Confused need to vent

I'm not sure whether to call this a vent or not, but I need to get this out of my head and into the open. Maybe talking about it will help me clear things up so I know what I should do. I know I have mentioned my husband a few times on here already, but what I didn't tell anyone is that he is a bad alcoholic. He can be both mentally and physically abusive while drinking, I am planning on leaving him to go to Mo in August. My problem? I am afraid I will not have the will power to stay away from him. I do love him dearly. I worry constantly about him because he has osteoporosis and has broken his back 5 times already. That on top of other health issues that have him in the hospital more times than not, and he has no family to care for him. I am afraid that if I go and stay gone something awful will happen to him and I know I will blame myself forever for not being around to take care of him. On the other hand there is my health. I can no longer pick him up off the floor or ground when he falls, or hold him up while he is staggering around the house to get him back into bed. I can't wait on him hand and foot any longer when he gets himself sick. My fibro has gotten very bad and I am in so much pain now I can hardly think straight and the fatigue is unbearable. I can not sleep at night even when I want to because he keeps me up till all hours of the night drinking his vodka. I am exhausted both emotionally and physically. My brain tells me I need to leave and stay gone forever, but my heart tells me he needs me. When he is sober he is a wonderful man and that is the side of him I love and care for. I made a promise to his mother before she passed away I would take care of him, but now I don't think I can keep my promise and it is tearing me up. As it stands now I am still going to Missouri on the 4th of August if all goes as planned. My father is looking forward to seeing me and wants me to stay there with him. But also don't want to burden my dad who is not well himself with my illness. My goodness I am so confused.

Here is some (hopefully) gentle advice from the daughter of an alcoholic: Please stop helping him in his sickness. I know that out of love and caring you are doing this but it's enabling him to stay sick. He really has no impetus to stop drinking if you take care of him and his business when he's doing his drinking. I've seen this first hand. My dad never did stop and my mother was so unhappy with him, although she won't admit it. Her life has been so much calmer and happier since he's passed on, as awful as that sounds.

You know what is the most heartbreaking thing? So many alcoholics are wonderful people when they're sober. My dad was, on those rare occasions. But, BOY, are they sons of guns when they're drinking.

I don't think I even need to tell you how much you need to take care of yourself right now. You know it. You just need to listen to that head of yours and tell the heart to be there at the RIGHT time - like if he's going to AA and sober for 6 months.

As for burdening your father, I figure he'll be less burdened when you're with him, because he knows you're well and safe with him. He must truly be burdened when he's worried about you and your well-being when your hubby is on a tear. I sure know how that goes.

I truly believe that you and your husband deserve happy lives. But while alcohol is involved, neither of you will be. I can't say it any clearer than that. The alcoholism needs to be addressed and treated if you two are to have a happy future together.


the daughter of an alcoholic who never chose to let his alcohol go

Oh sweetie,

That is a tough decision. And unless one is in your shoes, opinions do not matter. I do know this, you need to take care of yourself and although this may sound very selfish, it is not!

He needs help, but so do you. I am concerned about the abuse and your home does not appear to be a safe environment for you, at least not at the moment. Please talk to someone who can talk to your husband. A friend, perhaps...

Hello Angela

Petunia stated it so well. I am the ex-wife of an alcoholic. I am also the mother of an alcoholic, my daughter, who is now 47 and still drinking. To put it plainly, as long as you stay with him you become an enabler. Nobody can help an alcoholic. Only the alcoholic can help himself/herself if they choose to. After 10 years of marriage I decided that I would rather be on my own than to continue being married to an alcoholic who was not willing to work on our marriage nor his addiction. He was NOT a horrible man. It's the same with my daughter. She always finds someone to con and manipulate. They are their own worst enemy. The decision is yours. If you stay with your husband he will NEVER change because you are the enabler. Your health will continue to deteriorate. You need to look after yourself.

hmmm I guess I never thought of myself as an enabler because I never bought the vodka for him nor condoned his drinking. Had to think about that for a bit, I see you are all right though now that I have thought it through some. If I am understanding you right Petunia I am enabling him simply by making things easier for him? No wonder he has been getting madder at me lately because I just haven't been able to do for him as I use to. Starting to make some since now. I do know that I have become frightened of him lately. I think going to my fathers is the best idea for both of us. I am still going to be very worried about him though, but I will just have to try to put it out of my head. I did do some research online and found a doctor and a pain clinic in the West Plains area that treats fibro and I have already called and made the appointments. I am excited to finally be able to see a doctor that knows the illness and treats it !! So I will try to concentrate on that. Thanks for letting me discuss this though it has been weighing heavily on my mind.

Hi Angela C.,

I understand what you are going through. I was married to an alcoholic. I was suffering really bad with his explosive temper and I was torn becuase of the same thing. On the sober days he was wonderful. At some point those got fewer and fewer. My fibromylgia was seriously aggravated by the emotional climate and I had to get out. I was in the hospital from exhaustion. I was an emotional wreck. Unfortuantely the state social services got involved. He was angry when I left and felt as though I had abandoned him but in time he did acknowledge that he was probably difficult to live with. He had a good job and threw a lot of energy into it. Since we have a son together we maintained regular visits. Even though miles away I worried and worried. I had no choice to stay as social services threatened to take our son away if I stayed. He knew this. Again, when he was sober, good but very explosive after a night out on the town. He loved the local Amvets. I felt bad for a number of years that I left him (5 years). I constantly worried about him. He had broken his leg about a month before our was born because he was intoxicated. As time went by he gradually began to understand how my fibromaylgia made it very challenging and accepted it. We got divorced. He continued to drink. Last year he had begun a new relationship but within 6 months they were done ( apparently not impressed with his drinking). He was let go from his job. When the relationship ended he came to me and said, " It took losing make me see I need to change" and he is now 9 months sober. It may seem callous and may not even apply to your situation but I believe the best thing I did was 1) Take care of myself and my son and 2) I left.

Angela, it sounds like you've been doing some pretty in-depth thinking and understanding of this illness. Yes, even making things easier for an alcoholic is, sadly, enabling him. And as Rachel said, alcoholics find ways to con us into making life easier for them. And each time we do that, we lessen the burden of their disease for them, so they can keep on drinking without the guilt or the nuisance of handling everyday things.

Absolutely, you are able to do less because of your illness. And, of course, an alcoholic will resent it. That means that he will have to manage things that don't relate to drinking and, of course, that will get him angry. More pesty issues to deal with, less time to drink.

Caroline, I think it's FANTASTIC that you've lined up a fibro specialist in your new location and that you're going away. It's time to take care of yourself. I think you have a really good situation lined up with your father.

You really cannot control if your husband chooses to take care of himself or not. You can be happy for him when he does but your job is to take care of yourself. Truly it is. Because this illness will make you feel worse. And worse. And worse. If you don't take care of yourself.

Please don't get yourself to that point. You have a gift right now, a chance to go away and get well. I hope you take it and find much health and happiness.

Wow. Powerful story. Great insight on your part at the end. And a good ending, since you took care of yourself and your son and now your ex is taking care of himself.

This is so true. Every single word written. Unfortunately, it takes going through it and then being away from it to have clarity of the issue and to truly know how unhealthy it is to be with an alcoholic.

"I am exhausted both emotionally and physically. My brain tells me I need to leave and stay gone forever, but my heart tells me he needs me. When he is sober he is a wonderful man and that is the side of him I love and care for. I made a promise to his mother before she passed away I would take care of him, but now I don't think I can keep my promise and it is tearing me up."

It is not about him and someone taking care of him, it is about you being happy and safe. Love is powerful, i don't know it personally but I have seen it. My mother let my father beat the bricks off her and stayed and stayed. . .my mother passed away 7 months ago miserable. Stuck in a life she didn't ask for. she left my father years and years ago but the things he did to her never left. If YOU are exhausted emotionally and physically then that is all you need to know that it is time to leave. He depends on you because you allow it. To be afraid to be happy is not good. Do you think he is worried about what you want? Can he help you during your sick days? He may be an amazing person off liquor but because liquor changes him, it will always be this way for you. You deserve happiness. . .if you leave and he cannot take care of himself that only shows you that you allowed yourself to be his caretaker and a wife is not a caretaker. A wife is a partner in a bond and you both care for and love each other equally.

I watched my mother battle alcohol, drugs and misery and now that she is gone all of what I experienced through her and the physical and emotional damage she caused me, lives on with me, unfortunately.

I wish you the best and I hope you make the right decision for YOU and not for him.


Hi Angela C.,

One statement that Petunia said is that the less you are able to do the more resentful they may become. As my fibromyalgia worsened the longer I was with him I was getting less done. I was not able to clean as much because the pain in my back was increasing and then I developed pain down my arms.

He would get angry because I was doing less housekeeping. It did not help that my son at the time required more and more attention. He blamed his drinking on me.

It took me more than a few months and even a couple of years to look back and see how bad the situation had become before I got out. I had guilt about leaving him and I had to be reminded constantly from others and then one day it kind of hit me, "Yeah, I did need to get out." I really did appreciate others trying to be inderstanding and sympathetic towards me. Every time someone said "You need to take care of yourself" I felt a little less shelfish. It is hard to accept the fact that they sometimes need to be left to their own devices. You know, he did work it out without my help. It is a little sad it took 6 years.

Thanks everyone for supporting me in this and for the great advice. It does make it easier knowing others have gone through the same thing, and have come out better in the end. Your all right though, I do need to start taking care of myself. That has always been a problem for me. I have always put others first, and have as I have been told anyway, a caregivers personality. It is something I need to work on if I want to get even a little bit better. Things that have happened to me over the years have had me convinced I am not worth much, so I guess without realizing it until recently I just gave up on myself and started putting all my efforts toward others instead. I really am glad to have met all of you wonderful people :) the support I have already received here has meant more to me than you know.

Hi Petunia,

Rob's response to me was always " You worry about yourself and Tyler." Him being sober is like a weight off my back. Now when I talk to him he just tells me he loves his new job. He had a difficult childhood. I understood why he may have turned to drinking.

Hi Mo Merrell,

Sorry to hear about your experience as a child. That has to be difficult.

THIS is a fantastic post. I think it really says so much about alcoholics and enablers. Thanks for making it clearer.


Yes I have learned the hard way about this. I did try to leave recently around the end of May. He had become so horrible that I couldn't stand to be around him any longer. I managed to stay away for two weeks. He got much worse after I left. He would call my cell up to 13 times a night if not more, leaving awful messages one time, and crying the next. He also called the police on me twice, one time telling them I stole $900.00 in rent money and his medication, the next time saying I stole $60.00 and his medication sigh. He almost got me arrested for things I wasn't doing. I had to prove to the police the medication I had with me was my own, and I hadn't been down to the apartment at all. How did I end up back here? On June 15th he called me around 3:30 pm and told me he had just taken a bottle of pills, and not to worry about the dogs as his sister will come from NH and get them. Of course I called 911 for them to go get him. They told me I had to go to the hospital so they could speak with me there. It was a while before I was able to get to the hospital because I haven't got a car. By the time I did get there, I was told he hadn't taken any pills but is blood level was 3.8 and they were going to keep him until he sobered up. The next day they wouldn't release him unless I was there. I wanted them to keep him but they would not so I had to pick him up. I figured I would stay here just a couple of days and then go back to my mothers, but what does she do? she packs all my things up and drops it all off here. Even after I told her I was going to be back to her place. That is when I talked with my father about going to Mo. to get settled there. Being I am on Social Security I haven't got the money to just up and go so I have to wait until August. The plane ticket is $388.00 that's over half of my check of $600.00 . opps sorry didn't mean for this to end up so long.

hi everyone

I need to tell everyone that I may not be on much in the next few days, but i will try to find time to read posts. I am going to be packing my things while i can.

Yesterday around 3:30 pm Nick attacked me again sigh. Because I hid his bottle I didn't want him drinking anymore that day. He smashed my laptop and broke my cell when I tried calling for help. I was chased out of the house, I went next door to the store and called 911. This time they finally did arrest him he is in jail until the 25th unless his sister puts up the 5000 dollar bail, which I wouldn't doubt her doing. She is ticked right off at me because I had him arrested sigh even after she saw my left arm which is bruised and cut from what he did. She was telling me she is going to have me arrested because Nick is down there telling everyone I am stealing his pain pills and selling them. He has been saying I am taking his pills for months sigh now the story is deeper i am now selling them. I told her to find his pills I didn't know where they where and I wasn't going to look either. She found a small bottle under the mattress but he has a bigger bottle that she couldn't find so now they are saying I hid them. Good grief I have my own meds I don't need his and besides if i sold his pills I would have all the bills paid and I wouldn't be going without laundry and dish soap or dog food for the dogs sigh. I would probably be in Missouri by now if I was doing that which may end up being put on hold for a while now. I don't know everything is such a mess right now. I have a lady from domestic violence coming to get me sometime today to bring me to the office and help me get things straight. I am waiting for her call now. I tried to get an order of protection last night but they wouldn't give me one :( so now I have to make sure I am gone when he gets out because he is going to be in rare form when they release him and I know he will do more to me. I am sooo sore because of what he did yesterday, I was up most of the night because of it. It didn't help that his sister kept calling all night to harass me. the last call was 5:30 in the morning. Trying to make me feel guilty that he is in jail. He did it to himself not me. I am sorry just had to vent a bit sigh.

Angela C,,

Your on the right path.

I will pray for you to have the strength to leave him. You can keep your word to his mother in other ways. Taking care of someone can be to force them to stand on their own two feet. Some find they don't realize they've hit rock bottom until they lose what matters to them the most....their loved ones. He has shown he will not help himself as long as he can lean on you. For both of you it would seem leaving is the only answer. His mother was blinded by her love for her son. She possibly enabled him and is not a good judge of how to best help him. Consider this...She may be watching over you now and hoping that you will leave him.

I would leave him and only leave behind information on Rehab Centers that say, because I love you, I must leave. I would also randomly keep mailing them to him from an anonymous address. One day he may understand.

Wow, this is all shocking and sadly very familiar to so many people. I'm glad you had him arrested and now have the time to get away. His sister is disgusting if she condones her brothers actions. You do not put your hands on your wife, or anyone for that matter. His behaviour has gotten worse now he can probably sense that you will be leaving, and he is scared. Oh well, no sympathy for wife beaters. Alcoholics are very much like spoilt brats. I have much experience in them myself too. One was an ex who threatened to kill himself and me if I left and tried pathetic attempts of overdoses (on vitamins ffs lol) to keep me there. Well he ended up being sectioned a few times because of his erratic tantrums and attempts to control me. I'm sorry but he does not care for you or love you like you hoped or he would chose not to drink if he knows it makes him violent.

Take care of yourself, as you know you should and continue with your plans for a safe escape. Cut your ties and move on towards a healthier and happier future with people who do care for you and love you unconditionally. It's your life now. No one elses. Best wishes. Everyone is praying for you.