separation due to husbands alcoholism

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2007
separation due to husbands alcoholism
Mon, 08-20-2007 - 8:44am
Hi there,
I am writing this post because I am going through a really hard time and it is nice to hear about other peoples stories that I could relate to. I am hoping if I post I could hear some more stories and get some information.
I am married to a wonderful charismatic man who has a drinking problem. We have 2 children a 4 year old and a 1 year old. I never really notice his problem till I became pregnant with our first child and it was a rude awakening that my husband could not be any support for me because he was always going out with his friends drinking. My husband doesn't have a problem where he is hiding it or waking up in the morning and drinking so it was sort of hard for me to refer to him as alcoholic till now. He doesn't drink everyday, but when he drinks he can't stop. There have been so many nights when my husband sits in our living room listening to music and stareing at the walls because he would rather drink till he passes out then go to sleep. My husband will find every excuse he can to meet one of his friends at the local bars. If I don't get a babysitter on the weekend I can just assume at some point in the night he is going to tell me he has to go meet someone at the bar. When I was pregnant with our second child he was out all the time till 3 or 4 am and I would just lie in bed and cry. When I had our second child it was on a friday so my husband was never at the hospital with me, he was out with friends both nights and and recovering during the day. months after I had the baby we tried to go out to one of our favorite bars when he let me know he wasn't allowed back in because he and his friends got kicked out while I was in the hospital and our first child was with my mother. It has been the craziest life when he tells me he is going to do an errand anytime after 7 I always have to worry about when he will really be home, because there is always someone he has to meet for a drink. This has been going on for so long. My final breaking point was last thursday. I was in bed very sick and my husband was out picking up take out (at a place that is walking distance from our house and has a bar) He was gone for 2 hours while I had to deal with my kids. Then the following night he went to one of our couple friends houses and passed out so he never made it home. The wife of the couple is my good friend so she called me to tell me, if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have known where my husband was all night. It is all just so hurtful, I spend too many nights laying in bed crying wondering where my husband is. We had a family vacation planned to leave yesterday sunday and I backed out. I have had enough. I did not go and also told him I want to seperate. He then just went nuts telling me it is all my fault because I don't do anything. And I am breaking up my family and it is my fault because of my incompetence.. which just doesn't make sense. Anyway, in his eyes he thinks it is all my fault. I have decided that I have to do this now before the kids are even older because it is only getting worse. I love my husband so much and he is a wonderful dad and a very loving husband when he is in his right mind but right now with this problem it just isn't working. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I think I have to. I am hoping that he will decide to stop drinking and if that is the case I will support him however I can. Anyway, I read in a couple of post people saying that there spouses or family members blamed them, is this a normal reaction. Is anyone else going through a similiar situation. I am having such a hard time right now, part of me wants to just forget it and live with this because I don't want to break up my family. Although I know I have to do this! I would love to hear your stories. Sorry this is so long! :-)

Lilypie Baby Ticker


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
Sat, 08-25-2007 - 12:10pm

Hello, I am from the Dealing with Addictions Board, and I too, could write your story. I left my husband when my girls were 3.5 and 8mo. They are now 6 and 3. I remember everythingthat you described. I even left him twice before, but was always second guessing my decision. I was very fear based. I could not trust him to make good judgements around their care as he was always sleeping on the couch and controlling all of us with his moods. I spent so much time tip toeing aroundthe house out of fear of waking him up. I took a job working overnight sleep shift in a grouphome so that i could spend my days with the kids and we wouldn't have daycare expenses. I can't count the # of times that at 10pm when he wasn't home I'd have to pack up my girls and make a 30min trek to my mom's, drop them off, drive to another town so that I could make it to work by 11pm. Keep in mind we live in a Northern city and many times it was subzero temps. and 12" of Of course he'd apologize in the a.m, and promise never to do it again. He lost several jobs due to his anger and absences, and currently is on "stress leave" for the 2nd time this year.

I have to say though that my decision to leave was based on the fact that I did not respect him any more. When the respect was gone, there was nothing to stick around for. My life now, and that of my girls is so much calmer. I was so worried about what it would do to them.. not having us both around.. but really, his relationship with them is HIS business, and there is nothing I can do to ensure that he is the father that he needs to be. Sometimes he sees them twice a week, sometimes every two weeks.. it hurts me that he is not committed to them, but then again, his needs always came first and that has not changed.

My girls are well. They are in a good community.. my mom and my sister both live inthe same town. They have a mom who is calmer and more in tune with their needs. Yes, things are hard in many ways. I am their ONLY parent right now, and it is all on me. but I would NEVER return to that relationship.. not for anything.

I am learning not to bail him out. He still calls me with his victim stories, and frankly, I don't even listen anymore. He still wants me to take care of him and suggest ways for his life to be easier.

Anyhow, I have been where you are now. I read somewhere that a person may have up to 7 attempts before they actually do make a decision to leave. So even if you decide not to this time, I think that you might want to start a plan of action.. Start saving some money in a separate account, look for good daycare, and a support system.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2007
Sat, 08-25-2007 - 3:45pm


FWIW, here's what has happened in my situation. I finally gave DH an ultimatum at the end of June - fix your drinking problem or find somewhere else to live. He said that his choice was to fix it. He didn't. I found "proof" on August 2nd and asked him to leave that night. He left. He was only out of the house for about a week, and we remained in contact throughout that time. I let him move back in because he enrolled in an outpatient rehab program, which proved to me that he is serious about attempting to achieve sobriety. I debated whether or not to let him come home. I felt like it looked like a softening of my stance. But ultimately it seemed petty and punitive to make him sleep somewhere else. I love him and am proud of the steps he is taking to help himself. He is a very devoted "family man", and I think his recovery stands a better chance if he is still allowed to be a part of the family.