Trouble in Paradise
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Husband/drinking/can't forgive?

I don't post on here much anymore, but I lurk often. My H and I will be married ten years this summer. We have two children. We got married young and my H has been an excessive drinker from the beginning. Like we so often hear, I thought he'd grow out of his partying ways. He has come a long way and I guess that's why I'm really struggling. I've come close to leaving him many times, but he always shapes up.  He hasn't ever completely quit drinking and I know that's where I've made my mistake. I should have insisted on that. 

H has always been a big kid. His parents never held him accountable for anything. He had a DUI and car accident at 18 and they literally and figuratively bailed him out time and time again. We met in college and he was kind and funny and aside from liking to party, everything was pretty good. I was struggling with severe anxiety and put up with a lot more than I should have. We got married right after college. We had DS soon after. Getting emotional and physical support from H was always a struggle, but he would make improvements in baby steps. When I had DD, I had severe post partum depression. H would leave me for weekends at a time with two young children and a raging anxiety/depression problem. It was the most awful time of my life. He didn't want to hear it and let me struggle. My mother got me through that tough time and with the help of medication, I recovered. H finally "woke up" a year ago and started helping more around the house, drinking a bit less, and being supportive. The one thing he can't seem to move past is the drinking. While he drinks much MUCH less, he still has anywhere from 2-8 drinks a night (most nights) and will drive, on occasion, intoxicated. 

I'm tired of holding this family together. Even with his strides to better himself, I feel like I've shut down. Ever since the PPD issue, I haven't been able to fully forgive him and every time he drinks too much or drives after drinking, I sink a little lower.I feel like I'm finally strong enough mentally and confident in myself to see that I don't deserve someone that spent most of our marriage half-assing things. It hasn't all been bad. He's a good guy and he's loved by many people because of this. However, they don't have to be married to him. I hate the idea of splitting our family up because he's worked so hard and come so far, but part of me is afraid that I still won't forgive him even if he does completely stop his drinking. 

I think I know the answer to me "what should I do?" question, but does anybody have any advice or thoughts? I can get over the guilt and the fear of breaking up our family, but as my children grow, I know that the alternative (him crashing his car or worse) isn't great either.  Thanks for reading and listening. It's obviously hard to put the WHOLE story down so if I've missed anything I'm happy to answer any questions. Thanks.
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Re: Husband/drinking/can't forgive?

  • I'm so sorry.  What a terrible thing to go through.  I had bad PPD after my third child, but my husband was there for me the entire time.

    The best advice I can give is to to seek out a counselor that specializes in these type of issues.  I would also get plugged into a local AA chapter as they are there to help families too.

    My best friend is married to a man who was a former alcoholic.  He has been sober for 7 years now but for him, he has to completely abstain from alcohol.  He also had to hit rock bottom.  One night he was drunk at a bar and got into a fist fight.  The other man hit him so hard that he came very, very close to losing his sight in one eye.  That was when he knew he had to do something.  He met with a counselor at a local church and started a program ( don't really know if it was AA but it was similar at least).  A few years later he met my friend and they are both thriving.  He has a job he enjoys and they just bought a house.  But again, that means he has to completely abstain.  I'm talking they don't even cook with alcohol.  He also had to stop for himself and no one else.
  • You have taught your H that all his behaviors are OK. You have shown him that his behaviors are ok because you will carry the burdeon of the family on your shoulders, that cutting back on  drinking is good enough and that a part time h and father is ok.
    If you want this marriage to work you have to set quidelines and he has to follow through on them...AA and marriage counseling or you are gone. BUT do not make a threat you arent going to follow through on.


  • edited January 2016
    I don't post on here much anymore, but I lurk often. My H and I will be married ten years this summer. We have two children. We got married young and my H has been an excessive drinker from the beginning.

    Nobody grows out of excessive drinking. I do not know if he is an alcoholic  -- I am responding as I read your post -- but I can say for sure so far he has a big problem with alcohol.

    Like we so often hear, I thought he'd grow out of his partying ways. He has come a long way and I guess that's why I'm really struggling. I've come close to leaving him many times, but he always shapes up.  He hasn't ever completely quit drinking and I know that's where I've made my mistake. I should have insisted on that. 

    The only way he is going to shape up is if he stops drinking with either AA's help or that of a drug and alcohol counselor. Cutting out alcohol cold turkey "on his own" doesn't count -- AA calls a person of this 'status" a dry drunk,.

    AlAnon for you, asap.


    H has always been a big kid. His parents never held him accountable for anything. He had a DUI and car accident at 18 and they literally and figuratively bailed him out time and time again.

    This has been going on since high school then. So he has been drinking since 14 or 15, then? Very bad.  and if he is 33 now that is nearly 20 years of his life spent drinking and wasting his life and endangering others.

    And 14 years of ruining YOUR life.

    And about 10 years of making his child's life not so great, thanks to Daddy's boozing it up.

    I advise you to leave him NOW, based on what you just said.

    Alcohol trouble is a dealbreaker. "Forsaking all others" also includes abusing alcohol.


    We met in college and he was kind and funny and aside from liking to party, everything was pretty good. I was struggling with severe anxiety and put up with a lot more than I should have. We got married right after college.

    We had DS soon after. Getting emotional and physical support from H was always a struggle, but he would make improvements in baby steps.

    When I had DD, I had severe post partum depression. H would leave me for weekends at a time with two young children and a raging anxiety/depression problem. It was the most awful time of my life.

    And he is undependable, too?????

    He was either off on a bender or maybe shacked up with somebody else.  Or perhaps both.

     Why did you even permit him to come home after he did this to you the first time???

    He didn't want to hear it and let me struggle. My mother got me through that tough time and with the help of medication, I recovered.

    H finally "woke up" a year ago and started helping more around the house, drinking a bit less, and being supportive.

    Sorry but you're wrong. He did not "wake up." He is the same asshole he was since you met him...no, wait -- he is a bigger asshole now.

    The one thing he can't seem to move past is the drinking. While he drinks much MUCH less, he still has anywhere from 2-8 drinks a night (most nights) and will drive, on occasion, intoxicated. 

    And you are some kind of nut for living with the fact that he drinks and drives. By virtue of the fact you know he's out there doing that, you have given him the permission to do it.

    I'm tired of holding this family together. Even with his strides to better himself, I feel like I've shut down.

    You lost me: he's a drunken bum. HOW is he "Bettering himself"??? He hasn't gone to AA and he hasn't gotten sober!


    Ever since the PPD issue, I haven't been able to fully forgive him and every time he drinks too much or drives after drinking, I sink a little lower.

    No, you don't sink at all. Because if you really did feel this way, you'd have booted his drunken ass years ago.

    I feel like I'm finally strong enough mentally and confident in myself to see that I don't deserve someone that spent most of our marriage half-assing things.


    It hasn't all been bad. He's a good guy and he's loved by many people because of this.

    He isn't a good guy at all. Wow, have you set your standards low, sis.  And so have these people who what, "LOVE" him????? You lost me...you really did.

    However, they don't have to be married to him. I hate the idea of splitting our family up because he's worked so hard and come so far, but part of me is afraid that I still won't forgive him even if he does completely stop his drinking. 

    I think I know the answer to me "what should I do?" question, but does anybody have any advice or thoughts? I can get over the guilt and the fear of breaking up our family, but as my children grow, I know that the alternative (him crashing his car or worse) isn't great either.  Thanks for reading and listening. It's obviously hard to put the WHOLE story down so if I've missed anything I'm happy to answer any questions. Thanks.
    YOu need to do the following, and immediately:

    Get your finances in a row tomorrow. Get the PIN numbers of your atm cards changed and put your money in another account or a few, where he cannot access any of your money. Take your valuables -- any jewelry you have -- and lock it up in a safety deposit box.

    When that is finished and done:  Take the kids and leave.

    Do this when he is not home.

    Just you and the kids; leave everything else there. Fuck the clothes and the furniture and anything else. That can be replaced. Just GO.

    Take money and if you have to, sell your wedding ring and erring -- go to a hock shop -- and then go home to your mother and father. I am suggesting them because it is the most logical place for you to go: they cannot and will not turn you away.

    When you get to your parent's place, get an attorney and have the bum served. Divorce him---- he is poison to you and to the life of your kids.

    He is a drunken bum and undependable. You cannot trust him and you resent the hell out of him --- plus he is endangering the lives of everyone he crosses paths with because he is driving drunk.

    Get yourself counseling; it is a MUST. You married a drunk and you became an enabler, a codependent and a substitute mother for this asshole. This was never a marriage.

    I cannot figure out why you even bothered to date a drunk. Don't tell me "this is college and everyone drank..." Bullshit -- a drunk is a drunk. His parents have covered his ass since high school -- he has been a drunk since age 14 (to my estimation) and wow, maybe even longer than that,.

    And bless his little pointed head....he gifted his kids with an addictive personality, thanks to his drunkenness.  Your kids might become drunks like Daddy or they might have a gambling addiction, become very overweight, maybe a spending addiction or might develop an addiction of some other type. They can thank Dad for this.

    Do as I say.

    Ordinarily I'd have advised you to say "I love you but not your drinking. Call me when you are sober and clean with the help of AA and you've been so for a while and you can prove it" -- but this marriage is shot to hell.

    EVen if he's never touched a drop in his life, that he took off when you and he had a crisis -- your PPD --- shows me that he's no man at all: He is to stand by you in a time like that, not take off because he can't stand the heat that is in the kitchen.

    And his parents....aiyiyiyiyiyi...his parents ....I can imagine what visits are like with you and your spouse and the kiddoes.... these people are weak and demented. They failed as parents to your spouse. Grandparents are supposed to be people your kids can look up to and admire and hope to emulate; in this case, a big fat no.

    Do as I suggested. This is your only way to a future that has any security to it and any happiness. Your spouse effed up and effed up big time. Get rid of that piece of trash tomorrow.
  • edited January 2016
    Listen to what Disnegeek77 -- she is a regular here--- has to say about a man, courage and dependability --- I am sure she will not mind I cut and pasted a very recent commentary that is in another thread:

    I have shared my story here before.  My husband and I have been through a lot in our married life.  We have been through two job losses, a chronic disease, a miscarriage and the absolute worse; having to bury our first child when she was 4 months old.  She was born premature and with 3 heart defects, a defect in her trachea and a defect in her duodenum.  She spent her entire life in the hospital.  This is something I never ever imagined happening to me.  That is why I am forever grateful that I married a man with strong character.  He was by my side when I thought I was losing my mind to grief.  I remember my anxiety was so bad that I would throw up stomach bile every day and one time almost had a nervous breakdown over a swollen lymphnode.  Oh my, it was such a dark time. But through it all my husband was my stronghold.  We went on to have three healthy children and he is a fantastic father to them.  HE paints my oldest nails.  HE pretends to be Captain Hook when my son wants to play Peter Pan.  HE puts all three of them to bed because he knows I need a break.  He is a blessing to my life and I thank God I had the good sense to marry him.  That whole experience taught me how important character is when choosing a husband because you truly have no idea what life has in store for you.  So again ask yourself, if this is how your husband behaves when life is relatively easy,  will he be there for you when life gets really difficult ?

    You can see why it is impossible to include your spouse in your future and present life.

    And as somebody else said, marriage is a contract and a legal one. You have every right to nullify that contract legally if the other party has breeched it and you have a right to nullify the arrangement immediately.  There is no two ways about this.

    I am willing to bet that your H's parents are a couple of lushes themselves.  ANd I am sure that he has been a heavy drinker since before high school.  I can't even figure out how this guy got through high school, let alone college.

    And he was in an auto accident due to his drinking and he still did not get the message?????


  • I'm so thankful for the honest answers from everyone. I need the brutal honest truth. I've been in denial from the beginning. I know what I have to do. And I need to grow a pair and do it. I deserve someone like disnegeek77 describes in her post. I want to leave the kids with my husband and not have to worry about whether or not he'll drink too much. I want my kids to be around someone that loves spending time with them. And most importantly I don't want them to think it's to put up with someone that makes such bad choices.

    What's funny is that he will be completely shocked despite the conversations we've had. 
    [IMG]http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb286/dauger13/Decorated%20images/Dark_Side_of_the_Moon_by_megaman-2.png[/IMG]
    short+sassy
  • I'm glad you have such a good attitude about the blunt honesty.  

    Good luck and please do what you need to do to find a good counselor for yourself and get plugged into a local AA group.  

    Kudos to you for having the courage to seek out a better life for yourself and your children.  
  • Oh and I also wanted to say that if he is still drinking and driving ( beyond despicable) then he hasn't worked hard and he hasn't come far.  
  • I'm sorry you are going through this.  But it's not too late to take your life back and build a healthy environment for yourself and your children.

    I'll be honest, as I was reading your post and you were initially describing how he has cut way back on his drinking this year, I was picturing he still drinks a few drinks a couple times a week.  I was then floored when I read he drinks 2-8 drinks every night.  And that is cutting back?  Big yikes.  That is a substantial amount to drink.  For anybody (at least on an every day basis).  But especially for someone who already has a problem with alcohol.

    And, the sad thing is, you really can't even give him an ultimatum to "stop drinking or you're leaving".  He needs to come to that decision himself.  But he hasn't.  Despite the problems it has caused in your marriage.  Despite the leaving you abandoned when you needed him most.  Despite the many occasions when he could have easily left your children fatherless by driving home drunk.  Or, even worse, left somebody else's child fatherless or motherless.

    Definitely reach out to an Al-Anon chapter.  I wish you strength and all the best as you take this next difficult step.

  • I can imagine what his liver enzymes look like, thanks to all the alcohol --- he is way too young to be in a spot like that. Way too young.:(
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