Should I leave my alcoholic husband?

 

Further Reading

Stanton,

I come from a family of heavy drinkers and I myself can on occasion drink to excess and barely show any signs. So recognizing a problem is hard for me. But my boyfriend does have a problem because his drinking bothers me. Selfish eh? I figure I’m a control freak and live my life as such, because I grew up with very little control. I am very successful and rarely drink in excess of 3 drinks. I never drink and drive and don’t take drugs. So now that we know I’m somewhat normal here’s what I’m dealing with.

This is a typical week. On Saturday my boyfriend gets paid. He gives me money to pay the bills and he keeps the rest. We have beer in the house and he drinks every day. He drinks about 6 beers a day. That’s if he doesn’t go to the bar first. Monday, he’ll go to work, drink at lunch and after work. On Tuesday he’s usually at the bar after work and on Wednesday he’s home with me and his beer. By the time Friday rolls around he’s gone through two cases and since it is Friday he wants me to go out with him. He’s not drunk, he’s just drinking a lot. He’s said he doesn’t have a problem with drinking, he’s just bored. When he goes to the bar — tonight he left at 6:30 and it is now 1:18 and probably he won’t be home until the bar closes. If he doesn’t come home by 3:00 I know that he’s been doing cocaine. He’s an occasional user of this drug too. I really have a hard time with this one because he doesn’t come home if he’s done a lot. I of course worry all night.

I feel bad for him, his ex screwed him royal financially and with his kids. He owes everyone, Child Support, taxes, creditors, me. He has yet to find a job that I would consider a real job. And he says the only good thing in his life is me. There’s some serious guilt, if I tell him to go. He’s a great guy. He’s good to my kids and great to me — the best man I have ever met. I don’t want to lose him but fear that he will never change and I can’t deal with that.

I guess my question isn’t so much does he have a problem. It’s “Am I fooling myself?” Am I helping him destroy himself? I really love him but I cannot do this anymore. I don’t want to make him go and get help unless it’s for him and I don’t want to go to al-anon to listen to a bunch of people tell me that I have problems and need to admit them. I’m doing fine and wouldn’t even be writting this if I really didn’t think he was worth it. Am I pretty much looking at the end?

Mary


Mary:

I can only repeat what you say to me:

“When he goes to the bar — tonight he left at 6:30 and it is now 1:18 and probably he won’t be home until the bar closes. If he doesn’t come home by 3:00 I know that he’s been doing cocaine. He’s an occasional user of this drug too. I really have a hard time with this one because he doesn’t come home if he’s done a lot. I of course worry all night.”

“He owes everyone, Child Support, taxes, creditors, me. He has yet to find a job that I would consider a real job.”

Mary, this sounds like 20 miles of bad road, doesn’t it?

You wrote further:

“And he says the only good thing in his life is me. There’s some serious guilt, if I tell him to go. He’s a great guy. He’s good to my kids and great to me the best man I have ever met. I don’t want to lose him but fear that he will never change and I can’t deal with that.”

I guess your letter is about what kind of man you want and feel you are able to get in life. In 10-20 years if this is going on, how would you feel? You need to work it through.

Stanton


Stanton,

Thanks. I knew in my heart that is what you would say. He came home at bar close so, no, he wasn’t doing cocaine. I told him how angry I was. I waited up for him because I want him to know that I am not letting him fool me. If I had gone to bed he would have blown it off. I probably would have too. That or convinced myself that it was ok. I find myself justifying his behavior to myself until I am okay with it. I keep thinking he will grow out of it or maybe get to the point that he can’t breathe well, or is coughing up blood or something serious enough to make him stop himself. I know there are a lot of people out there that deal with these situations and it looks easy to me. It is not easy for someone to let someone they love and care for go. I have a hard time not feeling responsible for the people that I love. I take care of everyone around me. I was relieved when he came home, knowing he was just at the bar. It’s almost funny.

I know I am strong enough to realize that he is responsible for his actions. I know I should just let him go. It is getting easier and easier every day. How sad his life is that he drank me away. How sad that he pushed the best thing in his life away.

Thanks again
Mary


Dear Mary:

You said,

“How sad his life is that he drank me away. How sad that he pushed the best thing in his life away.”

Yes.
Stanton

Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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