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14 Jan 2018 3:00 PM

I can feel myself sinking further and further into despair  and everybody is desperately worried about me. I suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety myself and feeling really low.

C has been out of rehab for nearly one month and we have had 4 good days – where I have felt happy and hopeful again but it always falls apart again.

C started drinking within days of spending £7.5k on detox and remission.  Was absolutely heartbroken.

I have read with interest the guidance on this site and yes I was doing everything ‘wrong’ however when I try the gentle approach the frustration and anger builds up in me and I just explode in a massive meltdown which starts the cycle all over again.

We have been together since May 2017, both in our late 40s and both divorced. I think we both love each other too much, and definitely not the best combo. emotionally and mentally. I very much wear my heart on my sleeve and say what I think but he takes everything personally even though he says that is what he fell in love with. He clams up and won’t share with anybody what is troubling him.

C has not worked for nearly 3 years having previously been very hardworking and respected – he quit due to anxiety!! I work full-time and as a result he says he feels very inadequate.

I am unconvinced that he is over his ex-wife (and mother of his children). He says he never loved her like he does me but the texts he sends to her – usually when drunk – set off massive alarm bells. Yes I know I shouldn’t be checking up on him but I need to make the right decision. I have challenged him without referring to the texts and he always denies it – indeed says he hates her (she filed for divorce and threw him out of the family home).

I am a Christian and have been told that my constant hope in a challenging situation is inspirational – must be a good actress as I am frequently broken inside.

I am advised to throw him out but when I do he comes back and I can’t leave him on the doorstep when he is so unwell.

I feel like a doormat for putting up with this whilst getting nothing back and have told C that if I see no effort from him by the end of the month he will have to find somewhere else to live. We have talked and talked when he is sober, indeed the most open conversation was just yesterday.  He is never violent and never shouts when he is drunk – just gets more and more uptight.

C wants me to be myself, like when we met. I wasn’t aware of the extent of the issue for about 6 or 7 weeks and we went away for a week after knowing each other for just 3 weeks. When the suspicions did arise I chose to ignore them…… until the first massive bender which scared the s**t out of me and after which I was assured it would never happen again.

Am I wasting my time?  I know I need to look after myself but the caring nature in me is winning every time despite the fact that it may lead to my destruction.

15 Jan 2018 1:23 AM
Deleted user

Hi Sharon,

I think we all have some version of your story to tell. I think only you can answer your question about staying with him or not. Time to yourself is essential, to rest and to soul search. You don’t mention whether you have any outlets for this or not. Additionally, a back up plan that you can put in place if things get too bad comes in handy. Knowing that you will be okay on your own makes your decision process less stressful. Take care of you! Your drinker will still be there….


15 Jan 2018 2:34 AM

Sharon, this is a long reply,  partly because it’s a bit of therapy for me as well. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have the energy, but you might find it encouraging, I don’t know.

I feel your pain. I’ve been married to my drinker for 28 years. We’ve had good times without the drink and severely terrible time when he goes on days-long benders and he is unconscious. Lately there has been more of the latter than anything.

Like you, I have spent years doing the wrong things, and I’ve only recently joined Bottled Up. I have had to be medicated, suffering from anxiety attacks, migraines, eczema break-outs from the stress of the drinking… The emotional parts you describe are a mirror image of what I’ve done for years.

For me, Lou and John helped me accept that this is not my battle to win. It’s his battle that I should be willing to help with when he’s ready. It’s similar to your relationship with the Lord. You can’t make a person accept salvation…you can only help as much or as little as they are willing to accept. Ultimately though, everyone is responsible for their walk, their life

Beware of the trap of broken promises and disappointment over failed conversations from when he’s sober. If it’s anything like my situation the moment he makes up his mind to turn into the liquor store, all of that is immaterial-it’s as though programming takes over and there is almost no free will… From what I’ve experienced, until the drinker makes a decision for himself, he will do what he wants regardless of the consequences from you, especially if he knows you will be there when it’s over. Then that just sets you up for another round of disappointment, anger, and frustration. I kind of hope for the best but get ready for the worst.

You didn’t mention if you were married, and if you are, that’s an additional struggle. For myself, I’ve been at breaking point so badly for so long that I was begging God to allow me out of the marriage. I hate to admit that, because I truly love him and I believe in the sanctity of my vows.

And, of course, as stated in the other reply, staying or leaving has to be a personal decision. The only thing I will encourage you to do is follow through on the consequences you’ve laid out for him. If you don’t, it takes away some of the power you do have.

Just this week, God’s given me the strength to tell him I will no longer interfere with his drinking behaviors and mean it. I assessed the harm and we made an agreement on some concessions for if he does decide to drink so it impacts the family as little as possible.

Once we had that discussion, I made up my mind that this was really what I was going to do-I’m giving it to God and that’s that. I’ll pray for him and help support his sobriety by maximizing the sober times. The truth is, I don’t have the physical and emotional resources to be responsible for two lives.

The other thing I’ve done is focus on some hobbies to take my mind off of it so that I’m not dwelling in negativity. For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I can breathe.

Hope you find some encouragement. If nothing else, know that you are not alone…

15 Jan 2018 6:25 PM

Was lovely to read your replies – thank you.  Am feeling  stronger after waking up wishing I hadn’t yesterday.  I told Chris that too – it really didn’t help

I went to see his parents alone yesterday – well he’d passed out on the bed –  and they are going to help me find him somewhere to live. He has some money following his divorce and we need to spend it before he doesn’t have enough left to buy somewhere.

We are currently living in my beautiful rented flat by the seaside but it is too small and neither of us can escape when we need to and that is part of the problem – Chris is an anxious alcoholic and I have numerous hormonal meltdowns which I struggle to control much like Chris’ addiction in a way.

We need our own space so we can come together and be happy when we are good and I can have respite when we are not coping so well.

This is my plan which gives me hope for the future. I refuse to throw him out on the street as I would never live with myself.  When he chooses to gets sober we’ll sit down and plan together.

Last night I watched  all the ‘inside a drinkers head’ videos. They are so good – apart from emphasising how ineffective I am when I explode and pour  his drink away in front of him.   I have certainly taken the advice on board and plan to refer back to it when the going gets tough.

C and I are engaged, I love him and thought it would give him some stability –  he so desperately wants to get married ASAP but I can’t do that. We are both too fragile for that at the moment.

I need to ensure I stick to my plans and although I am not a really sociable person – I like my home comforts too much – it is time  to broaden my horizons.

Out of interest, How do your family and friends  cope with seeing you stressed and upset. I find their concern,  although perfectly natural,  causes me further angst. My dad is wonderfully supportive but he suffers from depression and my situation certainly doesn’t help and makes me feel worse.

My brother has made his feelings perfectly clear and has withdrawn from the situation, not that I ever burdened him anyway.

Tx for taking the time to read this. It is so therapeutic to express my thoughts and fears.

Tonight I came home from work, Chris is passed out on the bed again and I am going to have egg and chips for dinner and have the TV to myself again.


16 Jan 2018 7:58 AM

Sharon, that’s an interesting question; and like your family, mine has had mixed reactions. Mostly they express a desire to support me. I have grown boys who live in the home while they’re in college, and we’ve done things wrong together, so we’re working through that. But, with those not so close, I find that they have wonderful intentions, but ultimately they have problems of their own, and their concern and desire to support fizzles out, so it’s me and God in the end.

As for your not being social, I’m the same way. So, I’ve taken up art and reading as my escape from my drinker. I practice calligraphy, experiment with my art, I’m learning how to make paper flowers, I find things on Pinterest (like I just made my own bath bombs – 2 for 1!), or I find books to read. (Robin’s Reads and Bookbub are my friends there – they tell you about free ebooks.)

As long as you can at least get in a separate room, you can get your mind on other things. The thing that helps me more than anything is prayer. I pray for strength to detach, for the Lord to both strengthen and soften my heart toward my drinker, and for Him to make sure that my heart is protected from bitterness, anger, anxiety and depression. He has been faithful…

Just some thoughts for you.

16 Jan 2018 5:01 PM
John McMahon(Administrator)

Hi Sharon

That looks like a good plan for where you both are at the moment.  That way you can get the best of each other and avoid the worst.  I really hope it works for you.

warmest regards


Sharon wrote:

I went to see his parents alone yesterday – well he’d passed out on the bed –  and they are going to help me find him somewhere to live. He has some money following his divorce and we need to spend it before he doesn’t have enough left to buy somewhere. 

We are currently living in my beautiful rented flat by the seaside but it is too small and neither of us can escape when we need to and that is part of the problem – Chris is an anxious alcoholic and I have numerous hormonal meltdowns which I struggle to control much like Chris’ addiction in a way.

We need our own space so we can come together and be happy when we are good and I can have respite when we are not coping so well.  

This is my plan which gives me hope for the future. I refuse to throw him out on the street as I would never live with myself.  When he chooses to gets sober we’ll sit down and plan together.

Last night I watched  all the ‘inside a drinkers head’ videos. They are so good – apart from emphasising how ineffective I am when I explode and pour  his drink away in front of him.   I have certainly taken the advice on board and plan to refer back to it when the going gets tough.

C and I are engaged, I love him and thought it would give him some stability –  he so desperately wants to get married ASAP but I can’t do that. We are both too fragile for that at the moment.

ast modified: 07 Feb 2018 12:45 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

18 Jan 2018 12:05 AM

It’s 2346 and I can’t sleep, again! Chris is up watching TV, laughing and drinking wine as his vodka supply has expired.

He is now drinking all the time he is awake which means I don’t even get my hour of normality in the morning when  we wake up and I am quietly seething,

He’s depressed he’s in a hole and struggling to get out. I get that and emphasise.  I ask him kindly, ‘what I can do to help you’  and he says ‘be yourself’, ‘be nicer’. He says he misses me when I am at work but i cannot do anything about that.

I am doing this,  ie being loving and kind, despite two days in a row having to clean the bathroom up when I get home from work where he didn’t get to the toilet in time to vomit, despite living with a total stranger, despite not knowing how long he is going to be like this.

I can’t hold a serious conversation with him when he’s drunk for obvious reasons but neither can I in the odd moment of ‘normality’  – whatever I say and however I say it, he sinks further into his pit of despair.

Any thoughts ….. anyone ????

19 Jan 2018 1:09 AM
Anonymous Sharon, I am so, so, sorry that you are going through this. I know how hard that must be. If this journey is anything, it’s difficult (what an understatement, huh?) Some days, it feels like you’re going round and round on the same carousel time and time again.

Mine has been passed out for the last two days after 5 days of “sobriety.” One more promise broken. My boys found him having fallen off the couch (I’ve been in the bed with the flu for days). They were trying to pick him up, and I had to stop them and remind them that he has to have his own consequences. The let-down, the disappointment, and the rest of the emotions that come crashing down on you are sometimes unbearable

I’m sending you love and prayers and reminding you that you are not alone! The Father is just a breath away, and He has unending amounts of everything you need for this moment.

We can get through this and be okay. Take a hot bath. Bake something you love. Play music that makes you happy, and remember that C doesn’t define you. At least that’s what I’m doing today.

Last modified: 19 Jan 2018 1:13 AM | Anonymous

19 Jan 2018 1:11 AM
Anonymous (Mine has the same problem with depression, and I guess until he decides to go get help, there’s not a whole heck of a lot I can do about it but help myself…)
20 Jan 2018 1:53 AM
Deleted user Rebeckah and Sharon, I feel for you both.  Oh how I do. My current position is that I now live 400 miles from my D, with a new career, and no contact. Yet he invades my dreams, and memories of those dark times like you mention are still fresh. To lighten your mood perhaps, I’ll tell you one of my memories that I fall back on.  One recent Christmas, I took great pleasure in baking batches and batches of spiced pecans, while drinking a glass of wine myself (yes, I can handle my alcohol) and watching a funny Christmas movie. I remember the sense of joy I felt in just hanging out with myself. I still cherish this memory as a turning point in my mental health. The experience itself has no bearing on the outcome.  You may experience success with your drinkers. But in the meantime, bake spiced pecans and laugh.


21 Jan 2018 1:57 AM
Anonymous Thanks, Linda. That sounds like a great idea! (Mine’s still passed out. I’m broken out in terrible eczema and my blood pressure was sky high when I went to the clinic to get cream for it.) Quite honestly, no Matter how much I know what I should do, I hardly have the energy to do the things that have to be done, much less added things to take care of myself. Sharon, I’m feeling for you today. Know that there are prayers going up for you,
01 Feb 2018 10:04 AM
Anonymous We have taken a break and are living apart. Will Chris ever understand the impact of his actions and how they have affected our relationship and more importantly why I feel such a need to take a step back and  ensure I preserve my own wellbeing?
04 Feb 2018 7:44 PM
Anonymous He is pleading to come home and us get married but I can’t and I won’t …… is it so wrong of me to want to see actions from him rather than just words.

He has the money to rent a room for a couple of months – see how things go but he is still staying in  a B&B in town and has bought himself a £30k car which he can’t drive.



28 Apr 2018 10:23 AM
John McMahon(Administrator) Hi Sharon,

I was just reading through the forum and was wondering how you are what was happening in your situation.  Hope all is well.  Let us know.


19 Oct 2018 2:12 AM
Bronwyn Really is time to take care of yourself. With eczema breaking out and anxiety sky  high and hormones all involved, woe!  Would an indirect & completely different approach might help, such as switching  to an organic diet? I did this and my whole mental health improved and I have now got a truly wonderful partner who well and truly pulls his weight. We have a  business together doing very satisfying work, and our life couldn’t be better. Your estranged’s action to buy a $30K car shows us  his mental health is non- existant and of course a desperately ill person  will beg and plead on the door step. Maybe I am out of order here but hang a sign on the door ” Sorry, not available. I am attending a health retreat” .

Let's share ideas about how to care for ourselves


        09 Mar 2014 2:19 PM


        As I am moving forward with the Bottled Up program, I am finding it more difficult to stay grounded. Specifically, thinking about assessing the harm of the drinking, and actually trying to talk to him about it, is really stressing me out. I am feeling a lot of anxiety even just thinking about making a list of the harm his drinking has caused. I haven’t actually done it yet.

        My anxiety is probably not helped by the fact that his drinking has increased lately! And the harm it causes continues on a daily basis.

        I need to go back to the beginning of the program and do a better job of taking care of myself if I am going to be able to move forward with the program. But I need ideas! Sometimes I think “Instead of stressing out about him, I really need to take care of myself” but then I draw a blank. Could we all please share the ways in which we take care of ourselves? This might help others as well as myself. I’m sure I am not the only one who sometimes struggles to care for themselves, and get the focus off the drinker.

        In the past few months, I have been caring for myself by exercising a bit – strength exercises have really been making me feel better physically. I have downloaded some music that I used to like when I was younger, because it makes me feel good to listen to energetic music while I clean the house. I am reading an interesting book of world history to stimulate my mind. And I have been trying to be sure to take my vitamins and eat lots of fruit and vegetables each day so that my insides will be healthy. Also, I have been getting my feelings out into a private journal.

        If anyone could share what they do to care for themselves, I’d appreciate it so much. 🙂

        Thank you,


        10 Mar 2014 12:43 AM


        Hi Laura,

        Thank you for this post – it is a terrific reminder. I often struggle for ideas of how to take care of myself…especially in the midst of a drinking binge.

        I’ve found I need to keep things super-simple, otherwise I get totally overwhelmed. I need to remember to eat, and to shower…things like that. Otherwise I get totally caught up in the drinking. Oh, and laundry!!? There were many days in the past where I went to work in unwashed clothes because I just went into ‘meltdown mode’ during the drinking…I know it sounds crazy.

        I too would really appreciate hearing ideas from everyone. I often think I don’t really know what ‘taking care of myself’ means…

        Looking forward to some responses, g xx

        10 Mar 2014 2:48 PM


        Thank you Gina – I understand exactly what you mean about melt-down mode…it doesn’t sound crazy at all. I am struggling not to slip into that mode right now myself, which is why I started this thread. Not only is my husband drinking a lot again, he’s right back to all his old behaviours…yesterday we took our boys out to lunch and a movie as a special treat, and he acted like a complete a-hole the entire time, scowling, sighing, yelling at the boys – ruined what might have been a really nice afternoon. I don’t understand why he was doing so well for a time, and then suddenly turned back into Mr. Hyde. In the past I would have been devastated by this, but I am trying so hard to focus on other things and just give him space to sort out whatever is going on in his head.

        One thing I am doing to distract myself this week is painting my 2 year old daughter’s bedroom a nice sunny shade of yellow. And if I have time I am going to make her some cute curtains from a pretty flowered bedsheet I have been saving. Perhaps this isn’t really “taking care” of myself but it does provide a diversion from the insanity.

        First though, I need to shower and get dressed! I am still in my pajamas, yikes. First things first.

        11 Mar 2014 1:58 PM


        I did something else yesterday just for myself. It is tax time, and we have a tax refund coming in the mail, which will give us some much-needed funds to pay some bills. But I am going to spend a small amount on clothes, since I have almost nothing, and I also decided to order an inexpensive digital piano for myself. I used to play the piano when I was young, and my entire adult life I have wanted to buy an instrument for myself (my parents gave away my old piano long ago). But of course, my husband always said we couldn’t afford it. (He could spend $5,000 per year on alcohol and drugs, but we could never afford a $2,000 instrument. Go figure.)

        Well we probably never will afford a nice piano now, but I went ahead and ordered a really cheap one that will at least give me a chance to play some of my favourite pieces. I’m excited that I will have the ability to create music in my life again.

        I also ordered John and Lou’s books – although the Canadian Amazon tells me they won’t be able to send me Bottled Up until June! How strange. I look forward to reading them anyhow.


        12 Mar 2014 1:47 AM


        Laura I’m saddened to hear that you have given up on your dream of a piano…but I do wish you much enjoyment from your keyboard. You have inspired me to dust off my own keyboard too. I love playing Chopin especially – how’s about you??

        I was just thinking this morning about how important hobbies are! I have always loved working with my hands and this year I’ve been indulging myself with refinishing furniture. I am on to my 2nd piece so far. They have all been classic 1920/1930’s pieces which were either given to me or picked up for virtually nothing. It has been so satisfying – & also I can escape to the garage on the weekends & avoid the drinking. What a bonus!

        But best of all it’s something I can do just for myself, without worrying about making money from it (all my past hobbies were soon turned into money-making schemes due to drinking/gambling debts..& then I got sick of working on them).

        I love the sound of the sunny yellow bedroom and curtains! I’m also planning on giving our bedroom a much-needed makeover, to suit our new 1930’s dressing table. 🙂

        Thank you for being such an inspiration Laura.

        g xx

        12 Mar 2014 3:18 AM


        Way to go girls!!!  I am proud you that you found a passion….

        12 Mar 2014 8:00 AM


        Gardening, mucking about with the kids, walking with the dog in a quiet, lovely park, reading, this forum, trying to get through the Bottled Up programme, compiling inspiring quotes (thanks Laura!), music, friends (even though I don’t tell them my problems, they make me forget them anyway if we meet up and have a laugh), seeing the beauty around me, random happy exchanges with strangers (a chat with the lollipop man or with an old lady walking her dog etc), enjoying the sun and the wind and the rain, movies (mostly on tv, but that’s fine), learning about how others live. Life’s to be lived, as best we can. x to you all. Xb

        12 Mar 2014 3:45 PM


        Gina, Chopin is my favourite! 🙂 I used to play a lot of Beethoven too. I am also looking forward to playing some fun stuff that maybe the kids can sing along to – popular music, folk songs, Christmas carols, etc. I guess it will take me a while to get my skills back though. I used to be quite proficient at piano, yet it has been nearly 20 years since I’ve played! Gosh I’m getting old. I also have a violin that has been gathering dust since my teen years…I had to stop because I could not afford the lessons, but these days there must be lots of free resources online I could use to get back into it. I do have a friend who gives violin lessons, but she is half an hour away and I don’t have a vehicle.

        30 Jun 2014 2:35 PM


        I wanted to bump this old thread today, not only for the benefit of newer members, but for myself, as I find I need to remind myself constantly to take care of ME first, worry about C and his drinking second (or third actually, after caring for the children).

        I would really like it if a few people could share what they have done lately to take care of themselves, to bring themselves joy, and to enrich their own lives.

        One thing I did this past week is take the time to sit down and write a nice long letter to a dear pen pal of mine (yes, a real paper letter!). It feels good to cultivate relationships with other people – stable, non-addicts. Perhaps today, I will call my dear grandmother (who is 96 but still lives on her own) and have a nice long chat.

        Anyone else?


        01 Jul 2014 6:36 PM

        Deleted user

        Hi all

        I thought I would share my ways of taking care of ME.  I have joined a very inspiring choir.  As a few of you have commented, music is so therapeutic. In fact our choir are taking part in a clinical trial to prove the science behind it.  It will involve saliva samples being taken at the start of rehearsals and again at the end to measure the “feel good hormone” (can’t remember what it’s called). The choir is for people who have been touched by cancer.  We sing some brilliant songs from Rihanna to Elvis.  Not only does it help us but we help others by fundraising so it’s win, win.

        I also make jewellery and go to a club with 9 other like-minded ladies.  When I am concentrating on that I can’t think about anything else.

        I work 2 days a week and my work colleagues are also a great source of support for me.

        I share the care of my disabled son with his Dad.  The worst times are when he is with me because it’s difficult to do my hobbies then.  On Sunday I took him to the seaside and we had a lovely day.  There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine to make me feel better (shame we don’t get more of it).

        Take care all

        Margaret x

        02 Jul 2014 1:39 PM


        Hi Laura and all Apologies for sitting quietly back and not posting for a few months – there have been more sober days at my house in that time, and quality of life much better. I have bought myself a viola – like others here I am a classically trained pianist from way back, but I have been encouraged by my son’s violin teacher to learn viola. (I bought my husband a cello and music lessons 18 months ago for his 50th birthday, with the same music teacher.) Totally agree with what others have said about music, and would encourage all to go out and learn a new instrument – it’s a real hoot! I have totally fallen in love with my viola. Have also bought a bicycle and one for my son, and am getting him in training (getting him off the ipad) for a bike riding trip in India next year. Music, exercise, and I was hearing research that meditation may provide even better outcomes. Cheers, Lisa

        02 Jul 2014 2:00 PM


        Margaret, that choir sounds wonderful! I wish I could sing, but I am not one of those fortunate individuals blessed with a pleasant singing voice – I sound more like a screech owl – which is why I stick to instrumental music. 🙂

        Lisa, the viola is a lovely instrument! I’m sure you will enjoy it.  The bike trip in India sounds amazing! What an adventure that will be. I hope that when you go, you will still be a member here and will be able to tell us all about it!And thanks for the reminder about meditation. I keep meaning to begin a habit of meditation to calm my frazzled mind. Here is a good article I found on beginning meditation:

        How to Meditate Daily

        That website, Zen Habits, has a lot of excellent articles actually, about taking control of your life and developing positive habits. I highly recommend it.


        05 Jul 2014 5:53 AM


        Thanks so much for bumping this thread Laura…it was a timely reminder for me, as I’ve been caught in a downward spiral lately – and yes, completely forgetting about myself. It is actually kind of ridiculous when I look at things objectively…this continual ‘drive’ to put others first. It’s almost like I dont even exist!? I sometimes feel like I barely know myself – does anyone else ever feel like that?? Anyway, kudos to all of you for trying meditation. Please let me know how you go 🙂 I am yoga/meditation teacher. And i’m loathe to admit that quite often my home practice gets neglected when I am overwhelmed with ‘life’! Makes me feel like such a fraud when i dont practice what i preach (sigh). I have just discovered the wonders of technology and now download meditations onto my ipod which helps! & yes, ZenHabits is a wonderful site too. 🙂 Take care dear friends, g x

        27 Jul 2014 10:17 AM

        Deleted user

        I have decided that when C finally moves out, I am going to do an online course in psychology. It is a subject which has always fascinated me and I did do a beginner’s course at a community college some years ago.  I wanted to go a little further but the college didn’t offer any other courses.  It is purely for myself. I am being made redundant at the end of the year (I only work 10 hours per week) and don’t intend to look for anything else (I’m 63 going on 64).  I have done loads of research into the alcoholic personality since living with C and I find the subject fascinating.  I also did a Morrisby Test some years ago to find out what sort of jobs would suit me and it suggested Counselling.  Quite ironic as I feel it’s me that needs counselling at the moment!!

        Perhaps others could share ideas of things they have always wanted to do and haven’t because life got in the way.  Just remember it’s never too late!!

        Big hugs to you all


        27 Jul 2014 6:13 PM


        I hope you enjoy your course, Margaret – good for you. I took one year of psychology in university. It’s a subject I’ve always found fascinating too (and still do).I have been trying meditation, and I do find it helps to calm me down when I feel very anxious.

        I invited my sister, and on a different day a friend, to come visit with their kids next week. I am looking forward to the female companionship since I am rather starved for social interaction right now.

        Last night, I had a campfire in the backyard with the kids and we roasted marshmallows. It was fun. I might do this again tonight if it doesn’t rain.



        29 Jul 2014 2:21 AM


        Hello Everyone,

        There have been quite a few good suggestions for ways to look after ourselves. Thinking back a few years has given me some ideas too.  I love doing art. The easiest medium is to draw with pencils. I remind myself to pray. to give thanks every day, even though this is sometimes hard to do.

        I really enjoy spending time with my grandchildren. They lift my spirits like nothing else can. I am fortunate they all live in reasonable reach. I combine this with photography and enjoy making “movies” of them growing up.  There is a program on my computer which enables this and is so much fun. I can lose myself right there in my family room.

        It is still winter in Australia so I am thinking of things I can do inside. The weather has been very wet and cold but the sun is shining today.  I am home sick however usually work full time so I don’t have a lot of time or energy for hobbies. I make myself do exercise and do spin classes at the gym. Music to ride, a leader to guide and like minded people to exercise with. I have been going to the gym for awhile now so chat afterwards and feel like I belong.

        When things clear up, I have a bike to ride. I am going to join a local group who go on rides in the country-side. It is just for fun and sounds just right for me. My R brought a bike too but never wants to ride anymore. There are many things we do not do together anymore which we used to really enjoy. Bad moods, drinking and shift work get in the way.

        There is a local choir whose policy is “you don’t have to be able to sing to join”. It is called Sing Australia and apparently, there are many groups around the country.  They travel around giving joy to many and it sounds like it is very beneficial for the participants.  Many doctors have joined and say it is a great stress release. There maybe a similar group near you.

        I have decided I am not going to wait for R to be interested. I am going to do my own thing and if he wants to join me fine, but without the drink. If not that’s fine too.

        Just thinking about all these things has cheered me up.

        Bye for now



        29 Jul 2014 5:25 PM


        I’m doing just a quick reply bc I’m feeling very overwhelmed.  I have to get horses,  pigs and turkies ready for fair by this thurs.  My husband has decided it is a good time to go 400 miles away and party with his friends for a friend’s birthday….SO I have to get all the above animals ready, trailer them alone, check them into the fair, get the pull behind camper trailer ready – which I blew the batteries and fuses in it when I tried to re-install the batteries bc I have no idea what I’m doing….had to fight to remove the propane tanks to get filled, and then come home to discover flat tires and a hornet’s nest inside one of the compartments….and of course then I have to get it all ready, and have all supplies trailed and ready by Thurs ALONE….and it doesn’t bother him in the least that I have  hernia and torn tendons in my elbow that need surgery.  When I mentioned this, his answer was “I told you to get it done this winter”  — all good and well, but I had knee surgery at the end of Dec and was on crutches for a month and then in PT to walk normal until May!  So when was I suppose to throw in two more surgeries??!

        So, I want to take care of myself….but I’m forced into this position to take care of everything else right now!  And then at Fair, my daughter has horse shows for 6 days, Open and 4H poultry shows and my son has Open and 4H swine shows plus all the barn duties.  I’m not going to disappoint my children like my husband is.

        Well at least in between, I will go on some rides with the kids and since we’ll be camping out at the Fair grounds, we’ll all have 10 days of peace!!  That is definitely worth something!  Please pray that I can do all this though in the next few days….again I’m feeling super overwhlemed!

        29 Jul 2014 11:29 PM


        Praying for you, but then ….. When you pulled it off, You know you managed alone, actually don’t him, did something very important for yourself and can be very proud of yourself, becoming more and more independent.


        30 Jul 2014 7:14 AM


        One heck of a challenge Tami but when you have done it all and get to your ten days of peace – wow you will have achieved so much and have proved that if you can do this, you can do anything. Recognising you need to take care of yourself is good – hang onto that fact. Enjoy your time with your children.

        Praying for you.

        Love Alison

        01 Aug 2014 4:11 PM

        Deleted user


        No doubt you won’t read this until you get back from your challenging few days.  I’m sure you will have done yourself and the kids proud.  You will get stronger and stronger the more you do without your husband.  Let him see you really don’t need him.


        That choir sounds just like the one I belong to.  We don’t have to be able to sing either.  Like you, the reason I went in the first place was because I thought it would be something we could do together.  He came along the first time but wouldn’t join in.  We do these really funny tongue twisters as warm ups and he refused to “make a fool of himself” (something which he does on a daily basis I may say).  I did feel stupid at first but only because he was there watching.  When everyone joins in no-one is watching you do anything they are not doing.  Sometimes we laugh so much we are crying.  It creates such a bond. Go for it Diane.  I promise you, you won’t look back. When all the choirs sang together (400 of us on stage) at Christmas a song written especially for us there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  And if I do say so myself we sounded awesome!


        27 Dec 2017 2:46 PM


        This thread is very old, admittedly, but I wanted to bump it so that newer members might read it and get some ideas for caring for themselves.

        If there is anything I have learned over my life’s journey, it is that it is my job, and no one else’s to take good and gentle care of myself. This is all the more important when living with an addict, alcoholic, and/or an abusive spouse…we must always be sure to find ways to bring joy and peace into our own lives, to make at least a part of our life separate from the drinker, so that we can have something good in our life that they can’t ruin for us.

        One thing I love to do is gardening – so I have a huge vegetable and flower garden in the summer. I get so much enjoyment from digging in the dirt, and I love to bring into the house the flowers I’ve grown.

        In the winter when gardening isn’t an option, I watch shows I like on Netflix, or old movies. My husband often makes fun of the things I watch but I don’t care in the slightest.

        And I buy myself nice little things sometimes whether we can afford them or not. A few weeks ago I bought some pretty sparkly earrings at the drug store that I really like. And I bought myself an expensive chocolate bar for Christmas, some lovely beeswax candles, and some really warm slippers. I used to go without Christmas gifts in the past because my husband never bought them for me. Well he still doesn’t, so I go ahead and buy the things I want for myself, and wrap them and put them under the tree. I’m not going to wait for him to give me a nice life, I’m going to give it to myself.

        Much love to you all! May 2018 be the best year yet for all of us, regardless of what others in our lives are doing. Take good and gentle care of yourselves!



        10 Jan 2018 12:51 PM

        John McMahon(Administrator)

        I love this topic!!  This website is aimed at empowerment and here are people recognising that empowerment and doing stuff for themselves (cue a chorus of Sisters are doing it for themselves).

        It doesn’t matter what it is you do, if it helps you and you enjoy it then great, do it!  New year new you.


        16 Jan 2018 9:33 PM


        Brilliant, yes, I too can hear the chorus of ‘sisters…’..

        I reckon it’s often about self reliance. We all need to make sure we ourselves, and our children if relevant, are ok.

        My advice would be to make sure you have some money put aside if possible. An escape plan if there is abuse involved. The ability to earn your own living. Learn to drive if you don’t already (Many years ago a near accident in a car driven by my drunk husband shocked me into learning to drive, some good came of it then!) If you live with a drinker, you are already strong, learning to believe it is the next step. And understand their drinking is NOT your fault. (took me a long time to learn that)

Physical decline

31 Mar 2017 2:32 PM


Is it a common factor in alcoholics to not want to eat?  My husband is eating less and less as time goes by. He’s 57, has been drinking since 13, though quite low initially, functioning well but drinking heavier into his 30’s, and a big increase in the last 5 years since he stopped work. I cook meals he used to like and more often than not he won’t eat it, just says he doesn’t feel like it. Sometimes he goes days with eating nothing but a few crackers and the odd apple. I do give him vitamins to try and offset a bit of what he’s doing to himself and he takes those. It’s almost as though he is anorexic though he doesn’t care about his appearance. He’s not thin, in fact his stomach is getting bigger, like a beer belly. He won’t listen when I say he’s not hungry because the drink is raising his blood sugar. He has also started to have bowel problems in that as soon as he’s had a couple of drinks he has diarrhoea and some continence issues which is awful as he smells and doesn’t seem to notice until I tell him and that his clothes are stained. I’m afraid this is the downward slope to real physical decline. He won’t visit a doctor. He drinks every day, usually from around midday after he’s been up for a couple of hours and had a mug of tea or two. Earlier if I’m out, and only stops when he falls asleep. We had some savings/inherited money but it’s going fast as he’s drinking it away so there will be nothing for retirement. I’m going to try and put some away where he can’t access it.

01 Apr 2017 2:55 PM


So sorry Dawn. Thoughts and prayers with you.

Love and peace,  Lisa

01 Apr 2017 9:21 PM

Deleted user

HI Dawn,

So sorry to hear about what’s happening to you and your husband. It does sound as though he is in late stage of alcoholism. I don’t think I could take it if my spouse were home all the time drinking. One of us would have to go!

I can’t tell you what to do, but I would certainly encourage you to make decisions and take steps to ensure that you have something to fall back on.

I understand that “the devil that you do know is better than the devil you don’t”, and it takes A LOT of courage to step out. I have a friend that did it after 35 years of marriage, she has her own place now and WAY less stress, and is my personal hero.

Good luck and hugs to you

02 Apr 2017 2:03 AM

Cyndi A

So sorry Dawn.  My husband of 22 years has more or less done the same thing.  Once he retired in 2002 it got really bad.  We ended up finding a job May they Sept each year and that helped until recently and he is on a downward spiral again.  Don’t know if he will snap out of it again or not.  But I don’t know how much more I can take.  Drunk all day.  Sleeps from dinner time on.

04 Apr 2017 9:06 PM


Thank you for your kind comments and support. I’m definitely not leaving him as I still love him, I couldn’t hurt him. However, I am going to be doing what I need to do to ensure I am ok when he’s gone, financially.

Cindi, so sorry to hear you have a very similar situation to me, it’s hard to watch isn’t it, slow motion suicide. And lonely. I have plenty of friends, a small range of which are close and know my situation which helps too.  It’s really important to be kind to yourself and give yourself treats when possible, without feeling guilty. And this forum and group is invaluable to let it all out in a safe space to people who understand.

It took me a long time to really understand and believe that I can’t rescue or save him. Moving into my own bedroom has been a real lifesaver. I can sleep and am removed from the drama.

It’s a very ironic thing that my mother was married to an alcoholic for many years (not my Dad) and it can’t be learned behaviour that I ended up with one too as I didn’t meet her until I was an adult and already in this relationship. And my brother is also in a relationship with an alcoholic! and that isn’t learned either as he grew up in foster care and also didn’t meet our mother until adulthood, and we never met the alcoholic husband! I guess the problem of alcoholism is very common indeed, just not spoken about much.


05 Apr 2017 12:39 AM

Cyndi A

So helpful to let it out but why is there so much pain going around.

I think I am still trying to rescue even though I say Im not and try not to.  It is so hard when you love them.

Mostly what I have trouble with is shutting my mind down.  I wake up in the night and trying to think of what is going to happen

05 Apr 2017 12:43 PM

Deleted user

I too am watching a decline like the one you described.  Although I have moved away and currently don’t speak with him, I keep up with what’s going on through his son and through a dear friend.  I am still paying some of his bills. He hasn’t worked in about a decade. I keep a pit in my stomach all the time, though, from the sadness of it all.  I used to think I could somehow be the inspiration that would get him to turn the tide and was repeatedly disappointed when my efforts failed.  So, I have detached as much as I can, waiting in the wings in case there’s some spark of change.

An interesting (but very very heartbreaking) blog on this subject is “The Immortal Alcoholic”. You might want to check it out.


07 Apr 2017 9:41 PM


Thank you Linda, I will look at that blog.

I think the main thing to remember is that their drinking is nothing to do with us as partners. I used to believe that if I tried hard enough, was strong enough, was interesting enough, supportive enough..etc, then he wouldn’t feel the need to drink. Over the years I realised there is only one person who can change, that’s him. I’ve implemented some of the suggestions from this website which have been enormously helpful, such as telling a couple of family members and very close friends so I have a network of support. For years and years I never told anyone, I lied for him and covered it up as I was ashamed. i still feel ashamed if he does something stupid when we have a visitor, but generally I remind myself I am separate from him, not part of the problem. I’d definitely suggest others do the same, as long as it’s not a subject for discussion every time you speak to them, I made it clear I was just letting them know how things were, but I didn’t want to get into discussions on ‘why don’t you stop him, leave him’ etc, I wasn’t telling them because I wanted or needed advice as such. Keep strong, we are all living and coping with sadness. Take joy from the small things each day.

08 Apr 2017 3:40 PM

Deleted user


I too kept all of the horror stories and pain to myself. No longer.  I am pretty forthright now about the situation, and I kick myself for not doing so sooner.


30 Sep 2017 7:09 PM


I can relate to this topic as my spouse of almost 25 years does the same except for rare days she will actually eat a meal I have cooked. It is hard to watch her destroy herself but I have had her hospitalized twice with  short term abstinence 2-10 months. It is up to her, not me. Hard to say that.

15 Nov 2017 10:15 PM


Sorry to hear that Greg. I know your pain. I stopped cooking for my husband as I was fed up with so much waste. He’s actually happier choosing his own food, or not bothering. He only ever wanted to eat junk food anyway, and now I’m not stopping him. My thoughts are that it’s better he eats something than nothing at all. In lighter moments I think to myself that we are like that nursery rhyme..the one about Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean… I’m a vegan and eat masses of vegetables, almost nothing else… husband never wants vegetables at all…

Trying again

  • 18 Mar 2017 5:02 PM

    Message # 4675227

    Deleted user

    So we’ve been around this mountain before, his quitting drinking, and like always I pray that this time is different, and that he actually stays sober. We are on day 10.

    This time started out a little differently though. I went away for the day to sell our house, and when I called that night to have him complete some necessary forms….you guessed it, he was drunk. Lately he must have taken something I said seriously because now when I ask him if he’s been drinking he says no at first, and then yes. But after 2 or 3 times of this I began to think that he sees himself as some how absolved if he is honest. I am pretty sure it doesn’t work that way, at least it wasn’t working for me. SO that night after he sheepishly said yes, I said good bye. I was suppose to go home the next morning but I just couldn’t get my car to point in that direction. I didn’t want to go home and pretend everything was okay, or spend the next week “bottled up”, bottled up with rage, and hurt, and resentment. I am too old to live the rest of my life like that. So I didn’t. I turned the car the other direction and drove to the coast. I ignored the first four or five of his phone calls, and let them go to voice mail, he never left a message. I didn’t want to fight, or argue, OR GO BACK, so I didn’t want to answer. Finally late in the afternoon I called just to tell him that I was okay and that I wasn’t coming home that night. He didn’t argue, there were no words to say, I just needed space.

    I had learned this several years ago, that when he binged, in order not to get into a fight I had to remove myself. So at first I made myself a nice bedroom on the second floor, then after another episode I made him buy me a small house several hours away (we still own it but have renters in it now). This cycle repeated itself every few months, but in the last year I have had no where to go so I just detached. This wasn’t doing anything to help me release my anger and resentment, I would just shut up, curl up and sleep. I just wanted to sleep until I died. So this time I rented a little hotel room on the ocean, I had just found Bottled Up, and I decided that I needed time to think about my options. I had been gradually thinking of where I would live, how I would support myself, and it didn’t seem like a bad prospect. I could get a job and a small apartment, and he could do whatever he liked and it wouldn’t affect me.

    We have been married 24 years, and he is the love of my life, and I could not bear to divorce him, but I could change the rules of our marriage.

    So when I called him that night I told him that I couldn’t live like this any longer, and I didn’t know when I would be home. I stayed put and licked my wounds, and gave myself space that did not involve him.

    On day three I started driving home, partly because I was out of money for the hotel, and partly because I knew at some point my absence would do more harm than good. I know after being married for this long that sometimes you come to a line that if you cross it there is no return. I choose not to cross that line. A few days before this I had joined Bottled Up and binge listened to the videos. There were two things that were light bulb moments for me: The first was when John said that “it wasn’t a choice between the bottle and me, it was a choice between feeling good or not.”, I had never heard it put that way before and something about it struck a chord, and completely changed how I saw my husband. He wasn’t being intentionally cruel, and it wasn’t about me. Also, when John said that an alcoholic may pride himself on being honest and still lie about alcohol. I then saw that his lying really was only about the alcohol, and I learned to separate his behavior. But that doesn’t negate the damage that was already done after years of this dance. So I needed my space to evaluate what was I really willing to release, what I really wanted for my life, and whether or not that included him. The later part remains to be seen.

    So I went home. That night over dinner (that he cooked) I told him exactly how I felt and told him about 24/7 help yourself, and I told him that I wanted us to go to marriage counseling too.

    I am a strong woman, and do not have any trouble expressing myself or asking for what I want. I have lived with this retched disease long enough to know that: I cannot do it for him, he has to want it. I stopped doing the 4 P’s a long time ago,and realized that you cannot take all the liquor out of the world. His sobriety is his responsibility.

    The hardest part is that I love him so much, he is my hero, and I am blessed to have such a love story in my life. So even if it means living apart I will get through this. I made an appt with a marriage counselor and we went this last Tuesday (I don’t think he thought it would be so soon). And we talked, and he shared, and we are trying. Things are a lot quieter, as I am giving him space to deal with how he feels, he is going through some physical changes like not sleeping well, he is nauseous, and grumpy. But I guess I would be grumpy too.

    I have not given up an inch but I am not harsh, hard or demanding, just resolute. I am working for my well being by using Bottled Up,and he is using 24/7, his progress is his own and I don’t monitor or ask.

    I don’t know how this will end, but I am grateful to have found Bottled Up, and for the insight that John provides that my husband is unable to express right now.

    I don’t believe that you can prepare for war and peace simultaneously, but I do. I calmly and rationally prepare for a different kind of marriage should he decide not to continue with his recovery (only time will tell).

    Our next appt is Tuesday.

    Last modified: 19 Mar 2017 7:48 PM | Deleted user
  • 19 Mar 2017 1:10 AM

    Reply # 4675731 on 4675227

    Deleted user

    That is an awesome story Jenifer. I pray that your strong actions are what it takes to motivate your husband to take on sobriety. 24 years is a long time and clearly has contributed to your individual strength. Stay strong.


  • 20 Mar 2017 1:38 AM

    Reply # 4677040 on 4675227

    You’re a warrior Jenifer! Such courage and commitment. I am learning to detach and appreciate that his lying is not about hurting me although that took a while to wrap my head around. We too love each other very much and share our love with our precious 5 year old. She is so aware and so insightful! I am learning through bottled up about hope and understanding of his actions and my feelings and owning my feelings and reactions.  I look forward to reading more about steps taken that have worked well from you and other courageous spouses and family members on this site! Thank you & god bless.

  • 30 Mar 2017 6:21 PM

    Reply # 4702739 on 4675227

    Deleted user

    Good Morning!

    Well, Day 22, and two marriage counseling sessions later:

    Did I mention that I’m a bartender, and we own a restaurant/lounge- how very ironic.

    Things seem to be much better, the anxiety that I so often felt all day every day has lessened, but I still have many moments of doubt and distrust. But I come right out and say it, I don’t hold it in (bottle it up) or wait for the right time or until he gets home. If I find something I think relates to drinking (or trust issues) I call or confront him right away. Why should I be the only one that feels like shit?

    Both times I have been mistaken (not bc he convinced me otherwise, but bc I leaped to conclusions-which, btw, is not uncommon given how many times I’ve been deceived) , and I felt badly, but I forgave myself and simply told him, ” I am sorry, but I am still struggling to trust you.” This puts it squarely back on him and his actions that caused the mistrust in the first place, and if he feels guilty that’s on him. I don’t hang on or ask questions that attempt to expunge me from doubting or validate my position – NOPE, I have every right to be suspicious and wary. I haven’t yet suspected him of drinking since our blow out, but there have been one or two instances where I thought he was lying to me about something I don’t even remember what now, but I called him on it immediately, I don’t want him thinking that I will over look any deception, bc it’s a slippery slope.

    After our first bout, and subsequent counseling session things have been better. The first week he was irritable and nauseous, now that seems to have subsided, and I we are working out what it means to be around each other without him being drunk. Silence is bigger now, and I have to resist the urge to fill it with words.

    He went out of town last week, and when he called that night I could tell he was actually sober! I reinforced his behavior by telling him how much I liked talking to him when he is sober. It may be pretty basic physiology, but what gets rewarded gets repeated, and I use this a lot.

    I can tell he feels better about himself too, although we have not gotten to the point of going to the gym and working on improving our health, he is more conscience that he sleeps better. His snoring is almost completely gone! He also said that coffee kept him up the other night, I told him I think that before caffeine never bothered him bc there was so much alcohol in his system that he could still sleep.

    Confession: It was tempting not to go to our second counseling session, bc at that time things seemed so much better (and it is a three hour drive one way), but you cannot let the fish off the hook just because he took the worm.  Plus talking with a counselor in the room helps us both stay on topic. Next week we will be using an object to hold that gives that person the floor without being interrupted. That should be interesting, and most likely awkward too. I would love to have a conversation without being interrupted. This was one of his “tells” when he was drinking; he always interrupted and spoke over me, other people would notice and be embarrassed for me, and I would just shut up and shut down.

    We are forming a habit, and there is much more to our 24 year old marriage that needs to be worked on. Restoring the trust, learning how to communicate again without alcohol (and about something other than alcohol). We are using our counseling appointment as a segue into “date night”.  I miss the romance that we used to have, but I have to give it time, I don’t want to rain all of my concerns/changes/wants and needs down on him at once. For now I will be happy with his sobriety each day, and try not to anticipate the future.

    I know that it won’t always be blue skies and sunshine, but for now I am trying to give myself permission to enjoy the day and not stress about something that may or may not happen in the future.

    Continuing to write here helps me to review my thoughts and feelings and keeps me grounded.

    Thanks for listening.

    Blessings and hugs to all of you

  • 31 Mar 2017 12:42 AM

    Reply # 4703596 on 4675227

    Good on you Jennifer.  I need some of your courage.  I think you will win over the alcohol.

    I too have been married to this wonderful man (when sober) for 22 years.  Not all roses.  Just had a real scare while in Mexico 2 months ago.  Then He sobered up, forever.  He did sober up long enough to get back home.  Now 2 months later he is back drinking.  We are due to start work on April 1.  I might get us fired because I can’t work with him when he is drinking.

    I need to gather some of your courage.  Thank you for sharing

  • 01 Apr 2017 9:11 PM

    Reply # 4706585 on 4675227

    Deleted user

    Boy, Cindi I know how you feel. I don’t know that I will “win”, like most alcoholics he will most likely go back to the bottle in a few months. The only thing that will change is what my options may be. We are currently working on finishing a tiny house for me so I can leave if I want to. I sincerely hope I don’t need it, but it will be good to know it is there. Maybe I need to open it up to other people in my position?

    I hope you are able to do well in your new job, I know what it is like, it’s hard to work and live together, and always afraid he’ll blow it.

    I know I am in the “honeymoon” stage again, it’s the again part that is troublesome. As we have all heard, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So I remain cautiously optimistic.

    I wish you the best, and am here to chat if you need.

  • 02 Apr 2017 1:53 AM

    Reply # 4706959 on 4675227

    Thank you Jennifer.  I hope things are still moving forward for you.

    We have been with this company for 9 years but I just can’t cover for him anymore.  He used to stay sober during the season May to Sept for the most part.  But that seems to be falling apart.  We now start 1at of April to end of October guess that is too much for him.

    I had to go to the doctor today as I have phnomea when I got back he was so drunk.  I told him I couldn’t work with him this way.  He yelled at me that I have been laying around on my fat A** for 4 days.  Like it has been by choice.  For antibiotics today, so hopefully in a few days I can beat this and have the energy to fight for my life.

  • 14 Apr 2017 6:03 PM

    Reply # 4752381 on 4675227

    Deleted user

    44 days!

    I didn’t think it was possible, and I still don’t know if it will last, but 44 days of some semblance of peace…I’ll take it! I tell him often that I’m proud of him, and how mush more I enjoy being around him. I asked him last night if he knew it had been over a month, he said yeah but wasn’t too enthusiastic…I guess I can’t expect him to be after breaking up with his best friend.

    I still have my moments where I wonder what he is doing, so far he hasn’t drank but my suspicions are still frequent and still run high after years of practice. Re-training my expectations and my propensity for distrust is going to take some time. At the slightest action that resembles one of his tells I still ask if he’s been drinking- flat out. He says no in the most astonished and offended way. Ha ha , does he really think after 24 years that I’m just going to believe he’s finished with the bottle? I am no push over (anymore), it is going to take years to earn back that trust. He is using the 24/7 help yourself web site, he hasn’t ordered the book yet. He hates to read. I wish it came in a video format.

    Yesterday I thought I smelled alcohol on his breath and immediately got suspicious, then I realized that if he had a drink it was HIS problem, HE would be the one responsible for his own sobriety , not ME; and I calmly walked away. A few minutes later I went in for a kiss (just to check out his breath), relieved to say I was wrong…I think he knew this is why I kissed him LOL ! So what? serves the sonnofabitch right, it’s his fault that I am pre-programed for distrust

    Anyway, nights have continued to be better, snoring is almost non existent now. He actually said he didn’t realize how much time he spent thinking about and manipulating his using. Says he is not in a fog anymore, I think he is beginning to like being clear headed.

    We are still seeing our marriage counselor, not so much to talk about any more, seems like we are just holding steady, but I won’t let us stop going. It is an outside source of accountability.

    Still moving forward with building my own house, so I have a place of my own if I ever need it.

    I wish blessing and peace to you all, and calm in your storm.

  • 25 Apr 2017 8:05 AM

    Reply # 4777726 on 4675227

    Deleted user

    55 days, that’s it! The moment we’ve all been waiting for, he’s of the wagon. As he put it “taking a break”, I almost laughed in his face! He doesn’t get to take a break! My break isn’t up! 54 days of some story of normalcy isn’t a break at all. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut…AGAIN

    Why does he get  to do this? What gives him the right to distroy my marriage and my life!!??

    I revived myself to the closest hotel. It was leave immediately or sit there and seethe and hate every breathe he takes. I listened to the forgiveness audio, but when do they start feeling shitty v for the easy THEY acted? For what they are doing to other people? Must be nice to be the center if the universe. Tomorrow I go pack my bags and go get a room and a job. Not so easy to do at 54, but FUCK him!

  • 26 Apr 2017 11:09 AM

    Reply # 4780113 on 4675227

    Hi Jenifer

    I’m so very very sorry – you’ve invested so much in this, and that’s a lot of days – every day that went by . . . I know . . . No matter what you tell yourself you just hope against hope that this time will be different.  Mine went for a similar length of time I think, but as he drank in secret I expect he got away with it for a while before I was sure.

    When one gets to the point that the bitterness and disappointment starts to eat away at you, there’s very good reason to seriously consider leaving. I only did half your time, but I am about your age – but I do have a good job and now a very hefty mortgage to cover each pay. But as I write, it is to a background of the crackling of the fire (a cool autumn night here) and the gentle hooting of a nearby owl – it’s a deep peace that is absolutely irreplaceable.

    Don’t pressure yourself to find forgiveness right now – you might need some anger to draw on to get yourself through times ahead if you do move out permanently.  First and foremost,  there comes a time when you know in the core of your being that it’s time to leave (or move him out, as in my case) – you need to be kind to yourself and to remind yourself that this is not your fault and that you deserve to feel respected, loved and special  – if he can’t do that for you, then you need to do it for yourself.

    My very best wishes and hugs – may the road be clear before you (if not smooth), and may you find the things you need, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional to know your way and to make your way as best you can. And I pray you have the support you need too.

    Love and peace, Lisa

    • 13 May 2017 10:54 PM

      Reply # 4831734 on 4675227

      Deleted user

      So I’ve been gone for 2 weeks. I managed to find a cabin in the woods with no internet, so that’s why I haven’t written. I am at the local library now, so I can catch up.

      I spent the first two nights at my sons’ , and realized how desperately I needed to find somewhere else, and how desperately he needed a housekeeper!  In a strange quirk a cabin in the woods had a cancellation and I was able to get in the next day. It was such a blessing in disguise! Beautiful and serene, and no one but me to take care of. I left with only what I threw into a couple of bags and figured I could get anything else I needed at a thrift store. The first few days I think I was stunned that I had left, my head was spinning. A woman I thought was my best friend deserted me completely. I was completely alone with my choice. I thought that I would at least have a girlfriend to sound off on but she turned her back on me. I think I was more pissed at her than my husband, maybe because I expected him to return to the drink, but I never thought she would abandon me in my time of need. Maybe it was for the best. Maybe everything had led to this so that I could be completely alone.

      I was surprised to find how peacefully I slept, and how early I awakened to spend the early mornings at the window starting out at the woods and wondering what to do next. That’s what I always did, “figure out what to do”, I was always doing and fixing and directing and saving and planning and trying to control everything. I was 12 miles away from civilization and even the internet, so i was forced to do nothing. Nothing. As weird as it felt, the best part was not worrying about where he was or what he was doing or if he was drinking. Not my problem. I had recently put a new meme on my phone that had the Panda from Kung Fu Panda that said “The beginning of inner peace begins with four little words….Not my Fucking problem.” Seriously considering having this tattooed on my forearm.

      On the occasions that I did go to town and he called conversations were brief. I could tell he was stunned. Sitting at home alone with all the responsibility of running the business and the household (no kids but 3 dogs). He didn’t even ask me to come home, or say he missed me, and I had to refrain from asking if he had been drinking. This was my go-to question at the first sign of a slur or a tell, but this time my new manta popped up and I realized it wasn’t any of my business, but I was hurt that he didn’t ask me to come home. Then I realized that I didn’t leave in order to instigate a dramatic reunion, I left to see if I could survive by myself and sort out what part of my unhappiness was because of his drinking and what part was because of my own behavior and discontent. THAT is a hard question. I think I had blamed ALL of my problems on him, but during the last two weeks as I am forced to keep my hands off of everything I have come to realize I had a terrible habit of orchestrating EVERYTHING. Perhaps I had developed it over the years as a means to control the damage, but it had become bigger than me.

      With the long, quiet days and nights I realized how addicted I was to controlling everything. When we talked I began saying things like “I need” and ” I am”, and trying to catch my words before I began to tell him what to do. It was then I realized that he could be drunk everyday and as long as I didn’t know it, I was happy. Like the comedian Groucho Marx said, “If it hurts when you do that, quit doing that.” , so I quit calling, and I quit asking.

      He finally said he was coming to see me, and I agreed. He drove 7 hours to come see me, that meant something. I didn’t ask even once if he had quit drinking or had been drinking or anything with regard to his drinking status: reminding myself that it’s Not my F**king business.

      Conversation was awkward at first, and we decided not to decide anything right away, to just let it be. I told him I was firm in my decision not to live with him for the next few months, and we will take it day by day. No demands, no expectations, and enough distance for me to stay detached and calm.

      I joined a local gym and drive in every other day to do Yoga or water aerobics. At first I was going to go “gung- ho”, everyday, just to keep my mind off of things. Bus realized that is just another way of being busy, so I am disciplining myself to stay home one day and go to town the next. To see if I can actually be happy alone, and can I sort out my own thoughts apart from others expectations of me. THAT is quite a feat all in itself.

      I have read a book (the first one in years), I listen to music, and I don’t have TV, so we could be at war for all I know (although I hope not).

      So this is week three, and I can honestly say that I am happier, even though I don;t know how this will end I am learning to be okay with not knowing all the answers, or planning everything, and that brings a lot more piece than I had originally planned.

      If you get a chance to read I recommend

      A year By the Sea by Joan Anderson

      and An Unfinished Marriage by the same author

      Thanks for listening, and know that I think of you all often.


    • 19 May 2017 4:26 PM

      Reply # 4842152 on 4675227

      Hi Jenifer

      What a wonderful thing you are doing – I pray you can really have peace and healing time, and find a way forward. Wonderful to limit going to town – it sounds lovely. Take care and best wishes.

      Love and peace, Lisa

    • 10 Aug 2017 12:57 AM

      Reply # 5021631 on 4675227


      Anonymous, I hope you will write again about how you are doing.  I’m so sorry for all you went through. It makes me want to ask if you think anything will change a drinker? I had hopes for learning this new attitude and I think it’s valuable personally but did it influence the drinker to stop drinking? This is sad. And so much of what you wrote resonates with me and my life and no doubt many others. Please write again.~Donna