I No Longer Feel Broken

In the years before I came to Al‑Anon, I felt persecuted—first by my own stinking thinking and secondly by the verbal abuse thrown at me by my alcoholic husband. The abuse went on for 18 years. We met as seniors in high school, and at first, we were best friends. We went to college and partied together, but years later, after our son was born, the effect of the disease manifested itself in every decision and discussion we had. I thought I was living in a mental institution, and I was becoming emotionally and mentally attached to the craziness of this disease.

I came to Al‑Anon 13 years later—broken mentally, emotionally and physically. Although I had a responsible job, my personal life was a disaster. I didn’t want serenity because I thought it was boring. I had no sense of who I was or what I needed and wanted in life.

I heard a story at my first meeting that was more disastrous than mine, and I was drawn to the spiritual words of the Serenity Prayer and the Twelve Steps. I felt accepted.

I heard, “Take what you liked and leave the rest.” For the first time, I felt that what I was doing and who I was as a person was okay. I did not feel that I was being judged, nor that I had to fit in, which gave me the willingness to keep coming back.

By Judy T., Oregon

The Forum, July 2018

2018-06-29T15:41:13+00:00June 29, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|


  1. David October 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Hello – I am new here, and to the Al-Anon process. FYI, I’m not a believer in the “Higher Power” concept, as I feel that this is an excuse for the alocholic’s action. My wife of 4 years is an alcoholic who promises daily that she wants her sobriety. The only problem is that the sobriety lasts 1-2 hours only (in the morning). She works drunk, she picks up children drunk, and she greets me after my work drunk. My friend and attorney recommends divorce, because this has not changed since we got married. We have a 2 year old child who is undoubtedly suffering, and is potentially in a harmful situation when she picks him up. Additionally, she smokes in the car while driving the poor little boy. Her sister, who lives on the opposite coast, is an alcoholic as well, and they spend a lot of time on the phone drinking and smoking together.
    She had 6 months sobriety after a stint in an IOP, but now refuses to try the much-needed inpatient program.
    She returns to her Chardonnay as soon as the withdrawal symptoms start.
    Is this a lost cause? I don’t know. It’s a second marriage for both of us, and I have a fear of failure.
    It is probably a good idea to file for divorce, if for nothing else than to protect the baby.
    The mood swings, while predictable, are annoying.
    I love the sober woman, but can’t stand the drunk one.
    She occasionally attends AA, but has decided she dislikes any other IOP she tries.
    She lies about drinking and smoking – and won’t admit that it is very apparent (the smell of smoke/wine).
    I am a physician, and have difficulty with the “science” of addiction, but I see a dependence here.

    I’m sorry about the rambling …. this is my first attempt to reach out! Maybe I need a sponsor, maybe I need to separate myself from her…. I just don’t know!


  2. Barbara August 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I can readily identify with the sharing on feeling more in control of some else’s emotional status than s/he is.
    This particular brand of stinking thinking is nothing more than an illusion, in my view.
    If I had any control whatsoever of someone else, I would command them to be happy, rather than negative, volatile, abusive and immature.
    I tried, for heavens sake, for years and years and years, to control others.
    No matter what shape of pretzel I twisted myself into, no matter how much, or how little I gave or withheld, nothing was ever enough!
    Through the grace of God and the recovery I found while practicing our three legacies, I am now able to keep my focus on the only person who wants what I have…ME!

  3. Jennifer July 2018 at 10:21 am

    I’m looking for answers. I’ve been with my boyfriend, now fiancé, for 1.5 years. He’s a former addict/alcoholic, but someone who knows him well suggested I find an Al-Anon group. My fiancé is currently not talking to me after an argument that started by me asking why he liked on someone’s wine list on IG and then asking if he’s struggling with alcohol. His response was outrageous. He said he didn’t have to answer to nobody, hung-up on me and when I responded with boundaries of saying I won’t be talked to that way and respectfully took his son home to be with his friend, he stopped talking to me. He said I’m so disrespectful even though he became so easily angered from me showing concern and he never once said anything about his rude behavior. This has been a pattern of his during our whole relationship. Things are mostly about his feelings, even after he’s been extremely verbally volatile. He’s called me a (expletive) joke before, walked out in the middle of plans several times, given me bouts of silent treatment after being angry over things. It’s exhausting and stressful. I am getting over an ulcer. I’ve lost nights of sleep. I’ve been sad around my children. I’ve been sad around many people, which has effected my social success. It’s affected business at times. He seems to have little impulse control and is easily angered. I seem to have more control of his emotions than he does, by what I say or how I say things to him. If he isn’t drinking, why would he act these ways? Could he be hiding it very well?

  4. Kellie O July 2018 at 7:08 pm

    I really needed to hear that I’m not alone. You just described my first marriage of 18.5 years (total time together 19.5 years) and unfortunately now my second marriage. I feel like I’m trying to find people to fix or they’re trying to find me, maybe it’s both. It feels good to know that you’re moving forward positively. I REALLY and truly pray it continues and only gets better from here. I’ve been trying to get myself to go since I heard of Al-Anon. I don’t understand why I’m trying to get myself to go, it should be easy, you know? Just get up and go. I’ve tried to figure out if I’m scared of what I’ll find out about my husband, our situation, or maybe myself and my choices with his problem. I can’t get over how much you described my situation. Thank you again for posting.

  5. Tammy V. July 2018 at 6:18 pm

    I truly understand, I’ve been in Al-Anon, but in a bitter sweet situation. I am in a homeless shelter because my husband is driving me crazy, emotionally and mentally. He doesn’t have to do much. I do enough on my own with my own stinking thinking. But I was a double dipper, Al-Anon and AA. I walked away from it all because my husband said we didn’t need it. We have our church. Oh how I was wrong! Now I need to find a meeting and get to it. Thanks.

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