One day I woke up and discovered that my 25-year marriage was empty. I found myself feeling the most empty and lonely when I realized I was trying to love someone who was no longer there. I wondered, How had I lost my best friend? It happened so gradually. I had been replaced by alcohol; it was now first in his life. Before I became aware of this, I subconsciously felt a void. I was in denial about what the void was about, but I filled that void with my own obsessive behaviors. I took care of everyone else, but did not have any idea how to take care of me.
Through Al-Anon, I learned to keep the focus on myself. I learned to develop a self-care plan. I learned that my negative thinking and behaviors were simply behaviors that were out of balance. I had to replace them with their spiritual opposites. With the help of this program, my thinking has changed to gratitude, depression has turned to hope, and pain has turned to joy.
By Kat C., California
The Forum, January 2020
This is the most depressing blog, or at least list of blog responses, I’ve ever seen. I’ve been married for 25 years, too, but still have some hope that things will get better. Or at least I did until I read the long list of spouses who are stuck in the alcoholism quicksand and can’t get out. Not one said things are improving. I read all of these responses yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it.
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I’ve been with my husband for 25 years, married for 18. Of the 18 years, he has drank every single day. He drinks beer, no hard liquor. He also is a “functioning alcoholic” and is always busy. Since retirement the drinking has affected him in so many ways and I continue to grow more depressed and anxiety is through the roof. Due to COVID I haven’t gone to any meetings and am unsure of online support.
Wow, this story brought me to tears because it’s the same story I could have written. We’ve been married almost 25 years. My husband is a contractor. So his work is seasonal. In the winter the drinking is worse. It has also became worse after the murder of his brother and then sudden loss of his dad who was also alcoholic. My husband says he only drinks beer so it’s not like his dad. This is my 1st time in here. We don’t have meetings near us. So I’m hoping to get help online.
I am also married (almost 23 yrs) to a functioning alcoholic. I came to Al Anon about 9 months ago and only then realized that I had become irrational and out of control as a result of living with an alcoholic. The more I did, the more I tried to help, the more frustrated and resentful I had become! I too want to be happy with someone who contributes to a relationship! With the help of the program I have learned to set some boundaries and take care of myself. I am still faced with not knowing if I will… Read more »
I have been married for almost 24 years and it seems I am not alone in this. So many of your stories have touched me as they are so similar. It makes sense now that our stories are all too common. The situation progressed over the years and has gotten worse. I have urged my husband to get counseling, initially we went to couples counseling and our therapist suggested individual counseling as well. I went but my husband could never find a therapist that he was happy with, or at least that was the story he told me. I used… Read more »
I have been married for 30 years and am living with a functioning alcoholic. I thought after the kids left and we sold our family business the drinking would become less. It just always seems to get pushed to the next reason for his behavior. I feel alone, angry and do not want to go into retirement like this. I go to church alone, exercise alone, and feel like we are living totally separate lives. I am lonely in our marriage. I have asked him to go to AA or get marital counseling, but he refuses. He suggests that I… Read more »
I read this and your post struck home to me. I felt like I am reading my future self writings. I am 35 and have been with my husband since I was 15 years old (married 7)(Son together who is 9). I thought the drinking would stop as we grew older. But I was wrong. I woke up about 6 months ago and knew something was wrong. I thought with me as I couldn’t sleep and my thoughts were forever everywhere. I went to my family doctor for anxiety, as I had a rough childhood and they referred me to… Read more »
I have been married to a man for 33 years. He is a terrible alcoholic who verbally abuses me and embarrasses me regularly. He has no desire for treatment and is close to retirement. He has moments of being tolerable, but I never know what I am coming home to or what can happen on the weekends. Every Sunday afternoon is a nightmare. As I type this, I don’t know why I stay or tolerate. Most of the assets are mine which scares me if he is sober enough to get an attorney. I’ve worked very hard to get to… Read more »
Reading the stories below, they were mine until my first Al-Anon meeting last April 21st. I thank God, my Higher Power, for my neighbor who directed me to my first meeting, thank God for the lady at the toll free number who helped me find the right address, I don’t know where my family and I would be otherwise. Go to your first meeting, keep coming back, and yes, you will love everyone there even if you don’t always love them. Al-Anon is HOPE!
I have been married to my husband for 33 years. Gradually, I have been replaced by alcohol. He suffers from pain from his childhood that he has not dealt with. He has some deep, psychological issues and he drinks to Oblivion to handle them. I’ve been supportive over the years, with the last 10 being the hardest. He’s been in and out of rehab and hospitals multiple times. At this point he has given up. It will not end well for him and for our family. I have had to leave our home due to the verbal abuse. The wonderful… Read more »
My husband drinks mostly on the weekends. And he drinks a lot. I don’t know if he drinks Monday through Thursday because he travels. Fridays and Saturdays he drinks so much that he slurs his words and sways. We miss outside activities because I am embarrassed to show up when he is drunk. I feel completely alone other than at work and Sunday morning when I go to church, alone of course. I don’t know what to do. He is not abusive but he would much rather sit in the garage and down a case of beer and talk on… Read more »
I’ve been married for 15 years and together for 25, my husband has also gradually become a different person. He’s a functional alcoholic, and sole breadwinner for our family. Since he feels like he makes all the money he thinks it’s ok for him to drink excessively. He often is checked out. I can see the repercussions that it is doing to his body. He has gotten so unhealthy, it’s affected so many things in his life and our marriage. I feel helpless, he blames me for his drinking because he doesn’t think it’s fair that I’m a stay at… Read more »
I am losing my wife of 27 years. She wont get help and now she wont talk to me. I can not understand what is happening with her while suddenly she seems not to care about my children and I. She is an alcoholic and exhibits signs of a bipolar disorder. I don’t seem to know where to go from here. I am so lost.
I’ve been married to my wife now since the fall of September 2015. Actually if we are going on years it’s been Dec 3 2012. I’ve caused some of the turmoil in our marriage she’s not all to blame… it’s a bad term to say it like this but I got the rest of my wild oats out before we were married exactly 4 months together. I’ve changed. I was a party boy when I was young. I required a couple of dumb dumb tickets as well. But through the entire experience I’ve learned that alcohol was the enemy. Fast… Read more »
My husband of 20 years hasn’t worked in a year and I have been the sole financial support of our family. He says it’s because his back hurts, but all he does now is sit in our basement and drink beer. All day. Every day. I might see him for a minute or two when I get home, but that’s it. He has another alcoholic friend and that’s about the only person he talks to. Still trying to work up the courage to go to a meeting but I know that will happen. He used to be a lovely person… Read more »
Wow!!!I sit here and hear your stories and it’s so sad that we have to experience these hard times and struggles especially with the ones we love. I’m not married and I actually haven’t been with my partner that long but I see the signs already. I read your stories and I hope that I’m not in the same predicament in 20 years. Thank you for sharing and maybe it’s my time to get out while I can.
I feel stuck as well.
My marriage is 27 and has included multiple trips to treatment, periods of sobriety and relapses. I dont know how to make it through the current relapse. The emotional abuse is horrible.
I try to be patient because he is a wonderful person, loving father and hard working spiritual man when sober. I can’t live in this place of fear and pain anymore but cannot see any way out. He won’t leave and I cannot leave the kids.
I myself am in a struggle with my partner coming up on 23 years. I recently found out about her drinking during the Christmas break. I called 911 because I thought she was in diabetic shock. Her daughter came up and found several bottles of Vodka. I have since found over 30 stashed all over the household. She is defecating in her bed and on the floor/walls. She blames the poop on the the dog and said I am planting bottles. I need help.