Need advice from alcoholics
February 5, 2012 4:12 PM Subscribe
I made my alcoholic husband of 10 years leave a couple weeks ago. How to I be supportive, civil, and not lose my newly found sanity?
posted by anonymous to human relations (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I finally had enough and made my husband leave our home. We've been together for over 10 years, have pets but no kids. "P" (as I'll call him here) is a very likable guy: makes friends easily, social, etc. However, his drinking has increased to the point of him being on benders at least once a week (the week I kicked him out was a 3 bender week). When he comes home, he's not likable to me: no physical abuse, but apt to start arguments, etc. Besides that, when he does finally come home, I have to keep an eye on him so he doesn't do anything stupid or dangerous like burn the place down falling asleep smoking. Plus it's incredibly boring.
I have repeatedly told P during the past year that I can't take it anymore, offered to put him in rehab/counseling to no avail. His response is always "I'm trying", which is a silly refrain in that it's usually said 20 minutes after he gets up. He also makes excuses, blaming everything from his friends to the bus not coming to "falling asleep" (aka passing out) on the bus to, most alarmingly, me.
I think that he has gotten used to me putting up with it and also dealing with the nuts and bolts of being an adult: I pay for all our rent/bills/taxes/you name it. He hasn't put a dime in our joint account for years. He was in shock that I actually made him leave. He did get access to our place (called the police, who told him that I couldn't force him out if he was on the lease), but has only come back for clothes. He did ask if he could get an affidavit signed promising that if he came home drunk again he would get nothing. (We are in California.) I refused, even though I am going to lose most of what I've been working so hard for and will probably have to pay him support for the rest of his life. We are in our 40's, for gods sake: I'm not interested in having every day be like spring break. I'm resigned that I probably won't be with anyone again (I'm over 40, female, not great looking), but it's been worth it to not have so much stress in my life. (I didn't realize how badly I was sleeping until he left.)
Finally, here's my question: how can I be supportive of his not drinking without getting sucked back in? I don't really have any non-work friends; I haven't wanted anyone to come over because I don't know which P they would meet. I think P has been depressed and in a rut for a while. He is also not good at being alone. He usually texts me every morning to say he loves me and to have a good day. He also has texted a couple times saying he's still not drinking. I won't let him back or it will just start all over again in a few months. I'm telling myself that maybe this will be the best thing that could happen to him (but perhaps I'm just trying to make myself not feel guilty). How can I best help him without giving him hope that he can come back? I haven't responded to his texts except for the pragmatic ones about coming over and getting stuff. I thought about texting today to say "Be careful" (Superbowl) but decided against it. Anything constructive I can do? Obviously, I will help financially but would like to be friends with P at some point.
Thanks for reading. My throwaway email is firstname.lastname@example.org.