My husband and I grew up together. When we got married, I just knew it was forever until death do us part. I never gave his drinking a second thought in our younger years. I just knew that, because I was raised in a loving and nurturing home environment, I would be able to help him overcome his drinking problem. After all, I loved him. And doesn’t love conquer all? I thought if I could just convince him to let go of his resentment and anger, all would be good. I did everything I could think of to help him, nurture him, and love him. Unfortunately, he did not respond as I thought he would or should.
However, once I started attending Al‑Anon, I realized that I had also become ensnared in the web of resentment and anger. They were like cancer eating me up inside. I was out of control. In time, I accepted the reality that I had no control over the alcoholic’s life or choices, but I did have control over mine. My life began to change, despite the fact that my husband’s did not seem to. However, I realized that was okay. As I began to turn my energy inward toward myself and started to heal, I saw just how much of myself I had lost through the years. My husband of 40 years passed away recently, and I am still learning how to take care of myself. I am so grateful for the fellowship of Al‑Anon and the literature available to me, all of which is helping me along the way.
By Debbie J., Texas
The Forum, March 2020
Thank you…I needed to hear that because the anger and resentment he harbored for years finally took a toll on me and now I feel it toward him…and my therapist said you did not cause it, you cannot control it and you cannot cure it…this behavior. Really?
Ok ok ok…I will get on with my life as planned and that gives me the energy and courage to continue forward. Again, thank you.
I resonate with you. I almost left in December…until I thought he hit rock bottom when I told him I was buying my own car (we only have one), and then we could decide what to do with the house. We even had a typed up separation agreement. So I gave him 90 days to help himself, learn how to love himself, and not go to the beer or pot (or Ecstasy) for numbing himself. He had to learn how to love himself. He put himself on a waiting list for a psychiatrist, but never followed up. The first few… Read more »
I am married to an alcoholic. I have a lot of anger and resentment towards my husband. I am struggling with getting a divorce or staying in the marriage to try and help him. I still don’t know which will make me happier a divorce or staying in the relationship. At this point I feel I will be unhappy either way. I am learning that some things are out of my control and trying to find my own peace and happiness. I am also two months pregnant and have two daughters. We have been together for about 8 years and… Read more »
I needed to hear your message. My husband went to treatment for a month last Spring and was an unbelievable husband/Dad all summer and Fall… until January. The addiction has crept back into my life and what hurts the MOST is the lying… lying he’s not drinking… it kills me. Now with COVID 19 going on, I’ve been told by a close friend (RN) that sending him to rehab wouldn’t be safe…. I just don’t know if we can handle this addiction and all be house bound for the next month+…. Focusing on myself and our son is the way… Read more »
I so understand the anger and resentment. I am lifer in my marriage. I decided to take care of myself. I am married to an alcoholic and have chosen to stay in the marriage. I do take care of myself when things are not in my control. I isolate myself from him. I call someone who will listen when I feel lonesome when he is drunk. I do not yell at him. I do not resent him because I do not expose myself to his drunkenness. When he is sober I appreciate his sobriety and enjoy him. I am learning… Read more »
I highly relate to Debbie J from Texas.
I can identify with resentment. My husband is sober and he goes to meetings. We have been married 34 years. Even though he is sober today his behaviors still affect me. I react like I did when he was drinking. I was praying this morning and became aware of that. It’s so hard to detach from behaviors. I try to talk to him and he is so abrupt with me because he is not in a good place. He is very upset of everything that is happening in the world and it’s understandable. He said he lost his hope and… Read more »