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My Husband is an Alcoholic - and Controlling My Life! Help! What Should I Do?

by Brooksy

My husband and I have been married for 7 years... We are both 27 yrs old and have 3 young children. I always knew that my husband might have a drinking problem because I grew up with an alcoholic father (who has now been sober for 14 years!!!)

But, my husband didn't really starting getting too bad until right after we had our youngest son who is now almost 2 years old. In the last year my husband has been in detox, jail for a DUI, and the hospital because he tried to kill himself while he was drunk one night. We were just recently separated for two months because of his drinking.

I just can't seem to get passed all the pain that he has caused me. I reluctantly let him come back home in April after he made promises that he would never pick up another drink again. He has tried AA and now says he hates it that they are all like a cult.

I don't know what to do - he has not started drinking excessively yet but I know how the cycle goes ... He has also told me that I am not allowed to go out with my friends for the occasional drink. I am in total support of my husband but I also don't think it's fair that I have to be locked in the house because he is an addict.

I am a stay at home Mom and am in this house 24/7 and I feel that I am not the one with the problem - but, somehow he always seems to turn everything on me and make it my fault when he drinks. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy and maybe it is my fault!!!!

I just don't know what to do anymore! I was recently invited to go to an all girls weekend trip and turned it down out of fear that he would get drunk and not be able to take care of the kids.

It sounds crazy but I don't want to live this way - but at the same time I don't want be with out him. Can someone please give me some advice about what to do? I feel like I'm at my wits end!!!!


Hi Brooksy

There seem to be two issues at play here:

i) Your husband's alcoholism and the impact that has on you and the kids.

ii) His controlling nature and not providing you with the freedom to have any sort of independence.

Now I don't know if his alcoholism contributes to the fact that he's so controlling, but you say he's been sober recently so it doesn't seem like it. But often it does - so if your husband manages to actively progress in his recovery from alcoholism, he may become less controlling.

I think the first thing to always do is try and communicate with your husband how you're feeling. Now I don't mean in an argumentative or defensive way - those usually just end up in fights - but just an honest heart to heart talk.

Tell your husband that you're there to support him however he needs to overcome his alcoholism - and that you'll go to Al Anon meetings if he continues to go to AA meetings (you should go to Al Anon anyway I think to help you deal with what's going on because your situation is exactly what they're there for) - but that you also need to have some free time to spend with your friends. Hopefully by speaking to your husband in a calm, caring manner he'll listen.

My worry is, is that your husband doesn't seem to want to take ownership of his recovery, and is making excuses about why AA won't work etc. etc. Because you're right - all the signs seem to be there that he'll start drinking heavily again.

So somehow you need to try and encourage him to go to AA and work at his recovery - because if he doesn't, it seems like things are just going to get bad again - and probably quickly. That's why I suggested you go to Al Anon while he's at AA because that might encourage him to keep going.

But unfortunately you ultimately have no control over what your husband does - and if he doesn't want to stop drinking and change his life, there isn't much you can do about it. Your only option then becomes to play the tough love card - and insist that unless he works at his recovery and stays sober, you'll leave him (and then you can't let him come back again so soon after his first sign of remorse).

Your current situation is really unhealthy. Besides your husband's alcoholism - the fact that you're so dependent on him - and the fact that he controls you in the way he does, is no basis for a healthy relationship.

I think you need to start figuring out - irrespective of what your husband says or does - how to become more independent and take charge of your life again. It's time to start empowering yourself again!

Because if your husband doesn't make the changes he needs to and keeps controlling you in the way he does - you need to make the decision about what is best for you and the kids in the long-term. When you look at the future from the perspective of what will be best for your children, you'll know what the best thing is to do, no matter how hard.

God Bless and let us know what happens.

Comments for My Husband is an Alcoholic - and Controlling My Life! Help! What Should I Do?

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Sep 25, 2011
Wife of a controlling Alcoholic
by: Anonymous

I am going through the same thing. Went to church this evening home by 7 to 2 boys glued to video games and drunk husband complaining about me on the phone to someone. Anytime he's drunk he convinces himself I'm having an affair. But tonight was easy because he passed out within the hour. But the night before was an 3hour long discussion about how long it takes to go to the grocery store and who was I with. (only gone 30mins)

Sep 06, 2009
by: C-P

Can your parents not take you and the kids in for a while? Then when your husband is sober, sit him down, and try and talk to him and tell him you want to resolve this amicably for the sake of the kids, because things can't continue as they are. And if he's not prepared to sit down with you and look at finding an amicable solution, you may need to go down the legal route. If you jointly own the house, going the legal route is something you'd have to do anyway if you want to permanently end your relationship and ensure you get your share of the assets you own. But try talk to him first - it has to be when he's sober though. Ideally you want him to make him realise that it will be more upsetting for the kids if you have to move out with them, whereas it will easier on them if he's the one that moves out. I know this can't be easy, and I hope you manage to find an amicable solution. Good Luck

Sep 05, 2009
he's done it again
by: Brooksy

Thankyou so much for your input.... As I sit here at 7:30 am the day of my daughter's 8th b-day (party today) I am currently listening to my husband snore on the couch because that is where he passed our last night. HE'S DONE IT AGAIN!!! i left the kids with him last night to go to the store and came back to an unsober husband. When I first got home he wasn't to bad and I'm not sure if he had been drinking or something else. But, then he made up an excuse to leave and came back thirty minutes later messed up out of his mind. He sat down next to my oldest daughter and couldn't even hold his head up or keep his eyes open. I quickly got the girls to their bedroom and told him I wanted him out!!!!! He told me last night and this morning that this was his house to and he was not leaving... How do I go about getting him out???? I just don't know what to do... I know that I am finished with him though. I don't want to have to get the authorities involved.... and both of our names our on the deed of this house... so I'm not sure what my options are... So, here I am after a night of no sleep with all three kids in my bed, I now have to put on a happy face and throw my little girl a birthday party today!!! I'm sorry if this is scattered and poorly written! I'm just so tired of this and don't know what to do!!!!

Aug 24, 2009
What do you want?
by: C-P

I want to ask you this. Do you think it's possible to have a successful relationship with a man who is an alcoholic, controls you, and whom you can't trust with the kids?

So what's keeping you in the relationship? You had the courage to leave him initially - so why did you take him back so soon again?

Because as it stands now, you don't have a proper relationship. Having one with an alcoholic, more so one who tries to control you, is almost impossible.

Having said all that though, some people do change. If your husband is serious about overcoming his alcoholism, he needs to find a recovery program that works for him, and commit to working at it. If he does, he may undergo a real personal transformation and the major issues you're facing now are likely to fall away. But like was said, that's not something you can really control because an addict does what an addict wants to do.

I also think you should get yourself to Al Anon meetings. They'll help tremendously. There you will meet people who understand exactly what you're going through now, and who can offer you the support and advice you need.

No one can tell you what to do, but if nothing changes for your husband, think over my first question long and hard again: Do you think it's possible to have a successful relationship with a man who is an alcoholic, controls you, and whom you can't trust with the kids?

God Bless

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