me. I stayed away from the people who judged me, disbelieved me and thought I should stay with him. The only solution for me was to leave forever and I am proud I made that decision and refused to be a victim anymore. It's been a year and I must say I'm feeling a lot better, but it still hurts sometimes.

I was in a similar situation
by: Chloe

I was in a very similar situation with my ex husband of six years but a relationship of 11 years total. Had no idea he was drinking severely until he got very sick one day and had to be rushed to the hospital. I literally didn't have the first clue that he drank more than one drink a week. I was in absolute shock at the hospital when the nurses told me it was caused by alcoholism. He was put into a coma and I watched him in and out of consciousness with a breathing tube and life support for 3 months straight. It was absolute hell and his family seemed to want to blame me and didn't believe I didn't know. I stayed with him for years prior because I thought he had mental illness and depression. I held myself back for him and put a lot of my life on hold in order for him to be successful. I won't try and give you advice but these people will use you and use you until there's nothing left. I filed for divorce as soon as he woke up and survived and it was the best thing I ever did. I can't believe a word he says and he manipulated and used me the whole time and would still do that now if he could. It feels pretty awful a lot and I still can't seem to be in a real relationship. Im hoping that will change the more I work at doing things on my own and the more time that passes.

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