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Living with an alcoholic
My Experience of Alcohol Addiction
Member Name: rosiesmum
My Experience of Alcohol Addiction
Date: 30/04/01, updated on 30/04/01 (4247 review reads)
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My first husband was an alcoholic and it was so soul destroying to watch him ruin his life. A hardened drinker does not take kindly to being criticised about their habit and I found it too much to handle, so I left him.
This was eighteen years ago and I believe he has dried out a few times but always seems to slip back into it again. It is an illness I truly believe that, because he was an intelligent person when he was sober he felt so miserable about what he was doing but he just could not help himself. He loved me very much and absolutely adored his children, but the call of the bottle was a bigger thing for him unfortunately.
We met when I was eighteen and he was twenty- two he was a good looking chap with a good career ahead of him in the Royal Navy and we married within six months.
He liked a pint with his mates he could handle quite a few actually and with me being so young I didn’t really think much about it. Sometimes when he had had one too many he would become argumentative but I thought that was normal married life, everyone argues occasionally.
Over the next five years we had three children and he left the Navy. His drinking had got heavier and I was beginning to realise that he had a problem but he didn’t think he had.
He would drink a few pints after work then down a bottle of whiskey until he literally collapsed. There was many a morning when I would find him collapsed on the sofa in a filthy state.
When he was sober we would talk about it and he would insist that he was ok. He could stop drinking anytime he wanted that was something he used to say so often.
I remember the lies he used to weave just so as not to get caught out, alcoholics are terrific liars.
When the electric company cut us off he insisted that he had paid it and I think he started to believe himself in the end, he even went down to the showroom and rowed them for being incompetent.
I would go to the bank on pay
day to withdraw the house keeping and find no money because he had gone into overdraft to buy booze the previous month, or Id go home to find the washing machine and television set missing. The tales he used to give me about coming into an open front door and how we must have been burgled. He was really taking desperate measures to get his drink.
Life was getting a bit tough for the kids they were getting teased at school because their Dad was seen in the local park drinking cider he just would not try to help himself.
He was starting to hide the drink from us, he certainly didn’t realise how he smelt of it, he would stand in front of me and swear on a stack of bibles that he hadn’t touched a drop.
I stopped nagging him, and tried to help him by buying him a bottle and giving him less and less each day, that didn’t work he was just humouring me or so I thought.
Tidying out the airing cupboard one day I found about thirty empty vodka bottles stashed behind the spare blankets. He needed professional help and pretty fast. I was getting really fed up with him and I think he must have been desperately unhappy himself if he felt that he had to hide the empties like that.
I managed to persuade him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He wasn’t keen at first because he did not have a problem, but he finally agreed to give it a go. I went with him and sat at the back for his first visit he was so nervous and my heart went out to him. He attended about three meetings then went back on the bottle.
I stopped loving him and started to hate him after that, I sometimes wonder if I should have tried harder but it was effecting the whole family and he embarrassed us all.
I think he gave up trying to quit the booze at about the same time I gave up on him.
He was a good father when he was sober it is a shame that he had to lose his family, but he asked too much of us all and I couldn’t cope any long
Should I have been stronger? Could I have eventually got him off the booze?
I will never know the answer to that now.