I lived with an alcoholic spouse for 22 years, during which I experienced depression, disappointment, and feelings of helplessness.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic health condition that develops through internal and external influences. Some of these influences include: the individual's genetics, family history, mentality, social environment, and the degree of stress in his or her life and how they cope with that stress. Alcoholism can have a detrimental impact on marriages and families. It has a severely destructive path with consequences that can potentially last a lifetime.
Alcoholism is defined as a dependence or strong craving for alcohol with continued use, despite the complications to one's health and the destructive behavior toward family and friends. Over a period of time, alcohol abuse can affect the brain and how it functions, causing serious harm to the organs in the body and the overall mental state of the person. The onset of withdrawal symptoms will occur with the decrease or absence of consumption of alcohol.
Alcoholism's Far Reach
It is estimated that over half of all adults have had to deal with some form of alcoholism in their lives. In the United States alone, over 17 million people are alcoholics, and studies show that 43% of these alcoholics have had one or more family members who were affected by this disease, as well.
Impact on Marriages
Alcoholism threatens the stability of marriages and breaks down the foundation of families. Some alcoholics may temporarily hide their addiction for a short while, functioning at a somewhat normal level as they continue to perform their duties and responsibilities in everyday life. However, the addiction will soon overcome the person as their alcohol level increases. His or her behavior patterns will eventually begin to disclose the severity of the disease. Some marriages will survive, although continued abuse of alcohol consumption often leads to the demise of the marriage and the downfall of the family.
It is easier in the beginning for the non-alcoholic partner to be supportive and show compassion with love and understanding. Though, as the disease progresses, the supportive partner can grow impatient and reach his or her limit of patience and forgiveness, just desperately wanting them to stop. The alcoholic will often make empty promises such as, "That was the last time," or "I can stop on my own, I promise." Satisfying their partner with these broken promises gives them more time so they do not have to deal with the problem. With the continued effects brought on by the alcoholic's behavior, it becomes increasingly difficult to be tolerant of his or her actions. Eventually fights worsen, communication is lost, trust is broken, and intimacy is gone. There is no way to have a healthy, functioning relationship with an alcoholic that refuses to seek help for the addiction.
Feeling the unfairness of the situation, the non-alcoholic partner may become resentful of his or her partner due to the actualization of what this has done to their on life. At this point, conflict is almost inevitable as the communication may start to fracture. Soon the marriage may begin to crumble under the pressure as each spouse starts pulling away from each other. This usually leads to the deterioration of emotional and sexual intimacy. The non- alcoholic partner may experience feelings of emptiness and an unsatisfying or unfulfilled relationship.
One of the negative side effects of too much alcohol consumption for men is the way in which it can hinder their ability to perform sexually.This can cause added stress on an already unsteady relationship. The non-alcoholic spouse may start to develop negative feeling toward the alcoholic due to his or her undesirable appearance or the smell of stale alcohol on their breath. One may feel repulsed or even disenchanted toward the spouse or partner. In addition, when there are feelings of resentment and anger toward the partner, the desire to be intimate may be lost and sexual attraction for them may gradually disappear. Unfortunately, this opens the door for infidelity in the marriage by one spouse or both. The non-alcoholic spouse may turn to someone else for comfort and to feel loved and wanted again. The alcoholic may betray the marriage for these same reasons or from the result of a wrong decision made while intoxicated and away from home. The hurt felt from this betrayal of trust in a marriage often times causes the end of the marriage.
Alcoholism can cause added financial worries. Money being used for alcohol takes away from the family and everyday expenses, which may cause bills to go unpaid. Additionally, the alcoholic may get arrested for DUI's and in turn have to pay substantial fines and a court cost. The alcoholic's mistakes cost the entire family, adding to the stress for the non-alcoholic spouse or partner. They may have to take on more financial responsibility to ensure the bills will be paid.
Children growing up in an alcoholic home may develop emotional problems, such as anxiety and behavioral outburst. Research shows that a child growing up with an alcoholic parent has a four times higher rate of developing an addiction to alcohol. They will often have low self-esteem, which can make it difficult for him or her to fit in with peers. This can make a child feel sad and lonely that can lead to chronic depression. Sometimes children of alcoholics develop fears of abandonment and feel helpless with a situation. Grades may drop in school because of the inability to concentrate on his or her school work at home under the circumstances. Also, because of his or her lack of social skills and surroundings, the behavior of the child may become inappropriate at times simply due to the fact that he or she does not know how to act suitably. A child of an alcoholic is forced to grow up and bear the stress and other consequences of the environment.
Alcoholism does not just affect the alcoholic. It affects the entire family. Those individuals that are sincere in reaching out for help and truly have the desire to end the abuse should be supported and treated with patience. Sometimes a marriage can be saved depending on the amount of damage that has been done. This journey will not be easy and will require much understanding to start the healing process and mend the hurt that has been caused. However, if the alcoholic refuses to receive any help and continues with harmful behavior towards themselves and his or her family, the non-alcoholic spouse or partner may be forced to make some very tough decisions in order to do what's best for the family.
My Personal Story
This subject is very personal for me. I lived with an alcoholic spouse for twenty-two years, and I went through years of sadness, physical and emotional pain, depression, disappointment, and helplessness.
I loved my husband very much and just wanted him to stop and be the husband and father to our children that he should be. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Many nights I sat up crying and waiting for him to come home. I was so unhappy, but I was too scared at that time to do anything. I felt as though I would not be able to have a life without him in it.
Thanks to faith and support, I found that I could. Because of this realization, I am happier than I have ever been in my life. Finally after two decades of enduring so much pain, I found the strength to make him leave.
I have been divorced now for almost five months, and I feel like I can breathe again without the worry and pain embedded in my stomach. Both my children and I have emotional scars that may never go away, but in time we will heal to a point where it can no longer affect us. I truly regret not leaving and taking my children out of that environment so many years ago but I am focused and steadfast on the future and what it has in store for my children and me.
I am blessed to have a strong support system from my loving family and friends. I thank God for my second chance in this life and the new beginning it brings each day.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Emily on October 09, 2019:
Thanks for sharing the link to Ellen Peterson's guide - big help!
Angela on October 07, 2019:
I do agree with Janine! After reading her comment, I decided to read Ellen Petersen's guide, and I can easily say that it's the best guide so far. I really like this approach and believe me I have read a lot of books in my life about alcoholism. Thanks Janine - sharing good things with people who need help is very important! This book helped me a lot.
Janine Sidwell on September 24, 2019:
Alcoholism in the family is a terrible thing. I know that very well. We struggled with it for many years until my dear friend recommended the guide by Ellen Petersen. I got it here - https://www.net-boss.org/shop/how-to-help-an-alcoh...
Excellent approach, which turned out to be a godsend!
LJ on August 27, 2017:
I have been reading posts like this for the past few years but never spoken out - too scared to admit my every day life and the
pathetic, scared person I have become. My boyfriend is a functioning alcoholic. I feel so stupid that I didn't see it when I first went out with him before emotions got involved. Looking back, he was an alcoholic from our very first date. I had been alone and kind of desperate for a relationship for a while so think I just didn't let myself see what was going on.
Here was somebody who cared about me, loved me and wanted to spend time with me and who I felt the same about for the first time in ages.
8 years down the line and I HATE him.
Dr J on August 24, 2017:
Thanks for this story. I've been married to a person who I now realize is a high-functioning alcoholic for 2.5 years; been together for almost 5. We have a 1 year old daughter. My breaking point was when we were at a wedding and spouse came back to the hotel room wasted at 9pm and screamed at me and told me I was stupid and worthless. Our daughter was asleep in the crib in the hotel room. Then, when we got back from the wedding, spouse had a couple more days of vacation and instead of going out and doing something or spending time with our child, they day drank both days instead. Spouse has an alcohol ignition lock in their car - that I insisted be installed after they drove home drunk on 3 different occasions about 4 months ago. This isn't even all that has happened in the past 6 weeks. Spouse has called me late at night, unable to start their car because of their drinking and has yelled and screamed and threatened divorce. After insisting that spouse not do anything illegal, be responsible for getting themselves to and from meetings and work, and insisting they not be drunk again, either with me and especially in front of our daughter, things have just gotten worse. I also insisted that spouse attend counseling with me - we've been there twice now. Spouse is now buying beers at the gas station on the way home, parking, and drinking in their car. They'll get 4 beers in before coming home and then lie about it, and pretend they haven't drank. I've found water bottles with vodka in them hidden around the house. It's the lying that is almost worse than anything else. I can't trust this person anymore, with anything. I'm so close to leaving, but am scared for our 1 year old - family courts will surely grant spouse visitation even though they're a liability and can't control their drinking enough to be trusted to supervise and drive a child around. I go back and forth between thinking I have to leave for my child and my own sanity, versus staying in this mess so that at least I'm here to supervise spouse with our kid 100% of the time. Has anyone else navigated leaving when young children are in the picture? I made a terrible mistake that my child will have to be wrapped up in for the rest of her life and I hope I can forgive myself for that someday. I hope I can find the strength to do what is best for myself and my daughter.
Dr K on August 24, 2017:
Thanks for this story.
New mom on August 16, 2017:
Nicky: thanks for your story. My husband drinks an average of 8-10 beers a night. I think it's more the effect than the number. I just left for a week long business trip and he continued to drink heavy even though he had our 1 year old. I was filling out divorce papers on the trip, but we agreed to go to a therapist yesterday. As you said, I know nothing will change unless HE wants it--and I heard him lie to the therapist. But, he did at least say he has a drinking problem and seemed somewhat positive about getting it under control. My trust and hope is so broken though...the therapist made a good point that alcohol is currently a 3rd party in our relationship and unless it's controlled, there is no chance to fix other issues.
for C in an early relationship, I would say run. Especially if he is hiding it already. It doesn't get better. My husband is a sexy, funny, smart person who was the sweetest guy--when he's not drinking (so, I see him sober about an hour a day). Alcoholics are good humans...but I'm beginning to see they won't choose you, or their kids, over alcohol.
For Jo: I don't think anyone on here has any delusion that only men are alcoholics. Not using children for sympathy, but a source of strength to get help or move on.
C on August 11, 2017:
I've been going out with a guy for 5 months now at the start everything was fantastic he treated me like a princess cooking for me made me feel very special we even booked a holiday together...
I know he drank a lot but i just ignored it but when we went on holiday i saw a different side to him he was hiding hes drink,drinking on the sly with zanax/other pills he became a different person shouting at me blaming me its awful and i dont know what to do....
K on August 06, 2017:
It's been 1 year, 1 month, and 4 days since I left my husband due to his drinking. We were married for over 8 years. No kids (thank goodness-even though we tried). Since leaving, I feel like I can breathe again. No more worrying about the next DUI charge, his drinking and driving constantly made me worry about the lives of other people on the road. He was verbally and sometimes physically abusive. I am so much happier now. Trying to save a failing marriage is draining. I am so thankful for my family and friends because without their support, I'd probably still be with him. Fast forward to today...I'm sitting on the beach at this very moment. Enjoying a peaceful and relaxing vacation for the first time in years (every vacation with him was a drunken nightmare). Oh and just this morning, a mutual friend of ours informed me that my ex was arrested last night on another DUI.
Jo on August 05, 2017:
Women moaning and using children for sympathy - I am a man who has been caring for an alcoholic woman aged 45 with cervical and breast cancer for 1 year. No kids involved - just a disease in a week willed vulnerable. The disease dominates the lives of those involved - the person, 1 min jeckyll next hyde
The alcoholic lies, thieves, schemes, destroys - they are ticking timebombs who have lost touch with reality - no sense of responsibility, and a lack of spatial awareness. They are incurable. Good luck with you and your lame excuses and blame around children. I shall continue my quest, unthanked and unappreciated in the eyes of the the cause until the ultimate conclusion releases me from the burden.
Nicky on August 02, 2017:
New mom: I wanted to respond to your question. I was pregnant with our 1st child when I realised my husband's drinking was more than just partying. I assumed that he would stop once we started a family. I remember crying and asking him to please stop, for the sake of the baby. Because the drinking got worse over many years, and I got more and more used to it, I stayed and we had 2 more children. I heard that 'voice' many times (after benders or heavier phases of drinking) But I wanted to believe he would eventually grow out of it. He hasn't, and I have realised that no amount of begging, bribing or reasoning will help, THEY have to want to change. I don't know how bad your husband's drinking is, but I hope the baby is a catalyst for him to change. I wish you all the best. Looking at all these comments below, I am wondering if we could set up a kind of support group?
Deb on July 31, 2017:
This is my exactly my story. 38yrs. of marriage and his drinking is getting worse. There is no intimacy at all. He has slept on the couch for 30yrs. He recently had a one night stand with a disgusting neighbor. I can not stop loving him but my life is miserable. He also blames me for all the arguments we have saying that he would not get mad if I had not said what I say.
Nicky on July 28, 2017:
Reading this right now, I feel close to tears. I'm married to a lovely man and we have three gorgeous kids. One of the reasons I feel so lost, stuck and confused is that I wonder what, exactly, is problematic drinking? I've checked the guidelines yet still wonder if I am justified for being so unhappy about my husband's drinking..maybe this is partly because he is denial, and makes me feel I am making a big thing of it. He is high functioning, but very rarely has an alcohol free day. He drinks daily, it's hard to monitor how much, maybe on average a bottle of wine, or a 3 or 4 beers, sometimes more. Sometimes a mixture of both. It sometimes gets wose according to his stress levels. The first thing he does when he comes home is open a beer or pours a glass of wine. When we go out (like last week) he drank 7 or 8 beers, at least. Same thing when we have visitors. I don't enjoy socializing together any more. I have started to doubt my own sanity, as to whether I'm being too controlling, expecting too much, when otherwise he is such a lovely man, he loves me and the kids very deeply. However, he gets angry quickly and can be unpredictable. I've noticed as the years go on his drop in patience (with the kids for example) and how he yells more. His father and most of the male members of his family were alcoholics, too. It's an epidemic in the country where we live. I am worried about his health as we get older (he is in his mid forties now) as he often complains about feeling tired. I am also a foreigner, and don't speak the local language that well, so seeking help is very hard. He refuses help or therapy so I would have to do it alone. He alternates between denial to admitting he needs it, but that it is 'under control' I just don't know what to do. Like momof3 below, I have started to distance myself from him, and there is a wall. Something has been broken in me. We have been together 25 years and used to be very close. We love each other, but I am losing hope. Keeping myself strong with diet and exercise, and my three lovely children are the only things keeping me strong. Not sure what else I can do. Appreciate being able to read these comments, makes me feel less alone.
New mom on July 15, 2017:
I have a 1 year old...since pregnancy I've heard nothing but excuses on why he can't stop or why he doesn't need help. We've been married 5 years--I don't want to regret not leaving sooner, but I want to be a family and make it work. If he just stopped....did you all have a voice saying it was over long before you left? I want the best for my child. I'm in a position to leave financially...just having a hard time believing he can't stop for his daughter.
momof3 on July 07, 2017:
I see that there are recent posts which gives me hope that someone will actually read this/hear me. I can relate so well to everything in this post. You described the reasons for my aversion to sex (smell, performance, etc.). My husband is a high functioning alcoholic and I have been married to him for 18 years. We have 3 beautiful children who give me the strength to tough it out. My husband is LOVED by everyone as he is a gregarious and fun man. He neglected me (emotionally and sexually) and the children entirely for over 13 years (he is also a workaholic), then decided one day (?) that he wanted to spend every living moment with me and have sex often. I don't doubt that he loves me, but I have dissociated in many ways and feel guilt about not feeling how he feels. The affects of his alcoholism are insidious and I am really really the only one who is privy to them (though he occasionally gets a little mean with the kids). Sometimes he hides his drinks but I know when he has because he gets a little mean, then demands sex. He smells strongly of alcohol at night and his skin is often clammy. He is a hard worker but has made the same salary for our entire marriage which makes me feel that I need to bear the weight of our financial stability. Things don't get done around the house though many promises get made. I know things could be worse, but I feel that I am living under this very large dark shadow that I am unable to get away from. It's nice knowing I am not alone. I suffered from major depressive order when things were worse than normal. I have been okay, but lately feel like I am slipping downward again.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on June 23, 2017:
I can so relate to the so called "functioning" alcoholic. My ex-husband was one, if you can call it that. But, as you can see, the "functioning" alcoholic starts to become a "non-functioning" person over time. It starts affecting their job and their relationships in a more profound way.
I was an enabler for my Ex by not doing anything for all those years.
I hope your husband decides to get the help he needs.
If not, I pray you receive the peace you need to make any difficult decisions that need to be made.
I wish you the best! :)
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on June 23, 2017:
I'm sorry about what you are going through right now. I can feel your struggle in your words and I feel for you.
You had mentioned that your husband read this article. He may not have said it to you but I'm sure it hit home with him and I'm sure he is struggling with the truth in the article of what it's doing to his family. I hope that he will get the help he needs and start repairing himself and what he has done to you. I suggest you pray for him and for God to help you make tough decisions that you may have to make.
I wish you the best and pray you find happiness soon.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on June 23, 2017:
Add Your Comment..
Thanks so much for reading. I know it's so hard to know what to do sometimes. I have found that when I pray about something that I'm not sure about, I soon feel a peace and clarity on what I need to do.
I wish you the best and hope you find peace.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on June 23, 2017:
I am so sorry you have had to endure this for so many years. I honestly feel your pain.
I hope you have found peace in whatever decision you have made and your life becomes everything you want it to be.
Thanks so much for reading! :)
Stacy on June 12, 2017:
My husband has been a functioning alcoholic for about 7 years but in the last year things have got worse & he has put our son in situations that could have ended wrong. My husband has tried to quit on his own 3 times but blames me for not being supportive enough. I am seeing a counselor & really believe separation would be best for us for 1) I am not helping him by allowing this to go on in our home & he will never quit being comfortable & 2) if we stay like this I will eventually be done where is right now if he leaves & gets clean, our marriage could survive. I know he might not quit either if he moves out but our house is toxic. He tells me he can quit if only I would support him more. I know this is his tactic to get more time & I am done. He said if he moves out we are done but I really feel that is the chance I have to take for what we are doing is not working! Any thoughts?
AJ on May 24, 2017:
I Really thinking about leaving my husband it has been almost ten years on and off drinking, more on then off. Well his drinking is making me feel not cared about even tho he say he loves me all the time, He lies, hides, and totally is loud and you can not even get a straight answer out of him when you ask a question. And I am the one that is the wrong by even wanting to talk about the drinking issue. He even read this article and was so proud of himself, but did not want to even talk about it. He doesn't want to make any type of improvement whatsoever. He just called and want me to talk with him, I feel like he just wants me to forget that he is putting are family throw this pain and watching him destroy himself. Truly at the end of my rope here. I have put up with so very very much from this man. He is a good man, he just has so many bad habits like drinking and drugs use when around it not to count out the Anger issues he has. I do love him, but not really sure why I continue to stay with him. We could truly be happy if all of this would stop. The bad thing is that he is going to school 4 hours away from us and i can not even talk to him on the phone because half the time he is drunk. He is trying to take care of us by bettering himself in a job throw schooling but So do I have to worry about when the money starts rounding in is he going to spend it all because of the drinking issues ? Someone tell me what to do? This was a very help article and I feel sorry that you had to go throw so much to get to the new being for you, kind of what I am going throw. Thanks for letting me vent.
N_jv on May 21, 2017:
This was an interesting read. My husband is an alcoholic who admits it but says it's not a problem. After 8 hours yesterday afternoon and another 5 hours today at a bar, I just wish I had a normal life. I came to the realization that I dont know what a "normal" relationship would be. We found out we cannot have children so now thats become an excuse to not change behaviors. I wish i had the strength to make him leave.
PATRICIA on March 03, 2017:
After 37 years of marriage I am now raising my 2 granddaughters in the same household and with the same alcoholic as when I raised my 2 now adult daughters. My husband is an alcoholic who works in federal law enforcement so his level of manipulation has improved over the years. His alcohol use has cost me many many personal goals. People like me and because of that my spouse has benefited from not being prosecuted for DUI charges, assault charges on me, and when when first married he was forced out of the military when he suffered the 1st of 2 psychological breakdowns both alcohol induced. He has been suspended from work, and went to rehab after being placed in a lock down mental health unit due to an outrageous alcohol induced episode where he attempted to beat me up. I believed he was sober for 12 years then learned he lied. How long did he lie? Who knows but it may have been for all 12 years. Who cares? Sex stopped 3 years ago at my choice and despite that I am a vibrant attractive successful well kept woman his smell and loud rants after a 12 pack makes me gag. With these 2 girls I must make it right and not lose one of them to drug abuse like I have their mother. My spouse is a jerk, a drunk, and despite all that I feel concern for him. We married at 19 and I've essentially been his mother for all these years but bow I MUST LEAVE and take my girls with me. Bless you sweetheart for this article.
Danielle Wilson from Hattiesburg, Mississippi on February 11, 2017:
Thank you so much for this article. I am currently in a relationship with someone who drinks too much. I have been so scared but after reading this I have hope and courage to make a change.
Lisa on January 01, 2017:
Good read and it sure hit home. I was married to a functional alcoholic for 22 years and left him six months ago. Until I attended therapy I did not realize that I was emotionally abused for all these years. I was depressed, emotionally and physically exhausted. I became physically sick over the years and have developed many long term side effects. I lost my soul and who I was because I used all my energy on taking care of everything. I realize now I was in a relationship by myself and it is the loneliness place to be. I thank God everyday for this second chance. I raised a son, ensured he was educated and he now has a good job in his field. I am now focusing on me and I am so enjoying who I am. I forgot that I can laugh and have fun and be happy content. I have all I need right now.
Maria on November 11, 2016:
My husband of 21 years did stop drinking and is sober for 1 year. I thought everything would be amazing and all of our problems would be solved. I found that we still do not get along and he is a narcissist. He goes to meetings 4x per week and they have taught him that it's all about him. I feel almost more alone than when he drank. He is condescending, has little interest in my opinions or what I have to say. He embellishes every story he tells and has very low energy and doesn't help around the house like he used to. He is very disrespectful and thinks I'm too sensitive. I frankly do not like who he has become. I'm wondering if too much damage has occurred over the 20 years and I can't heal.
SIJP on May 16, 2016:
Thank you for your post and I am glad to have come across it. I'm currently undergoing this very painful process...so many times I've contemplated leaving but the excuses that I come with are endless...he'll be the best husband/father up until the 2 days of the week where he's off from work, then he turns into this stranger...monster who is slowly burning our family down to ashes. I am finding courage in reading similar experiences noted in her. Thank you.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on April 15, 2016:
Thank you for reading, although I am not sure I am understanding your comment. This article is not about pointing fingers. It's about a disease called alcoholism and how it can hurt those living with the alcoholic.
Rich on April 05, 2016:
Well done article . But remember when you point fingers at someone ,make sure your hands are clean. Apply the same standards to ourselves that we do to others. Or as a Jewish Hippie once said ," let he without ,sin cast the first stone ",!
kfauc on September 02, 2015:
So this topic is haunting my mind the past few days and I'm searching on an opinion please...recently my boyfriend and I had a guest over and we were drinking pretty heavily. The guest came to me days later and said that my boyfriend hit on her asking for her to kiss him and when she declined and asked what it would do to me he stated she'll never know .I confronted him on this and he says he doesn't remember it and is so sorry. He would never cheat..now my question is....yea I get you may not remember (I've had memory loss from a drunken night) but can your character and loyalty be compromised as well? I find it unsettling and fear it's a behavior that could happen again
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on July 14, 2015:
So good to see you here again. It has been awhile! :) I have not been very active on Hubpages in last couple of years but I'm now trying to participate more again.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I do appreciate it so much :)
James A Watkins from Chicago on June 12, 2015:
Your fine Hub touched me. It is so sad and yet in the end filled with hope and faith and thankfulness. Well done!
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on May 11, 2015:
Thanks so much! :)
Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 05, 2015:
This is a must read post. Voted up :)
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on October 22, 2014:
I am so sorry you are going through this, again :( My heart goes out to you and your son. When someone that we love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it can bring so much hurt and heartache in our lives. I hope this article was in some way helpful to your situation and you can find the peace that you deserve. :)
Fla Lady on October 19, 2014:
My first (late) husband suffered from alcoholism. In hindsight I should have left him years before and sparred our son, and myself, the emotional pain and heartache. I loved my late husband, but he would not/ could not help himself. Unfortunately my second husband suffers from alcohol and substance abuse. I love him but feel like I'm going through hell all over again. Thanks for the excellent and informative article.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on September 22, 2014:
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. I really feel for you. Each situation is different and only you can really know what is best for you and your children. It is so hard to know what to do sometimes cause of the love we feel for them. Do you have a pastor or someone like that you could talk to there locally? Maybe they could help him or just help you and whatever decision you may have to make. I wish you the best and will be praying for you.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on September 22, 2014:
Yes, it really does. And it just amazes me at the stories I have heard that are similar to mine. Thank you so much for reading! :)
So confused on September 07, 2014:
I am in the middle of this situation now. I am so torn about what to do. I do not want to hurt my children anymore than they have been hurt. My husband did go to rehab about 6 years ago and has been clean since; however about a week ago, he was dragged home intoxicated to the point where I had to call an ambulance. My children witnessed the entire thing. I just don't understand. After 6 years of being clean, how can he go back to this? I want to believe that he will not do this again, but I am having trouble convincing myself that this will be the last time. I am so confused about what to do.
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 26, 2014:
what a strong hub.. alcoholism does create havoc and articles like this keeps us all aware on how it can damage marriage and family.. thank you for sharing :)
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on July 24, 2014:
I do not blame you at all. I would've "pre-screened" potential partners as well if I were you. I grew up in a household that did not believe in drinking alcohol so I was never around anyone drinking until I started dating. Even then, I never saw anyone really get drunk. When I met my ex, I did not know his drinking would eventually turn him into an alcoholic.But, unfortunately it did.
I am doing great now and so are my children. Thank you so much for your comment! :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 13, 2014:
I'm happy that you are finding strength and healing now. My mother grew up with an alcoholic father and her family endured some horrible impacts. She also married an alcoholic before she married my dad. As a result of her experience, I "pre-screened" partners for substance abuse issues. That may be cold but it just wasn't worth repeating the suffering. I also choose to avoid alcohol myself; no sense in tempting the genetics element of addiction. I wish you continued success as you move on.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on June 17, 2014:
First of all I am sorry for not responding sooner. I have been busy with other things going on in my life and have not been checking this cite like I should be but i'm trying to catch up on everything now.
I am very sorry you are having to go through this.
I can feel how painful this has been for you
through your words and I can honestly say I know
exactly how you feel. Please don't feel bad for
what you are feeling and talking about it. You
have every right to express how you feel. It
sometimes helps us to sort our problems out when we can talk them out loud or write them down.
I know it has been several months since you wrote
this post so I pray that you have found peace and
are in a better situation now, whether you and
your husband are still together or not.
I wish you all the best and please feel free to
message me if you need a friend to talk to. :)
elizabeth on March 31, 2014:
I came across this article because I am in a very similar situation now and having to make one of the toughest decisions in my life to be quite honset. Reading this article clarified as to why I feel the way I do. My father is a functional alcoholic and I have married one as well. My husband is an amazing man, amazing father, with an amazing heart and has been through a bit in life. I have stood by his side for eight years hoping this is a phase. I have cried, argued, begged, enabled, all of the above, you name it. I have lost complete interest in the intimacy category. There is now a thin line between being his mother and wife @ this point. There is constant bickering, with anger and resentment towards each other. I have just gotten to the point where I am not going to sit back silently unhappy to appease him. Right now I am feeling selfish for finally voicing my feelings. I have threatened to leave. Unfortunately, the whole "i will get help, i promise, only a beer or two an evening" lasted a short while, multiple times @ that. Now I must stick to my guns & hurts me I am hurting him. I have now become attracted to other men (have not had "relations" or a "relationship") but i sure as heck am feeding those thoughts now. I never thought I would be in this situation with my husband, ever. I will say this though...and as much as it kills me...if it means me leaving my husband for him to get a hold of him...i will do so. Because at this point, staying in the same household is doing nothing anymore. Forgive me for sharing this information. I take much pride in being a wife and mother at the age of thirty but fearful at this point due to uncertainty. I want to clarify, i love my husband. If he and i do not work out, i will be the cat lady with no cats.
thank you for sharing.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on December 29, 2013:
First of all, I just want to say how happy I am for you and your decision to get the help you needed. I understand it is not an easy thing to do and I commend you for your bravery and determination to get sober!
After reading your comment a few days ago, I have also been searching the internet for information or statistics on how many men stay with an alcoholic wife. I have come to the conclusion that you are right, it must really be a secret because I can not find any info on this either :(
I do know, as you have also learned through your experience, more women than men do seem to stay with their alcoholic spouse. I'm not sure why this is most often the case but it does seem to be true.
I do know there is much info out there on how the damaging effects of alcohol can affect a women's body sooner than in a male. Perhaps that could be a good motivator! I do pray these women in your group take control and beat this terrible disease.
Thank you so much for reading and your sincere comment. I'm so glad that you found this hub and hoped it helped you in some way :)
Lynn on December 18, 2013:
Thank you for this article. I am an female alcoholic in recovery. I owe my recovery to the grace of my Higher Power and the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have much experience with both male and female alcoholics and through my personal experience with them, have noted that a very small number of men stay with an alcoholic wife while many women stay with an alcoholic husband. I have been scouring the internet and all of our literature to find actual statistics on the divorce rates among alcoholic spouses (husband vs wife), but it seems to be a secret. I cannot find anything. Most of the women I know in AA were abandoned by their spouses. Most of them men had their wives remain and are still married. Do you have info on this? I would like to share with my Sponsees (alcoholic wives) who believe that they can keep continue their behavior because once married, married for better or worse, including alcoholism. Actual statistics my be an awakening for many an alcoholic wife.
unknown on June 10, 2012:
I know what it is like on both sides of this fence. I lived with an abusive alcoholic parent who is now sober and turned to God. I also am a recovering alcoholic. When i was 13 I started drinking by the time i was 25 I hit rock bottom. I had been pronounced dead twice due to alcohol poisOn. I was abusive to friends & family. I looked for trouble every night i wanted to fight. I didn't care who you were or what you did. What changed my life was God support and the Army. I am deeply regretful for the things i did and didn't do during that time of my life. I join the army after getting straight been here for ten years now. Alcohol cost me a great wife and kids. the army taught how to be a man and at least get a start on helping repair some of the scars. I now see my kids as much as possible. they ask me why on a lot of what i did. some things i can't answer due to black outs from alcohol but for the most part i have earned their trust and love again THANK GOD. THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE. I AM SORRY FOR THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT YOU OR ANYONE HAS TO ENDURE FROM ALCOHOL.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on May 09, 2012:
Thank you so much for your sweet words. I sincerely hope this can help someone else that may be going through a similar sitiuation. Things are difinitely getting better for both my children and I. I'm meeting people and having fun,something I never was able to do before. It's a whole new life and I'm enjoying it :) I appreciate you stopping by and taking time to read this article and for your words of encouragement :)
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on May 09, 2012:
Thank you James for such kind words. I am so much happier with my life now and my children are doing good. I do thank God for my strong support of friends and family. They have been great. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I really do apprciate it :)
A James Di Rodi on May 08, 2012:
Hi rls8994 :) First I would like to commend you for putting together a very honest, deep and emotional hub. With so much information on alcohol dependence. I think many who find themselves in a similar situation will benefit greatly from this article, as it explains things in such great depth. I have never been affected personally, but I can imagine the emotional impact it had on you, and your children. I am sorry you had to endure, and go through this. It is difficult. I hope things are getting better for you each day. I give you so much credit for being strong enough to walk away. Alcoholism destroys so many families, and the effects on the self esteem are so deep. You can't change the past, but you can change the future for you and your children.
James A Watkins from Chicago on May 07, 2012:
Thank you for sharing your painful story. I can feel the terrible toll this has taken on you and your children. But in the end it is a message of hope that with faith in God and support from friends and loved ones you can make a new life for yourself. God Bless You.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on April 14, 2012:
I believe that some of us are just more prone to having an addiction. A person's character, their home environment growing up and their relationships with family and friends may be factors that contribute to an alcohlic addiction. Thank you for your insightful comment. I appreciate it very much :)
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on April 14, 2012:
Thank you Brett for the kind words. I just hope the knowledge I have may be used to help someone else in this situation. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! :)
Billybuc thank you for reading my article and your comment. I will definitely visit your site and read yours as well :)
Chamilj I agree with you. Alcohol manufacturers benefit greatly from those who drink a lot. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and leaving your comment. Thanks so much! :)
cebutouristspot from Cebu on April 14, 2012:
This is an interesting topic you cover. Everything done in excess is bad. :) But aside from alcohol the person character its important. I know a lot of people that drink often yet is a good family man. I guess knowing one's limit is also important
chamilj from Sri Lanka on April 14, 2012:
Excellent article. Actually drinking alcohol is very useless. No one will benefit from it except Alcohol manufacturers and traders.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 14, 2012:
Very informative hub about a disease I know all too well. If you want to visit my site I might be able to give you some insights you haven't thought of...if it helps you heal in any way then I'll be happy. Blessings to you on your new journey.
Brett C from Asia on April 14, 2012:
It is a shame you have had to live through this, but you really used that knowledge well in this article! It takes in the big picture and don't attack the alcoholic, but highlights the overall negative impact of this disease.
shared, up, interesting and useful.
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on March 30, 2012:
Hi Nell, Yes I am so glad that I am free from that siuation! I love my life now and looking forward to what's ahead. Thank you so much for your kind words :)
Nell Rose from England on March 28, 2012:
Hi, I am so sorry that you had to go through this, I had a friend who was a terrible alcoholic, and I do understand, really good information, and I am so pleased that you are now free from this situation, rated up!
rls8994 (author) from Mississippi on February 21, 2012:
Yes alcohol does affect every aspect of your life as well as the people around you. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate it!
Samad Aslam Khan on February 21, 2012:
Nice topic you chosen to discuss here and I appreciate it much. Alcoholism definitely affects your social life and your relations as well. It should be avoided at every cost. I don't see even a single benefit of drinking Alcohol.
As per it's bad effects on Marriage and Family so it has quite adverse effects. What good can be expected from a person who's no in his senses?