Many years ago, a friend of mine went to dinner with my husband and me. As we walked to our car afterward, she asked me “Does he always drink like that?” I said with a plastered smile and fake, casual voice, “Oh, no, he just drinks socially.” I was sad, angry and embarrassed, but I also was living in denial about his alcoholism. She encouraged me to try Al‑Anon, to which I responded, “Why should I go to Al‑Anon? He is the one with the problem.” That was all I was willing to admit. She briefly explained what Al‑Anon is, but she did not mention why I might qualify for it. That was the elephant in the room.
A couple of years later, on a Thursday night, all my rage and frustration of feeling helpless about his drinking rose up in me and exploded like a volcano. I was a madwoman, screeching and cursing him. I told him that I wished he would die and I wished I would die, too, because I couldn’t live in my own skin anymore. I recall that incident like an out of body experience. I thought, how could that woman be me? The next day, I gathered the courage to attend my first Al‑Anon meeting. What a gift…what a miracle. It had never occurred to me that I was powerless over alcohol. That first meeting had a profound and lasting effect on me. Meanwhile, my husband was mortified that I had gone to a meeting because he was afraid that now everyone would know that he was an alcoholic. We both believed he hid his drinking from the eyes of the public. Today I know that alcoholism truly is a family disease.
By Jeanine G., Louisiana
The Forum, June 2018
They say it’s the hardest abuse to overcome; everywhere you look is alcohol. Ads, TV, shows, movies, dinner get togethers, restaurants. Not making up excuses, just understanding how hard it must be to start the rehab, finish it… THEN maintain it. Lived with an alchoholic for 6 years, and after some events happened, I realized I had to save myself or I was going to self destruct. She had “the meeting” with family and friends and she choose beer over me. I understand the disease, but it still was one of the most devasating things to happen to me. I… Read more »
Sick & Ashamed Is It In A Nutshell
I have been married to an alcoholic for 29 years and I attended my first Al-Anon meeting last week. My husband was unaware even of where I was and I said I would be in a meeting but he never asked why. Flash forward to end of the week he swears he will never touch alcohol again (I, of course, realize without help this is next to impossible) but today he is at the end of his rope and asking me for money (he hasn’t worked in 5 years). When I tell him I don’t have any he becomes extremely… Read more »
So many things you share I have lived. I am the one people complain to, not the one causing the problems in the first place. I may be new to Al-Anon’s steps and traditions so I am still learning what I can do next time.
Omg…. I am sooooo shocked that what I just read here could have been written by me! I have said those things…but I am older (not first marriage) kids grown and on own… everyone thinks my life is perfect! I live in a pretty home. I no longer work and my spouse is respected, educated and has great job…but at home his drinking takes over and I am becoming an isolated caregiver. It hurts he chooses alcohol and other things over me. I am not happy and feel even if I have a serious medical problem and he controls finances… Read more »
All, your stories inspire me to reach out. I am deeply in love with my partner. He is funny and smart and my best friend, mostly… We have fun together and he is easy to talk to and be around. We have a blended family of beautiful, talented kids. I love our family. But, my partner has a drinking problem. He drinks every day, at least 5 days a week, 3-4 craft beers / night, except at least 1, usually 2 times a week, he doesn’t stop and often gets loaded, and every other weekend it is in front of… Read more »
After many years of him choosing alcohol over me, I finally threw him out. It’s been a week, I’m sad, anxious, disappointed from the broken promises to me and our 17 year old daughter. I love him with all that I have but I can’t live like this any more. I saw my therapist today, and he said I definitely did the right thing. Going to an Al- Anon meeting tonight, A
All of these stories hit home. My husband, has been hiding his drinking problem for some time now. He will hide his beer in a ice chest in the garage, in his trunk in the back of the house. I am so tired of it! He will not admit to having a problem, he thinks I am overreacting. I found a almost empty 30 pack yesterday and he just pretends like there is nothing wrong. I feel like such an idiot for not being able to walk out on him.
Some of these stories have really resonated with me. I confronted my husband about his drinking a few weeks ago and told him it was a huge problem in our marriage. He admitted he had a problem, admitted he has tremors from drinking and possibly from medication and drinking combined. However, he said he was going to try to “control” it, and if he couldn’t control it, then he would quit. Even though he has cut back and has not drank at home, it’s been quite obvious since then that he cannot control it. He also said he would switch… Read more »
My significant other was just found dead in the bathroom of his home from end stage alcoholism. I’m so angry, hurt, lost and alone without him. He chose the alcohol over me, his grown children and his grandchildren. I saw him only 4 weeks ago (long distance relationship) and I knew he was unwell. I did not know, that would be the last time I would see him. I am so very sad.
I know the elephant in the room so very well. No one of his family or friends will ever talk about his drinking problem. The only one that seems to care enough to bring it to the forefront of our marriage is me. I love him enough to talk about it and I love him enough to leave so he can figure out what he wants. I will accept it if the vodka wins because it will be easier for me to make my own life than it would to try to stop drinking on his own and fail.
2 years been expressing concern. He didn’t think what he consumed was unusual so I doubted my instincts and tried not to ‘nag’. Blood work results came back with liver damage (high bilirubin, elevated liver enzyme levels, etc.). He finally sees that he’s damaging his body. But I’m scared he doesn’t realize he is alcoholic. He thinks cutting out alcohol will be easy. I’m not sure what to expect in the coming days and weeks when he doesn’t have his crutch. Is he going to do as he’s said before and not have any alcohol? Or will he come up… Read more »
I’m so tired! I can leave him alone to his drinking but now he ends up coming home drunk and has even driven my kids while drinking. I can’t babysit him and because he is so sick he won’t even acknowledge that what he is doing is wrong. He tells me I am crazy and overreacting!
I have this problem, everyone thinks my hubby is so funny and so lovely. But he drinks so much, he gets embarrassing. Turns on me and then falls asleep. I’m so bored of our relationship. He is never going to get help or change. I don’t know what to do anymore, all I know is I’m miserable. We have kids together, if not I think it would have been over a long time ago. I hate the thought of him drinking because I know he won’t stop, and what’s to come. It’s like having another child.
so I guess we stop hiding it from others? I’m going to try and disengage, if he drinks i’m calmly going to say “see you at home” and take myself home, i’m going to give up trying to control what I cannot…so he’ll be left at the social event explaining where I’ve gone.