Is it hard to trust people?

Welcome to First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today Hannah, Catherine, Jerry, and Veronica will tell us how someone’s drinking affected their ability to trust people.

How to locate a meeting


  1. Mary Ann August 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I have been married for almost 28 years next month. My husband has drank for about 15 years of our marriage. He went to AA in 2005 and quit drinking. In 2017 found out he started back drinking and he had cirrhosis of liver but he has continued to drink. He now is stealing from my wallet and lying about drinking. His doctors have told him to quit drinking. I’m tired of the lies but he will have be the one to change himself. I have decided for my well being i have to make a better life for me. He doesn’t work now and because of being out of work with him being sick i lost my job. I feel he is bringing me down with him. What i have learned since my dad passed in 2016 life is short don’t stay in a relationship if your not happy you have to let go if you love someone when their not willing to change.

  2. Teresa March 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing your comments. It has helped me to not feel so alone, knowing there are others in the same painful place.

    I dated an alcoholic on and off for 10 years, hoping he would someday choose to become sober. I now see there is no hope for him. It is sad, it is his choice. I will not have any further contact with him.

    How do you know when an addict is lying? Their lips are moving.

    The most pain comes from what I allowed to happen to me. The lies, the cruelty has taken a toll on my self worth. I want to forgive myself for ever trusting him at all. At 50 years old I wonder if there is enough time to become myself again and experience all the joy the world has to offer.

    If anyone is on here wondering if your potential partner has a problem. Listen to your instincts and if their is an addiction problem. Run like hell, you deserve better.

  3. Carol December 2017 at 8:38 pm

    My husband has been an alcoholic for four years. He can drink a bottle of 80 proof liquor in 4 hours and function like one would if they had a shot. He and I are walking on eggshells. I snap for no reason, screaming and in tears over a passive aggressive comment, he completely ignores me (literally, he’ll put on headphones and grumble about how I’ve ruined his night), or he completely blows up and bullies me into silence. I’ve already tried giving him ultimatums (and yes, I know that’s a horrible, horrible thing to do but I was desperate), I’ve bargained (perhaps beer over liquor, dear), I’ve sobbed and tried as earnestly as possible to make him aware that he is loved and supported. He uses his anxiety as a crutch, I don’t even think he has anxiety anymore. I think it’s just withdrawal. He says he cannot sleep without the alcohol. I don’t know what to do. I know, for a fact, that if I up and leave he will drink himself to death. He drinks all day at work, the second he gets home, it’s the first thing he reaches for when he wakes up. I had a drug addiction when I was 15, and he uses it against me whenever I bring it up. I’ve been clean for six years and I’ve moved on with my life, but he doesn’t seem to want to even try. He will promise he’s trying to quit and he’ll drink himself sloppy in the bathroom, stashing bottles under the sink and drinking in the shower. He drives while intoxicated, something I absolutely will not stand for. He constantly belittles me, and in all honesty I’ve started doing it right back. I’m just so angry, I can’t always smile and be supportive and nod my head. I don’t know what to do, he is not the man I married. We are just out of our teens, in our very, very early twenties. His parents skirt around the subject, they’ll even socially drink with him, until he has that one drink that sends him over the edge, THEN they care enough to gripe and play twenty questions with me. He’s dropped all of his friends, most of them only ‘friends’ to aquire him alchohol before he was 21. I don’t think he even loves me anymore, I might have just been the only woman willing to allow this constant drinking and lying and distant behavior. I feel so angry and alone, I don’t go a single day without being sick to my stomach, worried that this is the day he crashes into a semi while driving intoxicated, or finally pushes his internal organs to their limits. I’m waiting for that call. I don’t know if there is even anything more I can do, as at this point he’s informed me that he doesn’t plan on quitting, not until he ‘wants’ to. Why is the loss of our marriage not enough to make him want to quit, when it’s enough to make me want to stay?

  4. Janice October 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Hi. My husband has almost 11 months sobriety. I thought that life would be so different since he stopped drinking but I was wrong. Financially he is still struggling and that may have gotten worse. I started going to Al-Anon and have discovered the word NO. The problem is that I don’t know what that means sometimes. In the past if he has ran out of money I have gotten him gas for his car. I don’t want to do that anymore but I feel so stressed having to say no but when I give in I then hate him.

  5. Joe February 2017 at 7:47 am

    I was married to my best friend. She is an alcoholic/addict. She has abused my trust more times than I can count in our 16 year relationship. Sneaking, hiding and lying is what she is best at. She swears she’s never used any street drugs, but how the heck do I know what she has and hasn’t done. The newest thing is strange phone numbers on her cell phone. She’s constantly texting. Of course when I’m around, the ringer gets turned off, so I can’t see when she’s getting texted or called. She’s great at covering her tracks. I’m worried as hell she might be cheating on me literally, as well as the metaphorically induced feeling of the alcohol/drugs being the other man. I feel like I’m just going through the motions. We just bought our first house, we have 4 kids one of which has already been arested for smoking pot in the high school locker room, she has been in a program, a real chip off the old block. . All I want is for the bs to stop, she is 33 days sober, Has a sponsor and she looks like she is really trying this time. I think she knows that I’m at the end of my rope with her actions, so she is afraid of getting kicked out. I just hope we can get past the trust issues and move forward. Otherwise I fear a divorce is eminent. There is so much at stake, I’ve worked so hard to support her and the family. And of course I feel like if we do separate, in the state we live in she will get the kids the house and I’ll end up paying for her screw ups for the rest of my life, and I’ll have nothing to show for it. I guess I need to go to al-anon. Have to give it a try before I lose my mind…

  6. Claudia January 2017 at 8:31 pm

    My husband and I will be married for 11 years next month. We have battled his alcoholism for about 9 years. He goes to occasional meetings and talks occasionally to his sponsor. He suffers from depression and then tends to isolate and relapse. I’ve been trying to see my part in the enabling and have detached more and more with love. The problem is that now the detachment is reaching the loneliness area. I’m getting back to my more independent and active self that I was before we were married, but I’m finding that in the process I trust him less and less. I’m really wrestling with the possible reality that trust may remain a relative term if I stay with him. Perhaps that’s letting go of my co-dependence. What concerns me even more is that I am so tired of the chaos, projections and meanness. I grew up in a physically and emotionally abusive home and I’m really struggling with remaining in this marriage. I feel like he does just enough in recovery to give himself an out to the bottle and I’m really sick of it.

    Thanks for listening.

  7. Ann December 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Married 15 years. I love my husband but wonder why I am still married. He overconsumes/binge drinks and is mean. I end up searching the house for bottles and wonder why I am still doing this. Is it really love? And I going to be eighty doing the same thing. It is just a dirty secret I keep to myself.

  8. Deb November 2016 at 11:40 pm

    I have a 19 year old son who is a addict. He loves alcohol marijuana and cocaine. He went to rehab for 70 days spent 3 weeks in jail and he still cannot be trusted. When he is home I find myself trying to keep him on track to do the right thing it makes me crazy. My husband and I have been in alanon for over a year. I know our son has to want sobriety for himself to get better. I believe he may end up homeless because we are not willing to go broke enableing him. We have spent thousands of dollars and have seen little improvement. He needs to hit his bottom and have a very unmanageable life so he can make the changes himself. It will take him year to gain my trust. He will have to work the aa program for at least 2 years and stay sober before I believe or trust him again.

  9. s May 2016 at 10:09 pm

    It’s quite difficult for me to trust my alcoholic, especially with matters involving her addiction, such as when she’ll finally kick her deadbeat ex husband out of our house. Her first reaction to anything pertaining to her, even over whether it’s raining or not, is immediately met with vehement denial. The hypocrisy is tiresome as well; one day she’ll be raging about our micromanaging boss and how she hates him, but the next, when I vent about the same, I’m told I’m “letting him win” and wasting my energy. If I so much as breathe a word about her drinking, it’s all over. I’ve learned not to bother and to come to Al-Anon and therapy instead. I love her. I’ve been best friends and sisters with her for over twenty years. I just can’t deal with the disease by myself anymore.

  10. Emilia May 2016 at 12:27 pm

    I was looking for an Al-Anon meeting, but instead I found these posts. I have to say, I am a tiny ok knowing that what I have been through, others have too. I am not alone.

    I’ve been married to the love of my life for 2 and a-half years now. He is a cocaine addict. When we first met, at parties he would be smoking pot, drinking, and sometimes inhaling cocaine. I only saw him doing this at parties. Now, we are married, we have responsibilities, like: rent, groceries, bills, our dog’s needs, paying for school, etc. I just found myself since November 2015 paying for everything. I started asking him about where his money was going, he would just give me a really dumb excuse.

    I started to become paranoid, I would grab his phone whenever he was passed out, I would read his texts about not going to work, instead he would go with his friends and do drugs. Spend all of his money on coke, etc. I even started to find those little bags with white powder in his trousers.

    He stopped being who he was. He immediately pushed me away. I started being mean and all nasty at him. Asking where he was going, with whom, etc. Until one day, I got into his car and I found more little bags. I lost it and locked myself in the car, he started screaming at me, asking me to get out of the car so we could talk. He was losing it. He scared me. Eventually he calmed down, and I let him in the car. Just then he admitted he is a cocaine addict. I don’t know what to do up to this point. He says he won’t do it again. He admits he needs help. But I get worried that every time he goes to work, he will in fact go get high.

    I saw other women on this blog talking about trust. You guys are right. It is very very hard to trust your loved one again. I have planned to go see a couples & addiction counselor next weekend.

    Wow!, it felt good to just write it all out.

  11. Sally April 2016 at 3:06 am

    I have been sober for 6 years. My husband still throws in my face what he went through. I have made amends to him many times. He won’t let it go. It makes me feel like an unloveable horror. I wonder how many years do I have to get humble before we can move on and love life.

  12. Diane February 2016 at 1:08 am

    My husband suddenly proclaimed he’s quitting drinking. I was surprised at how uncomfortable I am with him around, wanting to talk and do things. I feel a panic and realized that I’ve actually learned to live without him. But it’s not a peaceful feeling. It’s a constant mourning. I’ve been to a few meetings and this has encouraged me to go back. Thank you.

  13. Courteney January 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I have been with my husband for almost 6 years, married for 4 months. He is an addict in every sense of the word. He had a pill addiction before I met him and was on a program for that, which turned out to be very successful. He has not touched a pill in our entire relationship, but we have dealt with alcohol on and off for the past 4 years.

    He would quit completely and only drink socially until he started working as a car salesman, and that’s where it got really bad. He would stop and buy a bottle every morning, buy a few more throughout the day, come home and either pass out almost instantly, or he would start a fight with me that would always turn into screaming and crying before it was over. Then he would wake up in the middle of the night and realize what he had done and apologize and swear it off.

    When he got laid off from work it got so much worse. He would spend money we didn’t have on liquor, drink all day and sleep. He gained about 30 pounds. Plus he has Hepatitis-C, so he has just done so much damage to his liver I can’t even think about.

    He has quit drinking for the most part now. He knows what he is doing to our marriage and family and to himself mainly, but he still sneaks and buys an airplane bottle or two of cinnamon whiskey once a week. I don’t know what to do other than leave. I can’t trust him at all anymore.

  14. toni December 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I feel sad when I read through these posts, because I struggle with the same trust issues and when I read others’ posts it seems so simple — the addict lies, and we let them.

    One year ago this Friday is my first anniversary. This time last year, I had never been so in love. I thought we both were. He asked me to marry him almost right away. He was brave, strong, valued family and friendship. He didn’t seem to hide anything from me about his past, feelings, or intentions. We even shared a Facebook and had one password for all of our technology. I trusted him with my safety, my future, and my heart.

    Things changed fast. First he refused to work because of a phantom condition, then it was he was watching porn all day, then lies to his mother about me so she would give him money, finally he admitted to being an addict. I left and tried to regain some semblance of my life.

    He went to rehab, found God, and convinced me to go ’round again. I feel so stupid. No, I feel desperate. And isolated. The love we had was everything I had always dreamed, but it wasn’t real and I keep hoping it can magically be brought to life.

    There is no one in my life that I can even tell that I am back with him. They would think me mentally unstable. I think I’ve become mentally unstable. How do you live with a man who still lies like an addict, denies like an addict, manipulates like an addict, and insists that his wife support his journey to better personhood, while it violates every boundary and self-respect she has?

    I haven’t smiled in weeks, I look at him out of the corner of my eye, I dream of a life without him in it, I run words through my head like a battle montra, “Don’t believe him, he’s a liar, take care of yourself till you can move on.” I don’t even feel like myself anymore. I feel like the people who wrote the posts on this page — so sad.

  15. Shannon July 2015 at 10:45 am

    My husband is an alcoholic and has been since he was a teenager. Poor teenage choices, cultivated by a child-enmeshed parent, and so now he has no idea how to recognize or deal with what is going on inside of him — let alone what is happening in his home with his wife.

    I love him dearly, but it’s a double-edged sword. Without trust, it’s been so difficult. Sneaking away to be with friends, lying of course and then painting a chip-free portrait to his coworkers who might be none the wiser as to his real life problems. I do not know who to turn to. I do not know who I can trust. His friends I haven’t heard from on the issue and most of his family I believe are in denial along with him.

    I am alone, and things are bleak and the person who mentioned they are worried also, I can hardly hear their voice. I no longer speak about the alcohol problem with my husband because he uses manipulation, lies, deceit, avoids confrontation, uses self-pity so I break down against my better judgement till he gets to my softer side and within hours he’s drinking again. Lying again.

    I have reached the point where I am angry with everything he does, everything he says because he broke us, smothered every bit of trust I had. I cannot remember the last time I had a day where I didn’t cry and wish I was elsewhere. I feel so very alone in this world.

  16. Shelley June 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I love my husband dearly and I am so in love with him. We’ve only been married a short 7 months and he has been sober for many years. Last year he thought he could handle a drink and become a social drinker, but one year later, after many empty promises, I find him hiding empty beer cans.

    I am distraught and feel a fool for trusting him. We’ve talked about his drinking from time to time, as I thought it was getting out of control, but I clearly was not aware of just how bad it is.

    I find myself second-guessing everything now. I feel betrayed, I feel the trust has been broken. I want to help him, but I don’t know how. I have been to Al-Anon before, but with some personal battles I do not feel I can go again soon.

  17. Joel April 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for close to two years now. At first, we used to have fun together. Then I realized he didn’t know when to stop. I was shocked and so confused on what was happening. I finally realized he was an alcoholic. It was a big wake-up call for me.

    I realized it at first when I would be out of town away from work. All I wanted was to talk to my partner that I love after a long trip out of town. Instead, I would get someone that I would eventually end up hating to hear their drunken voice. He would lie to me about drinking as he slurred his words. Then I found text messages to other guys and he said there was no intent ever.

    He would promise not to drink then the day I left out of town again that same night he would be drunk. The lies and deceit have led me to have zero trust in him. It’s sad how both our lives have become a trap.

  18. Kris March 2015 at 9:09 pm

    My husband has had 4 DUIs, had not drank for 5 years, but had several setbacks, hence the DUIs. Six months ago he went on a trip alone & I caught him drinking again. He did not drive, but broke his sobriety.

    I do not trust him, he lies about the smallest things. I don’t think he’s drinking now, but that’s because he hasn’t had the chance to get away from me. He has an intoxilock device on his truck, but it comes off in August. I am terrified he will get another DUI. (He already spent 90 days in jail. Another one, he would probably do a year.)

    I am not willing to go through this again, but don’t know what to do. This all started when our son was killed in a car wreck. He is a binge drinker, he doesn’t drink every day, but when he does drink he drinks until he is totally falling down drunk.

    I hate him drunk. We have been married 42 years. Much of it very unhappily. He has heart disease & needs me to care for him. I’m very angry & am mean to him at times. I can’t get over the betrayals! I don’t know how I can be happy again.

  19. Denise January 2015 at 10:16 pm

    This is my first time on this website. I grew up with an alcoholic father, who would skip days to visit my sister and me because he was out drinking. There were always fantastic excuses and for a long time we believed him. It hurt to think I wasn’t enough for him to want to spend time with, it really did. And it took years and years and years to get past that hurt, but I was never really over it.

    Flash forward to now. I’ve been involved with a man for a very long time, long distance. He says he loves me. I know I love him, which seems crazy, but I do. There have been so many reasons why he doesn’t honor commitments he makes to me, doesn’t show up, doesn’t follow through on anything.

    At one point, we were supposed to meet and he didn’t show up. When I finally heard from him, he had stopped midway between where he lives and where I live and was partying with his cousins. This went on for the entire ten days we were supposed to be together. He asked me to forgive him after, and I did.

    He started AA and I let myself hope that we would finally be able to have our shot at being together for real. But that feeling of not being good enough has been present each time, and as much as I want to, I don’t trust this man anymore.

    But since then, the excuses keep coming and finally, on New Year’s Eve, he started drinking again. We’d been bickering in the days before that because I’d picked up that he was searching for excuses again to not follow through on our plans. On New Year’s Day, he told me that his relapse was my fault. I’m hurt. I know I’m not perfect. I know I can be pushy. But I hope his drinking wasn’t my fault. Feeling like I’m not enough is starting to kill me and now, with this thrown in, it’s too much to take.

  20. Courtney January 2015 at 12:26 am

    My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years and most of our 6 years together he has been an alcoholic. He hit a low point this past May 2014 and stopped drinking. Didn’t use the program, but was sober for 5 months. He lied about his drinking and dip and smoking and got help from a sponsor and is working the 12 step program. He used to lie all the time while drinking and would always say, “You have to trust me,” so I would and then I would catch him in a lie.

    He’s been lying about simple things and admitted he checked my iPad for info about if I was being unfaithful. And guess what? He didn’t find anything because I’m not doing anything. I’m too busy taking care of our 2-year-old son and working and taking care of a house, and he has doubts about me? It’s driving me crazy.

    I’m at a point where I don’t know what to do anymore. I haven’t done anything to not earn his trust and he treats me like this. I don’t know what to do. I’ll be 27 in 2 days and don’t want another year of going through this.

  21. charlene October 2014 at 6:31 pm

    My husband has been the alcoholic for a long time. It’s been up and down. He also takes Prozac and when he has too many beers he becomes unbearable. Now he has stopped smoking, and drinks a few once a week. It was nice for a while until he lost a friend and coworker, and he is over the edge today. He claims he will start back in the morning. I am afraid he won’t and I have nowhere to go. i have been married for 30 years. For the few short days I had my husband back. I feel lost.

  22. Sissy August 2014 at 10:43 am

    My boyfriend of two years is an alcoholic. When I met him, he told me he was going to AA meetings and I believed him. He was not sober (he’d be drunk for days on end every week) and claimed it was impossible to find a sponsor. We moved in together on him insisting he’d “get help,” go to meetings daily and this time really try to find a sponsor.

    I trusted him because why not? I believe in people and put my faith in people’s honesty and integrity. He was not sober and couldn’t stay sober for more than seven days without going on a week-long bender (in which he’d drive drunk, invite friends over to do cocaine while I was at work, rack up huge tabs at every bar within walking distance and then ditch out without paying, send sleazy messages to past women he’d had relationships or just relations with on Facebook or through texts, flirt with bar patrons and bartenders who would scowl at me when I’d storm in to haul him out stumbling drunk, pass out on the lawn, get into fights, drive the wrong way down one-way streets and hit parked vehicles, damage my personal property–like throwing my cell off the third storey balcony and breaking framed photographs, etc.), after which swearing he’d “never get drunk again ” each time, because the sobering-up part was hard because he hated feeling sick–not that it was because he wanted to improve his life or try to be a good man for his family, of course not.

    After a week of being sober, having insomnia, and going to meetings, he’d get burned on not finding a sponsor (he refused to communicate or be involved in any way with AA, claiming he didn’t fit in and it was too hard), he’d start his bender over again, acting like he couldn’t understand why I was mad (I was mad because to me I was being lied to). It’s impossible to not feel resentful!

    Eventually our relationship reached a very low point, and his enabling addict friend (who dislikes me, naturally) encouraged him to pursue a woman friend of theirs. Of course, in his insecure position he started going out with her behind my back (“I’m going out with AA friends–there’s an AA meeting across town so I’ll be late tonight,” etc.). I wanted so bad to trust his motives to get sober. I encouraged and supported his sobriety, but I simply began to lose all patience.

    When he came home drunk at 6 am after “being with AA friends” all night, he coldly admitted he’d found someone else, since in his head he was trying to rationalize his cruel sneaking around–“I wanted to break up, anyway.” She was also in AA, so she “understood him” in ways I, a non-addict, couldn’t.

    I said good, you can be her responsibility now, I’m exhausted. I confronted her, the old “didn’t-know-he-had-a-girlfriend scenario plays out, etc., etc. He was mad, not because he was embarrassed he hurt me and used another woman. No, he was angry because this made him look bad. Talk about selfish. As is typical with people who have their cheating partner abandon them, he begged my forgiveness, which is something he’s always gotten from me, the typical doormat. We’ve been attempting to repair our relationship since practically the first day. After all of this I can still say I believe in him and I want to trust him, but how how how how do you keep strong and keep faith when to this day he refuses to go to AA or rehab (“too expensive “) and says he won’t drink, then proceeds to drink every time. How do you not just give up.

    The Big Book tells women we need to just suck it up and support our man and keep our negativity in check, as if their drinking is somehow our fault. I can’t keep doing this without someone helping me. His family completely ignores his problem, his friends are all drunks too. I feel like I’m the only person in the world who wants desperately for him to get sober. I know I can’t help him. But how do I help myself. I don’t want to give up because I care and love so deeply. I don’t know how you trust someone who won’t be honest with you but desperately needs you to trust them!

  23. crystal August 2014 at 1:17 am

    I have some major trust issues with my husband and it feels like we fight every day. He’s been “sober” for over a year but has been on Suboxone strips the whole time. Although he works very hard every day, 6 days a week, I question everything he does and says I’m driving him crazy. He can’t stand that I don’t trust him.

    I came from a life where my dad was always cheating and now is married to his mistress, so I guess I’ve always had trust issues. My problem is not knowing if it’s me or my husband. He just acts so suspicious sometimes. I’m going crazy. I’m constantly checking bank accounts and looking for receipts. I feel myself wanting to go through his phone all the time.

    He lies about little things, like how much money he has spent. I catch him in lies about different things. He doesn’t go out with friends and spends his days off at home, but he works the night shift and I worry constantly if he’s really at work (something he’s lied about in the past).

    He recently threatened to leave me if I didn’t start trusting him. I’m so lost and have no one to talk to. I often think about suicide because it’s too much.

  24. mel July 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I am finding it hard to let go of obsessive thinking about my ex-boyfriend, who is a recovering alcoholic and the reason I found Al-Anon. I believed everything he said to me. A number of commitments were made. Some things said and done by him just don’t add up, though.

    I am disappointed that I didn’t take enough care of myself to say no to this kind of treatment. Love confuses me! I can’t even figure out what is inappropriate treatment, and what is me overreacting and being too sensitive and emotional. I am trying to learn when is the right time to say nothing and let things be, and when I need to stand up for myself and express how I am feeling. I would like to learn these things so if I find a partner in the future I can have a healthier relationship. I have been in Al-Anon for around 11 months now. Thank you.

  25. Darlene June 2014 at 12:37 pm

    My first Al-Anon meeting was a few weeks ago and then I discovered this site. I have listened to several podcasts, but felt compelled to finally leave a comment. This topic — trust — really hit home for me on so many levels but none more nearer and dearer to me than the trust I have lost for my daughter. A few months ago, I learned of even more lies that she has told me, but nothing more serious than her addiction. I thank God, my HP, every day for saving her life, but it is so challenging for our relationship now. I no longer believe a word she says and even though I know this is not fair to her, I am left with no other choice. But after listening to the podcast and reviewing the comments, I am going to work hard at redeveloping a relationship with her. I am turning the challenge over to God because He has showed me that together we can work out anything.

  26. Ang June 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I wonder how you help a friend that is with a husband that is an alcoholic. She has separated from him, but whenever he says I’ll prove it to you I’m not drinking, she’s like oh okay. She let’s him drive their son and I don’t get how she is doing this.

  27. Jenny March 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I feel so lonely when everything is at its worst. It is the days when everything seems to pile up on me and I can’t fix it. I want to be able to talk to my family about what is going on, but they get tired of listening to me.

    I can’t leave because I won’t have any control over what happens to my son if he is with his father. He is old enough to choose his father over me, and he would because he wants to be able to do whatever he wants when he is with his dad. Sure I could trust the courts to take care of it, but then my son would just rebel against me. So I stay just so that I can keep what little control that I have.

    At the same time, I have nobody that I can turn to that will just listen and give me a shoulder to lean on. Everybody seems to blame me for the problem. In return, my family gets to be the freak show that everybody likes to judge and talk about. I am not helpless, I just need somebody I can trust and open up to.

  28. Lauren December 2013 at 9:03 pm

    My husband has been sober for 5 months. After a while, I finally started to relax and stop living in fear. Now I am heartbroken because he told me that he has been lying to me about his finances and that he ran up 1600 dollars on a credit card in my name. He says he did it so I wouldn’t worry about money, that he is paying it back, and that the fact that he came clean shows that he is getting better. I feel so stupid that I trusted him. Again. I have to find a way to make sure that his bad choices don’t affect me. I’m praying for guidance and strength from God.

  29. Kristal July 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Trust. It’s hard to trust my addict husband. After 40 sober days, my husband relapsed. I’ve taken him to the meetings and even stay outside the whole time to make sure he stays. Every time he is using the computer or his phone I’m always trying to find out if he is doing something he shouldn’t. All this has not worked.

    After I’ve read some Al-Anon literature and heard the podcast, I understand that I can’t live afraid that my husband will relapse. I have to work on me and I have to learn one day at a time. Today I have learned that I have to let him work his program. And even though it’s hard to trust him when he says he is going to a meeting or going to work, I can’t keep living in fear. We both have to live one day at a time and enjoy our life together. I don’t want to give up on him, but I know I have to give God a chance.

  30. mae February 2013 at 2:07 pm

    My husband of 35 years stopped drinking 2 1/2 years ago. He was dry but not sober. He blamed me for not thinking his alcoholism was a disease, but obviously he didn’t either because he wasn’t getting treatment for his disease.

    For two months now, he has been going to AA and has a sponsor who is meeting with him weekly. I think he is doing better, but boy, do I still have trust issues. How do you believe someone who has lied to you about insignficant things for 15 years when they tell you they love you? Only a fool would believe that.

    I am obsessed that as I get older, I am cutting people out of my life who take too much energy. There is nothing left for me. Will I be left alone because I cannot trust people, so I hold them at arm’s length?

    I hate alcoholism. It ruins lives. It can ruins your life even if you don’t drink a drop.

    I hate how it has changed me. I hate that it has robbed me of so many years of joy in my life. I hate that I still am not getting better.

  31. Marg December 2012 at 10:08 am

    I have a son. Drinking. Wow, it makes him a different person. He has just had 4 years clean and now has a daughter of 2, but he has fallen. He can’t be trusted.

    I don’t know where I should get help. I have told him he is not welcome as long as he drinks.

  32. Michelle D October 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I grew up with an alcoholic mother. I watched her lie to people about the dumbest things. But it made me wonder, how do I know she’s telling me the truth? So I decided not to believe anything she said and to assume that everything she told me was a lie. It was the safest way to protect myself.

    I have trust issues. I know that. Sometimes my boyfriend has lied to me to try to protect me so I won’t stress out and worry. Which I do, a lot. I’ve told him many times that it’s hard for me to trust people in the first place and even harder when I know he lies to me sometimes, even if he thinks it’s for a good reason. So now, even when he tells me that he hasn’t lied to me in a long time, I think to myself, how do I know that? How do I know you’re not lying?

    My mother passed away a few years ago. While she was alive much of my life revolved around her drinking and my issues of growing up with an alcoholic mother. Now she’s gone and I still have issues. Even when she was alive I hadn’t lived with her for years. Unless they’ve been there, there’s no way for people to understand what it’s like to grow up with an alcoholic or live with one. They have the disease but it makes you crazy and sick too!

  33. Cmac September 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I grew up in a family of 8 with an alcoholic father. I find trusting people so so hard–even now at the age of 34. I am the only one in my family who has faced up to the problem and wishes to talk about it. Unfortunately the others are in denial. I am therefore isolated from my family.

    I want so so much to get better and trust people, especially my girlfriend who is a wonder to still be with me. I just want to be happy and feel peace. I am in such pain at the moment and feel like a wandering soul. Please help me God.

  34. Chris July 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I do know that the mistrust within my marriage has led me to be on my own. I still find myself questioning his motives even after he has gone (October 2011). Or at least I want to take the full responsibility for it, as I am trying to make sense of what happened. In the end, I hope to know God more and find trust in Him as much as possible.

    Currently, I feel overwhelmed and am trying to yet again make sense of another thing that my husband has done to me. Living like this has made me feel unsafe because I’m not financially on my own. However, still having my home and job has made me feel like there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

    I pray every night and sometimes I think God hears me. Other nights I feel alone, but I hope that when the time is right to reveal the truth, I will be able to see clearly the next step to my recovery. Before Al-Anon, God showed me the lies, so I’m sure He will reveal again. Just have to learn to be patient.

  35. Mary July 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I enjoyed hearing the podcast concerning trust.

    It is such a difficult thing for me to trust anyone. At a meeting I shared that because of this lack of trust I keep myself “safe” by maintaining emotional distance from family, friends, everyone.

    This creates a deep loneliness inside me that I wish I could heal.

    I have found a Higher Power in the halls of Al-Anon and I am learning to listen and learn and to trust in a better way to live.

    Coming to Al-Anon, I am learning to find trustworthy friends and little by little share my story and my life with them.

    Trusting my own good judgement and ability to take care of myself by being a responsible adult are things I am learning in Al-Anon. One Day At A Time.

  36. Ciara June 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Before the Al-Anon program, I trusted no one. To me, trusting someone was just giving them a weapon to hurt me with later. My sponsor talked a lot about “being like cellophane” or “being the same person to the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.” I had no clue what those meant at first, but she assured me that I would someday not wish “to shut the door on the past,” that I would get to the point where nothing in the past could ever hurt me. I thought she was crazy. There would never be a day when I could share my real self with anyone. I had denied myself for so long, that I didn’t even know who my real self was!

    But because she opened up to me so freely, my sponsor was the first person I ever really trusted. She was the only person that got to see all of me- good and bad. To my surprise, she just loved me. Simply loved me for who I was, warts and all. That helped me begin the journey of loving myself.

    Years later, when my husband went from drinking 3 times a year, to 3 times per week. Then 4 and 5 and 6. Sometimes 7 times per week. My heart sank. I’ve seen what happens to marriages when alcohol weasels its way into it. The doom and gloom hit me like a ton of bricks. My God kept assuring me that I would be okay. In a million ways, He kept telling me to stay. To trust. I didn’t want to. I wanted to run. But enough years of working my program assured me that my life was in the CARE of God and He knew what he was doing.

    When my husband started spending most nights out, I couldn’t understand why God was asking me to stay. I had always been jealous, but my obsession was now out of control. I kept focusing on “letting go COMPLETELY.” My prayer was “Completely, God. I am letting go Completely.” When something came up that didn’t add up, I asked, “God, do I investigate or leave this one up to you?” 9 times out of 10, the answer was leave this one to Me. I would then pray, “God have me see what you would have me see.” I trusted in God’s timing.

    At some point, I realized that I had stopped trusting my husband and started trusting my higher power. I knew that whatever happened in my marriage, I was going to be OK. God was taking care of me.

    When the time came for me to “see” what was really happening, the events unfolded themselves in the most gentle way possible. I could have never orchestrated the events that passed, the people that God sent to help me at just the right moments, the peace and calm in my heart. Step 11 says, “pray for knowledge of his will AND THE POWER TO CARRY IT OUT.” I had completely missed the POWER part. God gave me the peace, love and calm to do the things I needed to do. I kept saying, “this can’t be me. This calm person cannot be me.” It wasn’t.

    I am now basking in God’s grace. When my trust was rightly placed in my Higher Power’s Hands, amazing things happened.

  37. Ashley April 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Trust, I don’t know any feeling of trust. Everyone I have ever trusted has let me down. I surely don’t even trust myself at this point to make the “right decision,” and I often wonder how I get into the situations I get into.

    People-pleasing and always feeling used. I don’t get it. I have been surrounded by alcoholics my entire life. Family and very close even two of my closest friends in the world are alcoholics as well as lost 2 friends with drug and alcohol problems to suicide in my teens.

    One friend is now 2 years sober and in AA and I am so proud of her. She is like a sister to me, but I realize our relationship still in sobriety needs attention. The other, I am not sure where they are but I only expect a call one day that that particular person has overdosed or died due to their alcoholism and drug abuse.

    I have recently attended my first meeting and cried through the entire thing. I also bought some literature explaining the program. It is a huge step to realize you cannot fix, control, help the alcoholic. You can only help yourself. Step One, admit we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanagable.

    It is nice to feel that there are others like me. Thank you all for sharing.

  38. Hanna January 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I’m very thankful that I have found this page. I grew up with an alcoholic father. I have always thought that I’m the strongest person in the world, and for a long time I was trying to save my father as well. I have been blind or denying my own weakness, which is about to take over me now.

    I have huge problems with my self-esteem and I can’t trust anyone. I just feel my “perfect life” (which I started to build right after I moved away from home when I was 16) is falling apart. I hope this helps me to recover and find a new way in my life. Thank you.

  39. JB January 2012 at 10:40 pm

    When my alcoholic first got sober, he was mad at me for not trusting him. It was really messing with my marriage. Prior to getting sober, I heard a hundred things like, “This is the last time I will drink,” and it wouldn’t last but a day or two; “I will get a job tomorrow,” and he wouldn’t; “I will watch the kids while you work,” and I would come home to find him passed out, etc.

    After all the years of not being able to trust him, I couldn’t bring myself to try to trust him again because I was afraid of him failing. I finally got the courage to tell him and he was angry and hurt but after a while he understood. It took a long time before I finally was able to put my trust in him again.

    I won’t say my trust issues are cured, because once in a while I find myself trying to go down that path agai–that is when I know that I have skipped too many meetings. Thank you for all your comments.

  40. Mickey January 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I have only just discovered this Al-Anon website and was very happy to find it and know that I am not the only one suffering and going through all this stuff. I don’t trust anyone, because I have been let down so much in my life, when someone tells me something, especially my husband, who is an alcoholic (I am also an Adult Child of an Alcoholic) and have had alcoholics around me all my life.

    I am having a really difficult time with my husband right now, and our marriage is in a very precarious state right now. We often fight because I don’t trust my husband and he is always saying how much I am “hurting him” by not trusting him, but I have often trusted him, given him the “benefit of the doubt” only to find out that he had been hiding things from me–his drinking, his porn, his relationships online. I feel as if I can’t ask him about anything that he does because he always takes everything I ask him as a “personal attack” and shuts down until he goes and gets drunk and then it all comes out with such rage.

    I would like to be able to trust people that I come in contact with every day. I have no friends, because I isolate myself to keep all the “drama” that comes from others away from me.

    I am in so much pain. I don’t know what to do about how desolate I feel inside sometimes, even when I ask the Creator to lend me the strength to try to sort things out, I just don’t feel as if I am equipped to even start as there has been so much during my entire life. I am destroying my marriage because of all the other emotional (trust) issues that are present.

    I plan on spending more time listening to the podcasts and reading the comments, as it has helped in just the few days that I have been checking it out. I think I might be able to get some help in dealing with the things that make my life so empty and cold.

  41. carmella January 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I know I really need to go to meetings, soon. Reading everyone’s stories makes me feel not so alone. I’ve been with my husband for 18 years. He had been sober from alcohol for 13 years. In the middle of that gap of time he had back surgery and became addicted to pain pills. He went to rehab and quit like 2 years ago now.

    He was diagnosed with bipolar. He has not gotten the help he needs mentally. In the past 6 months he has messed up 4 times with drinking. So now every time he comes home smelling like a mechanic, he doesn’t have time to get in the door without me being defensive and accusing.

    I just want to let it go and trust him again. I can’t live my life in fear of when he falls apart. I hope therapy will help us. I feel bad for my 14-year-old son, having to deal with us. Peace to y’all.

  42. Sharon January 2012 at 1:39 am

    I wish I had been able to hear this podcast years ago. I have learned in Al-Anon that the person I need to trust is me. I put too much emphasis on my loving, trusting him. I didn’t realize that by putting so much emphasis on my own insecurities in not trusting him that I failed to see that the person I should trust was me.

    All my nagging, manipulating, and mothering was not helping. I could not trust him; lies easily flowed out of his mouth. I had learn to concentrate on cleaning up my “garbage”–I have plenty. My recovery was mine; his was his. It is hard to detach and live my life for me and stay on my side of the street. Trusting him is not as hard if I learn to trust myself.

  43. jonzie November 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Trust is a hard issue. I don’t trust people to always do what they say or share their real feelings. Can see why people don’t trust people who drink. It’s when I’m my most unreliable.

  44. RP November 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Generally I’m a trusting person, which is sometimes a double-edged sword. Recently my trust in my significant other was rocked when he relapsed after 10 years of sobriety. I’d always admired his commitment to sobriety and active participation in AA.

    Finding these podcasts already helped me realize the need for me to recover my ability to trust in myself and others. I look forward to participating in live meetings and starting my own path to recovery.

  45. April November 2011 at 12:00 pm

    My husband never drank until he was laid off his job in Oct. of 08. It started out only on the weekends, and has escalated ever since. Slowly, through the years of alcohol abuse, it has changed his thought process.

    He isn’t the man I married, anymore. He replaced his anti-depressants with the alcohol, saying that he needed it to be more outgoing and social. If that were the case, then I wouldn’t have to sit at home every evening and watch him get drunk, verbally abuse me, then stagger to bed.

    I miss him dearly, but I am slowly giving up hope that the man I fell in love with is even still in there anymore…

  46. Nikki October 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing. The sponsor’s comments were really moving: “If you say things more than once, you’re controlling.” I cringed a little because I identify with this way too well, but it was a very big eye-opener for me.

    Now I have a simple question I can ask myself throughout my day that will help me stop and think before I react. Thanks for that simple, but powerful gem of knowledge:)

  47. edith September 2011 at 7:58 am

    I find trust difficult too. My husband died 9 months ago and he was my best friend. Now I am having trouble not blaming others for not being able to make me feel better and because I often feel like a fifth wheel. I realize today that these are MY issues and not the fault of other people. I’ve got to keep working on me.

  48. Elizabeth September 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I was in need of hearing someone’s experience, strength and hope. I chose to listen to this podcast about trust because right now it is the biggest hurdle in my recovery.

    My program is 7 years old. HP is always there for me, but I second-guess everything. It takes courage to do what the spirit is leading me to do, despite my will. My will always leans on the side of staying with the familiar. The familiar is a dark place full of resentment and self-pity. When I let go of that and follow my spirit despite fears, I am always rewarded with a sense of ease, and sometimes awe and wonder.

    Listening to these podcasts reminds me, I am not alone. People in the program are working it and making progress. I can too.

  49. Tammy September 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Most importantly, I don’t trust myself to be able to tell when someone is manipulating me. I hope I can learn to trust myself again. Of course, I don’t trust the alcoholics, but I’m angry with myself that I brought this garbage into my life.

  50. Stacie August 2011 at 8:41 am

    I found this real helpful because my best friend started AA and had reached her 30 days and then the next day she fell and started drinking again. I was dealing with a blind trust. I believe every thing she told me and even though I knew better or I questioned the task I kept quite. I was searching for an Al-Anon meeting in my area and found this podcast that is helpful. My trust has been downed several time, but I see now that it was all part of her illness. We went back to an open meeting last night together. I learned that I cannot just leave her, but I can put up a wall and then slowly bring it down as she tries to get better. Thanks for the chance to share and comment on the podcast.

  51. Sue July 2011 at 11:41 am

    I found this helpful. Thank you.

    I find it hard to trust myself, too. I have belittled my own instincts so often that I find it difficult to recognize them.

    It’s good to be reminded that I am worth it.

  52. melissa July 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I can see myself in every person on this page. I can relate. I found this site and I have not stopped listening to the podcast stories. I just could not believe it. It has helped me in the last 24hrs to stop blaming myself for everyone’s unhappiness.

    I grew up with an alcoholic father and older brother, and now 22yrs later my husband and older son have an addiction to alcohol. Everything is my fault. If I would just not say anything to them, then things would be just fine. After listening to the podcasts, I will apply those principles in my life and deal with this, and I will start attending meetings.


  53. Susan July 2011 at 9:58 am

    I hear echos of my experience in these stories. I am considering going to a meeting and hearing these stories has moved me closer to that end. Thank you.

  54. Pawn July 2011 at 8:48 am

    Thank you so much to everyone participating here. We really need each other. Living with an alcoholic can sometimes be too much for many of us. I am having a difficult time right now and I am so grateful for this site.

  55. Amanda July 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I’m having trust issues with my husband also.

  56. Linda July 2011 at 9:01 pm

    It’s hard to trust someone, everyone.

  57. Linda July 2011 at 8:50 pm

    My first Al-Anon meeting is Monday the 11th, 2011. But my big thing with my husband is the fact that he turns everything I say & every situation into something else and before you know it it’s something about me & what I did or said. I’m so tired of having blame put on me when I’m not the alcoholic. I have reached the point to where I am angry all the time & I can’t even remember when I’ve had a good day.

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