To Stay or Not to Stay. Alcoholic Husband.

Jacqueline - posted on 02/13/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )




Hi ladies,

I need some advice. My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years. We have a two-year-old son. We've been having major problems for the past year, and have been in marriage counseling and individual therapy. I kicked my husband out of the house last week since he was a drinking problem that has progressively worsened. He drinks heavily, sometimes takes ambien with it, and then blacks out. He's rude to me, does dumb things, etc. Drove me home drunk once (didn't realize he was drunk till we were on our way home since I had been drinking as well), throws stuff, says mean things to me, and doesn't remember it. This past week I had it when I woke up to him peeing in the washing machine and on the floor and not remembering ANY of this.

After he left (last Monday), then he started seeking out help for alcohol abuse and REALLY apologizing. I've heard apologies for years. I have trusted him time and time again and he just breaks it every time. He's a good person when he's not drinking, but when he drinks, he's an unreliable husband and father.

What do I do? Keep working on a relationship with this guy and hope that he changes, even though I'm no longer in love with him and have no respect or trust for him? Or do I just end this once and for all and quite dragging it out? Either way he will be in my life because we share a son, and I want the least harmful solution for him, and it's hard to tell which situation would be best - stay with Dad or cut Dad loose.




Shawnet - posted on 11/11/2012




If you are clear that you are miserable in your relationship, don't procrastinate on getting a divorce "for the sake of the children." While some experts would argue that having one parent move out of the home increases the stress on young children, consider the likelihood that the benefit of no longer seeing Mommy and Daddy fighting far outweighs any negative effects.

The premise for the remainder of this article is that you have already explored all avenues for rebuilding an empowering relationship with your spouse - you have talked, you have had counseling, you have contemplated your future.

Having determined that a happy relationship is no longer possible, you are considering remaining in your unhappy marriage "for the sake of the children." Don't do it. Here's why:

1. While growing up with two happy parents who love each other is probably the ideal nurturing environment for children, living with one happy parent is far better than living with two people who are unhappy and hate each other.

2. However noble your intentions, you are not going to be able to fake happiness for long. Your children will recognize your unhappiness almost at once, and that will cause them great suffering.

3. While you and your spouse may make an agreement never to argue or treat each other badly in front of the children, you will not be able to keep such an agreement. You will exchange icy stares, unkind words, and sarcasm - if not worse - in spite of your resolve and idealism.

4. Your own well-being does matter, don't discount the importance of your own happiness. Martyrdom is highly over-rated. There is no special place in heaven for those who suffer for no good reason. Don't let guilt - which is also highly over-rated - cause you to make a decision that will certainly cause misery for both yourself and your children.

5. It is your decision - and you are responsible only to yourself in making this decision. Don't be bullied by your partner, parents, relatives, friends, or church. They may have some so-called "moral" position, but the only important factors to consider in making this decision are your children's well-being and your own.

Deborah - posted on 02/15/2012




@Cynthia, I see the point you make, but from what I read in her post, he came to pick her up (probably from the bar or a friends' house?) so they weren't drinking together....If they had been drinking together, how could she have NOT known he was drunk?

Besides, why should she have to quit drinking when he is the one with the problem? Just a point.

I do think that Jacqueline will also have to quit drinking if she wants her husband to stop; it's like smoking. If you and your partner both smoke, neither person will be completely successful until they BOTH quit.

If you want to drink, go elsewhere and stay until the next morning (a friends' house for instance). Don't lie to him if you go out drinking, just don't remind him of the activity by forcing him to be around it.

Deborah - posted on 02/14/2012




Well I'm guessing that your lack of love, respect, and trust stems primarily from drinking....which is completely and totally understandable.

I'm the kind of person who believes in Marriage, not my advice to you is to leave him out of the house, and allow him the time he needs to prove himself.

IF he goes to AA meetings, COMPLETELY quits drinking, and gets on a solid road to recovery, then I think he deserves a second chance. Alcohol doesn't have to destroy a relationship, although he's done a pretty good job at attempting to make that happen.

Since you capitalized 'Really" when referring to his recent apologies, it sounds like you know that now he is really and truly sorry, whereas before it was more of a lip service than anything else.

I'm not going to tell you to stay with him, because I have seen the kind of behaviors you described firsthand...not with my fiancee, but with his father. There are few women he has ANY respect for, and I am one of them. But there have been days when I've woken up to him nude on the couch (while my 2 year old girl was around), I have seen him brandish knives at people and slam them, blade down, repeatedly into a tabletop (effectively ruining the table...), He has put his hand to my throat, trying to 'show me' how to crush someone's windpipe...he's wrecked his truck and nearly bitten off his lip after he hit a telephone pole, now he is facing 3 years in jail for his 4th DUI charge, where he nearly hit someone's house.... his drinking is brutal.

So I know where you are coming from at least to some degree. It's hurtful and frightening and very dangerous. But my fiance's dad is not a bad guy, not in the least. He didn't know me for more than a month before he let me and my daughter move into his house (totally different story). When he's sober and 'stable', he's a great guy with a huge heart, and anyone who knows him Sober is lucky just because of that. (*He moved to a different state a little over a year ago, and he gave us his house*)

So based on my experiences with a 'two sided coin' kind of alcoholic, I think he should have the chance to prove he's REALLY sorry, and to clean it up. If he can be the man you fell in love with once he has cleaned up and quit drinking, then I think he deserves a second shot. Everyone makes mistakes, and although his is pretty massive, it doesn't mean he isn't the person you fell in love with anymore. Alcohol changes people, but it's really up to you if your change of heart is permanent.

If he deserves it, and if you can change your mind, it doesn't have to ruin your relationship or your marriage. My fiance's grandpa used to be the same kind of drinker as his son, but he quit drinking many, many years ago, and now he's a completely different person. Just like alcohol doesn't have to permanently change someone, it doesn't have to permanently change your feelings toward your husband.

Good Luck, and I hope he cleans up his act, at least for your son's sake.

Katie - posted on 02/14/2012




I grew up with an alcoholic mother. She would drink till she passed out and not remember anything. She would try to take the car and drive to get more alcohol (vodka was her choice) but my 15yr old self would have to jump in and stop her. She used to hide the alcohol in jars around the home, buried in the garden, anywhere she thought we wouldn't find it. She was mean and nasty. We did beg and pled with her to get help and she did twice, but when she came home with all the apologies, she would go back to drinking within a week or two and get worse... She eventually hit rock-bottom and BY HERSELF (which is the key here!) decided to get help. She went into detox for about a year and during that year my sister and I didn't speak to her. We were too hurt and needed to collect our thoughts on the past few years. After detox she went into a rehabilitation house where she stayed for several months. During that time we wrote letters to each other and started to build a new fresh relationship. She has been clean and sober for 11 years now and she is the most loveliest person ever! She is a new person and we get along perfectly!

I would recommend to keep your distance until he has decided to get some help. Leave him to get "clean" on his own, when he has recovered and can see straight again, then start to build a relationship. Whether that be just as separated parents or together again. But leave him be until them, it's a toxic environment to be in and your little boy doesn't deserve to witness it.

I wish you and him the best!


View replies by

Becky - posted on 02/17/2012





I feel for you. My mom and dad we both acholics. They were divorced though. Its tough on the kids, My mom still drinks, my dad however went through rehab an is completely sober now. If you can get him to sober up then chances are you may really really love him. Its hard to see the love when people drink though. I know you will make the best desicion for you and your child. I dont think I could stick it out. However, if he sobers up, and you do fall back in love it would be worth it.

Cynthia - posted on 02/14/2012




you said you did not know he was drunk because you were also drunk. so how is it that you have a problem but you drink with him??? 1st thing is you cant drink with him one day and tell him its not ok the next.

September - posted on 02/14/2012




Well I think that's a decision that only you can make. I would defiantly make sure he's sober before allowing him back into your home and that he's working a 12 step program as well and attending AA meetings regularly. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Whitney - posted on 02/13/2012




Cut dad loose! I mean no harm but what if hrs driving your son the next time hes drink and you dont realize... I also think because of that same reason you need a court order saying he can not drive your son... supervised visits... No alone time with him until he has gotten help and proven himself... This has the possibility to end so badly... You have the chance to protect you and your son most importantly.. That is your duty as his mother... And I know. "easier said than done"

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms