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Have No Feelings/Love Left for Closet Alcoholic Husband ... Can't Have Sex With Him Anymore

by Karen Brown
(Orlando, Florida)

Husband of 16 years has been alcoholic and verbally/emotionally abusive for years. He lies about his drinking, displays inappropriate behavior in front of 4 kids, has said the most awful things imaginable to wife, has had two DUIs, gambles, has a temper, and just can not admit he has a serious problem.

He blames the wife for lack of attention/sex and relationship for his behavior. I am so tired of this man and I can't stand the thought of him touching me. It makes my skin crawl. He swears he hasn't drank in one month so feels I should give him sex and forget all that has happened.

It is like a cycle. I give in to him and he is satisfied for a very short time and if he is rejected for another sexual experience he drinks and starts abusing again. I have told him I can't do this anymore and will not give him sex any longer.

I told him for years that he needs help - AA, counseling, whatever but he thinks he can cure himself which he of course, cannot. I am a mess, the kids of course are stressed, I only keep him in our lives for financial reason. I am wondering if that by withholding sex from him may help breaking this awful cycle and if this is a way that I am saying "ENOUGH" of your shit!!! Any advice will help. Thanks, Karen


Hi Karen

It's sad to hear that things have disintegrated so badly in your relationship ... and that then begs the question, what do you do about the whole alcoholism marriage conundrum?

My belief is that if things are that bad where your partner gets abusive, then unless the other person agrees to get immediate help for their problem, I don't see how you can continue with the relationship ...

Because not only is the relationship toxic for you ... but imagine the damage being caused to your children living in a toxic environment like that? So even though you think it makes sense to stick around from a financial perspective, I think the damage you're doing by staying is far greater than the financial benefits.

Sure, withholding sex may work as a short-term measure, but it doesn't deal with the underlying issues, i.e. your husband's alcoholism and abusiveness ... and how that's impacted on your feelings for him. He needs proper help if he's ever going to change.

I think the only thing left to do is perform a professional intervention - with the aim being that unless your husband agrees to getting proper treatment and help right away, and basically sorts his life out, you and the kids are gone.

Alcoholism is your husband's disease, and unless he wants to change, there isn't a lot you can do. But by doing an intervention with the help of a professional, it might give him the wake up call he needs to sort his life out. There are no guarantees ... but I think you're far enough down the road where things have reached the 'last resort' stage.

Remember, this isn't just about you. Your kids are being badly affected by all this as well. So I think it's time your start giving some serious thought about your future, and how you can provide them with a loving and nurturing environment, which is something money can't buy.

God Bless and Best of Luck

Comments for Have No Feelings/Love Left for Closet Alcoholic Husband ... Can't Have Sex With Him Anymore

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Oct 07, 2013
Another stupid wife with an alcoholic husband
by: Anonymous

I have been married almost 20 years and I must say the last 10 have been progressively getting worse. Especially these last 3-4 years. My husband is a functioning alcoholic. He is not violent, he is actually helpful, but he just looks so UGLY when he drinks. You know that stupid look. I have checked off the calendar and he drinks about 25 days out of the month. The worst part is when he goes to the kids games and the kids smell his alcoholic breath. He is buzzed so frequently that he cannot have sex. He has bought those growth pills to help, but even then he drinks while he takes them. I am actually at the point where he grosses me out when he tries to touch me or kiss me. His tongue is all white and his breathe wreaks.. I think we have only had sex about 3 times in the last 8 months---seriously, he doesn't even miss it. I am so used to not having it that, I don't want it. We don't sleep on the same bed, we take turns on the couch and the bed. The question is---Why am I still with him.....???? I guess i'm scared to be on my own. I guess as long as he leaves me alone and doesn't expect anything, then I'm fine. I do love him, he is a good guy, but I am NOT in love with him. I don't feel attracted to him AT ALL. 2 more years, I tell myself and I will have the guts to leave. When my children are graduated and on their own.

Oct 01, 2012
Won't give alcoholic husband sex...
by: Donna

Hi, I'm going through a tough time right now and by reading everyone elses comments helps me realize that I'm not the only one going through this. My husband is asking for a divorce...again! I try to do everything I should do for our home and our son but I've dettached myself from my husband in order to be free of stress. I don't nag him to stop drinking. I let him do what he wants but he still will nag me for sex. I don't want him to touch me! He thinks I'm just there for his pleasure. I have given into him time and time again to keep the peace in the house and then he's nice to me for about 2 days and then the complaining, negative alcoholic is back in the picture and we are right back to the same old crap. Now I have finally started helping myself by going to college and now he's nagging me about sex and saying that I don't give him any attention. I'm a bad wife, etc....I'm so sick of being stressed out by him and now that I'm trying to do something to help me get out of this situation he's telling me to move out....tells me he's selling our house..etc....We have a son that's 12 and he's been so strong but I want to get him out of this situation so he stays strong......I hate this...I hate this life and I hate that he blames me for his drinking and our marital problems.

Dec 06, 2011
I know what your going through
by: Anonymous

I am in the same situation, and i have kids, and now i will not have sex, or if i do , i am just so disconnected or halfway through, i just go off or leave, i cannot stand having sex with a drunk, or being called his little whore while we are going at it, and the way he touches me, if he knew where my arms shoulders, anything is would amaze me, since he just starts really heavy groping my sex parts, i guess you can call it,, i hate it, i have told him this, but of course our opinion doesnt matter at all, please email me if you see this, i want to know what you did, i too have kids, my oldest, hates him, my middle girl is just embarrased to call him a dad, my 6 year old is the only one that goes near him,, well, shes six, and he acts like a kid, so yeah, i can see that, i dont mean to be cold, i guess after being dealt this for years, i am looking at January as my new life, he chooses to drink and act like an idiot, and i am tired of cleaning up his mess. my email is

Feb 11, 2010
I agree
by: Carol

I am an alcoholic who has been in recovery for almost four years. After reading your story the first thing I thought of was to leave him if he is not willing to get help. Why my husband stayed with me for all those years of being in and out of the program is beyond me. He should have left me and taken the kid and run as fast as he could. My son suffered due to my chronic relaspes. He heard and saw way too many things that a child/teen should never have had to hear. The verbal abuse I took from my husband was unbelievable and the more he tried to control me the more I drank. Something is very wrong with your relationship and I suggest you get counseling as well as your children. This disease affects the whole family and it took me years to believe. When I went into treatment in 1994 and they told me that in a class, I said "bullshit" and I didn't/wouldn't believe it for years to come. This disease is cunning, baffleing and powerful and it will eat you up any way it can. Take head,my dear, and get out if he won't get help!!!!!

Feb 01, 2010
by: Anonymous

The only way you're ever going to repair your relationship is if your husband gets sober ... and that's something you unfortunately don't have much control over because he has to do that for himself. Attempting an intervention is definitely worth considering and starting to set some boundaries about what kind of behaviour you deem/don't deem to be acceptable - and then creating consequences for that behaviour. But you need to be prepared to follow through if that's going to work. Try going to Al Anon if you can. People there who can help and support you.

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