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Tom (My Husband's) Alcoholism and How It's Ruining Our Marriage

by Kelly
(New Jersey, United States)

I am currently attending college with a goal of obtaining a job that pays enough to help support my family. My husband is currently the primary breadwinner. I substitute for our school district and do freelance design work. Both are fine when work is available, but it’s not steady.

I am frustrated because my husband has a serious drinking problem and spends anywhere from $200.00 to $230.00 a week just on beer and cigarettes for himself. He drinks from the moment he gets done work, he doesn’t even come in the house after work, choosing to sit in his garage with the windows covered and the doors locked until he is drunk enough to come in.

On the weekends he starts drinking first thing in the morning and continues until he is so drunk he is stumbling all over, filthy, and stinking of beer and urine. He usually won’t shower after work even though he gets filthy dirty; he just changes into sweats or pajama pants and falls asleep on the couch. My furniture is filthy from him. It’s disgusting!

He belittles me and my children. He constantly complains about me not making enough money. He told me, college or no college, I will never have or be anything because I am a lazy bitch. I can't get a job that I work evenings because I would have to leave my 11 year old home with him and I am very concerned for the safety of my child.

He has taken my son in a car with him while drunk while I was working, passed out on the couch and had no idea where he was another time, and was allowing him to play on our frozen swimming pool another time. These are just to name a few.

Both of my boys have Asperger's, an Autism Disorder, and although high functioning, they are still not your typical children. I say children although my oldest is now twenty. He often takes on the father role with my youngest, which concerns me.

I am trying to hold on until I finish school, but his constant verbal abuse is making me and my two children miserable. I have tried to get him to get help, but he says he isn’t ready. We have been married for almost twenty-two years. I have been dealing with his drinking and mood swings for far too long, but I can’t afford to support myself and my children.

His drinking has simply increased over the years to point that we are on the brink of losing our home and I can't even muster up the energy to care anymore. I almost want them to take it so I can be free. I have tried to get him into recovery, but he insists he knows he has a problem, but he is not ready to stop. He went to an AA meeting once years ago, but insisted he wasn't like them and never went back.

I would appreciate any help or suggestions that would help and are feasible in my current situation.

If you can relate to Kelly's story ... you're looking for answers but nothing you do seems to help ... then Help Me! I'm Love With An Addict: How To Survive A Relationship With An Alcoholic or Drug Addict can show you exactly what you need to do to turn things around. It's about knowing what to do, so that things start changing and you aren't left feeling helpless and frustrated like Kelly is.

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May 29, 2011
Thank you
by: Kelly

Thank you for your post Krissa. I really do understand only I believe your situation is even more difficult than mine. I can't even imagine being in another country and having to deal with all of this. I wish you all the best and please contact me via this board anytime. I would post me email, but I am hesitant to do so on a open forum such as this.


May 29, 2011
Thanks for your post.
by: Krissa

Hi Kelly,
I'm not sure you'll see this comment since it's coming long after your post. I found your post when I googled "what to do if you are married to an alcoholic who is ruining your life". I'd just like to thank you for sharing your story. It helps me feel less alone. My husband isn't American and we live in his native Germany. He is drinking himself to death and is going to take me down with him. It's very scary. I'm a bit like you in that I can't support myself (long story, but I can not financially support myself) and at the moment can't get out of this situation. So, I don't have any advice for you that will help. Just a cyber hug from someone who understands. I wish you and your sons happiness and a calm, stable future.

Jan 18, 2011
Boundaries and Powerlessness
by: C-P

When someone you love is suffering from alcoholism the first thing to do is put boundaries in place - so that you begin to create consequences for their behavior. Plus it allows you to protect your emotional and physical space. Then you need to understand you are powerless over your husband and his alcoholism. Encourage him to get professional help, but unless he wants to, you can't force him. So you need to learn to develop a sense of healthy detachment, so irrespective of what your husband does, you can still find your own happiness and peace of mind. You'd also benefit from attending Al Anon meetings which is for family members of alcoholics. Having others going through what you are to talk to and learn from can make a world of difference. The little things like starting to prioritise your needs and well-being will make a world of difference in the long run. Hopefully your husband will come around, but if he doesn't, focusing on controlling what you can control, i.e. your choices and the things you decide to do with your life. Good Luck.

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