Alcoholic Spouse Stays Out All Night-What Should I Do


Do you have an alcoholic spouse who has no respect for your marriage? Do they go out with friends and stay out all night? Do you have difficulty keeping your anger under control? Do you call them repeatedly on the telephone? What should you do?

Follow the tips in this article and you will deal better with this situation.

I used to have to deal with these same type situations. Fortunately for me, I don’t have an active alcoholic in my life right now to worry about anymore. Even if I did, I now know how to handle myself in order to have peace in my life.

At one point, my spouse was going out two to three times a week and not coming home until three to five o’clock in the morning. Sometimes, she would not come home at all. I know exactly what the emotions and feelings are that you are dealing with. Been there, done that and don’t ever want to be there again.

How did I learn to deal with her adolescent behaviors?

The answers for me were found in alcoholism support group meetings for friends and family members of alcoholics. That’s where I learned these guidelines below.

Just Go to Sleep
exhausted womanThis is something that I struggled with, just getting in bed and going to sleep. You may be like I was, pacing the floor, driving around trying to find them or calling them repeatedly on the phone trying to convince them to come home. Your spouse obviously cares more about staying out and having fun with friends more than being with you right now.

You have to learn how to take care of yourself. Just get in bed and go to sleep. There’s nothing that you can do or say that will make them come home. There’s nothing that has ever worked to perused them is there? While you are an emotional wreck, they are laughing and having fun, so they think. It’s a miserable life they are living. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest.

Don’t Call Them on The Phone

Make up your mind that you will not call them to check up on them or “beg” them to come home. Telling them how much they are destroying the marriage will not work. Pleading with them to please come home won’t work. Getting mad and cursing them out will not affect them. Protect your emotions and leave them alone. The less you interact with them the better off your emotional state will be.

How am I going to stop calling them?

  • Try reading a book.
  • Consider watching TV.
  • Go and spend the night with a close friend or relative.

Act Like You Are Asleep
Even if you are wide awake when they get home, act as if you are sound asleep. It’s totally non-productive to talk to them while they are in this state. It’s possible that they will try to awake you to have sex. This is only because of the guilt they feel for what they have done and a poor attempt at making things right with you.

Refuse to Argue
Never argue with an alcoholic. It’s really that simple. Zip your lip and refuse to fight.

Do not Confront Them
angry oxMake up your mind that you are not going to confront them by asking them questions about what they did or even who they were with. Fake it till you make it and act as if you really do not give a rip what they are doing. Act this way in a loving manner though.

The goal here is to learn how to protect ourselves and at the same time love our alcoholic spouse with an unconditional love. Learning what to do when an alcoholic does not come home will help you more than them.

All of these things I have shared with you will not make your spouse stop staying out all night drinking. What they will do is help to protect your emotions so that you will have more peace in your life. Nothing that you or I can do will make them quit acting this way.

Recovery for us means that we learn how to let them go and to take care of ourselves.


2 comments to Alcoholic Spouse Stays Out All Night-What Should I Do

  • Hello, it’s been a few months since I have posted. I guess I became too crippled and then my husband went to treatment for two months. I actually thought things would get better and the madness and insanity would stop! I thought I was actually going to be normal again, I was wrong… Dead wrong.
    3 weeks after my husband returned homed he relapsed, on Christmas! I again fear holidays, birthdays sport events, weekends…. How about just everyday he walks out the door! My husband is a nasty, mean inconsiderate foul mouthed drunk that tends to wear alcohol for cologne! :(.
    He’s started to go out and stay out all night again! When I went through this nightmare the first time my 6 month was just born. Here we are again. I realize that I’m emotionally and mentally sick! I’m trying to learn how to detach but his actions are destroying me! I’m still in love with my husband but I’m feeling like I need to leave him but I don’t know how. To give an example of my husbands behavior, he came home drunk one night around 3am! I heard loud talking and our balcony door being thrown open…. He was literally screaming at some guy that was walking in the parking lot! Mind you, our six month old is sleeping and it’s 3am. I get out of the bed because I was scared by the noise and he is claiming that he had been sitting in the parking lot listening to his music and this guy comes out the blue and tells him to turn down the music because he is having a party!?? Sounds like some drunk mess to me! Anyway, I had to literally pull him off the balcony 3 times to keep the peace and to keep the neighbors from calling the cops!!! My husband actually thinks he was in the right! I’m sick of it! Another episode is when we went out to do household shopping. Yes, I actually still just wanted to spend time with my husband even though he was still drunk from the night before and had been drinking all morning. We parked and before we went into the store he decided that he would go to the gas station for two miniature wines!!!! As we are leaving I notice he has stolen a bottle… How did I notice. Well, I only see him pay for one and that was the one he was turning up in the parking lot! I spotted the other hanging out of his pocket!!! Ok, please a little insight on this please! Does addiction make a grown person steal for fun? Anyway, I made him go back and pay for it!!! I mean ridiculous! My husband is 52 years old and marine veteran. We have plenty money to buy miniature wine! What was the point? I still don’t get it… I’m also tired of the I’m sorry and the I don’t know what to do excuse….. I’m tired of hearing I’ve been this way for so long I really am trying spill!!! I want to continue to be supportive but it’s exhausting…. Please don’t judge me but I don’t have the energy to take a shower daily, barely care to brush my teeth and I don’t like going anywhere because I’m stuck mentally, look a mess and sleep deprived from my alcoholic husband staying out all night and caring for a six month old that is teething!!!! I’m struggling to lose my pregnancy weight and my sex drive has dried up due to the fact that my husband no longer pursues me and I can’t stand him when he’s drinking, plus I think he’s cheating on me and no longer finds me attractive! I don’t blame him, but I’m a product of his addiction. While he’s out having fun, and accidentally calling home to have me saying hello to loud background music and spending money we don’t have! We have separate accounts but I have access to his account and a debut card. I still manage his finances somewhat and I’ve seen receipts where he has withdrawn a hundred dollars at 11pm from some bar ATM!!! I’m just sick of it… And what really gets to me. When he gets home drunk he’s talking loud wanting to see his baby!! In his drunk tone!!! So, of course I go into protective mode and tell him no!! He then thinks I’m trying to keep his baby from him… At 3am while he’s drunk!! Yes.. I am doing that!!!! I’m just tired! He comes treating me like the enemy and like I ruined his night because he came home? Please…. If anyone can help with advice or share similar experiences would really help… I’m trying to learn how to detach but I’m an emotional wreck!! I’m praying and praying but you know it’s hard going through in the moment.

  • Helen

    Patricia,
    As the mother of a 5 month old baby, I can relate. One tactic that has helped me with respect to late night antics is, as the article suggests, to “pretend” to be asleep, even if I am not. My engaging with my drunk husband in any way seems to only escalate things further. If he causes a disturbance & the police are called, let it happen. Protecting him from the consequences of his behavior doesn’t help either of you. That said, as mothers, our first responsibility is to protect our children. When my husband has wanted to “see” our baby at 4am when he is drunk, I have obviously had to engage with him to protect the baby. I usually am very sweet with him & simply say that the baby was fussy & has been sleeping lightly so it is best to let the little one get their rest & then daddy & baby can play / visit first thing in the morning. From there, I then follow through in the morning on my word & after I get up with the baby, peek back into our bedroom to ask daddy if he wants to say good morning to his son. Usually, the response is “later” or a quick “hi” then my husband rolls back over to sleep it off, while I go about my morning with the baby. The key is to keep your cool if you are forced to engage at 4am with a drunk husband. Also, in regard to the late night phone calls, it got to a point in our situation where I began turning my ringer off in order to take care of myself & get some sleep. My husband is an adult & things are better when I treat him as such, drunk or not. In my case, that translated into turning the ringer off. Should an “emergency” arise, he will have to deal with it. I love my husband & it has been very hard to practice detachment, which I am still in the process of learning how to do. As for the stealing episodes, I have not encountered that one. But we are also at a point where I choose not to spend time with him while he is heavily under the influence. Many times I have had to say, “today isn’t a good day” & then made a change to plans. It has been lonely at times, but I am getting stronger & making plans with friends / family & taking the baby with me. When I am alone with the baby, I do my best to cherish the special time we have just the two of us vs. being swallowed up by the sadness that my husband isn’t with us. In my particular case, my focus is on building my own independence & autonomy, not to absolve his responsibilities, but so that I have a back-up plan in place for when he flakes or isn’t sober to follow through on his commitments. For example, I am looking for a gym with a nursery – I will still ask him to look after the baby, but if he can’t safely do so, or won’t, I will still be able to go. Or, you could do stroller walks, home workout videos, etc. The hardest thing in the world is to focus on yourself when living with an alcoholic, but it is the only way to keep your sanity. If you can get into counseling or attend Al-Anon, do it. My counselor will allow me to bring the baby if I need to, which helps. The more I redirect my efforts from trying to “manage my husband” or react to his every episode, the stronger I get. This is important for me, and even more so for my 5 month old little baby. If my husband chooses to not get help, I will have some difficult choices to contemplate in the future & I need to be mentally healthy in order to do so. Best of luck to you & hang in there!

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