Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Am Married To A Functioning Alcoholic

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert. I am not a doctor, recovery counselor, therapist, official representative of the Al Anon (friends and family of alcoholics) program or an alcoholic myself.  I am simply a wife who loves her husband but who despises the disease from which he suffers. This blog is an online journal of sorts, cathartic in nature but also seeks to inform others by exposing my own personal daily ups and downs of living with active alcoholism.

I am married to an alcoholic.  A functioning alcoholic is still an alcoholic - I know this.  And I know that some people resent this label, as if adding the word "functioning" somehow makes these alcoholics better than other alcoholics.  All it means, for me anyway, is that my husband can continue to keep drinking without "seeming" that he has a problem to himself or those around him, especially as he is successful for his age, pays our bills (maybe not on time, but they get paid), and we are not wanting for anything material. 

Here is the list of how things are a little different than what people may expect:

He has not been arrested for a DUI (oh the times he's been pulled over and I hoped he would).
He has not lost a job because of his drinking (on the contrary, he is getting ahead with each new job).
I have never had to call in sick for him at his job or answer calls from his employer wondering where he is.
I have not had to call bars asking around trying to find him.
He is not constantly falling-down drunk, or even obviously drunk, to anyone (other than my now-trained eye) who would look at him.

He is not the "typical drunk" that some of us think of who ends up penniless, homeless, or in jail.  His consequences are less visible, but I know them all too well.

How do I know he is an alcoholic?  When I first published this blog, I wanted the title to include "(?)" after the word "Alcoholic."  It felt wrong of me to diagnose him as something that he himself denies being.  It has taken me a lot of pain, many Al Anon meetings, and a few figurative knocks to the head to realize that my husband is very likely an alcoholic.  After all, reading the literature on alcoholism did not draw a lot of similarities to my situation, and I found it difficult to relate. 

If someone were to ask me "How is your husband's drinking a problem?" I would struggle with an answer that made sense to most people, though sadly it is coming into focus.

My husband is a professional; we are both college graduates.  He is very intelligent, though he may not admit this himself, and provides well for us.  I love him very much.  I feel he is fading away faster than I can grasp at him; truly I miss who he used to be.  We do not have children, and have been married for a few years, though together for much longer.  The last few years have been an absolutely "Why are you still here?" kind of insane at times.  We have moved twice in the last two years, and may be moving again soon, all times due to him changing jobs.

Though my husband is an ACA (adult child of an alcoholic), and though the disease is in his other family members and extended family, and though he would occasionally tell me "I think I'm done drinking for a while", and though he has always drank as far as I can remember, I didn't truly know he had a problem until just last year.  I was used to buying a bottle of wine a night for some time, and later it became two.  His moods were erratic and frighteningly changeable - "Jekyll & Hyde" I would explain, frustrated and frantic, to loved ones who had heard about it too many times already. 

Going through various Wikipedia articles on mental illness, I tried desperately to understand where he was coming from and explain how he was so easily enraged, where his "communication style" originated, but nothing seemed to fit - Bipolar didn't work because he was never "manic" or anywhere approaching ecstatic; indeed his moods are usually "Okay" or "Watch out."  The closest it came was to Borderline Personality Disorder, but he wasn't clingy and didn't beg me not to leave him - typically he was the one telling me to get out, that he wanted a divorce, that he hated me, etc.  (I should note here that I have learned that mental illness can occur with addiction, but I also eventually learned that it was a waste of time to try to "figure it out.")

So here we are.  Two things lead me to start this blog: 

One, it is therapeutic for me to say to strangers anonymously what I often times do not discuss in meetings, as Al Anon meetings are about ourselves.  But, though I do intend to show my experience and feelings, I do not mean to abuse this forum as a place to merely complain, be stuck in the problem or focus solely on my husband without offering any strength or hope - I have done enough of that in my early recovery and it is a struggle each day to fight that impulse. It's not fair to me, my husband or anyone reading this looking for a glimmer of hope for their own recovery.

Two, because I could not find many resources such as this online, I wanted to have something out there that illustrates to others from a personal perspective that yes, alcoholism can be a problem in your relationship even without a financial or legal consequence.

It creates a distance, puts up a wall.  It ruins things, hurts people, and can consume you.  In short it just plain sucks.

This blog will be completely anonymous on my part, which I feel makes my story more relatable as surely it is the story of many spouses of alcoholics, but I intend to also honor and protect the anonymity of my husband.  I am in my early 30's, and am currently unemployed.  I attend Al Anon meetings regularly, meet with my sponsor and work on the 12 steps.  Currently I am working through Step 4, "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." 

I will say this - Al Anon has saved my life.  What the program teaches may be common sense to people who don't have experience with addiction or didn't grow up in dysfunction or addiction.  But for me, it just saved my life and showed me what I could do to help my situation.  It helps me focus on ME instead of the alcoholic, to stay in the solution instead of the problem, and gain strength in my own boundaries (which have now graduated from "non-existent" to "weak").

To those out there in my situation, I send you wishes of hope, strength, and love.  And I hope myself to be enlightened by the wisdom of your experiences.  I look forward to your comments and look forward to having comrades on this strange, weird, amazing journey.


140 comments:

  1. Hi, I have been reading some of your blogs. Being married to an alcoholic has been one of my toughest jobs. I am a mom of 2 boys and this is my second marriage. I love my husband so much. I am in my mid 30's. My husband is 8 yrs younger. Sometimes he says he drinks because he says it is in he 20s and that is what he is suppose to do. I told him the other day I felt like I was married to Elvis. I don't think he got it. He drinks almost every night. At least a pint of whiskey (that is what he starts with). In the morning I have to wake up early so that I can give him his meds so that he can wake up for work. He does not realize what his drink does to everyone else around him. Most times he feels he is a happy go luck drunk. Drinking turns him from a very intelligent man who is great to be around to a mean angry or sarcastic jerk. I love him with all of my heart and I take care of him but sometimes I feel like I have 2 extra children. I am glad to have found your post and hope to add more

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    1. It is mind blowing yet comforting to finally realize I am not the only one out there. That I am not crazy, and that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

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    2. Glad to see I am not the only one out there too. I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been married for 13 years and he drank on occasions but for the past few years it has been everyday. We (he) schedules our plans around the drinking. If it is something fun, like being at the river, or going to a cook out he is all for it. If I ask him to go somewhere with me he will go ( and not drink) but he makes up for it later pulling a good one. He blames it on his job. It is stressful. Well so is mine but I don't drink nor complain. He says there is nothing wrong with having a few after work everyday. Then on the weekends it is more than a few. I am so sick of it and for the past 2 years I have told him I am miserable and he can choose drinking or having sex and he chooses the beer. Is he trying to push me away? Does he care? I am so tired of it. He has only admitted he had a problem one time. That was a night I was fed up and wanted to argue. He always says, I am going to start doing better, but never does. OR he may go a day and wants me to praise him for that. I am not going to praise him for going one day or a few days just drinking 2 or 3 beers. I am numb, bitter, mad, sad, not attracted to him, fuss at my son sometimes because I am mad at his dad, don't want to go to gatherings with him, and there is more feelings I just can't think of them all. I love him and I want us to grow old together and raise a good son. I can't imagine of a divorce but sometimes I want to leave just to feel a ton of weight lifted off. So I can be my old self, who was fun and happy all the time.

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    3. I can see no hope. These comments are like I am thinking out loud. I have been searching for someone to tell me how to help my husband. How to make him understand that he is killing himself and losing everything in his life because I am walking away from him and our marriage. I so desperately love him but I just don't know what else to do but leave.

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    4. My heart aches for anyone in an alcoholic relationship...as long as you continue your roke, they will continue theirs. Some words of wisdom that were shared with with me before I left my alcoholic husband. "If you leave and he changes, good for you. If you leave and he doesn't change, good for you". Either way you cant lose. The disease is baffling and will only get worse. You cant save them you can only save yourself. They are like a wild gorilla and you keep trying to get in the cage with them..you will get hurt.
      Praying for your strength!

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    5. But my thought is, I don't want to leave!! I have two boys, teenagers. I am a catholic. I love my husband until about 3:00 p.m. when he gets off work and the drinking starts. Its not liquor, it's beer, just beer. Recently, he promised he would limit it to three beers. Last night I could tell it was just a few more. But he tells me it was only three. He asks me what is wrong with that. I ask myself, what IS wrong with that? Why am I so upset over just a few beers. It's not like he's a mean drunk. Most nights, he just falls asleep on the couch and me and the boys constantly yell at him to stop snoring so loud. I read these blogs and posts and my situation could be so much worse. But that offers me no comfort. I don't want to leave, but I'm falling out of love with him. I'm losing a husband and gaining a roomate because its just a few beers every night. Since I'm not married to a typical alcoholic, I'm feeling very lost and confused. I don't want to leave but my heart is breaking if I stay.

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    6. "I ask myself, what IS wrong with that? Why am I so upset over just a few beers?"
      "I'm falling out of love with him. I'm losing a husband and gaining a roomate because its just a few beers every night."

      I guess that's what wrong with it :/ It's not the beer, it's that he "has" to have it, it's that he has a disease. It doesn't matter if it's liquor or beer or wine. Sorry you feel like you're using your husband, I think a lot of us feel that way, I know I feel that way about my wife. It's very lonely.

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    7. I am in the same relationship as you. I have been married 25 yrs and he only drinks beer and is not mean, he just passes out on the sofa every nite after his 12 pack. I can see the life draining out of him. He use to be so handsom. Now he has turned into an old man. He actually looks homeless. I am ashamed to be seen with him. I don't know what to do. I feel guilty if I leave him. He married me and adopted my 2 kids and he provides well for my family. I don't fell like I love him as a wife any more, just as a concerned friend. I feel stuck and helpless

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    8. Reading these responses is like reading about my own marriage. He doesn't get how his drinking affects all of us and tells me I'm obsessing about him and I need to get my own life when I try to tell him how it affects me and our children. I am so lonely. I just want to love and feel loved by my husband. I don't want a roommate! But, for now, that's all I've got.

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    9. Reading so many comments after finding this blog and yours really hit home. The hardest part for me is accepting that I am in fact obsessed with my husband's drinking. It is so hard not to focus on it and it is slowly driving me mad. He does not realise he has a problem and I am letting that go. I too have a "roommate" and am struggling with what to do, because begging and pleading have not worked. Actually the hardest part was admitting my husband was right about something that wasn't positive about me. I have completely lost myself and my life to my focus but I cannot go on lonely like this anymore!

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    10. I am really glad I found this. My husband is functioning also and does not fit the typical description. He can drink A LOT and not show any effects of it, to most people, but I know the signs. He drinks from morning till night. Beer, whisky, vodka, and often has the little mini shots hidden. He has been drinking since about 15, and we are 30 now. I have always know of his drinking and accepted it. We have a 2 and 5 yr old. I always drive them and do all the school stuff and he didn't fight me on it, he understands my reasoning. He knows he is an alcoholic. So, a couple months ago something changed for me, I couldn't explain it to him since I don't really know why myself, but I realized I couldn't handle it anymore. I didn't want our kids to get older and start asking questions: why can't daddy drive us? Why dont we ever go anywhere with just daddy? I didn't want then to be embarrassed to have friends over when they realize they have an alcoholic father. I talked to my husband, told him we needed a hopefully, temporary separation, why he quit drinking. It was working, or so I thought. He got a dui recently and doesn't understand why I'm upset and feel like I can't trust him, or my own judgements either. Now I wonder how much I ignored while I thought he was doing good because it is what I wanted to believe. I am so in love with him, but I feel I should leave. I feel I shouldn't leave. I Dint know if I ready for that. But I need to do what is right for the kids. This is my question: my kids are still little, what are your experiences when the kids get older and raise the realities? Are they resentful? Always angry at the alcoholic parent? My husband is never abusive, but I know there are other consequences. I am interested in the long term effects on the kids with functioning alcoholic parents

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    11. I have been married to an alcoholic for 24 years. We have a now 17 year oold son. When he was one, he knew, I thought I had it hidden from him when he turned 5 he knew, as a teen he knew. My husband has had 5 DUIs in different states. He has be through 2 30 day treatments and if all i can share is, I should have left when my son was young. I love my husband, we've been together since we were in 17. He did not have a problem untill we were 6 years into our marriage.
      I asked him to leave when my son was 1 he left for a week and we talked through it, as we always have. He is a good man and loves us very much, just not himself.
      It has dmamged me and my son beyond repair. We are both on anti anxiety meds and my son was prescribed with High anxiety disorder when he was 9. I would not put him on meds as he grew into a teen his anger at life and his father grew. My father died unexpectantly and he wasmore of a father then my husband. This was the end to my sons world. He is doing well now but his anger at his father is still tremendous and he loves him but is done with him He has been since he was young.

      So I guess I am saying, if I had the choice again I would have left when he was young.

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    12. Reading these blogs is like I am reading a story that I wrote. I am in my late 30's, have 3 children, and have been in a relationship with my husband since I was 16. Alcohol has always played a role in our relationship, Being married to an alcoholic I have experienced infidelity, financial debt, and emotional and mental abuse. We did split after 11 years only for him to beg forgiveness and promise change. Because I love him and had children,I did go back. Unbelievably things were going great! We married, had another child and bought a house. Needless to say, I am currently boarding the roller coaster of emotions married to an alcoholic, it's like deja vu! I understand it is an addiction but that doesn't stop me from wondering why he was able to do good and right for so long, just to throw it all away again. It doesn't stop my mind and heart from questioning why his wife and his family are not more important. I am really struggling on where to go from here. My daughters are getting older and I know that they know his behavior is not "normal". They feel the tension between us, they hear his outburst and experience his mood swings. He will go to the bar sometimes directly after work only to come home after closing, after the children are in bed. I tell myself it is better that way because the kids don't see him after he is already drunk, but yet they aren't even seeing him at all. I hurt for them and I try to talk to them but like myself I can't stop the voice in their heads and hearts. I want my children to require more for themselves and the relationships they will have in life, Yet I am not exampling that or requiring it myself. I know they say you never surrender to the addiction and I do love him. I am a catholic so I have prayed for support, understanding and guidance. I know I can't "fix" my husband but I have to wonder if God's plan wasn't placing my husband in my life but more placing me in my husbands life (if that makes sense).

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    13. I too am married to a functional alcoholic, a highly functional alcoholic. He is a professional with a graduate degree as am I. He only drinks at home: 10-15 beers everyday. Because he drinks only at home there are no work issues, no DUI, no affairs. We live in a nice house with no mortgage. Our daughters, 16 and 19, get straight As. I have never had to clean up any vomit or urine messes that resulted from drinking. He is never hung over. But he is an alcoholic.

      I get no real affection, no real emotional support. I must do all parenting duties as I have for the last decade. I constantly walk on egg shells as any unexpected event after he has been drinking can trigger an huge verbal argument. We go almost nowhere, do almost nothing as a couple or a family as that would cut into his drinking time. On the rare occasion that we do go somewhere alcohol must be available wherever we are or we return home by 3:00 PM so he can start drinking. At my eldest daughter's high school graduation, he went sober. But at the conclusion he rushed us out of the auditorium as if it were on fire. I did not get to see my daughter and tell her how well she did on her salutatorian speech. Instead my husband rushed us home so he could start drinking. My daughter and I both cried that day. I know I should have insisted that we stay and see her but I was so afraid he would cause a scene and ruin the entire day so I didn't insist. One Christmas season he got angry on Christmas Eve and took the tree down.
      According to him that was my fault. When my youngest daughter had an emergency appendectomy instead of coming with me to the hospital, he stayed at home and through a drunken temper tantrum. When I called to tell him that she was okay, no one answered the phone.

      I know that my experience as the spouse of an alcoholic could be much worse. I know other spouses would gladly change places with me. This gives me some comfort but it's incomplete. He is an alcoholic and I must always live with the fact that his first love is beer. I will stay with him as I do love him and the situation is tolerable but this is not what I imagined 24 years ago when he was a sober 25 year old man.

      I hold no hope for change. His mother was an abusive alcoholic. His family as a child was completely dysfunctional. His parents divorced, remarried, divorced again. Both had affairs with married people. His father was not active in the lives of his children. Our family and my husband by comparison are doing great so my husband does not think he or we have a problem. Our family situation fits is his "normal" so why change? Had I know what the impact his dysfunctional family was going to have I would have insisted on premarital counseling.

      That's life with a functional alcoholic. Thanks for letting me share.

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  2. The description fits my husband to a "T." I have done all I can---counseling for myself, talking to him, pleading, silence, anger...you name it. No more to do. I also thought he had some type of mental illness and researched articles on line, but nothing seemed to fit exactly. My counselor said it would not matter, as he would not do anything about it anyway. Any why should he? All is well in his perspective. The only mental illness in alcoholism is selfishness. Alcoholics cannot see beyond themselves and their addiction and are unable to see how their addiction hurts others. They are incapable of it. It seems very few seek out help, esp. if there are no social or economic consequences. Counseling has shown me if there is to be any change, not to count on the alcoholic. I will be the one that will have to do something. And that is where I am at now. What to do? And how far to go? Despite my college education and professional job, it is still very disconcerting for me to consider separation or divorce. So much to loose after over 25 years of marriage, but the ups and downs of my husband's drinking is becoming very difficult to tolerate anymore. Seems like I've grown up, but he's still stuck in adolescence. Just wish he'd grow up, and be a man that puts his wife above the bottle. However, wishful thinking, unfortunately, changes nothing.

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    1. I also live with a functioning alcoholic. He went to treatment in college and started drining about year 19 in our 26 year marriage. Most of his drininking is done in secret and most of or friends do not know it. I have been to alonon, counselor ect. I know all the right things to do but sometimes it just sucks. It usually goes well for a few months and then a bottle is found. Very proud that I know longer look. Of course I am the problem if I was not so controlling. I know that I am dealing with this and try to be God centerered and above the situation but sometimes it is hard to love someone you cant trust. In year 22 of our marriage he had a hit and run and open bottle. But of course he still caims he is not an alkey.

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  3. i was married to ah for 33 years. we are newly divorced. it was an excurciating decision because like you all, i love him. well,i love the sober him. he too could work and bring home a paycheck. his drinking is continuous during the week,( after work,) but not always drunk. it was the weekends and holidays and any occasion we were invited to that always seemed to end in some sort of fiasco. he looses his mind when he drinks. he cannot follow a conversation, he is obnoxious, quite often inappropiate and he completely forgets i exsist..he turns into his own, drunk world and has no care about consequenses..for years and years i begged him to just slow down. pace himself. please, think of me (and the kids-when they were little)..well you all know the story. broken promises. all he did was resent me. i was resented for being a drag..he would think it was me, being too uptight..never thought it was him, being too out of control..of course we had lots of alcoholic friends and always someone was inviting us to somewhere that i did not want to go...over the years he has been verbally mean..and of course blaming the alcohol, and 'why cant i just get over it when he says stuff while drunk?'..it has been a very long 33 years. everyone wants to know why i didnt divorce sooner. well, as i said, i love him..i want everyone who is reading this to know that i have lost my mom, my dad, my stepdad and others to death, i know grieving..but i was not prepared for this grieving..leaving someone i love is the most hardest thing i have had to do, although i know i did the right thing. i overstayed and tried to deal with it..the kids, the house, the jobs, the problems - all rolls along too fast and before you know it, 33 years is gone and your still in the same boat..anyway, leaving my ah was traumatic and i just want you all to be prepared for the depression and loss of self worth and a hundred other emotions that will follow. give yourself time to griev. one of my worst emotions i am dealing with is lonliness..i have no friends because all we had were alcoholic friends and i distanced myself from them as much as i could. i moved to a new area and i dont know anyone. i dont even know how to make a new friend. a sober one that can relate..he already move in a new gf and of course she drinks. so its 'party on' for them, while i am heartbroken and crushed.i could not even think about having sex with someone else, im so torn over our divorce..i am so depressed and confused that i considered going back to the madness. i guess i cant because he has a new gf but i did think about it! thats how bad the depression is.i lost my best friend,(yes,my husband) even though he hardly knew me.looking back, im not sure he ever loved me...good luck and god bless anyone having to deal with this..

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    1. I am approaching 20 years marriage. I am considering leaving my husband. I have 6 children and 2 of them are grown and left. I have 2 sets of twins at home. My husband has been an alcoholic for as long as I remember. he has fell off the wagon,for 4th time this year. He came back from work with a bottle of rum and his it under his sock draw. I found it and poured it away and he went into a rage. He would have had it after I went to bed. He sleeps downstairs has done for 6 years now. Mainly because he wets himself if he drinks too much. But its become a habit not to sleep together.had enough now started to wish he has an accident on the way home. Need someone to talk to about getting rid of him and moving on.

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    2. I can fully relate to your post. Obviously there are many of us suffering in silence.
      I know i will be better off on a personal level without my husband who is a functioning alcoholic although he thinks there is nothing wrong with him. It's my two sons i am worried about. When he is ok, he is really good with my sons but i would be interested in hearing from any men who grew up in such a household. Is it better to be with just mum who is happier and more energetic or with both parents where there is no love and intimacy between them.

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    3. I can totally relate to this, I have been married for 11 years now and my husband always drank when we first got married it didn't seem a problem even I drank with him, now I hate alcohol the way it makes people the smell of his breath and even how he starts stuttering after the so many beers he's had and yes also wets the bed, I s sometimes feel like he is never going to change and I want a divorce I feel like I'm wasting my time with some one who will never change his ways

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    4. OMG, I thought I was the only one who woke up in the morning soaked in my husbands urine. It is an awful feeling. No one else seems to think he has a drinking problem but me. They all say that he is just unwinding from work, but I am the one who is seeing the life drain out of him. I see him behind closed doors

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  4. I was married to a functioning alcoholic for 24 1/2 years. He not only drank every night, but he also took pills - which sent him over the edge and made him abusive and delusional. I used to love him, but it's difficult to love somebody who treats you so badly. I finally left and initiated the divorce. He is very well educated, came from a prominent family, lawyer, and has his own business. Again, he didn't suffer consequences because he was so secretive and sneaky until he got a DUI. He was able to have the charges reduced to wreckless driving. When I finally did get out, people didn't believe me because, on the surface, he was functional. They didn't know what he did when he got home at night. My friends knew, though. I couldn't hide it. I did NOT want to break up our family. He did. It was a very messy divorce, but very much worth it. I could be living in a box under a bridge and still be better off than I was. Fortunately, I'm not homeless and our children know what a monster their father is. They lived it. They feel sorry for his second fiance in a year. I'm not dating as I have no desire to date, but I am ecstatic to be free of him. My future is very uncertain since I was a stay-at-home mother for 23 of those years, but I'm still grateful to be away from my addict ex-husband. It's not easy, but it's certainly worth it!

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    1. today is july 5th. day after the 4th of july. to anyone who is or was married to an alcoholic, you know what today is. the "im sorry" day. the day he wakes up with someone else and doesnt know how he got there because, well, it was 4th of july! the day he crawls home, hoping he will be allowed back in because he cannot take care of himself. the day he only has to get past the screaming spouse to get back to 'normal'.. does he hear her when she is screaming "i hate you for what you do" "you treat me like s@#% and you dont care" How can he not know the love she has for him has been crushed once again? that what he does and how he treats her is dispicable.? i pray to God that i will never, ever, treat anyone who loves me, the way i have been treated, by the man i truley do love ..I turned into a person i do not like because of all the bitterness and hurt..it all piles up and piles up and before you know it your miserable to the world, you look old, you feel unloved and unlovable. i would question everyday of my life "does he even love me?"..i am always in a state of feeling unsure and i feel like ive spent 20 years begging him to love me. like a starving dog, i wait for any scrap (of love) he throws my way and i gobble it up and beg for more..of course our sex life dwindled to almost nothing. how can anyone enjoy a life time of intamacy with someone who you are so unsure of?.Someone you know has no problem being with others and when drinking doesnt care if you exsist? usualy when drunk, wishes you didnt exsist..We have been together so long, it is like a dance. i know what is comming.(the next drunken episode). Then he knows what is comming.(me screaming how he has hurt me emotionally) Then he throws me a cupfull of love with lots of promises and for a couple of weeks we both know it is going to be ok...ok till the next holiday, the next invite out, the next snowstorm, the next time things are too stressfull at work, there is always a next time. always an excuse to drink and then using the drink to make excuses. this merry go round never stops..

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    2. Hi-I'm 22 years into my marriage, two beautiful, healthy daughters and my husband drank for the whole 22. I loved him like there was no tomorrow and still do love him but I've decided enough is enough. My girls are 18 and 20 and have a lot of personal issues with relationships due to what they experienced in our home. I'm a Christian and prayed with prayer groups for him for all these years. I took my vows to mean until death do us part but I realize he didn't take his vows to heart. What Im finding is that the issues are not just his-I allowed it all by not making this change sooner. I'm understanding that on some level I believed the things he called me-I didn't trust myself to raise my children alone. I moved to another state to be with him, my parents passed away, my brother and sister were not involved in my life - so I know what fear and loneliness feels like. One thing I did was to get my degree and I can provided for myself and help my girls out a little. I still love him and I don't think he ever really did love me - so I know I have a lot of personal work to do within myself. But what I'm trying to say is that the fear is no longer what will my life be like without him- its now if I don't ever leave him THEN what will life be like- I'm afraid of how much deeper into depression and insecurity I could go- I know I have to get out to survive - I can do it now- my girls need to see their mother truly happy- I love him and will do what I can to help him but the next 22 years are mine - I did my time and I'm soon going to be free-

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    3. I too am walking down that same road. My two daughters are grown and living on their own. 27 yrs of marriage and always so alone. Looking to take care of myself now and that will probably mean moving out.

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  5. I am "Anonymous 6/27/13. I am so interested in the entries listed above. It seems like there are many common threads to each of the entries: long standing marriages, attempts to solve the problem to no avail, the hurt and disappointment, the secrecy of the alcoholic, etc. I applaude those who have had the courage to get out of their relationships. I am not there yet, though did see an attorney last week. It was sombering to me regarding the financial and legal "ins and outs." I do enjoy my home and neighborhood, and my community as well, and most likely, it would be me to relocate. I loose the few things that I truly cherish and that keep me going. One of my divorced friends stated there will be something---some event or situation--that will push me over the edge to make the final decision. And, it will have to be me that makes that decision. As was mentioned above, the resentment and bitterness has begun to dwell in my heart, and it is difficult to trust a person who barely keeps their word and puts themselves first. In my head, I know I cannot live like this much longer, but emotionally, it is difficult to take the plunge into another life. Why? Fear, uncertainty, or the familiarity of a bad situation????? I can't even say I love my husband anymore. I no longer crave his attention, and honestly, he shows no signs of wanting mine. Intimacy is a foreign word. He knows my feelings about the matter, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why someone wouldn't want to do something for the marriage(or himself)to better it, if they honored, loved, and respected their spouse and the marriage institution as well. My only conclusion is that they don't, and the marriage is probably over at this point anyway. Such a burdensome thought that weighs heavy on my heart. In addition, my husband has an addiction to marijuana, so it is a double whamy for me. Why I didn't see this as a future problem when we got married is beyond me. I guess love is truly blind. Never thought of looking 20 some years into the future....

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    1. hi. i am the 7/4 posting ..newly divorced...i knew my marriage was over when he came home one moring at 9 am and had "no idea" where he had been..it was after a ceremony for friends. i stayed home because i was at a point where i could not put up with the crazyness and the ignoring me when we were together, anymore..anyway when he came home i felt nothing but pure pity. pity that he was in such a shape.it was almost an out of body experience. i saw him as a sick person instead of the man i lived with for 33 years.and pity for me because i knew i had to start divorce..each stage of divorce has its own greivences..i thought, as soon as i can tell him im leaving, everything else will be easy. i was wrong. i did not even relize how much i still loved hime until i heard about his new live in gf..i was so crushed. i go in and out of being hurt (unbeilvably so) and angry and then a wave a fear (living alone, no one to talk to, money problems ect..)all the emotions are extreme..how can he try to make a life with a new person after i have been his best friend and partner for so long? the only other time i have ever felt this abandoned was when i was 10 and my dad left our family for a new family..i do believe that my dad is the reason i ended up with someone who i always had to beg for love and appropriate attention..i have days where, i swear, i could crumble into a heap and die..i had to write a list that is pages long of all the reasons why i left and all the memories i could muster, of the ways i have been treated, just to get through this all..i am sending you a prayer..there is no part of divorce that is easy. i do regret not leaving years sooner..many years sooner..i still cannot wrap my head around him choosing alcohol over our family tied..i wish an alcoholic would reply..maybe i would find a way to understand it all..good luck and please keep posting..my initials are kl

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    2. To anonymous 6/27/13.....you are a mirror of me minus the marijuana. You summed up everything I say to myself daily. But yet, I'm still here and don't know why.

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    3. Sometimes I feel like a deer in headlights...know I need to do something drastic, but remain glued and unmoving, a target for further emotional pain and hurt. However, I honestly do not like the alternatives, though. I currently work supplemental in health care. When I fill in full time, I come home exhausted. I can't see myself doing this day in and day out, as I am not my young self anymore. But yet, know I would need to if I got a divorce. Maybe one musters all the strength they have, to do the impossible in a crisis??? Maybe go back to school for something else? After 6 years of college, that doesn't sound good either. Oh...and for those pet lovers out there---what would become of my large, slobbery, 11 year old love dog??? NO WAY an apartment pet, and to rent a house in a decent neighborhood is at least $800 dollars every month around here and would need a fence. I will absolutely not give her up. A-B-S-O-L-T-E-L-Y NOT! On top of all that is a recent inheritance I received from my mom when she passed. It absolutely kills me to know that it would be thrown into the pot (no pun intended, though my husband would probably use it for that). My state is a no fault divorce state, and basically the money would be split in half with all the other marriage assets. I've already checked with an attorney on this. My parents worked so hard for their money. My husband's family didn't give us diddly squat through the years (not that I expected anything) and barely acknowledged our anniversaries. Just doesn't seem fair, you know?! The more I think and ponder all of this, the more anxious I get. I know I have to give all of this to God. I think He knows the best way to handle everything, but in the meantime, I struggle with the emotions of a marriage broken by alcohol and drugs, and see the car headlights getting closer and closer. BTLJ

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    4. Been married over 30 yrs.my wife always drank.My son drank and ended up with 3 moms with 3 kids.My wife also has a gambling addiction.She has lost close to a few hundred thousand. Her father died at 50 from drinking. Her brother died at 54 from drinking 3 divorces. you can guess I could go on and on.She is very functional. Jesus Christ is Lord.

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  6. I am "Anonymous 7/5 9:12" Divorce is never easy. It killed me and I am Catholic. However, it came down to self-preservation for me. His alcoholism was destroying me and our teen-age daughter. I think my breaking point was when I found evidence of other women, and yes, there usually are other women with alcoholics. It's part of their lifestyle. I could no longer live like that even though we were about to "celebrate" 25 years. I could NOT celebrate my marriage. He also moved another woman into MY house within a few months after my leaving. My friends and neighbors saw this other woman parading around outside my house like she belonged there. That pain was excruciating. Consequently, he has had two major falls down stairs which landed him in the hospital (drunkenly). After being divorced for a year and a half, I no longer dread his drunken arrival from work wondering what will set him off at any point. Our lives are now peaceful, drama-free, and predictable (and dare I say)...happy. Again, I am living in a townhouse a fraction of the size of the house we lived in, I'm working retail, don't date. I still miss him every day- the way he used to be about 12 years ago. Of course, I couldn't have escaped the torment without the support of wonderful friends, family and a great therapist. Let your loved ones in to support you. They are the key to your coming though to the other side. My initials are MT.

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    1. I just want to thank everyone for sharing their stories on here. It's sad, but comforting to know there are others out there going through this too. I have to say this blog has opened my eyes. I am now realizing that there is a word for my husbands behavior, he is a functioning alcoholic. The signs were always there, I guess I didn't know how bad they were or I guess I was denying it. We have only been married for a few years and we have a child together. After reading these posts, I think it might be best to love forward in liide without him. I don't feel like there is much hope and I think that he has hurt me so much that I have detached myself to the point of being disgusted by him. Is it better to get out know, while I am young or stick through it and hope for the best? My initials are JT

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    2. In Al Anon we learn not to give advice, whether it's to stay or go. I think it's because, as I have said in other comment replies, none of us knows what we want or what is best for us but us. That being said, in my experience I've learned that it's hard to have a happy, healthy marriage with true intimacy with someone who is actively drinking. Also, the effects on children are quite damaging from what I've learned, as addiction is a "family disease."

      Always remember, though, that there is hope for *you*. Thank you for sharing and please keep coming back.

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    3. You are absolutely correct. Only the victim can choose what is best for their situation. It is important they choose. To do nothing is to enable the abuser to continue Down the path of destruction and you suffer the consequences of not making a decision a lifetime later. Do SOMETHING!! You do not deserve a life of fear and self doubt and children deserve a childhood. Remember you childhood with out a care in the world? We went camping and visiting family out on the farm, Disney world, spent the summers with neighborhood kids in and out of the house. Drunk daddy = miserable vacations stuck in a town with nowhere to hide and friends are scared to come over or the children are afraid to invite friends because they might get embarrassed of daddy's behavior. Before you know it none of you have any friends.

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  7. MT, thank you! i was just sitting here, thinking those usual thoughts that somehow creep up and shake you to a state of self defeating mess.you know, those, 'i failed him' thoughts..'i should have stayed no matter what the problems' 'i was never good enough to make him want to change' 'i was just too bit#@y and too much of a drag too much of the time' 'i should have let things go that i was just too hurt over'...your post, somehow, was just what i needed to get me over my usual morning thoughts..i will stay strong and i am going for a walk..i will remember with each step i take, is a step closer to my "happy again" place..kl

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  8. All of the above... Mine never goes to bars or has other women. He has been a functional alky for our 20 years together until recently it's becoming clear that drinking is getting in the way of work and our marriage is becoming nonfunctional. We used to share household chores inside and outside. I am overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done because he is dumping on me. Amazing after 20 yrs it all finally falls apart. We use to go to nice exclusive social events and now (if we get invited) I'm afraid to go, afraid of what he might do or say. So we hide in our home mostly and our child (preteen) has to fear dad getting drunk when a friend comes over. How predictable he is when ever something comes up, weddings, funerals, any holiday, any hic-up in the daily routine. Reality that things must come to an end ....emergencies ....if I ever had one he would be too drunk to step up to the plate. If he can't be there for me or our child when we most need him, what's the point!?
    I don't want to let go but nothing gets through to him. I am now trying to figure out what move to make next.
    We are 45 & 50 years old. To those of you that are still young get help or get out! You have a life ahead of you don't waste it in fear. The abuse ( mine has Only been verbal but scary & demeaning all the same) only gets worse to the point that you just want to curl up and disappear form the world.

    I admire those of you who have broken away. It seems to take more courage to break away then stay. I don't even know where to start. Thanks for the blog, it is nice to speak out. We know we can't burden our friends and family, wouldn't want to chicken out and have them hate my husband. TP

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  9. KL, Glad I could be of some help. I have those thoughts too even after a year and a half of divorce. I still wonder if I should have insisted harder on rehab, but he was in total denial. My only option to save myself and my kids was to leave. My daughter, dog and I stayed in a hotel for two weeks until I could find an apartment. His abuse was verbal and emotional, and he did physically threaten me. The scariest part was that I was afraid that the abuse would escalate after we left. I think those of us who have been married to alcoholics have deep emotional wounds which are not easily healed. I try to distract myself with work, exercise, my kids -and trying to make myself feel better in my failed marriage by reading about alcoholism.- MT

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  10. Anonymous 6/27 here...initials BTLJ. I hear the words, "detached" and "distract" in the above entries. That is how I am feeling now. Don't know if it is good or bad. Things fairly quiet here at home. I don't pursue much conversation or interaction with my spouse anymore. I have given up trying to make him understand how I feel, and quite honestly, don't expect much from him anymore. I am currently busy with my own work/employment, giving me some life distraction, and he is out of town on business. It's amazing that I very rarely cry anymore. Actually feel numb at this point. Perhaps it is a strategy to help me get through the day(s). I have a strong feeling just to wait a while before doing anything. Call it fear at worst, hope at best. I have told my family finally about what is going on--a huge step for me. My husband also knows our pastor and his wife know what is going on---so his secret is out---another huge step for me. Our anniversary is coming up next month and it will be interesting to see what transpires. Perhaps I will have a clearer picture of what to do and when to do it. BTLJ

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    2. Hi. I'm a few years beyond you and am always thinking about leaving but what really upsets me that I will have to leave my nice home, loose my connection to friends and no doubt he will have some bimbo in under 6 months. His family knows but mine doesn't and I'm filled with shame for staying for over 20 years. I was the happiest person on earth before I met him and now I don't who I am anymore. I guess that was the attraction for him, my happiness. I no longer want to be around him, nor have any respect for him. What a waste of my life. I just as mad at myself for staying this long and no longer care that it might kill him if I leave. Rehab may be the only way out but I doubt he will do that. What a mess, I'm so pissed off about it all

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    3. Wow, I had no idea there were other people out there feeling the same way. I echo so many of these postings and for me I have stayed for the kids. I have been married 20 years with no intimacy, feeling no warmth at all from my husband, we are like roommates/Co-parents. I dream of what it would be like to be in a relationship where I felt loved and that I mattered. My husband is an alcoholic and I was going to leave him back when our son WA 3 years old. He quite drinking for 14 years and now is sneaking around drinking. He will not talk to me about it and I am so miserable, angry and isolated. He acts like it is not a big deal, but I hate being here most of the time. My only safe zone is at work. I do not know what to do as I do not want to hurt our kids. I feel they would blame me if I left as he is a semi-functioning alcoholic. So they would not understand. I am so lonely and resentful for being in a loveless marriage for 20 years. I should have left years earlier so that our kids could see what a real loving relationship looks like. If I leave we would lose the house and not sure how we would do financially. I just can't pretend we are the little happy couple anymore when I am dying on the inside. I do not know what to do, but thank you for your thoughts.

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  11. I have been married 5 years, we are going through a divorce right now. It will be final soon. I cant help but think my wife was a functioning al. She kicked me out of the house about 20 times. I loved her but just got tired of holding on. She would drink almost every night. The part I do not understand is she did not drink when she was pregnant with our son. I do not drink any more because she drank and we could not co exist with both of us drunk. She was a drug and alcohol counselor. Which in my mind made her a hypocrite. I never looked at her as an alcoholic until recently. I knew she was a bad drunk but I thought she was always just nuts. It wasn't until lately when I started to research it that I realized what I believe she is. I always thought well she has a job, goes to work, has friends, she cant be an alcoholic. After reading many of these post, the alcoholic is very hard to predict. Some nights she would have a couple, some nights she would get stupid drunk, but it all ended up with us fighting. She struck me a couple of times, and the funny thing is before our divorce she told me that she was trying to get the negativity (me) out of her life. I know this all sounds crazy but there is so much more to our bizarre world I could literally be on here all day. I know you do not know the whole story with us but have you ever experienced anything similar to this? At this point I feel like I am the nutty one. Nothing makes since to me any more. My initials are JB

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  12. Yes, JB, it all sounds familiar. As I've posted my husband has threatened divorce several times, at one point telling me I "needed to find another place to live"; his drinking "schedule" isn't always predictable and I never know what will end up being a drinking night (with secret & in front of me drinking) or a light drinking night. I never know who's going to come home from work each day. He has also physically hurt me in different ways, told me I was a disease, that I was the problem, etc.

    So some out there may not "get it" with the few details you've laid out, but believe me - any of us who have lived with an alcoholic, "functioning" or not, get it. We GET it. We get why you think you're the nutty one because their disease is so irrational, blames everyone else and makes us second guess reality. Our disease is that we want to believe them.

    Thank you for sharing your story, JB. I hope you keep coming back.

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    1. I lost my father to alcohol, he isn't dead to the world just me. I forgave him for what he did many years ago but I will not expose my kids to him. I do not know why I didn't figure my wife out earlier. I do know that you cannot change someone who doesn't want to change. I do believe she will look back on the days we were together and realize she let a really good husband go. But with alcoholism, you never know when that day will be. She denies that she needs help and the crazy part is she left her last boyfriend because he was an alcoholic. I guess the world seems to go in a circle. I know there will be better days for me, it is just hard letting go of someone you love for a drug. Because I have lived all of these post my heart goes out to each and everyone of you who are dealing with alcoholism. On any level it really sucks. Sometimes I know I feel like I could just use someone to talk to and I am sure there are many others on this site that feel the same way. If you are in need of someone to talk to please email me at hagencomm@hotmail.com. I will listen to anything you need to talk about. This site has helped me vent and I feel better. It is just going to hurt for a little while. Thank you for replying to my post marriedtoafa. JB

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    2. I've been married to an alcoholic for a little over 4 years now. Sadly I knew this before I asked her to marry me. And to top it off, I'm a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of sobriety. Obviously I have my own issues otherwise I wouldn't have married her. I should have known better. I've delt with years of verbal and emotional abuse from this woman. But earlier this year I finally had enough of it. I told her I wanted a divorce. This changed her behavior dramatically, with her " cutting back" on her drinking and her not treating me like a door mat. However, she said that she couldn't promise me that she would never drink again. I already see the writing on the wall with that statement. Because of our financial situation we are still living in the same house, neither one of us can afford to move out. Our relationship is better, but I'm done. I love her, but I'm not in love with her. She has an adult son who is a drug addict. This moron has stolen hundreds of dollars worth of items from us, but she thinks that one day he'll " get it" , meaning he'll stop being an addict, thief, whatever. This week we discovered that he stole several things from us. I finally had it, and told her he was not welcome in our home anymore. Today we had an argument over the phone about her son and how I'm making her choose me over her son. I told her to choose him, which didn't go over so well. Since I don't want to be with her anymore why shouldn't she. Even though I've delt with more madness, drama, you name it, I still care for her. I want us to go our separate ways, but I want her to still be on my healthcare plan, which means we have to stay married. I've heard of a growing trend of married couples that are " married but separate". I'm not sure if this will work. And why do I feel compelled to do this? I spoke to a close relative who gave me some sound advice. She said have a plan, if you file for divorce or stay married but separate fine, that's up to you. But you should go to al anon and A.A. meetings to take care of YOU. Because if don't take care of yourself you're no good to anyone else. In closing all I know is this, life is too short. Don't put up with the madness, we all deserve better. And it hurts that someone could choose a drug over us but that is the insanity called addiction. Peace.

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    3. "But you should go to al anon and A.A. meetings to take care of YOU. Because if don't take care of yourself you're no good to anyone else. In closing all I know is this, life is too short. Don't put up with the madness, we all deserve better. "

      Yup yup yup yup yup yup yup. That's where I'm at also.

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story here. I hope you keep coming back.

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  13. Divorce IS an end. of course it is. But, it is also a new beginning! when we stay in a sick relationship, we are both sick. two sicks dont make a right.(LOL)..Hang with fools and you will become a fool. you will end up acting like them OR you will engage in their behavior (for example fighting with them)(continually!)(which makes you look and feel foolish) OR they will do something so foolish, it WILL effect you both. guarenteed!.so, How does one become a butterfly? One must be willing to 'give up' being a caterpillar. good luck to us all.

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  14. I am spent. I'm being put through the " rage" right now. I'm so tired of the insanity of being blamed for another person's actions. The personal attacks. The blind hate directed at me. I'm thankful I came across this blog if for no other reason, that there are others who understand. People who haven't lived through it cannot understand...

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    1. I have always wondered why the blind hate is always directed to me ( the wife) and he is always personally attacking me when he is drunk. It's like I become his number one enemy when he drinks...

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    2. Proximity - "You're there to feel his anger" a recovering alcoholic once told me. And that's how it feels. That they're angry AT us. That they do things AT us. Because we're here. They may even try to find reasons to be angry with us.

      But it's not us. It's them. They can't face the anger and self-loathing so they cast it at us. It's one of the most painful parts of the disease. Not all alcoholics may be this way, but mine sure is.

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    3. I can relate. I have been with my husband for 22 years. He is a functioning alcoholic and he smokes weed, He has a great business, many guy friends who drink almost as mush as he does. He is in his bubble most of the time. Starts drinking after lunch and goes to bed drunk every night. He is not violent just non existing. Today I am truly thinking of leaving him. There are many reasons but mainly because he stopped talking to me. He hates me. He has not said it in so many words but it shows in his gestures and through his silence. My son sees it to and has even told his dad to be nicer to me. He has managed to destroy our family all on his own. This has been going on about 6 years now. I still can't stopped wondering what happened, what did I do that, one day were together and the next it was over. I can no longer live in solitude.. I realized now that the problem is not me but him. For some stupid reason in his head I am the bad guy, the crazy one, the one to blame BUT I am not the one who is sick, he is! What hurts me the most is that he will never know just how much he is to BLAME!!

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  15. Just found this blog after cleaning up urine from my husband, who took a left instead of a right, missed the bathroom and headed into our guestroom to relieve himself on one of my favorite rugs(this I find especially amusing). This is the first time this particular thing has happened. I am in my late 30s and have been with him for over 15 years, no kids, and have realized in the last two years that he can't control the drinking-yet he is functional. We go back and forth between periods where he realizes it, stops for a few weeks, but then the pattern starts back up again. I am at a loss, sitting here at my computer while he is sleeping upstairs. He had a bad day at work and one of his buddies canceled an outing on him today. This will be his excuse for me tomorrow. Nothing I have tried so far has worked. I want the marriage to work-without the drinking....Is this even possible. Has anybody fixed it?

    I finally decided a few weeks ago to start doing things for myself. Last week I went out with a few co-workers after work. He handled last week pretty well and was encouraging that I was going out with friends-which I rarely do. So I went out again with same co-workers this evening. My rug received my reward for going out-He went next door and tied one on with the neighbors, who he doesn't like, but will drink with them. So -guess I can't go out with girlfriends in the middle of the week because he feels it is a license to get plowed.
    Thanks for listening. I hope he has a wicked hangover in the morning.

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    1. My husband is like that too. Sometimes he even sleep walks and if I try to help him he yells cuss words at me. I have finally had it with his drinking. We always fight because of the alcohol and his behavior while drunk. We fight he says he will slow down and it's really just a vicious cycle. Well after 4 of July weekend I had enough. I took our daughter and left. He was very upset and has stopped drinking. We have had such s great time together without the alcohol. I forgot how much I liked him. I hope this has been an eye opener for him. I can't go back to the drunk husband. I hate that person to much and it's not fair to me or our daughter. I am trying to be positive but my guard is still up and my bags are still packed...just in case.

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  16. No---you go out with friends and enjoy what you can in your life! He certainly does...and without regret or consideration of you. As for the rug and floor, I would have let him clean it up in the next day. Maybe a small consequence of his action, but a consequence nonetheless. I don't clean up after my husband anymore. Beer bottles, spills on the floor, crumbs from snacks in the furniture (most aggravating after I've just cleaned the house. Most of the time, I just clean around it!). It takes a huge amount of patience and discipline to overlook the mess, but I can do that now. One time, he left his clothes on the bed for 3 weeks before he realized, "Oh! I guess I'm the one who needs to throw these in the laundry." Small wins, in the battle of alcoholism and selfishness. I read that there are some folks who actually overcome alcoholism in their marriage, but it takes 2 people to do that, with the alcoholic admitting there is a problem and honestly,and humbly, wanting to change the things in their life. I don't know what the statistics are, but I would bet it is a small percentage. They have to want to put others first. And, acknowledge loved ones, which they just can't do easily, if at all. Alcohol is their first love. So, go out and enjoy yourself and give yourself a small reprieve from the craziness of it all. It will still be there when you get back! BTLJ

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  17. Hi everyone- I really appreciate that this blog exists, more than you could know. I am not yet married to an alcoholic but am very seriously dating one and have been for years. The term "functional" certainly applies to him as well. He has never missed a day of work, never been late to a meeting, and is not abusive in any way when he drinks or doesnt drink. I love him so much but he recently fell off the wagon (again) and I am starting to reconsider. After reading all of your posts, I am terrified to continue with this relationship. No one wants to end up being divorced if they can help it (and my parents went through a nasty one so I am extra worried about it). I am in my mid twenties and am just seeking advice about what to do and how to handle the situation. I love him so much and we are so perfect for each other. Aside from the drinking, I cannot think of a single flaw that he has. And as I type that I know how ridiculous it sounds because alcoholism is more than a big deal. He has been in and out of AA and he will stay sober sometimes for up to almost a year and then I will find the bottles and the truth will come out. I am desperately seeking advice about what to do. I dont want to be without him and not being with him scares me just as much as being with him. I dont know if I should continue down this path or leave while I still can. I would really really appreciate any advice that anyone can give me. Thank you all so much and this blog is exactly what I needed.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, thank you for sharing your situation and I too am thankful you found my blog, though I am sorry for what you are going through.

      I tend not to give advice, but let me say this: I met my husband when we were quite young. I knew his father and uncles and grandfather were alcoholics - but I just thought he liked to drink. Only after 15 years did I get smacked in the face with reality. It was NOT always like this. If it was, few of us would have stuck around in the first formative years as the merry-go-round was getting going, the dynamics slowly evolving.

      Alcoholism is a primary, chronic, progressive and fatal disease.
      "Primary" meaning that it is assumed that the alcoholic's psychological or mental issues cannot be resolved unless the alcohol is out of the picture completely.
      "Chronic" meaning life-long - alcoholics cannot drink like non-alcoholics.
      "Progressive" meaning the disease gets worse over time, and drinking will become the center of the alcoholic's life - their schedule-maker, their main concern. It will be why they travel to certain places, why they drive certain ways home from work, why they eat at certain restaurants, why they prefer to spend time with certain friends who also drink, why they forget to do things because they were thinking about their next drink, why they blame you for their need to drink, why they cannot stop drinking despite the pain it has caused you.

      Alcoholics don't quit before their consequences. And even then some don't quit - some will continue drinking until they are dead. As for the consequences, each has their own - for some the loss of a job, family concern, breakup, divorce. But our disease as the often codependent other-half is that we assume we will or should be their consequence or bottom, that after all - if WE left or threatened to leave, surely they will realize what they are doing and stop. And when they don't stop we feel rejected, hurt, abandoned, and suddenly afraid of what we will do without them. Because we see our self-worth reflected back to us through them. When they love us we are happy. When they are cruel we are lost.

      Please try to accept that you may not be his consequence. Also consider attending an open AA meeting as well as an Al Anon meeting to understand the disease and hear more stories like yours - I am sure many people in both programs would remember once being in their mid-20's in your shoes, or in your boyfriend's shoes.

      You are young and already see the disease. Maybe I speak for myself, but to many of us such early awareness would have been invaluable.

      My advice - please consider attending Al Anon and open AA meetings. You will hear your story as it is now, how it was at the beginning, what it could be 10 years from now, what it could be 3 kids from now. It will give you tools to make better choices for whichever decision you make.

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    2. I was in your exact situation. I knew all the signs of an alcoholic, but I thought he was different and I could "fix him". I was in denial. I regret that I did not run in the other direction before we bad two kids together. I am a major Co-dependent and could pick an alcoholic out of a room of 500 men like a magnet. I have spent many, many years focused on our kids, job, friends. Now our kids are 13 and 17 and to think of spending retirement in this cold relationship scares me half to death! Go to an AlL-American meeting before marrying this person. Live does not conquer all...

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  18. Hi everyone,
    I am so thankful that this blog exists because I didnt know where else to turn. I am in my mid twenties and am not yet married but have been dating an alcoholic for several years now. The term "functioning" certainly applies to him as well. He has never missed a day of work or an exam (we started dating while still in school) and there arent the "usual" consequences of his drinking. He has recently fallen off the wagon (again) and for some reason, every time I decide that I am going to go through this again and I think things will change. I am desperately looking for advice. I am madly in love with this man and other than the drinking he is amazingly wonderful. But even as I type that I realize how ridiculous it sounds because no woman should have to say "aside from the drinking" her man is great. I am learning that it is not fair to us. To the women on the other end of the bender. And I dont know what I should do. I love him and the thought of being without him scares me just as much as the thought of being with him. I am terrified that I am going to end up married and then divorced knowing that I could have prevented it had I just been strong enough. And at the same time, I feel like I am delusional and I keep saying that it could all work out and be fine and that my marriage will turn out ok in the end. I went searching for a blog like this to try and get some clarity and I have been able to relate to what a lot of posts have said. I am just looking for some advice if anyone would be willing to offer any. I dont know if I should wait it out and see how things go (again) or leave while I have the chance. I am so in love with him and when he is not drinking we are so happy. I just hate the lies more than anything else and everything was fine until I found a bottle. I know I am just being naive and lying to myself but do you think there is any possible hope? Or am I just kidding myself?

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    1. Hi there, I met my husband in my mid twenties. When we were dating, I saw some red flags and I knew that his parents were alcoholics but I didn't know much about alcoholism, so I thought he just liked beer a lot. I didn't realize he was a functional alcoholic until I read this blog and started educating myself about this disease. I thought that maybe after we got married the drinking would slow down and I thought maybe after we start a family the drinking will slow down. It didnt and it got worse. I am now in my early 30s with a child and married to a functional alcoholic. So my advice to you- please know that if you do marry this man you will be marrying this disease. It will take over your marriage and run your life. If you are looking forward to starting a family I would not do so, with an alcoholic. Don't make the same mistakes I did :(

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    2. to the 7/20 posting. "am i kidding myself?" ..just read and reread all the above. log into a couple of blogs about people who have been to alanon and their heartachs. alcohol wins. his first love will be alcohol. you might think you can save him and your marriage, but it will not be saved. it might be barely functioning at best. let me repeat. the alcohol wins. not you. not the beautiful children you will have.. he will not love you more for trying to help him and stick by him and guide him. he will resent you. he will resent you when he is sober because he will be miserable. he WANTS to drink and you are in his way! he will resent you when he is drunk because its your fault (never ever is it the alcohols fault) that he is miserable..alcoholics drink because they are deep down miserable. they cant very well blame the alcohol now, can they??..your entire life and the life of your kids will be effected. read and reread all of the above..even if things are tolerable now, do you think they always will be? you are getting onto the merry go round that never stops and it is a terrible struggle filled with heartach and torn families . it doesnt matter if you stay, its all heartach. it doesnt matter if you leave in a divorce. its all heartach.. good luck to you and all your choices. love is a tough thing to walk away from...he may NEED you-to take care of him, but thats not love. You will not be his first love. alcohol will take first place..you cant save him. you alone will not be able to save your marriage. even 15, 20, 30 years from now..i will never remarry another alcoholic. even if he has been sober 10 years..i might not ever marry again just because of how tired i am from my first marriage..do you think it will be you at the friends bbq he wants to be with, when its you trying to get him to slow down drinking? it is not you he will want. he will want the bimbo who is also drunk and shakin everything she has at him. the drunker the better...you will be resented because he is just trying to have fun!..thats just one of the many many things you will have to look forward to...my list goes on and on and on and on....

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  19. Sorry everyone - technical difficulties with comments tonight, wonky stuff but should be ok now.

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  20. I came across your blog today and have read all your blog entries and relate so much. Thank you for sharing. I havent gone to alanon or really opened up to anyone about all the things I deal with. I have 2 kids, the main bread winner and am wonsdering do I stay do I go. Ive been experiencing the stonewalling for about a month and he got upset with me today when he wanted to "play" and I told him I didnt appreciate the avoiding me, leaving the room when I come in, and only speaking to me to"play".
    Keep writing, you are helping others!!

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    1. I'm so sorry for what you are going through, but glad you found something to relate...And I thank you for your comment as it's been a rough week and your kind words were much appreciated tonight.

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  21. Spent some time out of town with my husband's family yesterday. His uncle in failing health after many years of smoking and drinking. Do they ever see what awaits them physically? It's a rhetorical question. The answer is "no" of course. His aunt a full time caregiver---can't trust the uncle to take care of himself, not that he did before. Now however, it ain't a choice for him. Sad situation. BTLJ

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    1. Thank you all for sharing. I've been with my husband for 17 years and he has drank the entire time. In the begining I didn't see him as an alcoholic but time and misery has opened my eyes. He doesn't get violent or verbally abusive however he annoys me with what he thinks are jokes and that stupid look that he gets on his face and the slurred speech. I have my share of crappy stories to share to like......him urinating on the living room floor because he thought it was the bathroom, urinating in bed, going out with his alcoholic friends and making up lies about being arrested to account for his whereabouts when he was really out drinking, ruining almost every holiday because they always end with him getting drunk and me being pissed, the countless times he's driven drunk. I think I'm getting to my breaking point...if I smell a faint oder of alcohol on his breath I immediately get angry...even if he isn't drunk and I don't even wa
      n to be around him.HIs desiremake love to me has never deminished but I on the other hand can't stand when he touches me....who wants a drunk all over them? He alway pofessing his love and he will say that he is an alcoholic and tries to rationalize thst he can controll it on homis own....oh did I mention that he has flat out told me that he will never stop drinking because he enjoys it...instead he tries to convience himself me that he won't over do it...yeah right that may last for a day or too and then we are back to square one. His famous line is that I should be happy that he doesn't run the streets or cheat on me....to be honest I would rather he did that....at least I would be competing with another human being.........how sad is that. This is some BS...when will i get up the nerve to leave him??????

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  22. Thanks to the people who responded to my post about the incident with my husband and my rug. I'm really glad I started reading this blog that night because by the next day it was practically text book what my husband did. I got the sob story on Saturday about how he has a problem and its tough for him to admit it. His solution was to stop drinking for 30 days. I have gone along with his "plan" since 7/19 but I know deep down and based on what I read this won't work. I suggested he go talk to someone, talk to his buddy who is a recovering alcoholic, talk to anyone because I don't think I can help him. This of course upset him and he accused me of not caring and not wanting to help. I see this now as stonewalling. I made a mental decision the night of the rug incident that I would form an exit strategy. If it doesn't get better I will at least have my ducks lined up and I can just leave when it is time. I have no kids yet and this of course is something I am thankful for at the moment. We have struggled having kids for years and sometimes I think it os the universe telling me its a bad idea. Tonight he came home and brushed his teeth right away. He didn't seem like he had more than a few- who knows. I asked him about it because as part of his "plan" we are supposed to be more open with each other. Well you would have thought I insulted his mother. I had to listen to a two hour rant about how I am just accusing him, he was having a good day till I started on him. I literally was calm as I could possible through the whole thing-because what I learned from the blog is it is not worth arguing with somebody like this. . He of course is deflecting by turning the focus on me and trying to prove that I am the one with the issue. Again - text book from what I have read from all of you. So here I am, awake while he sleeps, angry at myself for even remotely thinking there was a glimmer of hope this past weekend, and wanting to call my mom but I can't do that because I am an enabler and have kept up the appearance of a happy marriage to everyone around me. Thanks for listening again.

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    1. There's a saying in Al Anon..."Secrets keep the family sick." So many of us tried to keep up that image of a happy marriage, even to those closest to us.

      There is another saying I learned at rehab family support meetings: "The trouble with talking to other people is that they make you right and them wrong." It's so easy to say that the alcoholic is wrong, that we're right, and of course our friends and family want what's best for us. But it's not always what we need to hear, if that makes any sense, and others may not know how to support us in the way that we need.

      Those things being said - it's easy to isolate ourselves and keep everything hidden, protecting the alcoholic's image as well as our own. It takes courage to come out of that, but whoever you choose to confide in, it may be a good idea to let them know how you would like to be supported (just listening, if you want advice, if you don't want advice, etc.).

      There's always hope, and the hope is for us. Good luck and keep us posted...

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    2. i am sick of trying to keep everything together,i sleep on the living room floor and look awful im,not the person i used to be but its still my fault we,ll always talk in the morning but when that comes hes forgot i dont sleep anymore just waiting for tomorrow to be diffrerent but it never is ive done 27 years married 15 to alchohol

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  23. First let me begin by saying how happy I am that I found/stumbled this Blog. It is fantastic! I never ever write to post anything (fear of being found out that my life is one big lie) but I silently yearn for the support of others,and reading your initial post was like reading about my life. Thank you for this Blog.
    I need to begin with my so-called end - At this very moment my boyfriend of 14 years is sleeping on the couch; he has been sleeping there for the last two evenings. He decided (or his disease decided for him) that he would drink beginning on early Sunday afternoon, and then continue throughout the evening. I have lived through theses days and evenings many many times. See, both my older brothers are addicts. The very oldest brother has been a raging/violent alcoholic beginning at the age of 13. You name it, he has stolen, sold, beat up, lied, etc etc etc., to feed his disease. He has been told he is going to die from liver failure for many many years. I haven't spoken to him in over 14 years. All these years, I did not realize how my present life paralleled my childhood. I guess I'm realizing that I have replaced my brothers with a man who is almost as bad as they are. Neither of my brothers are married...my boyfriend doesn't believe in marriage. Marriage is a selfless act - and alcoholics are selfish. I have surrendered to the fact that I will never be married (this is my second marriage) I left my first husband because I didn't love him. I then went back with my 'ol teenage boyfriend (the man I'm with now)...he was an alcoholic way back then too, I guess my subconscious wanted to 'fix' him, and by doing so, I could, in my mind, feel like I fixed my brothers somehow. Well, it's not working. Fourteen years later. It's not working. I have raised two incredible kids from my first marriage. I have put myself through my first degree, and graduate school. I am what you would call successful, extremely driven, and confident - but at the same time, a complete failure in my own life. I'm glad that I am writing, and posting. I will carry on. Reading all the posts on this Blog is giving me such a better perspective on who I am, and what I need to become happy and find someone who is going to love me and the gifts I have to offer.

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  24. Yes, marriage is a selfless act and alcoholics are selfish. Just returned from an outpatient procedure at the hospital. Where was my husband when the dr. was explaining the results? In the lobby making a phone call for work. Where was he when I was at the outpatient exit waiting for him to bring the car? In the parking lot talking to a work colleague. As it turns out, I need additional surgery. Where will he be when I need his help and support? Probably with his phone and not with me. Really...would it have hurt to take one day off from his job to put me first? No, but selflessness isn't in the alcoholic's vocabulary. If it's not alcohol, it's always something else. I guess I should be thankful he took the time to drive me to the hospital and back. I get so darned confused at times. He can be so thoughtful (yesterday ordered me something for our anniversary next month), but today, almost the opposite. It's like he does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants, where he wants, with who he wants. Perhaps that's the real definition of selfishness!!! BTLJ

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear of your surgeries - please keep us posted...Just like AA says, alcoholism is "cunning, baffling and powerful." It's a merry go round, a roller coaster. The disease is selfish. Once we know this, we can stop having expectations (even of other people who aren't alcoholics). It's probably the hardest part of living with the disease.

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  25. This is my second posting. Thanks to all of you who have shared your stories, I know that I am not alone in my feelinsgs. Today I came home from work still upset with my husband about over indulging this weekend...right after we had a very extensive talk about how unhappy I am with him drinking...again he promised me that he would do better and drink the minimal. He has drank everyday since Friday including today...so that only fueled my anger. My mood was clearly showing on my face when I got home...he asked why I was upset...i tell him because of the drinking...he goes on to tell me what a unhappy person I am and how I'm overacting...which made me angerier. This has been an ongoing issue for 17 years and I'm so sick of this topic and being angry about this. I told him that I want to be separated...he accused me of tending that this is a issue and using it as a way out..then he went on to imply that I must be interested in someone else. I have absolutely no interezt in anyone else and I'm hurt that he would even suggest that this is some covert way for me to leave him. We have a 11 year old daughter and she sees my anger and frustrated and it hurts that she has to witness me this way...I think in her eyes that she sees me as the problem...she is really closes with her dad and I think she only sees the good that he does. My husband is a little different from the way most have described theirs. He cooks, cleans will do just about anythingI ask him to do except stop drinking...when I mention the whole drinking thing he almost always says that he isn't a terrible husband and then follws with do I really have it that bad...Really!!!!I think he does all of those things to compensate for him refusing to drink. I LOVE MY HUSBAND and i married him because i want to spend the rest of my life with him but i can't spend the rest of my life miserable and angry while he enjoys his drinks..god i feel hopeless.

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    1. Alcoholics act and we react (with anger, etc.) That's one of the struggles I deal with also...reacting to the accusations or implications and then suddenly I'm in the argument with him that's really about nothing, and all about the disease showing itself (blame, paranoia, hostility, self-pity). When I can distance myself from that, and detach, it helps. But of course, it isn't easy and takes conscious practice.

      Your husband is like the rest of them in that he has a disease that causes a physical compulsion to drink. And unfortunately for so many of us, asking ore telling them to stop drinking, well it doesn't work. If it were that simple, I guess there wouldn't be alcoholics.

      What you are saying reminded me of how I felt when I wrote this...I wanted to post it here for others to find it with your comment. Remember that you are NOT alone.

      http://marriedtoafa.blogspot.com/2013/05/keep-hope-alive.html

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    2. Everything you wrote is exactly my situation. I feel your pain. I spend most of my life being angry. And I agree with the other persons response that I would probably miss it if my husband started doing something right because I spend so much time expecting him to lie, hide the drinking etc. because he has done it so many times in the past. I'm in the throws of his plan to stop drinking for 30 days. Well he lasted about a week. Monday I questioned him and it turned into a big argument. I have not gotten home from work yet but I already know he has drank today. So there goes the lying again. I am gonna take the advice tonight and just not engage him in any discussion about it. Thank you all for sharing your stories and information. It makes me feel better but at the same time it makes me sad that there are so many of us going through the same thing. Hang in there everyone.

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    3. I want to thank you all again for the posts and comments. I thought I would write an update to my last post regarding my husband's "30 day plan." I came home Wednesday from work and knew he had been drinking. He had run to the store and picked up a 12 pack of non-alcoholic beer before I got home. Said he was itching for alcohol and thought this would help. Well I'm not stupid-he thought that it would cover up the beer smell. But he had the slurred speech and the look we all recognize within 2 seconds upon entering the door. I could tell he was waiting for me to freak out. And guess what. I didn't. I came home, rambled on about my day and never acknowledged his drinking, his non-alcoholic beer cover-up, nothing. I mostly did this because I basically decided I don't care enough to argue about it anymore because I'm done. Well the interesting thing was I think he was stumped by this lack of rage from me. He needed to argue with me so he could get the justification he needed for drinking that day. I didn't give it to him. So he did something very telling. He called the next best person to blame things on - his mother - and engaged her in an argument. This is a man who generally will not call his mother. He waits for her to call him. He got off the phone with her and started ranting about the weekend we have to spend with her and how she makes him so angry. And I thought wow- he went and found his excuse to justify drinking today. I didn't touch his rant about his mother. The only comment I gave him was my perspective on how I planned to handle the weekend - I was focusing on the things that would make me happy like seeing other family members, etc. He stopped ranting- told me I was right (wow that never happens) and he said I have a good perspective on the weekend and what to focus on. I went to bed scratching my head. I did not engage him, I did not let him make me the excuse...interesting outcome.
      I woke up this morning mad at myself because the angry part of me doesn't want him to think he got away with lying and drinking yesterday. But he has overly attentive today and I am wondering whether I should see this as a minor success- he at least pulled himself out of the bar, came home and started drinking non- alcoholic beer? I wouldn't call this hope yet but I am taking your advice to educate myself on this disease by reading this blog and other resources on the Internet. What I learned is engaging them is pointless. And by not engaging I didn't wind up hurt by his rage towards me. I guess that is a victory for me. Thank you to the blog host again. Your post are very insightful and I hope that you know how much this forum is helping people who are too afraid to share their experiences.

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    4. "I think he was stumped by this lack of rage from me." When we leave them to their own anger and their own pain, they're confused and are left to deal with it on their own. Amazing how that works sometimes, and we just have to detach and leave them to their stuff and focus on our stuff to realize it.

      GOOD FOR YOU for focusing on your weekend and looking forward to things that make you happy.

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  26. Yes, you are correct. It is the hardest part of the disease. I once read that if there is trust, there is no need of expectations. I definitely have expectations, and they generally are not good. For example, last week I received 2 notices from our bank regarding a "loan." I highly suspected my husband applied for a loan to buy "toys" without telling me(which he has done in the past, so there is a history there). I was furious and ready to end things right then. By the grace of God I kept my composure and confronted him about things. Ends up, he just extended some credit we already had with nothing affecting our finances at all. Not good that he didn't tell me about it---in fact, he said with sincerity, that he didn't think it was a big deal! But certainly not the scenario I was preparing for. I always think the worst. If a miracle happened and he did change for the betterment of our relationship and marriage, I honestly think I would miss it. I've been disappointed and hurt so many times, I wouldn't even recognize it, or would be suspicious, at best. Anyway, thank you for this blog and for your kind words and support. BTLJ

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  27. Met a lovely lady at work today. In her 80's. Divorced her first husband many years ago due to alcoholism. She and her ex-husband (now sober) have both moved on in their lives. However, she still cried after 60 some years of divorcing him. There may be forgiveness, but the hurt runs deep. BTLJ

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    1. About to spend my 60th birthday with my functioning alcoholic and have our 37th wedding anniversary. He has gotten worse over the last 15 years or so. It is so, so sad. He was never violent until this past year. Now, sometimes he scares me. One thing that really bothers me is the feeling of loneliness. It shouldn't be this way. This blog helps in knowing that there are others out there that have lived with this problem for almost a lifetime, as I have.

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  28. I am so glad I found this. I read this all day and realized what kind of future I have with my husband of 5 years and a 4 yr old daughter. I left him after a very scary blow up that left me bruised and in shock. He has been an alcoholic the whole time we were together, but he tried to quit but he is a lot older than me and comes from a different culture. I knew he had a serious problem when I was pregnant and he came home the next morning and had no idea where he went and what happened. He had messages on his phone from various women asking him to come back to the party, etc. and he sent texts to an old booty call at 3 am. I quickly hid the phone and ignored it as I was going to have a child with him soon and I had no idea what I was in for. During my daughters first year of life, he was a great daddy, but he loved the party life too. He would come home drunk often and pass out, leaving urine all over the bed we shared and then ignore me the following few days. But his love and adoration for our daughter kept me around longer. Finally when our daughter turned two, he met up with some bad dudes that loved the bottle and the women. I left him for six months and tried to single parent but it was very hard and I too, started to slip into some kind of manic depression. Then, he vowed to get help and stay sober, and he did, for over a year he was sober and helpful, but his moods went bad. He was always loving and open, even when he was drunk he was never mad, just happy but much too crazy. During his attempt at sobriety, he became very moody and depressed. We started fighting almost once a week, there was a cycle to it. He would try very hard to be open and supportive, but I couldn't trust him. My trust issues with him came out full force. Suddenly, when the booze was removed, it left this vulnerability between us of things we weren't dealing with. He did cheat while on one of his binges while our daughter was just months old, but I found out about it years later. He knew but he tried to hide it out of embarrassment. I found myself becoming angry, bitter and unhappy with our marriage. I wanted out because I could not see myself fighting like the way we were for the rest of our lives. But I did appreciate his fight to stay sober. During this past year, he started slipping again and he relieved himself on me after falling off the wagon and binging. It was in our bed, but I was so pissed off I couldn't even talk to him. A few months later, he came home, blacked out and said he doesn't love me anymore. He is not meant for this world, and he is too messed up to take care of a family, and I said fine, I was sick of it all. But he also took a lot of money from me and when I asked for it back, it started an argument, which turned into a beating from a nightmare I never wish on anyone. He never laid a hand on me, he used to be the love of my life, and he turned into a emotional and physical abuser. I am only 31, he is a lot older than me, and I am starting over with a young child and no idea where I will go, or what I will do but I know for a fact I am not going to live through that again. Now I know how alcoholism is a deadly. Selfish, life sucking disease that can break a family down. It's my sad reality right now. I have no idea if he will ever stop drinking but once he laid his hands on me I don't really care anymore.

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  29. I am so thankful this blog exists and looks at alcoholism in such a personal lens. I am just leaving an alcoholic abuser now. We have a 4 yr old daughter together. I knew there was something wrong when, at 7 months pregnant he came home from a night of partying with his friends and he had no idea where he went or how he got home. He laid down beside my pregnant belly, rubbed it and passed out. I woke up the next morning soaked with urine. He was snoring and I thought it was me, being pregnant, but he relieved himself all over me and my baby belly. I snooped through his phone he left laying in the backyard after stumbling home and found texts from women asking him where did he go, come back to the part, etc, and he sent flirty texts to random women at 3 am, while I was home waking up hoping he was safe. Little did I know what I was going into after our baby was born soon after. He loves and adores his baby girl, but he also is addicted to the party life.soon after she was born, he would leave, come home and pass out and urinate himself, then comment how he had no idea how he got home or what happened. I was getting very concerned about myself and baby, he was doing these binges too often and once brought an entire party home. I shut my mouth because he said it was his house, he pays for everything and I should just try to have fun for once. There was nothing fun with black out binges and the cheating that started happening while I was caring for our baby. It didn't stop, it was becoming embarrassing and neglectful, so I left when our baby was just over one. I stayed away while he binged and public ally embarrassed himself for 7 months. Then, he realized how shitty he was to his wife and baby and decided to stay sober. He managed sobering for almost one year. But the moods became horrible. He was sober, but he was becoming mean, bitter and rude to me. I was also falling, I couldn't trust him after his exploits during his recent drinking days, and the pain he caused, it all weight down on me and we started fighting every week. Since he was a lot older than me, almost 15 years, he seemed so stubborn about change. He had a hard time staying sober, because he drank most of his life and came from a different culture. Soon, he fell off the wagon again after he the temptations of the party life came back.this time he disappeared for 3 days and when he returned, he was a mean drunk. He was a drunk in the past, but he was never mean to me, but something changed. He looked mean, his eyes seemed yellow and dark, and he would fight over anything. I could see the stressors, we had family living with us and it was not easy. We tried to help them but it was pointless and imbalanced and it took a toll on us as a partnership. He left one night and came back drunk. Leaving me to do the hard work with a pulled muscles, he came back and said he doesn't love me anymore. And it pushed me over the edge. The argument started again, and I realize at this point I should of just walked away and stayed away, but I was so mad that the argument escalated and I ended up bruised and very broken inside. His alcoholism took the life out of our family, it ended something very special and important, that people cherish and feed with positivity, a family. He made the decision to leave long ago, I just stayed and cleaned up after the parties. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am happy to be free of that vicious horrible cycle.

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  30. Last week I finally told my best mate how bad it gets behind closed doors after I found myself backing away from a large kitchen knife being waved angrily at me. I've turned a corner in beginning to look after myself in this and now I've found this blog and recognise so much of the behaviour.

    My partner is same sex, we've been together for 10 years now. She always drank wine in the evenings, but it's gone from 3 or 4 bottles a week to 2 bottles plus a night.

    I cut myself off from informal contact with her family, earlier this year after she began phoning them saying she is frightened of me, that I bully her. This was because I was honest with her and said I felt she was behaving like a bitch toward me. She has the Jekyll and Hyde mood swings: can be wonderful, charming and loving or stressed, clingy and needy or condemning, belittling and mocking - and I cannot predict what I can do in any given scenario, that is going to keep the peace or make things worse.

    It was such a big deal for us to get married, she hadn't come out to her family in any of her previous relationships. I love her dearly and I believe she loves me. I hear that there are two of us in this relationship who are sick, I react to her provocation and try to defend myself so the arguments escalate. But I can't bear the idea of losing her completely, I can't seriously think about leaving. Is there hope for us to survive this together?

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  31. I cannot express how grateful I am for having found this blog. I know I’m not the only married to a functional alcoholic, but reading these has been very helpful to me. I am not ready to share my story, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have.

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  32. I have read some of the comments and can I say to those out there, with the most sincerity and sympathy, if your husband/partner is urinating all over you, waving a knife at you or not coming home all night, sleeping with other people, etc., etc. he or she is not a "functioning" alcoholic. I don't say this to mean you don't "belong" on this blog; I say this to tell you that things are far, far beyond life with a "functioning" alcoholic. The "functioning" alcoholic holds down a job, pays his bills, is home at night, etc., etc. Please, if you are being urinated on or physically threatened, find help immediately. This is a progressive disease and once it has progressed to such levels, it is an extremely toxic and dangerous situation for you to navigate.

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    1. to anonymous 8/18/2013...i disagree with your comment. you cannot compare 'being urinated on' with someone who is "physically threatened" by their alcoholic spouse..i know of men who only drink on occasion,that have had 'accidents' urinating while drunk. they are no where near being an alcoholic ..yes, it sounds terrible to have happen, but has NOTHING to do with them being "functioning"..my husband does hold a job. he does change the oil in the car. he does mow the lawn..ect...he does drink everyday..he does overdrink on any given occasion to do so.He has spent the entire night out and he has urinated in the corner, once in the closet, once next to the toilet! and guess what..? he did get up and go to work the next morning. you should not be the person to say who should and should not be posting on this blog......

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  33. I think of it this way: Anyone who drinks to APPEASE their inner demons (and we all have them---anger, resentfulness, jealousy, bitterness, fear etc.)is an alcoholic. What makes them functional is their ability to trick others into believing they're not. I am convinced my husband's drinking goes way back to his childhood--a stoic,verbally abusive father (maybe bipolar) who never had an encouraging word to say, and a mother who, for a boatload of reasons, was unable to do anything about it. My husband's demon is low self esteem, and despite a successful career, intelligence, and all the man-toys in the world, he cannot deal with the pushed back, inner hurt from years ago. And honestly, I think that is why he will not go to counseling with me. He would have to face the feelings and the rage he felt as a kid, and it is just easier to drink and smoke away the hurt. This rage was unleashed several years ago when his mother lay dying of cancer (stressful situations bring out inner demons). While playing rather aggressively with our dog, the dog ran into a post with her hips. I said "stop" and my man immediately screeched in a child-like voice (it was really eerie I tell you) like a 9 year old, "You're always telling me what to do!" Honestly, it was a kid voice. I'll never forget it. He wasn't screeching at me of course, it was his dad, long since deceased. But, my husband appears "functional" nonetheless. However, I know better. May be functional to the outside world, but in the inside world of the heart and soul, there is turmoil that is only quieted with alcohol and marijuana. Knowing all this does not make things better for me, though. I can pursue my own life, do my own things, and redirect my own thoughts, but the hurt of my husband's childhood continues to rear it's ugly head in our marriage via his addictions, and expands like a big blob to
    include me and the hurt I feel nearly everyday in my marriage. BTLJ

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  34. Hi.

    I am married to a very 'successful' functioning alcoholic, if what you define success by is making money. My husband is a top executive in an international biotech firm, and makes well into the six figures. He drinks $50 bottles of wine like they were water. We have a formal wine room which must have 600 bottles of wine in it. I've seen him pass out at a 5-star restaurant and rest his head against the wall while my daughter and I were supposed to go on with dinner and pretend nothing had happened and he was not there. and you know the crazy part -- we DID! Several times I've had him yell in the streets to get ahold of the car keys after he had numerous drinks out. I've had him leave me out in the freezing cold and lock me out of our house (In anger...I was having fun with friends...) and say he just did this out of habit...as we banged on the door while he was passed out inside. Each and every time he minimalizes his behavior, rationizes his 'temporary insanity', and invalidates any concerns I have about the direction our marriage is headed. I should also mention that we have had once in the past year. This, too, always had to happen with alcohol. Through all of this, I don't like who I've become. I have tried to detach from these behaviors, and we rarely travel anywhere together anymore together as a result. I don't look forward to going out to nice restaurants, because I never know what he will devolve to. I have yelled a lot, criticized his behaviors, and at times become a raging shrew. There is a HUGE wedge between us, and the kids see and feel this as well. Lately I feel as though I am in a constant state of anxiety and have difficulty sleeping. He simply closes his eyes and is 'out' for the night. One of the worst parts of all of this is that he is in full and total denial, and you feel like you are crazy. It's a very lonely place to be.

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    1. You know what I hate about alcoholism, functional or not??? The selfishness of it all. A dinner at a nice 5 star restaurant in which family should have a nice time is ruined because one person has to get drunk; a nice time out with friends is ruined because one person is too selfish to let others enjoy themselves; a decent night's sleep is ruined because of the behavior of an alcoholic. Selfish, selfish, selfish...And, it is hard to detach oneself totally even though you go through periods where you can for a while. As a human, and a woman, you starve for "normalcy," respect, responsibility, relationship. Ah...it is SSSOOOO disappointing and depressing when you realize it is not possible with an alcoholic. It just isn't. And doggone, it still hurts every time you are reminded of it. I was reminded of that this evening. Came home from a wonderful women's conference to a husband drunk and high. Trying desperately to hang on the "glow" of the conference while holding back tears. Had such a great time while away, but had to come back to the selfishness that defines my husband and the lifestyle he CHOOSES to pursue. Sorry, when he can control himself in front of respected colleagues,certain friends, and other work professionals, yet drink and smoke himself silly when home, it's a choice in my book. Thanks for letting me vent instead of cry. BTLJ

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    2. i know exactlyhowyou feel ive lived a lonely life for years but i know feel i cannot keep up with it when i ask him hesays we,ll speak tomorrow but when i ask hes forgotton

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  35. It is some solace to read these entries and see that I'm not completely crazy and not the only one who is seeking another way to survive this. Thank you. I am working up the courage to go to the local Al Anon group and our family doctor.
    I'm currently in the dog house for asking my partner to come to see the doctor too and for being truthful to her face about my view we need some external help. This followed a good week where she lost it on just one evening, but also went out for lunch with a friend and made a special dinner for us. But thanks to this blog I'm getting better at not reacting to the hurtful comments and threats to cut herself, me or have an affair or leave me homeless. I remain wary and thankful that I have my little runabout and can go out for a drive if I feel I need to get out of the apartment. Having been desperate enough to tell my friend what happens, I've felt supported and reassured that someone else knows what goes on - that it can be good as well as nightmarish and that is why I am able to hold onto some shred of hope for our future.

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  36. It's like you took the words straight from my brain and mouth and typed them on this website...My husband is just like yours, a high functioning alcoholic. Never lost his job, never had a DUI, we're not behind on bills (though I manage the money), he makes good money, we've been married for a few years now and don't have kids yet, we've moved twice within the last few years because of his job...he's slipping away, every day. And yet, I stay. This man has been in my life for over a decade, a best friend of mine since high school. Then he deployed, twice. The war has changed him so much...his PTSD is unimaginable. Sometimes he'll ocillate between "yes i have a problem" to "no, i don't have a problem, i'm a man and men drink beer." I am lost. I've been to Al-Anon meetings and will continue to go, I even have a sponsor and she is great. But still I live with so much pain in my heart. I was doing good for awhile, I really was. I was learning to detach. Then he stopped drinking for a bit, my hope shot through the roof, and plummeted down towards the ground again with an earth-shattering blow as he came home with a huge case the other night. I haven't been right since...

    But, I'm glad i'm not alone. I've thought about leaving so many times, I know I should, but I can't. I just can't. I don't know if it's hope, or weakness, or love, or pity, or fear, or whatever...but I just can't bring myself to do it. Thank you for writing this. Please don't stop.

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  37. just have to say thank you for making me realize i am not alone and can be happy for me even if my situation is not a happy one

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  38. Thank God I found this web site. I am not alone.
    I have been married for 26 yrs. I love my sober husband very much but the drunk husband I can do without.
    My husband's drinking has increased from daily beer and whiskey on week ends to a fifth of whiskey (drank straight from the bottle)and a 6 pack of beer nightly. He usually will drink this amount within four to six hours . He has never missed a day of work and does not drink while on the job but will start drinking in the car on his way home. He does not hurt me physically but mentally he is driving me crazy. When he is drinking he sounds like a person with Dementia. He repeats himself multiple times, he will ask me the same questions over and over . I look forward to him finally passing out so the house settles down. I have tricks I do to help him fall asleep. Like feed him and get the house warm. Usually that will help him fall asleep quicker. When he does finally pass out the kids and I take a deep sigh of relief. He is very embarrassing to take anywhere when he is drinking. He says and does things he would never do when he is sober. I do not know what to do at this point. I don't think I can make it alone and I feel too old to work three jobs to survive. I find my wishing he would get caught drinking and driving and forced into treatment and as much as I hate to say this , I find my self wishing one of us would just die. (I am not suicidal but I wouldn't fight God if he wanted to take me home and get me out of this hell)
    Until I read the posts on this site I felt very much alone. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

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    1. Hi there,

      I am also thankful for this blog. It breaks my heart to see how many people and families are struggling with this too. I am trying really hard to stay strong and to detach myself but its so lonely being married to someone with this problem and the mental abuse is exhausting. There are times where I am strong and can block my husband out but there are also times where I find myself stooping down to his level and arguing with an alcoholic. I am learning to walk away from the situation but its not always easy. Not only is my husband a functional alcoholic but he is also not an affectionate person. I don't know if that's the disease or if that's just him. It's tough to not feel loved in a marriage. To know he will always pick alcohol over me and that I will always be the problem and not the alcohol. I feel constantly pushed away... He better be careful because the more he pushes me away the more I just might like it there.

      I hope everyone is hanging in there, threw this long holiday weekend. Be strong and try to do things that make you happy. Even if that means leaving the alcoholic at home by themselves.

      Z~

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    2. i was married to my alcoholic husband for over 30 years. i used to do the same exact thing to get him to pass out and "get the house to settle"..i remember telling my girlfriend that the sound of him "kicking back his reclyner is the best sound in the world"..so i know exactly what you mean. My husband also looses his mind when he drinks. He is like talking to a rubber ball. His face even changed somehow, when he drank. His lose of normal brain activity was frightening.. i also felt like i was ready for death. i was completely exhausted. i was so worn out from the drinking that i couldnt even enjoy the sober times.. i had lost myself. i am "old and grey" now, and newly divorced. divorce came with its own heartach & guilt (from leaving my sick spouse to fend for himself) (from feeling like its my fault the family is torn-I left Him) to a long long host of other things, and lonelyness. by the time i divorced, i only had one friend (her and her husband both drinkers) and she turned her back on me...looking back over the years, i see where the drinking progressed, my personal changes, his crazyness, my crazyness, the verbal abuse, ect ect ect..i live alone now in a new town, i had to give my dog to my adult son, which really really broke my heart at one of the worst times of my life (divorcing).. Anyone reading this, see the website www.usda.gov for rental assistance. they also help with home ownership loans. they helped me a lot..the single person income limits are very reasonable and they have apartments and houses all over the united states..they are government owned and are inspected regularly..my husband and i stayed friends, my intention was not to hurt him in the divorce but was to free myself from the "hell" you know of. He stayed alone for only two months before he moved in a new girlfriend who drinks and who knows what else. and needless to say, that was another heartach for me to overcome..but here i am. feeling better with everyday. in some ways, him moving in a new girlfriend helped me feel better about leaving him..good luck to all.,its heartach, if you stay and heartach if you go.....

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    3. You are definitely not alone, Anonymous 8/31/2013 9:39 AM! None of you are. There are plenty of us out there who get it. I don't know what I would have done without Al Anon. Keep coming back and sharing!

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  39. I found this site last month and your openning statement and related to my life. I was married for 20 years to a man who drank 7 days a week. I called his drinking controlled because he only drank a six pack of beer every day, sometimes more on the weekends. This Alcohol caused mood swings and behavior changes over time. We are both college educated with good jobs with no financial problems. My ex-husband is ACA and never saw the link between his father and his drinking. This gave me anxiety. Over the last several years I suffered emotional abuse & a person who was critical of all my actions, but somehow I figured how to love him and we would grow old together. We had no itimacy because alcohol "stole" this from me. I made all kinds of excuses for him he is old (50) & tired. I got the shock of my life when I confronted him about his emotional abuse & unloving ways, he told me he never loved me and wanted a divorce. I was clinging for months, but could feel him distancing himself from me. I never told my friends/family about my husbands drinking. Many people still don't see a problem because my husband drinks at home or alone. I joined Alanon in 2013 and trying to make sense on my relationship plus begin to heal.

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  40. Jekyll and Hyde. That was my epiphany last week. I've been suffering silently in my marriage. We've been a couple for 9 years, married for 3, and we have 2 young children that are the center of my world. I'm 30, he's 29.

    I argue with myself daily. He is an alcoholic. But maybe he's not. He definitely is. He seems fine now...

    He IS a "secret" drinker. He hides bottles, takes shots in the kitchen alone and chases it with water to create the illusion of hydration.

    He is successful in his career. He's a "Go-To" guy, financially provides for our family well and he never, ever misses a day of work. He's worked out of town 4 days a week for the last year. When he comes home, he sneaks a new bottle in his toiletry bag and shoves it under the bed. He drinks a 750 mL bottle of vodka in an evening, sometimes. I've slowly become filled with resentment, disgust, and a desire to be free, but I can't get past the confrontation. My first attempt was a handwritten note I attached to the front door as he left for work one morning. I steered clear of ultimatums, but I informed him that I'm afraid of how frequently I contemplate divorce. I told him the kids and I care so much for him and he should take a moment to think about all he has to lose. We talked later and he gave the "I know it's out of hand and I want to change" speech. For a time, it was good. Within a few months, the empty bottles of vodka reappeared. I found the courage for a verbal confrontation. This time he was compelled to justify himself: He puts so much energy into being "normal" at work that when he comes home, he needs to be himself. It sucks for me, but that's just the way it is.

    That hurt. The selfishness, the complete disregard for my feelings, my work as an at-home Mom, and my existence as a real person. Back to the silence we went. And then I started to join him. I used to have a glass of wine on the weekends and then it became a daily thing. We could talk to each other and I could smile again. I felt reconnected to him.

    But it didn't take long for me to wake up in the mornings and feel bad about myself. How can I confront him now? I'm a hypocrite. Talk about enabling. I think I surprised him when he offered me wine one night and I refused. It felt good to say "No" to him and maybe send a message. You're drinking alone. I've also learned to say no when it's time for bed. He can choose to drink. I can choose to not degrade myself with someone that drunk.

    Jekyll is a hardworking, wonderful Dad. The kids adore him. I miss his smile and his laugh. Hyde is obnoxiously arrogant and negative. "Here's the thing, man..." is the prelude to his lectures on life and he's prepared to tell you exactly what you should be doing with yours. It usually involves accepting that there is no reality, everything is a dream. (I don't invite people over anymore.) Hyde is comfortable taking the pulpit with slurred speech and unfocused eyes. He's fine stumbling down the halls to the bathroom and passing out on the couch, even if it's the afternoon and Jekyll's kids are trying to wake him up. Hyde is consuming Jekyll. I hate Hyde. Even when I think I'm talking to Jekyll, I can't look at him because I can't tell if Hyde is already stirring.

    So, my epiphany. It's not Jekyll that's hurting me. That man is innocent and it's okay to still love him. But Hyde is hurting me deeply. I don't deserve to be hurt and neither do my children. Hyde is real and he can't be ignored anymore.

    This is the week I tell my husband the truth: I'm living with an alcoholic and it's time I stopped pretending this is a problem that will just go away after time. We'll see who gets the message and if the next move is his or mine.

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  41. Well, had my surgery yesterday (9/9/13) and a 28th wedding anniversary on August 31. Cannot say anything negative about these two events. My husband was generous and attentive. And yes, he controlled his drinking significantly on both occasions. Of course, Labor Day weekend was a different story with beer stashed in the garage (3 six packs that were nearly all gone in a few days) that I just happened to come across coincidently. How I wish that generous and attentive husband could just stick around in our marriage all the time. It is so difficult this up and down merry-go-round of a ride called functional alcoholism. However, I have been better at focusing on "me" and recently realized how much energy I was using on my husband's alcoholism problem. I was really engaged with it, but am doing much better by saying, "Dear Lord, do the impossible with ME!" Every time I start to think about the drinking, frustration, and problems associated with it, I say my prayer, my mantra...it seems to be helping. And seriously, with my recent health problems, I really do have to shift attention to ME,and to focus my sights on the One that can do the impossible---WITH ME!!! My prayers go out to all of you. This blog is a blessing. BTLK

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  42. It took me a long time to admit my wife may be an alcoholic, and this post just blew my eyes wide open because in my experience she had the same excuses and the same justifications for why there wasn't a problem, but really I knew better. I've been focusing on myself and though I see how selfish the disease is, I have stopped blaming it for all of my problems. There was a reason I married my wife and that's something I have to remember. Though yes it is a progressive disease. She hides her drinking and drinks mostly at home and is the social happy person around others and I see a different picture. I know that's part of the disease, "proximity" my AA friend tells me, of course she behaves that way around me because it's safer - and really because I accept it. My AA friend has really helped me and I highly recommend going to an AA meeting if you can, aside from reading here and elsewhere. Thank you so much, this blog may be about an alcoholic husband but you've helped this husband about his wife for sure. PW

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  43. Me too. I often wonder what to do, because my husband does not have the Jekyl/Hyde issue. I like much more when he is sober, but he is not a mean or angry drunk. I just don't like him much when he's drunk because he's, well, drunk. And he owns a bar. A pretty damn successful one at that. He's funny and smart and very easygoing. But I hate watching him destroy his body. I hate that he comes home from work drunk (did I mention he owns a bar?). I hate that our 6 year old son is going to catch on soon. I hate that I am powerless to stop him. I hate that I don't want to leave him.

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  44. I am you. I just confronted my husband less than 30 minutes ago and he is in denial. Of course. He always is. Despite the fact that I know him for 30 years and know when he has been drinking. Despite the two interventions (fruitless) I staged years ago with his two best friends which only served to anger him. Despite the bottles of gin I find hidden in closets and pockets. Despite the Jekyll and Hyde act which even our children recognize. Despite it all. Denial. I still love him, just don't like him too much anymore. Now that I've confronted him we're about to have a discussion of our marital shortcomings (read my marital shortcomings). I have said to him before that if I nagged him it is because I love him, why can't he see that? I look forward to reading through your blog posts and seeing how you manage because I surely have no idea how to move forward. BLZ

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  45. Hi,

    Thank you all for the courage it takes to talk about something so difficult and so painful. I have been married for two years, all the while knowing that there was a drinking problem at some level. It has taken two years to build up the courage to say something to my wife as I truly did not want it to be true. She truly is the definition of functional al in so many ways; she works hard, is pleasant socially and really does do an amazing job at home and keeping up with the house (with my help). The painful part is now mine to own. I have been so silent and so enabling that the silence has been also very confusing to her that "now after two years, I've had it". There had been so many signs, "little white lies, impulsive spending, drinking nightly multiple drinks, on-going power struggles with conversations that have no real value to it, and the list goes on. The real painful part is the emptiness I feel and the sadness that I expereince when I think about moving on without her. I am also very angry at myself, and often feel like a corward for not being more honest myself from the start. I pray for courage and wisdom in how to navigate what I know may be a long road. She truly loves to drink and so does her entire family and none of them see a problem. Thank you all, this is the first time I admitted to myself or anyone else my part of the dependence spirial. Be Well my friends

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  46. I find myself laying on the couch with my computer crying like a baby...afraid my son is going to walk in and ask `what's wrong mom? For 10 years now I have been blaming myself for something I probably never did. Racking my brains trying to figure out what I said or did that made him yell at me that I was crazy! Maybe I took my frustrations out on my 4 year old son at the time or maybe I bitched at him. I don't remember and when I asked him, he didn't want to talk about it. Concenquently his silence has been in this house ever since . Silence is the right word because he doesn't talk to me anymore. He can't even use or say my name in front of me. When family and friends are around, he has a great old time not even paying attention to me or to me. The only words we do have are about our son, and that is limited. How do you go from making love one minute and the next not being able to even kiss ( There is no other women involved, only his bottle and his weed). So what happened??? He has been drinking and using since the age of 16, he is 60 now. He functions great around people, just sold his business, keeps busy but drinks from noon till bedtime. He is not aggressive just silent. The look in his eyes when he looks at me is pure hatred. So finally after reading all the wonderful blogs, I finally realise it is not me the problem. Thank you for that. The sad thing is that I should of walked away when I got pregnant, I knew the signs because my dad was an aggressive alcoholic, he died from the sickness at 44 years of age. The sad thing is that I lost track that the problem was the disease, and with this blog I realise it is not me who is sick. He will never change ( he never wanted to go for help not even to safe our relationship) The hardest thing I have had to deal with is my son. When I tell him that his dad has a problem, he doesn't believe me and says that his father drinks but it hasn't affected his life, job etc . So even in his eyes the reason dad doesn't love and is always mad at me is me.( he is 15 now) and his father spoils him way too much. (you know when mom says no but dad says yes well that is how it has be for 16 years now) So I have decided to leave. I don't know if he will help me financially (he has the means) because we are not married. We have been together 30 years . Anyway thanks everyone for the boost I needed. You have especially relieved me of my guilt... that it was I who did something 10 years ago

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  47. I've been married six years as of September 13. My husband has been a functional alcoholic since before we were married. The first 3 years of our marriage had more downs and arguments, his controlling and manipulation of who I hung out with, which turned into his frienda, who I talked to ect. he begand accusing me of talking to an ex, who lived three states away and was constantly paranoid about me leaving him. I was not going to leave him, nor was a talking to an ex. we moved yet again due to a job change and found what I thought would be a new start to our situation and his mental abuse toward me. it wasn't. He drank every night, first thing he went for when getting home was his bottle and he would stay up until the bottle was gone. only then turning to bed to wake me up because he suddenly wanted attention. oh, how those nights exhausted me. he stopped paying any attention to me, would only want to be left to his bottle. at this point his accusing of affairs and mental abuse was draining me as it had not stopped and only grew worse. I was not allowrd to have friends, well I was because he didn't want anyone to deem him as controlling, however if I went somewhere with the girls, that came with a price. I paid dearly with more allegations and abuse. it became something that wasnt worth it.

    I'm not innocent in our marriage as eventually after years of listening to him accuse me of cheating, I did find solace in a coworker. it was brief and very wrong as I should have chosen to leave my spouse before stooping that low. if I thought I had been in hell, at that point the abuse only grew and turned physical. he would trap me in rooms and not.let me out and swore he wouod stop drinking. the affair opened.his eyes to the problem but it was short lived. now ive spent three years doing penance for my transgression but still have no forgiveness. I feel like it is my duty to make up for what I did, but deep down I know he will never forgive me. he started in with the accusing and I know that is my fault now, but what about the time before I acted in such a way, what was the reason then? I feel as though this is my punishment and I also feel like I cannot bear the burden of.my mistake for more years to come. thank you for letting me vent. good luck to all.

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  48. I am glad I found your blog. I separated from my "almost an alcoholic" husband 18 months ago and initiated divorce proceedings 6 moths ago. It was very difficult to be married to him 16 years. I recommend to all the book "Almost an Alcoholic" by Robert Doyle. It vindicated my right to want to live in a healthy relationship. To this day his dysfunctional family thinks I am crazy because the poor thing does not have any problems with his drinking. Please read the book it should be required reading for all families. It still very sad to me to think about the family that we lost. I don’t know what else I could have done to help him get help. He refused every avenue that meant a serious course of action, no AA, no special support groups, no therapist, no psychiatrists….nothing. The book describes perfectly the Almost Alcoholic problem as so insidious and subtle that it may takes years for a family to be able to point out where the root of the problem is….if they are ever able to do it.

    I still hurt very much and if I could have a magic wand I would ask for the wish to have him cure from this horrible disease of alcoholism, no matter how it present itself.

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  49. my husband had umbilical hernia surgery on Friday. yesterday he didn't take any pain meds except vodka. at least there's that, he won't mix drugs. when we are on weight watchers, he saves his points for martinis. i had breast cancer 7 years ago and he carried me through chemo and radiation. i love him so very much. but i am dreading the christmas party. i'm 57. we met online 14 years ago and assured me he didn't drink. it was important to me because I am an ACOA. once he met my parents he realized it was ok to be successful and drink vodka and started up. i felt tricked. but i love him. we haven't had sex in years because his breath smelling like my mother's did when i was little is such a turn off. that, and my estrogen is gone, it's not all his fault. hmm maybe he drinks because i don't want to have sex. you know, i don't have the answers. i don't know the answers. i know i am an enabler, but he stays home to drink. he never drives under the influence. i'm always the designated driver which is ok because i want no part of alcohol. he's not abusive but when he's had a few he says things he'd never say sober, and he repeats himself over and over when he thinks he's funny.

    i love my sober husband so much. just not so much from 5 until he crashes. thanks for the idea to turn up the heat. ha.

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  50. My boyfriend (of 2 years, but I've known him for 14 years) drinks every 2nd or 3rd day. We reconnected 2 yrs ago when he was in living in another part of Canada, after moving away from our home town. He is 32 and has been drinking for about 14 years. He lost his mother when he was 7 (Died in a car accident while on vacation) and he lost his father when he was 2 (shot himself, and was an alcoholic). He grew up with an abusive aunt who clearly didn't want the responsibility of taking care of her sisters children as well as her own. Everything my bf does is blamed on his up bringing. He's been to AA, in and out of rehab, and has even quit drinking for a year. When he moved back to our hometown, and we started dating, his drinking was through the roof. Bottles hidden all over the house, and wouldn't answer the phone when it was our "day off". I gave him an ultimatum and he slowed the drinking to weekends, then 4 times a month...But it always picked back up again. He has missed work in the past, and even got a DUI. Recently, I bought a house and things were going well until we went to my co-workers wedding, and he's been on an uphill drinking spree ever since Aug 3rd. He does go to work for the most part, but if I'm not there to pick him up, he always finds his way to a beer store to buy a rockstar and some beer on the way home. He says that he should be able to drink a few after work "like normal people", and even said that his counselor told him to follow the "HAMS" program. This program allows the person to drink as much as they want, when they want, but to recognize when they go overboard. My bf drinks non-alcoholic beer every day and every weekend he drinks a 6 pack, with a few rockstars on the side. He thinks this is ok behaviour and says "well I could be drinking daily like before" He also says "I give you 4 days out of 7, so the other 3 I should be able to do what I please"...He is not violent, and is actually the kindest man I've ever met. Makes dinner every night, and cares so much about others. Has thousands of friends & everyone loves. When he drinks it's all about him, and getting another drink in his guts! He becomes agitated, impatient, belligerent, rude, and seems to lose his intelligence. We've had many conversations of my feelings and his, and he's tried to quit or slow down on his drinking but to no avail. We bought an engagement ring 3 months ago, but the relationship has gone downhill since then and we don't have sex anymore. I'm always worried that he's going to drink. Even 2 drinks changes his whole personality. He started his lying again, and this is why I'm here, alone...He lied about buying alcohol after work today. He got mad, said he's not happy with our relationship, and left. I'm 36, no kids, new house, with amazing career yet this doesn't seem to be enough for him to see the light. I just know that he is mr. perfect when he doesn't drink. I'm pretty sure he hasn't physically cheated on me ever (who knows about tonight), but I have seen texts/internet browsing/dating websites that he uses when he's extremely drunk. Which hasn't happened since Jan 26/13. He deleted all his accounts/numbers when he was caught. I'm wondering if Al-Anon meetings will actually help me? Is it worth sticking around, considering he went from daily drinking of hard alcohol to beer every so often. He was able to change to an extent I guess. Or am I just driving myself nuts, trying to come up with reasons to keep him around?? I'll admit I am not a very nice person lately, I get on him for everything and am always angry, and I get annoyed with him easily, if it's a sober day...Is there any way to turn this around? There has got to be some way of co-existing and being semi-happy with an Alcoholic.......Or am I wrong? I'm so confused.

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  51. Thank you so very much for starting this blog. I am a newlywed of 4 months and have been lying to myself saying that my husband is alcohol dependent and not yet an alcoholic. I should have known better - but I have to forgive myself.
    (Skippable History: The first red flag came on our third date when I accidently blurted out, it seems like all you do is drink. Then came our first vacation three months later in CA, when I noticed two other red flags - I got a pedicure at 10 am and he got a drink at the local bar...at 10 am! Plus - he had 4 scotches in 1 hour at a wedding that my best friend cautioned me about. I confronted him the next day - saying I really care about you, and I think you drink too much. Things spiraled afterward and that year in June, I asked him to sign a contract saying he wasn't going to drink every day, he wasn't going to drive drunk, and he was going to download an app to keep track of his drinking. I also realized that I didn't want to get engaged without this sorted out. 6 weeks before we got engaged, he had a plan and was on the track to getting better. I said yes to a beautiful thoughtful proposal and 6 weeks later - we were back to him getting drunk a few times a week. Needless to say, I was scared. He had arguments with his mom on the phone and would pour himself a couple of glasses of scotch to the point where he had to stumble up the stairs. On the day of Sandy hook, he drank it all away. At that point, I realized I was engaged to a man that was emotionally not there. It got to the point where he started lying about how much he drank, drinking in secret at night at home and driving to bar after work before he got home. In April, he got drunk 3-4 times a week. He broke his own straw when he came back from an alumni event in NYC drunk, fell asleep on the train, got off in New Haven and almost walked back on to the train tracks and killed himself. Needless to say, he packed up all the alcohol the next day in a box. I had major doubts on whether I wanted to marry this man – I knew there would be so many problems in the future. We got married with him promising that he was going to change and not drink more than 1 glass 1 month before the wedding. He got drunk on the day before the wedding and our wedding day. We did not have sex our wedding night.)
    Me: Let’s not forget that I wasn't exactly an angel - I did not know how to handle this. I cried, yelled, got upset and angry. I had empty threats, treated him like a child. I developed my own anxiety about his drinking because I realized two things, I wanted to marry him because he was so special and if he was an alcoholic - our marriage would be dead. He thought I turned into a bitch, had lost all patience, couldn’t rely on me, was a terrible wife, did nothing to ever help him, and was going to leave him. I had exhausted all my patience & my stress was at an all-time high.
    He is a genuinely caring, thoughtful, loving, intelligent, generous, helpful, and funny man. Life with the sober him is great – we are active, are building a brand as a witty, power couple in the area, have great jobs and great families. I genuinely enjoy his company and know that we would have a great life. I love my sober husband very much, however my alcoholic husband is severely depressed, becomes a tyrant, insults everyone around him, is suicidal, and wants to continue drinking. He is on Pristiq and Abilify for severe depression and is still drinking, which is when it hit me that he can't help it. Yes – he has anxiety and OCD tendencies – but we can deal with that. Last night, I finally came to terms with the fact that he is an alcoholic. I don't know how to deal with this. I don't want a divorce...I want him to get better. Life is precious and we have the potential to be a loving couple together.
    Ground rules need to be set for the both of us…Something needs to change for this to continue. It is not a loving, healthy marriage today…and for this marriage to survive – it needs to be one.

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  52. I have been married to a functioning alcholic for over 14 years now and I am about at my wits end and trying to find a way to have the courage to leave and live my life. What started with beer, then progressed to (boxes of) wine, progressed to Vodka quickly within the first two years of marriage. He has progressed to between a half liter and liter a day and must always travel with it or by it at his destination. There is not a single day that is not corrupted by his daily drinking. It is like a silent killer. You have the Jeckell and Hyde affect, but mostly you have the silence and loneliness. I always told myself that if he was every physically abusive I would leave in a heartbeat, but yet I stayed all these years for what would be described as verbally abusive and controllling. I know realize that there have been many physical impacts, they just happened so slowly you tend not to notice, the depression, the weight gain from stress and stress eating, the subsequent other disorder (high blood pressure, for example). I am trying to get my courage up to attend Al-Anon, and I am thinking of seeing a therapist...somehow I need to learn to truly love myself and set myself free. About 6 years ago, I threatened to leave and he quit for about 3 months..it was nice to have my "sober" husband back and actually have a conversation with him, but because I couldn't just brush aside all the hurt and anger the moment he stopped and become a daily sexually attentive wife, he just bluntly said one day, "I'm doing to get drunk today, it's just not worth it"...and so it began again and I still wonder why I stayed, even though he in essence said he was chosing vodka over me and I wasn't worth it. It's like a lot of these blogs, he is a good guy, most would not know of his serious problem, and there are no real tangible effects to his drinking, other than his health, my health and our sad relationship. Our close friends know about it, how could they not, he would pass out while we had dinner guests...they just stopped coming and we no longer are invited...so the isolation has been compounded. I am turning 45 in a few weeks and I don't want to live the next 30-40 years (hopefully) like this. I am always asked that if he didn't drink, would you stay. At this point, I think the damage is done and I need to just move on. Like others, thanks for the blog and the avenue to vent...sometimes that's all it takes to make it through another day, just to be heard, even if you are talking to a great big void called the internet.

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  53. My husband drinks everyday and admits he is an alcoholic. Lately though a couple of time of times when he is playing with our daughter he will say " your uncle loves you" it is like he really believes he is her uncle and not her father, is this normal for an alcholic or is it a sighn of liver failier

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  54. I've tried to figure out how to explain my story without writing a long book, but I can't. I do have one question after reading all of these replies. Have any of your spouses TRULY changed? And if they did, I'm assuming they had to give up alcohol -- did you still love them after? I love my husband more than anything in the world -- hate the drunk husband, but fear if he was to actually achieve success of control then I might not love that person either. And will they be able to love themselves after? KWIM? It's almost like you either HAVE to live with the person they are or leave. Either way there doesn't seem to be a great choice. Sure, eventually after you leave you will be happy, but every decision I've made in life has left a scar on my heart. I'm not sure I can bare a scar that huge. I already have a few, one more I just don't think I can handle. It makes my heart ache to think that because of this disease I will have to live with another decision that didn't turn out to be a good one in the end -- whether it's my fault or not.

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  55. like so many others i am sooooooooooo thankful to know i am not alone!!!!!! It makes me feel a little more normal! my husband is a successful biz owner; tells people he drinks says if you don't like it your not his friend. Never cheated on me, drinks at home so no DUI etc. but you all know my pain i don't even have to share it.This is all my 2 teen boys know, I fear for their safety should I leave because we never know when jkyle and hyde will show. so i stay. i pray. i try to ignore him when i can

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  56. I suppose In a way, I'm slightly different. Im dating a 30 year old woman, i'm 21. We've been together two years and she completely owns my heart. However she is a very high functioning alcoholic. She's beaten me, abused me once and attempted to another. Even after all this I've chosen to stay because I do love her. But I just don't know how to understand.

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  57. My husband was not an alcoholic when we married. In fact, 12 years ago, I drank more often than he did. However, for the past seven years, my husband has been a functioning alcoholic. He is not violent, well-educated and is an excellent father. Until I discovered this blog, I blamed myself for his drinking. In many ways, I still do. Eight years ago, we relocated for my job. We lived in a place with horrible weather and we had no family or friends nearby. I knew he was drinking excessivley, but I could not find anything other than the occasional wine bottle. I was the breadwinner in the family and had to focus on work, but worried every day for my son's safety. I discovered the true depth of the drinking when I found that he had maxed out a credit card at a local liquor store, and had also drained our son's savings account. We soon relocated again and, on that long drive to another state, I decided to confront him with what I knew. He admitted that he had been hiding vodka in the garage for two years and I pleaded with him to get help. He declined rehab and swore that he would stop drinking. For about two years, he did. We did not keep any alcohol in the house and even had another child. He began drinking casually about two years ago. We relocated again last month. He quit his job and again suppported me through yet another step in my career. Moving is stressful and we are again in a position of having no family or friends nearby. I was cleaning up glasses this morning and found one that smelled like vodka. I asked him, point-blank, where he was hiding his vodka these days. I told him that there is a name for people who hide alcohol and drink alone, and then I left for work. I am devastated. I am the sole earner in my household and, while my husband is an excellent father, I am terrified that he is alone with our small children when I work at night or travel. What if one of them needs to go to the ER? How will they get there? I can't help but wonder, "Have all the sacrifices he has made for MY career led to his alcoholism?" I am a very successful, strong woman and I can't believe I am staying in this relationship. I have no idea what my next move will be, but I am thankful for a forum such as this.

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    1. I feel like im in a similar situation, thank you for posting. Im currently trying to detach myself from his drinking habit but i need advice about if i communicate this with him. Just because he's in denial surely i dont have to be? Do u just come straight out with it?
      Thanks

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    2. You aren't alone. I'm the breadwinner in my family and we moved to AK several years ago for my job. My husband's drinking was always bad but has gotten substantially worse since the move. I blamed myself, justified his drinking as a "man" thing and deal with the verbal abuse. Last night was the worst so far...he was still drinking at 630 this morning and too drunk to drive at 3 this afternoon. I'm just realizing after reading all these posts its not going to get better

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  58. So happy to hear I'm not alone, but sad too in that it means there are no real answers out there...I found this while looking for AA or something on how to deal with him. Sorry, I have so much jumbled in my heart and mind right now, but thank you for being here, Maybe soon I'll be able to see things in perspective and share too. I moved to my husband's small town(military) 10 years ago, work from home(daycare), and have no friends. Just family, but I won't tell them.

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  59. Where are all of you! Im sitting in my bed sobbing over these posts. None of my friends or family have any clue what it is like to live with an alcoholic. I go to alanon as well (I should go more) but I struggle with finding a connection sometimes with some of the people. I just wish I could escape my life most days. I have no where to go no $$ and 2 little boys. I used to wish for him to get better now I try not to care. Anyway thanks for this blog makes me feel a tiny bit. Better

    Denise in Milwaukee

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  60. I can't tell you all how relieved I am to have found others in my situation. I need some help here because all other sites etc just talk about people that drink all the time, my fiancé doesn’t drink all the time, it’s his relationship with it that is worrying. So my story.. I'm 29, engaged and have been with my fiancé for 6 years. We both have really good jobs, have bought a house together, get on famously, pretty healthy, on the outside appear to have everything together. We're English, living in the UK and I think the UK culture along with the fact that we've effectively grown up together in our twenties where we went out a lot, got drunk together, went on girls/boys holidays etc, I think they hid the issues as there was always an 'explanation' for his behaviour. In the early days I pretty much broke up with him on a regular basis as I didn't like how we was behaving. We got back together obviously, I spent more time with his family etc and soon realised his mum is a high functioning alcoholic and we both said when we move out we don’t want alcohol around the house etc as it brings bad habits.
    2 years ago we moved out together. To keep it short, we regularly argue about his alcohol habits, there is alcohol around the house, he drinks too much when he does, has the inability to stop, is practically desperate to drink before he goes to the pub, has drunk drove, loves to start a row when he's had a drink, drinks to relax, has never got violent but aggressive, he's lied to me about how much he's had, I found a bottle of wine in his wardrobe, I'm pretty sure I caught him swigging wine from the bottle at my mums house- Obviously his responses range from- denial, blaming me, apologising, realising his problem to denying he has a problem, that I'm paranoid and he doesn't deserve this and he's a normal bloke in his twenties.
    The truth is I am paranoid, because of things that have happened between us, I am anxious and paranoid when he drinks, there is truth there. I also resent his mum as I feel that he's got habits from her. I've tried to explain a million times how it affects us, but he does not see my side. It affects us because I fear for how it will end up, because we row due to the fact he gets super sensitive then defensive then aggressive and picks for a row, he then falls asleep, obviously we don’t have sex, then the aftermath of a hangover, the money it costs, it makes him anxious so then he has to drink when he goes out for confidence, he has a lack of motivation, I could go on and on...

    The flip side is that this is genuinely the only problem in our relationship, he's the most caring, loving, generous person, he treats me like a princess, is really romantic, really thoughtful, really funny, he's just great. He's asked me to marry him and I didn't have a doubt in my mind that I wanted to say yes. I love him, I want to be with him, but I'm struggling with thinking have I bitten off more than I can chew. There is no safe bet for the future, but am I going to end up divorced with children- don’t answer that, that may be a possibility I don’t want to think about.

    My questions are in summary if anyone can help-
    How do I just get over obsessing about his habit?
    Is there really nothing I can do to help him?
    Will I stop feeling lonely, I feel I cant talk to anyone as I'm so embarrassed?
    How do I detach myself from his alcoholic side without detaching from him?

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  61. I just spent over an hour reading every post on this blog. I feel relieved to know that my thoughts, feelings, and frustrations are not unique to me, but that all of you understand them completely. I have been married to a highly functioning alcoholic for 6 years. He and I are both pharmacists, both with successful full-time careers. Both of us have studied addiction in pharmacy school, and currently fill prescriptions for patients struggling with addictions. His own addiction and his denial about it have both gotten progressively worse. He has 3 children from 2 previous marriages. I think I now understand why he's been married so many times. His love for bourbon always wins out in the end. I was too naïve and lovestruck to understand this when I married him, I think. I am thankful that I do not have any children with him, and I do not plan to. I love him with all my heart, and I fight a daily internal battle having to flip my mental switch between loving the sober husband deeply and abhorring the drunken one. I come from a family of teetotaler parents, who are still married after 36 years. I was never exposed to drinkers until college. Now I have seen much more of alcohol abuse than I could have ever imagined. He is not physically abusive, but can be very emotionally and verbally abusive. His temper is ridiculous, going from zero to raging bull in 2 seconds flat, and I can't always predict when it will flare. The most disheartening thing about this blog is that most of you say that it doesn't get better, it only gets worse, and I'll eventually get to a breaking point and leave. What a bleak outlook. I haven't discussed any of this with family or friends, because his drunkenness is so embarrassing to me. I'm sure they've all picked up on it and just don't know what advice to give me, or they do, but they don't want to upset me. I believe in the power of prayer, and at this point, I don't know what other tools I should use.

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    1. You are not alone and I can relate and empathize to your situation. My husband is similar in his alcoholism to most of these posts in some aspect or another. His temper is horrid when he is drinking and not that much better when he's between drinks. I too am a faithful person and believe in the power of prayer. I have prayed for peace, strength and resolve. I have also prayed for him to stop drinking and his soul. I've come to realize that like I can't make him stop, He has to want to and he doesn't. It's taken me over eight years but I can to look out for me and my son.

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  62. I knew it was a BIG mistake the night of our wedding! I didn't acknowledge this to myself for years but that is the truth. I was young and didn't know much about alcoholism then. What I did know was I had married the most incredibly selfish man! A man who cared or thought nothing about consummating this marriage on their wedding night. A man whom I dated for six years prior to marriage, got engaged, and then became pregnant and therefore could not drink at the reception. I thought it went without my having to say getting drunk on our wedding night is unacceptable. How wrong was I! He was piss drunk that night and passed out. Over 20 years later I can still remember laying there crying that night, grieving for what was supposed to have been such a special night. I pushed those painful thoughts away for years because I didn't want to admit it to myself, but that resentment eats away at you. It disgusts me that he could be so bloody selfish that night. I still feel cheated out of what should have been. Really what should have been with someone else not him. When the paychecks began to dry up my overall tolerance for him did too. I am such a stupid woman. I should have left that first year. I was out of town our first anniversary. Doesn't that say it all!

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    1. Oh my God! This is my exact story!
      i often think ee should never have married and that his attitude towards my eldedt was a reflection of his anger at having been trapped into marriage.
      i am grappling with my options right now. he can't stay sober, won't admit he has a problem, and I am miserable. I survived cancer, but the stress of the situation may just bring it all back. I don't want the ladt years of my life to be lived with regret.

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  63. While I read all of your comments I am shedding some tears, because until now I have always hoped that my marriage could have a happy ending. My husband is a functional alcoholic who has recently decided to "cut back". Since he travels a lot for work and is only home on weekends it worked really well for 2 months, he didn't drink in front of me, and didn't seem under the influence. He told me he only has about 2 drinks a week when out of town. Yesterday I went to the movies with my girlfriends and when I got home I found my 8 year old asleep in bed with his clothes on, and my snoring husband stank like a bottle of wine , which I found empty in the dining room. I left it there and this morning it was gone, he hid it. My son told me that daddy had fallen asleep, and he just went to sleep when he felt really tired, after watching TV for hours. Where has all the trust gone? I could always trust him, earlier on in our life, now he passes out when he is supposed to there for our young child. I am so sad, and there is nobody to talk to. I think I need to look for a support group. Did a support group help any of you? I just don't seem to be able to talk to my friends about this.

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  64. Thank you for your post. I’m sorry for the situation you find yourself in but appreciate the sacrifice you made to share your story, it has truly helped me.
    I too am married to a high-functioning alcoholic. Married for almost 9 years, we have no children together but we raise my son from a previous marriage. My husband has always drunk on a regular basis-after work or on the weekends- normal by society’s standards. Over the last several years, the drinking has increased. Dramatic changes in his drinking occurred when he left the Army. No longer was there a requirement to be sober during the week. We moved to another state for my job and began spending time with our neighbors who provided additional opportunities and excuses to drink.
    There have been multiple fights, arguments and negotiations about his drinking. Promises to quit, promises to quit hard liquor, promises to limit the number of drinks a day – all broken. He does not believe he has a problem and thus every argument is my fault and every tear I shed self-induced. I can almost see his point – he has never missed a day of work because of his drinking. He has never been fired from a job, received a ticket or even been pulled over. Truly the only impact, other than personal/relationship is when he couldn’t come to my aid when I had an accident because he had been drinking; he had to have a neighbor drive him to the hospital.
    His job provides opportunities for extended drinking. He works 7 days on, 7 days off. Truly the 7 days off I dread. The size of the bottle continues to get bigger. The time of day the drinks began gets earlier. The bottle empties early. If he finishes his bottle and wants more, the arguments escalate. His drink of choice is Vodka – 8-10oz of vodka per 12oz of soda. He readily admits he drinks for the buzz, not because he likes the taste. He also admits he has to increase his consumption to get the same feeling but yet he doesn’t see he has a problem. Today was the final straw for me.
    He had finished working at 6am Thursday morning and after less than 5 hours of sleep; he went to the store to purchase his bottle. By the time arrived home at 430, he was several drinks into it. I turned in early looking forward to having him to sleep next to for the first night in a week but he never came to bed. Throughout the night I would wake up to find he wasn’t there. At 630 the next morning, I found him on the couch drunker than I’ve seen him in a while. His words were incoherent and he found my frustration and anger amusing and chuckled when I yelled; his bottle was 2/3rds gone. After throwing the bottle at him (it is plastic) I told him I was done. I wanted a divorce.
    Even now I know what will happen when we speak. He will say he was just tired and use that as the reason he found everything funny, why his eyes were glazed, why he couldn’t say a word without slurring it. I will try to talk to him about his family of alcoholism, how he drinks to avoid dealing with the pain of not having contact with his children (their choice) or how angry he still is about what his ex-wife did so many years ago. I will try to talk to him about the affect his drinking has on our marriage and family, urge him again to seek help, show him articles about alcoholism, discuss PTSD and his diagnoses of depression. All will fail. And once again I will be faced with the decision I’ve faced too many times already. Stay because I love him or leave because I know my son and I deserve better. I can’t help him and he won’t help himself. I’m lost, numb and out of tears.

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  65. I resonate with all those feelings. I love my husband but have finally come to realise that he only loves alcohol and his single functioning alcoholic friends. He has been out till after midnight for the last 7 days. Having returned home drunk at 1am this morning he has just got up at 6am to go for breakfast with his friends at a motorway cafe!! He tells me he drinks because I am boring and that when he did give up for 3 months it made no difference. He told me he has given up and that he knows he is going to die young. He won't stop and he won't move out because he says it is his house as he pays the mortgage. My 12 year old son has to see his dad being drunk everyday. I know that I need to get out but I am so scared and he has convinced me that it is all my fault because I don't drink and so am not normal. I feel constantly lonely lost and numb.

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  66. So, what if the 'respectable wife' is a secret, functioning alcoholic? I hate myself. It's a sunny afternoon. I should be in the park playing with my 5 year old but I'm drinking beer in my upstairs bedroom, while my daughter watches tv downstairs. I'm ashamed, I'm scared, I've done some stupid things, but I'm also in denial. I don't know what to do.

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  67. My husband is also an alcoholic and I'm so glad to have found this post. He drinks daily, not usually enough to pass out, but usually a couple of beers followed by anything up to most of a bottle of spirits, or maybe a bottle and a half of wine. If he's in a good mood, he just becomes a happy drunk, but if he's in a miserable or bad mood, then he becomes mean, verbally abusive to me and I'm always nervous waiting for the next outburst from him. You never know which you are going to get. He's been drinking daily for 35 years. I knew he was a drinker when I met him (we've been married 5 years), but didn't realise how bad it was until recently. He says he drinks because he enjoys it, to help with his aches and pains and says he will never stop. If the doctor told him to stop drinking, he says he wouldn't even if he was told he only had 2 years to live if he didn't quit. He doesn't drink much when he is out, only at home. So our friends don't realise the problem. I can't say exactly what the problem with his drinking is, he's not physically violent, he works fully time and is good with the kids before he has had too much to drink (aged 14 and 17). I'm scared for him, for his health, and I'm scared for me - when he starts drinking, and I can see it is going to be a heavy night, I'm not relaxed, I'm worried all evening whether he is going to react badly to anything, of how he's going to be. Should I just stay out of the way and let him get on with it? I go out with friends 2 nights a week, and I stay out as late as I can so I know he will be asleep/passed out before I come home. I'm not happy, I love him, or the sober him, but I don't know what to do. JP

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  68. I have been married to a high-functioning alcoholic husband for 41 years. The past 20 years have been the most difficult for me, so it seems the problem is mine. My husband is very controlled about his drinking. He drinks only on weekends, so not every day. He waits until 4pm to start and paces himself. He does not appear to be drunk to the untrained eye, although I have learned to see it in his eyes. He does not drive, he does not go out, he pays the bills, makes a good living, is never off work from the effects of drinking. He is not an angry drunk, he just gets stupid and annoying to every one around him. He has deteriorated physically, he is overweight, has arthritis and back trouble. There are minor mental changes, too, but overall his health has not suffered as much as one would expect. The experts keep saying heavy drinking is inherently damaging, but my husband seems to be getting away with it. So, maybe the problem is mine. I don't know. I know I'm depressed about it but have to ask myself what I have to complain about.I am not attracted to him at all anymore, but after 41 years ending the relationship is virtually impossible. I would like him to be more engaged with me, but he just turns into a blob on the recliner. I sympathize with those who express loneliness and feeling numb to the whole thing.

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  69. I have been with a wonderful man for the past four years. We recently got engaged and blended our beautiful families together. We bought a house , planned the wedding, and life seemed perfect...until I found a stash of hard liquor in our basement. He admitted he has a problem, and is trying to stop. I'm so taken by surprise, hurt by the lying that he wasn't drunk when I suspected he was, and scared for my future. My first marriage was full of lies and abuse, and though I have been treated like a princess by this man....fear a future that is destined to doom. What do I do?

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  70. I have bbeen married to the man i thought god put on earth just for me for 1.5 years. I knew he drank but he was the fun drinker and would stop for periods or only drink 1-2 beers and stop. I nrber considered him an alcoholic. Life was a fairy tail until i had to travel for work about a year ago..since then he hhas turned in to a verbaly abisive monster when he drinks. I sit here on my daughters couch wgere i have slept the last 2 nights contimplating what to do next. Do i go back and continue to be his emotional punching bag or leave and prove to him all women are horrid whores who use him for his money and leave...so to answer your question RUN it will hurt and you will question your chouce but no one diserves this life...take the pain now and go !

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  71. Well, I'm married to the female version of this! My road has just begun.

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  72. I am a functioning alcoholic my father died from liver disease I have the gene I love wine and one glass sets me off my husband puts up with it I wish he would tell me to stop it may work until he does I probably will just keep drinking

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  73. Alcoholism is NOT a disease. It is due to greed, a lack of self control and our modern expectation to feel good NOW. Secret / excess drinking shows a lack of consideration for their families and often a lack of things to satisfy.
    Advice: get while you can!

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  74. I have found this blog so helpful, thankyou to people who have shared their stories.
    I got the courage to talk to my husband in January about how we clearly aren't making each other happy. If we were surely he wouldn't have stayed out all night on a drinking binge and apparently slept in his car. I thought about calling the police, when he didn't come home but frankly was so used to his behaviour I thought it more likely he had passed out than anything. Made me realise what a bloody mug I am though. What normal person would think that was ok?
    Separating is proving pretty painful, I do actually really love and miss the old him. Its a slow process for us.
    He still can't accept that he is an alcoholic, but i count it as progress when he says 'i need to sort myself out'. He's still drinking though, a lot. I look at his physical deterioration and think, 'i hope its not too late to reverse the damage he must be doing to himself'
    My mother says i 'faciliate' his behaviour, but i don't see what i can do / should have done differently. If any contributors have thoughts on this i would be interested in hearing them.

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  75. As I sit here with my throat in my stomach, I know I am not alone. I married my husband at 18 years old; we are now 37, and have 4 children. People don't understand why I get upset when he starts drinking. All they see is some happy go lucky guy, who had a few. Well he has gone through two bottles of vodka, and one very large bottle of wine since Monday, and it's only Wednesday. Today was hard. He was mad at our son and usually when he drinks wine he is hot tempered anyway, but I told him I didn't want to have a conversation with him that he wouldn't remember tomorrow. He blew up at all of us. I told the kids to stay away from him. It was the usual "F" all of you, all you all are, are lazy pieces of "S**t". blah blah blah, we are used to hearing all the nasty slander. I was going to go to the store with my 17 year old son, when he threw a hand full of bowls at my kitchen window and busted the entire thing. My reaction was disgusting. I shrugged my shoulders and got in the car and left. I am so numb. I do love him and I do feel sorry for him. Sometimes I wonder "when is it", when is the day going to come that I pack my bags and walk out the door and not return? My kids keep asking if I'm going to leave him, and I usually say "Someday I will". They are all teenagers, and have not gone without suffering in some way from their dad's drinking. They have gotten really good at disappearing when the fighting starts. However, most nights are very calm. We wait until the alcohol does it's job and he is snoring. Then we laugh about him, and go on about our lives as if he didn't exist. He is a great provider, and is sober until the moment he walks in the front door from work. His usual is Vodka. He has a 32oz glass that he pours half vodka and half what ever is available. I am a nurse, I know what is happening to his body, and I can see it. I feel guilty for having thoughts of leaving him, and talking casually about his untimely death that is to come. But at the same time, I think talking about him as if he has cancer or some fatal disease is much easier to convince myself to stay a little longer. I do feel better even just being able to type my feelings thank you Anonymous. I am sorry all of you have to feel the pain that I feel. God bless everyone of you, and I hope the very best for you.

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    1. I too, wonder how it can be that my husband can drink 4, 5, 6, even 8 bottles of beer a night, smoke pot, and take various medications and still have good health??? His lab profiles from the doctor always come back fine. When does his body finally say, "enough" after years of doing this???? Will it be before I have enough courage to say it myself????

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  76. i have been with my husband for over 20 yrs and hadn't realized how bad things were until I got cancer. Now that I am in recovery, he is still drinking sporadically and is such a different person that I don't know what to do anymore.
    he won't address it, blames eveyone else, and is horrible to our 20 yr old daughter who suffers from Aspergers ( I often believe it is because she is so like him - but he is destroying her with his negative sporadic behavior).
    i am so alone and have no family or friends (we live thousands of miles away from my family and I have no close friends).
    i'm afraid to stay and I am afraid to leave. I'm so trapped. Advice?

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  77. Reading the comments I did a double take and thought "did I write that?" - very comforting
    (though sad too) to know it's not in my head and not a unique situation. I could probably
    write 7 pages describing what I've been through and observed. Married 22 yrs to a functional alcoholic who will never admit there is a problem, does not participate actively in family life or with the kids at all, is hardly ever home, feels it's his right to drink every single day after work (cuz he works & deserves it) and most of the wknd., does not want me to participate in anything either (I stopped complying with that expectation yrs ago) blames me whenever I complain abt him not being home, is well regarded by his "buddies" who praise him relentlessly for what a great guy he is (while he is there half the night drinking with them & his family is at home waiting for any scrap of his time that may be leftover before he goes back out of town for work) I too thought there was a mental illness responsible but never found anything that fit. In hindsight I feel being a single parent would have been less stressful for me and more beneficial to our 4 kids. There is no way I can rectify that now and I'm kind of in limbo wondering what is the best course of action (or inaction) I cannot get a dad retroactively for my kids or a husband for myself so now I have to try to predict the future and weigh the different possible outcomes, which is an impossible thing. Kudos to us all for at least realizing the problem & Good luck to everyone :)

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