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Keep On Trying or Get Out From My Alcoholic Marriage?

by Sunny

I have been married to my husband for 5 years now and we have a beautiful 3 yr old baby boy. My husband is what I believe to be an alcoholic. He used to drink every night very heavily, sometimes a whole twelve pack.

He also used to use crack cocaine regularly but hid it for some time before I finally caught on. He would stay gone for 3-4 nights and come home wasted, coming off his high. That went on for approx 2 years quite frequently. During this time I believe that he cheated on me a few times.

He then promised to stop the drugs and slow down on the drinking, which I have to admit that he tried very hard but now and then still lost control and drank heavily about every 2 months. In between the heavy episodes he drank about 4-6 beers a night but only on the weekends but every weekend for sure.

The drug episodes became further and further apart and have stopped since my son was born almost 3 years ago with the exception of one drug episode right after he was born. The drinking still continues, weekend drinking but not usually really heavy.

However, a few days ago he did over do it again (12 pack) and drove while drinking which is horrible not only because he could kill himself or someone else but because he is a CDL truck driver and he is the primary provider for our family.

He usually doesn't leave the house when drinking but decided to go to a friend of ours house and proceeded to get TRASHED. He justified it by saying it was only 8 miles away on a dirt road. He not only drank and drove but he went to work the next day with a hangover. Because of his addiction, our marriage has suffered tremendously including no intimacy for almost 3 years now. We are friends but that is all.

On top of all that, I forgot to mention that while I was pregnant, we had to do some routine blood work for the baby and my husband was diagnosed with Hep C which he had to undergo treatment for. The treatment made him very sick and he continued to drink for about 3-4 months during treatment which made him extremely sick.

I about had to beat him over the head with a cast iron skillet to convince him that he had to stop drinking while on treatment but thankfully he finally decided to stop for the remainder of his treatment. Unfortunately, his sobriety did not last long ...

I try to reach him and tell him that I need him to seek help for his alcoholism so he can heal and we can work on healing our marriage but he does not want to get help, he just keeps promising that he won't over do it anymore and that he just needs a little more time. Besides the addiction, broken promises and constant denial, my husband is a very loving, kind, generous and hard-working man who provides very well for his family.

My question is this, besides al anon, church and self help books, what else am I to do? I love him but am not in love with him anymore because of all the damage he has done to our marriage. I want to leave but feel great guilt because I don't want my son to have to go through being ripped away from his father and his home. I cannot be the only one willing to do the "work" required to fix this marriage. I am so torn...


Hi Sunny

You can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. Your husband's promises that he won't overdo it and just needs more time - are just that, more empty promises. It's just another form of his denial manifesting and him refusing to take responsibility for his life and his addictive nature.

So maybe it's time that instead of watching your husband self-destruct, you address the problem head on and make the decision that you're no longer prepared to tolerate his alcoholism - because if you don't draw a line in the sand at some point, things are inevitably going to get worse and you'll become more and more unhappy.

Remember alcoholism and addiction are progressive illnesses that only get worse with time, so if your husband doesn't get help and do something about his problem, at some point things are going to start unravelling in a major way. And where do you think that's going to leave you and your son?

So I think the time may have arrived to seriously consider performing an intervention and becoming very focused on trying to get your husband into professional treatment. And the only way that's likely to happen is if you draw a line in the sand with your husband and literally decide 'enough.'

Of course there are no guarantees that will work, but try and do everything you can to achieve that. Because if your husband doesn't get help for his alcoholism and turn his life around - what do you think your life is going to be like in 3, 5, 10 years time? And what kind of impact do you think that's going to have on your son?

No one can tell you what to do and there is ultimately no right answer. Everyone is different. But you really need to get honest with yourself and where this will end up if nothing does change. You're on the right track with Al Anon etc. because ultimately you can't control someone else's behavior - but you can control your own responses and the choices you make with your life. And Al Anon will help with that.

Children are ultimately done more damage by being brought up in an alcoholic home and all the toxic and destructive energy that brings - than they would if at least one parent was able to provide them a loving and harmonious environment. So think very carefully about what will be best for you and your son in the long-term.

It won't be an easy decision whatever you decide, but don't be afraid to trust your instincts. Good Luck and God Bless

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