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My Husband Gets Violent and Abusive When He's Drunk. Is Leaving Him the Right Thing To Do?


I’m married to a man who gets violent and abusive when he’s drunk, which is often. I’ve threatened to leave I don’t know how many times, but he always apologises and says he’s real sorry, that he’ll change and all the rest of it. At first I believed him, then I hoped he would, now I know it’s not going to happen.

I love him, but I can’t put myself through this anymore. We’ve got a couple of young kids, and thank God so far he’s never touched them. Most of his violent and abusive episodes tend to happen quite late after he’s been drinking for most the day, so luckily the kids are usually asleep in bed by then so they’ve never actually seen how he becomes.

I think I’ve managed to explain away the bruises, cuts and black eyes to them, but they’re getting older now so my stories won’t wash for much longer. All my family and friends know the truth by now because they’re obviously not stupid and they all say I must leave him.

The thing is, he’s a real good father when he’s sober and great with the kids. But I can’t let him do this to me anymore.


Abuse and violence is under NO circumstances acceptable. No matter how apologetic your husband is afterwards. Besides being an alcoholic it also means he’s got other deeper emotional issues at play that result in him acting out the way he does.

Your husband needs help – and not only for his drinking/alcoholism – but to address whatever is at the root of causing him to act out violently and abusively after he’s had too much to drink.

You now need to be firm and tell him that until he’s gone to get help for both his alcohol problem and propensity towards violence, you and the kids are moving out. And only once he’s significantly changed his behaviour in that he’s been sober and had no violent outbursts for at least 6 months, will you consider reconciling.

There is nothing you can do to change your husband. But hopefully by taking a firm stance in this way, he’ll then be motivated to getting help and making the changes he needs to. And if he doesn’t, you at least know you’ve protected yourself and the children from his abuse and violence.

Because you cannot under any circumstances, expose your kids to that kind of environment, even if they haven’t yet been directly harmed. Who's to say they they won't be in future?

The fact that you love him does make this seem hard to do. But you’ve got two young kids that depend on you to think of. And as a woman you deserve someone who will treat you with love and respect, not brutality, for which there is no justification for. Ever!

You should also get in touch with the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) to get their advice and support.

Focus now on surrounding yourself with people that love and care for you and finding a safe environment for you and the kids.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and that everything works out for the best. I'm sure it will. God Bless.

Comments for My Husband Gets Violent and Abusive When He's Drunk. Is Leaving Him the Right Thing To Do?

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May 12, 2013
I live in fear also
by: Anonymous

My situation is terrible I live in constant fear of my husbands emotional physical and sexual abuse. I blame myself for getting involved with him too quickly. I have not ended up in hospital yet just a matter of time. I live in constant shame of people finding out like neighbors etc. I have lost contact with all friends and my only hope is moving in with my mother across the US. He controls all the money so I have not been able to leave. I feel so stuck and alone. Getting more depressed every day.

Mar 10, 2013
sad but true
by: Anonymous

icame online for a insight my boyf got drunk and abusive last night and has been happening alot ,he also reflects his issues and prolems on too me and for a cpl months i believed him im starting too accept that after 20 months it wont change ,he hits himself spits and repeats himself but wen sober a very diffrent person ,i ts sad but i wont take anymore :)all theat i read onthis site rung true blame game the non alcholic in the relationship is left feeling shit i hope ppl in my situation can draw streghnth from this site :)

Sep 10, 2012
abusive bully
by: Anonymous

i have been married for 36 years and my husband is violent towards me i have epelepsy and a heart condition but he doesnt care when he hits me its always my fault i mainly stayed with him for kids sake but there all grown now .i have 8 grand kids who i love i have now decided after all this abuse i am putting a stop to it i dont need him or his violence im going to get my life back i dont want to feel a bag of nerves every time he has a drink i have made up my mind what i need to do but i do beg others in same situation get out dont leave it to late its been 36 years for me they dont change but i will make sure no man ever hits me again

Sep 08, 2012
Over 20 Years
by: Anonymous

I have been married to a man for over 20 years that both verbally and ( earlier on ) physically abused me. I must say, the earlier years were much worst - he would mostly turn off his cell phone and party, which was torture - then fall in the front door so drunk, but no matter whether i pretended to be asleep or not, he would wake me cussing etc. at me, everything was my fault. I worked, raised kids, never did anything for myself. He terrorized me. I left a few times but came back. I didn't realize back then about the whole codepency thing and what was going on. Fast forward, twenty years later he got involved in golf and though I must say it did help some, I was home alot alone. I started going places and having a life. He started treating me better, mostly because i think he wanted me to stay home - finally he left and moved in with another dumb woman, who he also abused when drunk - then i guess she kicked him out and he called me back. I was so devastated by the fact that he had been with this woman that all i did was cry the whole time. I ran right back to him when he called. Now, my situation is that when he's sober, he is better to me. He is more thoughtful, etc. But when he drinks, which is several times a week - he starts with verbal abuse - calling me names, saying I'm a peice of shit, and anything else he can say to hurt me. I will also say that I don't believe in drugs but marijuana has probably saved my life, as when he smokes it - he almost calms down instantly and becomes very nice again. I know this is a crutch -- and if he couldn't get the drug, it would be a long terrible night. What would everyone else do? I do love him, but also hate him. My daughter, who is almost grown now, hates him. He's not nearly as bad as earlier in the marriage - meaning he comes home after work or goes golfing instead of hanging out at the bar all night, he helps with bills etc. but still he drinks- certainly will not quit and gets roudy unless he has his weed. I want to leave, know this is not normal but fear I will regret it if I leave. There's something about how charming they are when they are sober and treat you good. Am I the one that has a problem for allowing this or needing him to love me? I felt devastated when he moved in with another woman, and was so happy when we got back together but of course, that feeling didn't last long at all. It's been about 5 months and the drinking verbal abuse started right after we got back together. I have found another place to move, but i feel so guilty. What is wrong with me?

Oct 19, 2011
no more
by: Anonymous

i've been with my husband for over 30 years most of which he has been drinking, i've done all the stuff that you do, threaten to leave, threaten to hurt, threaten him with the kids the dog etc but alas nothing works, i find myself praying to god, (i'm not particularly religious) to see if he'll cast his mighty hand and give him an eye opener, some kind of drastic warning to stop him from drinking. He doesn't think he drinks much and accuses me of being unsociable because i don't drink, he's caused all sorts of trouble, my friends won't come round because he's always drunk, he says he isn't, i've left a million times, i've had affairs, i even left my kids with him because i had to get out and they didn't want to come with me as it mean't leaving their school, friends etc.., he eventually battered my eldest girl who was 15 at the time, she is 31 now, that was because i wasn't there and he needed to take his frustrations out on someone, he's thumped me too, i'm 52 now and he's 53, i have no money so i can't get anywhere myself, it would mean moving back to Manchester (we moved to Cumbria for a better life style)and starting again, my two younger girls live there, my eldest lives abroad, he controls everything in the home including money, i need advice, good advice, so this is my story, if there is anyone out there with the right answers, please feel free.

Sep 04, 2011
My Lost Years
by: Anonymous

I feel trapped and abused by a partner of 9 years who drinks whisky as if it were water or juice. It is nothing for him in a few hours to drink half a litre of whisky. This can happen a few times a week. After drinking he becomes seriously abusive and threatening. He is controlling and I have no friends. Any friend I have he does not like and is extremely nasty about them to me. My son and family will not have anything to do with him. This has resulted in a significant loss for me of not seeing my son and grandchildren very often. He has isolated me I used to have a good job, a nice car and home. I have lost my job as he made my life a living hell when I was working, he kept calling me on the phone waiting outside for me and even wanted to come into the work place. If I had to stay late for a meeting I was questioned to the point of exhaustion. If I even look at or speak to another man I am wrong I have started to walk around with my head down. Now I am left trapped in a small home barely allowed to go out on my own without him. I am 57 I have tried to accept his behaviours but I know inside they are slowly destroying me. If I laugh at something a little naughty or funny on the TV I am called terrible things. I have no where to go. I do not have a job or funds my self esteen and selfworth are at their lowest. I have no energy left. He is very clever at hiding his behaviours and when I try to talk to his family about the problems he denies everything and laughs it off. He says he will stop drinking. He stops for a while and starts again. At first I thought this was such a caring loving person who did not want me to work or anything to happen to me so he would take me everywhere now over time I know my personal self has been taken away. I am a wreck.

Dec 04, 2010
Living with Alcoholics
by: Sueb

I've lived with alcoholics my whole life and it's just been utter hell, no peace, no sense of well being. The husband I am married to now, I've been with for 18 years and nothing has changed. He knows he has a drinking problem, but nothing I've done has made any difference. I've been gone from the home for 8 months now trying to concentrate on my own life. There's just too much damage done now and too late to try and go on with this. He just won't grow up and quit at the age of 50. It's killing him fast. Not even grandmal siezures made him wake up. I don't know why I even love him, but at this point, there's no hope for us. I'm done. I'm staying with my mom and for the first time in my life, I've lived without alcohol in my daily life. I finally found some peace. This man has been in rehab twice and even that didn't help him. There's no hope for us. I just don't understand why anyone would want to spend their entire life drunk and missing out on so much of life, good things. I'm getting counseling now to try to get over all the hurt and pain.

Nov 30, 2010
Hurt For My Son&I
by: 16yrs Of IT

I have husband that do all types of abuse verbally is his main abuse towards my son& I,He throws&break up everything in the house,He disrespects me infront of neighbors,I have been saying i am going too leave but i hadnt yet,He neglects us and treat us soo bad HELP PLAYED WITH MY MIND FOR 16YRS.

Aug 03, 2010
You r not alone.
by: Anonymous

i have a partner of more than 10 yrs. He use to adore me and make me feel that I am everything to him. As the years went by things are starting to change. He drinks everyday except sat and sun am. He tells me how stupid n useless and fat i am. In the mean time I have also started to drink and smoke in access. What do you do? I wish I had the answers but I do not. I spend my days at work trying to bury or at least keep things on the surface.

Nov 07, 2009
a reply
by: ronnietwowolves

I too, was abusive to my wife when I came home drunk. I guess I figured once the bar closed it was all over for the fun times and acted like my wife was to blame for it. Stupid way to feel,but that's how she looked at it and finally convinced me that was the way I acted. Once in a drunken stupor,I had the stereo blaring and the front door barracaded so nobody could get in. She tried to get through the door and failed. She then tried to come through the window-which was open and I tried to injure her by swinging a wood splitting maul at the window. I almost got her and she screamed my name,which snapped my head around to see her.
I thank God I missed her and am glad I have stopped drinking going on 7 years this Nov.18,2009.
The thing is,you have enabled him to go on like this-unaware of course-but still it is up to you to end this before he kills you,or starts on the kids. Actually,if any child welfare people hear of this you stand to lose your kids and may even end up in court for child endangerment. Sorry,but it's true.
Seek help immediatly because the next violent act towards you may inadvertantly hurt or even end one of your childrens' lives.I cvan't stress to you how bad an alcoholic blackout can make a person so very violent and unpredictable as well.
I look back on my own insanity while drinking and think-I could have killed my sweet wife and never known it until I woke up in jail recovering from a bad drinking bout.

Aug 11, 2009
Al-Anon can help
by: Anonymous

There are many people around the world who have or are dealing with this problem.

Al-Anon is a non-profit organization that is found worldwide. All you need to do to be a member is go to meetings and have a relative or friend who has a problem with alcohol. It does not cost much (usually people put in $1 per meeting in the U.S. so they can pay for rent and literature expenses but it's okay if you don't have any money). There may be several meetings in your area - look online. The support is unsurpassed because these folks know exactly what you're going through and they can help you find the answers for your situation.

I have been a long-time member because it helped me deal with an abusive husband (we are still married and the abuse is no more) and all sorts of relationships with others. It also helped me in raising my kids so they did not develop these problems that usually get handed down through generations. They are 20-somethings choosing healthier partners than I did.

Aug 06, 2009
by: Anonymous

I was in a similar situation to you. I have absolutely no doubt that leaving my husband was the right thing. Who knows where it would have ended up? You don't know either. As hard as it may seem right now, know that you'll be doing the right thing, and that it gets easier with time. May God Bless you.

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