I Made a Desperate Phone Call

I can remember sneaking out to the garage one winter night to check  the cupboards and car trunk for empties left by my spouse. At 3 a.m., shivering in my slippers and housecoat, I searched for “proof” of something that was impacting almost every facet of my life.
With an empty bottle in hand, I made a desperate phone call to my spouse’s therapist, pleading for help and demanding that she do something about his drinking. The next morning I was ashamed of my actions and my emotional chaos. I felt like my rationality was slipping away.
I heard about Al‑Anon in my professional life and thought I had nothing left to lose by trying it. In Al‑Anon, I quickly learned that the proof I had been searching for wasn’t found in empty bottles, but in the form of my insecurity, shame, desperation and hopelessness.
Al‑Anon helps me look within to find saner, healthier ways to cope with the effects of alcoholism.

Melissa N., Manitoba

2017-08-10T13:13:24+00:00August 10, 2017|Categories: Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism, Alcoholic Spouse or Partner|


  1. Lacie November 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Reading all of these comments, really hit home with me. My husband and I have been together for 12 yrs, married only 1 year. His drinking has been awful for the last 5 years. I almost called off the wedding, but I didn’t. I kept thinking, through better or worse. He will stop. It will get better. He’s my best friend. Really, my only friend at this point because I have isolated myself within my family.
    He hides his drinking from me, swears on his life he hasn’t had anything. I know better though… I find myself hunting for bottles at night. I’m sure I look crazy to the neighbors, outside at night with a flashlight standing on a ladder looking in the gutters, under bushes, anywhere he might hide a bottle… I don’t know how to help him. He is full of un-kept promises and lies. I can’t financially or emotionally continue to live like this. I don’t know what to do…

  2. Mary September 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks to all who have left a comment regarding the emotional upheaval you find yourself in. It quieted my spirit just to know I wasn’t alone.
    That I wasn’t the only exasperated, severely annoyed, and emotional wreck out there. I have been in and out of Al-Anon for years because of my husband’s drinking. We have been married 37 years, and together 41. I have done two professional interventions on him, with all four of our kids there, kicked him out 3 times, gotten a restraining order on him once, and filed for divorce twice. We have been in and out of marriage counseling all of our marriage. I didn’t realize I was marrying an alcoholic like my Father was. I’m back in Al-Anon and am finally getting the peace of mind I need to be the productive person I want to be. We are still together, tho many times I kick myself and wonder what I was thinking to do so??!!?? He just turned 65 and we went out to dinner. He drank 10 shots of tequila in 75 minutes at the restaurant. I taped the idiocy of his conversation and played it back to him today. (he said he will privately tape me down the road also)??!! They are all purposefully clueless as it serves their agenda. We’ve been together too long to break up, but I have found sanity in Al-Anon. God bless you all.

  3. Wendy June 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I had no idea how big the problem was until I started searching for proof. He was so good at lying, I had no clue the depth of his problem. I am so angry that he can’t stop for me or the kids. The house, juggling bills, 2 teenagers, a business to run, and he wonders why I am not affectionate to him at night. That would make ‘us’ all better? I am the reason the marriage is falling apart, that I am the one who scares the kids with my anger towards him. Finally got him to move out. For the last few weeks, I am calm at home. Now that he is gone I do not have anywhere to put that anger. I don’t like my behaviors but I only thought I was ‘this way’ when he was around. I have now taken my anger ‘to the streets’ and have yelled horrible things at strangers for doing almost nothing wrong. I did not know that somewhere along the line I have become a controlling, paranoid, distrustful, angry person. I have isolated myself for so long that I don’t have any close friends anymore.

  4. curly March 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I just found my first meeting that I will attend next week. My husband’s drinking is destroying our marriage. I packed my bags about 15 months ago and that made him stop for about 2 months. We are in therapy but he is getting angrier and beginning to test the limits of drinking. 2-3 drinks at dinner, now bringing a 6 pack home with him, stayed out till 2 in the morning a few weeks and ago and does not remember the entire night. He picks fights and says it’s me who is trying got control him and I should just let him do what he wants to do. I can’t win in any situation. He does not know how to argue so if I say anything, he feels that I’m attacking and belittling him.

    I’m exhausted. My mom was an alcoholic so I have many issues with heavy drinking and of course, who do I marry, an alcoholic.

  5. Brenda March 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t even know where to start. I do know that I am extremely exhausted. I have tried everything to keep this marriage together. I don’t think my husband gets it that he is making me fall out of love with him and we have our 25th wedding anniversary approaching in a month. He doesn’t think he has a problem … and I really don’t know what else to do

  6. Toni December 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I say to myself every night tonight is going to be the night. I worry myself to death that my husband is going to kill himself or someone else. He goes to work everyday, but comes home drunk every night. He is in denial.. I need to find meetings to attend and I’m so mad that I have to do this when he should be the one going to a rehab. This has destroyed me, and us.. I have tried everything I can think of to get him to stop. Just keeps getting worse.

    Thank You All.. I wish each and everyone of you all the best and God Bless us all.

  7. Mel December 2017 at 10:02 am

    Today I will be attending my 1st Al-Anon meeting. I, too, search for my husband’s vodka bottles. It’s insane how much I am not myself anymore. Worried, anxious, trying to make sure he doesn’t fall and hurt himself. While our children are young adults, it is affecting them as well to see their dad like this. I feel so alone but reading all of these posts has given me help to know that support is out there .. for ALL victims of alcohol abuse.

  8. Raven November 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I have been struggling and debating whether it’s all worth it or not. I am constantly searching my home top to bottom to find the empty’s. I feel like he gets more clever. Most recently he admitted to throwing them in the desert or on the roof so I wouldn’t find them. I feel like I’m losing my mind. We have two teenagers and even they will find empty cans and just don’t understand why he’s hiding it. He is a loud and annoying drunk and he says horrible things. I don’t know where to reach out. It’s hidden from everyone and we’re the ones who suffer and carry the burden. Functioning alcoholic and he refuses to admit he’s doing anything wrong because he goes to work and is home at night. I’m just lost and don’t know know where to turn. We live in a rural area and in our profession it’s frowned upon yet also acceptable.. sorry for the vent but I felt this is the only safe place I have.

  9. Dawn November 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who searched his truck for booze bottles! I have found several over the last couple weeks. We were a non drinking family, at least that’s what I thought until a month ago! I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know I’m not the only one going through this nightmare. My spouse is in denial. I look forward to getting myself some support and help because I don’t know what to do.

  10. Heather November 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I, too, keep searching and when I find that proof that he has lied to me again it is like a kick in the gut. My doctor just found multiple ulcers in my stomach this past week and while they have made me stop taking all ibuprofen type medication, I know that he is the cause; I’m constantly in knots. I’ll be finding a meeting ASAP, too.

  11. Katie November 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Oh my gosh this is me as well. I was just doing it last night while he was in the shower – searching his car and the cabinets for empty bottles of vodka. Last night I came up empty but I knew when I got home he had been drinking and then again this morning when he came home from work. He was in the hospital recently for severe medical issues and dr told him to stop drinking or it will kill him. I literally feel crazy everyday trying to prove to myself that I’m not and he is drinking and hiding it – just about everyday. Looking for a meeting now.

  12. Mike W. November 2017 at 9:08 am

    I too have had the uncontrollable obsession to find the evidence of my wife’s addiction. I’m learning in Al-Anon that if attend these meetings, listen to others and their experience with these same issues, and reach out to them by picking up the phone when I have these obsessions, I know I don’t have to go it alone. And life with an alcoholic becomes a little easier. Thanks for reading.

  13. Holly November 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I have done this. Over and over again. And each time, I find what I knew in my gut I would find. That “evidence” that he not only has a problem, but that he feels like he has to hide the severity of it. I thank the person who wrote this. You have inspired me. I am going to go to a meeting and try to get help myself because I feel like I’m going crazy and I know that my response to his disease is not helping him in any way. And the effect that the “obsession” of “catching” him is not healthy for me.

  14. Judi November 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I am so concerned that my husband will kill himself from drinking and pain killer abuse. He had major back surgery and is still in pain. In the past three years he had multiple trips to the ER and surgery. I have approached calmly and supportive but find myself after two falls tonight just screaming at him. I am so afraid. He has a very prominent position so I don’t want to embarrass him. He refused to get help.

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