Determined To Leave Mean Controlling Alcoholic

JC: Being in a relationship with anyone who is mean and controlling is difficult. Many of our reader’s articles have referenced wanting to leave the alcoholic that they feel stuck with. I have added information in various places below that will help you learn how to cope with an alcoholic.


Guest Post By
: NM
This is about the 6th time in the last four years that I have been right where I am. Its so exhausting. My partner is at it again. I call him my partner because we have been together for 21 years and we never married. We have a 18 year old daughter and two children under the age of 4.

He recently lost his job. He’s been thru a few in the last few years. Mostly, he’s left jobs. This time his ego was bruised as the job he really liked let him go. Not directly having to do with his drinking but I’m sure it was part of it. He deals with people daily for at least 10 hours a day 6 days a week. He says he hates people and when he’s been drinking late he hates going to work in the morning.

He’s constantly mean to our daughter, he just makes rude comments when at one time she was the apple of his eye, his whole reason for living.

This is a very  popular article that has been liked on Facebook many times by our readers: How To Live With An Angry Alcoholic.  While you are in the decision making process this article has some good Advice For People In An Alcoholic Relationship. It troubles me that he is being mean to the children. Be sure to avoid Being Abused By An Alcoholic.

I’m constantly under fire. Why can’t I be more educated? Why can’t I have a better job? Why can’t I help him more financially. Why do I visit my mother so much? Why are my friends always texting me? I can’t seem to get anything right these days.

My older son is 4 he has begun to see the pattern and I’m really determined to leave this relationship and move on with my life. I’m only 35.

My father was an alcoholic and I’ve lived the alcoholic hell all my life. When I was the daughter of an alcoholic, I swore I would never put up with all of the craziness. I judged my mom. I hated them both at times. I decided to leave and start my own family.

I had a baby at age 16. 3 years later, I realized the man I started my family with also was a drinker. Unable to have any other children for 16 years, I thought I would be done with our relationship when our daughter turned 18. That is when my two sons came. My little miracles. I really thought this time I could do things differently. However, you can’t change a family alone. You have to have more than one active and willing participant. Thru it all, I still have doubts.

The father of my children is really bad some days and not so bad others. He says he hates that he feels the need to drink and he wishes he could stop and just be normal.

An alcoholic will get professional treatment if they are serious about quitting.  Hopefully he will find his way into the rooms of AA soon. Unfortunately this  will require some sort of crisis in his life to bring him to seeking help. It’s always a good idea to prepare for when an alcoholic hits bottom. Just remember that talk is cheap from the lips of the problem drinker, action is what really speaks the truth.

I asked for his family’s help, his dad called mean enabler and said I should probably help him and take care of him better than I have in the past. His mom said nothing. My mom says leave him, maybe once he’s alone he  will find sobriety and he will be a better person, for himself and for my children. I still feel so guilty. I know we didn’t take the vows but I still feel obligated to uphold them. Better or for worse, sickness and in health. But my children should be the priority, so ill do what I have to do.. I just don’t know what that is…

Myself and participating readers here regularly recommend that people get involved with Al-anon. This is an organization that has helped me tremendously in learning how to handle any situation involving people who have controlling personalities. The organization is specifically tailored to help people learn how to cope with alcoholics, mean or not.


34 comments to Determined To Leave Mean Controlling Alcoholic

  • Lisa

    NM,

    I am in a similar situation. I also had a child at 17 and I am 35. I have two other children with the same man. He is also an alcholic. Keep your faith, and keep moving forward. The more you do the more confidence you find in yourself that you never thought was there. Your children do deserve better. The guilt will not last for long. Right now your under his spell and you just have to break it. The more you read and attend meetings or therapy , the better you will feel and realize this is not your fault. Keep your head up!!

  • Sheila

    A mother’s first priority is to her children.
    If she won’t protect them and provide a an environment that is loving and kind, who will?

    the Mother deserves to be loved and so do the children.
    sometimes we are just too enabling,and allowing the alcoholic to experience pain alone is what gives him a chance to change himself with us out of the way.

  • Debbi

    Dear NM:
    I feel your heartache and your wrestling with a decision to leave or not. Unfortunately most of us “hang in there” until we have one of those “Ah Ha” moments when we realize we are not going to tolerate any more. Only you can make that decision and it is defintely much more difficult with young children.

    But remember your children see the behaviour and this could be a legacy they might pass on to future generations so consider their future and your future grand-children’s. One good parent is far better than 2 so-so parents or even one good parent and one not so good parent.

    Also, the Lord loves all his children and the “better or worse” vow was never meant for one person to trample on another. God loves you as his own child & would never want to see you harmed and if you are being harmed this is not the vow he meant for you.

    One day your “Ah Ha” moment might come so just start preparing for it–financially and emotionally. Get “all your ducks in a row” so to speak. So when the time comes you are ready and if it never does–it never hurts to be prepared. Spend as much time as you can around friends, family and support groups that show you what “normal” is so you will build your confidence up and respect your rights and decisions. Do something little every day to get prepared.

    Good luck to you & remember there are people out there who do love you and care for you-stay close to them.

  • NM

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Lots to think about. I know what I have to do I just have to do it.

  • Donna

    It is obvious you are a strong person and there is more strength within you than you realize. I can share a few of the many things I have learned through 10 years of being in an alcoholic relationship. My husband does not drink anymore and has received what we can call a spiritual awakening just as I did many years ago because I too was once an alcoholic/drug addict.
    First important thing I learned was healthy people do not stay in abusive relationships. I was in one so that told me I wasn’t healthy. What did I need to do to get healthy? Realizing it was time to take my attention off the alcoholic and onto myself so I could make healthier decisions. I went to al-anon and CoDA. Co-dependents are with alcoholics and stay with them. I needed help from God because I would not have made it through this without Him. My fears were keeping me stuck. I learned my need for growing myself spiritually and I have to continue to grow in this area. I have learned healthy boundaries and that you can show love to a person without enabling them. It has taken years for us to overcome what we have and many separations. It is only by the grace of God that we are both alive today and we are still together. I never gave up on my husband because I knew there were deep rooted things that were driving his alcoholism just as my deep rooted issues had driven my own addictions. I had to deal with MY issues and let God handle my husband which I certainly learned God was more than capable of doing! Letting go and letting God freed me to work on myself and boy did I need a lot of work and still do. I found some helpful books, spent 2 years with a good christian counselor which are available through some churches without cost if you don’t have any insurance. I spend regular time now reading the bible which I used to never do and I believe this is what keeps me free of my addictions. I never gave up on God and His ability to see us through. Every day we have to work on things and that is ok because it is so worth it. You have what it takes! If I was able to share all that we had been through you and everyone reading this would realize that if we can make it so can all of you!
    God Bless You! and may He make a way when there seems to be no way!

  • John

    Donna, what an amazing story of God’s mercy and grace. I too have had the “spiritual” awaking. Here’s the way I see it, if God deliver me from all of the things I was addicted to He can do anything. Donna, I totally understand where you are coming from.

    NM, only you can decide what is best. As JC and others have mentioned, Al-anon is a great place to begin making changes.
    I hope you can find the determination to attend a few meetings, they will help you tremendously if you maintain a humble attitude. The wisdom in the program is unbelievable when it comes to coping with any situation where there is a controlling individual involved. The alcoholic in your life may never quit drinking, but you can learn how to not be addicted to the alcoholic.

  • karens

    Staying with an alcoholic is not easy. There will be set backs and anger, fear, frustration. You are so right for
    working on your self. Letting go and letting God work
    on you and your husband. You can detatch and learn to be
    happy inside your God given spirit. Thanks for your
    encouragement.

  • John

    Lisa, you have made an excellent point in regards to the alcoholism not being NM’s fault. For several years I internalized things and took the blame for way too much. When I started attending support group meetings, I learned that nothing that I had done had caused the alcoholic to drink. They had chosen to live their life and I was not to blame for their poor choices. It’s funny because the alcoholic I am with is constantly placing blame on me. I try to take a good look at what is really the truth in every situation.

    NM, have you been to any support group meetings?

  • NM

    Thanks again everyone for your comments. John, No I haven’t gone to any support groups. I was in therapy at one point and it was helping. I just stopped going.

  • Sandy

    I feel your pain, I too am married to an angry controling alcoholic, but believe it or not it is a blessing to not have children with him – and here’s whats very disturbing; he quit drinking almost 2 months ago because I had him arrested for abuse; he quit on his own and started AA, but let me tell ya, he’s almost just as mean as he was before verbally, all that’s stopped is the physical violence, and now he resents me for having him arrested but I had to, I thought he was going to kill me and my elderly (87 yr old) mother one night – and I’m looking for a way to get out too even though he’s quit drinking, I don’t know . . it’s all very disheartening . . I’m starting Al Anon tonight hoping to find some help there . . you will be in my prayers; and your children are lucky they have you and aren’t just at the hands of their alcoholic father . . God Bless . .

  • admin

    Sandy, you have made an excellent choice to start attending Al-non meetings. Let me encourage you, please, please continue to go to the meetings. You are in an abusive situation and need all the help you can get. You will find a few helpful tips here: Avoid Getting Abused By An Alcohlic. Check out this book too: Why Does He Do That?

  • C

    I recently read something that said the meanness and abuse is part of his character – not because he is an alcoholic. It all makes sense – alcohol does not completely change a person – they are just feeling freer to be themselves.

    Being with an alcoholic is wearing. I will never stick around again – things only get worse!

  • Julie

    I too have read that the abusive mentality and the alcoholism are two separate issues. However, they cannot deal with the other issue if they are drinking away reality. So the drinking has to stop first, but then the other issues need to be dealt with when sober. Most likely with professional help.It is true that alcoholics drink to numb themselves while the rest of us deal with emotions and life. That is why they never mature while drinking and they need to learn how to deal with life and their emotions after they get sober. It is a hard long road and without some sort of support or professional help he will abuse you if he does not know how else to behave.

    If anyone is interested in reading a great book written by a recovering alcoholic, a book that lets you see inside the head of an alcoholic so that you may understand better , try “Drinking: A Love Story” By Caroline Knapp.

  • denise

    I was physically abused today, for the first time in my relationship with my alcoholic boyfriend. Im feeling sick to my stomach, sore and embarrased to tell anyone how or why it happened. so im letting it out here. My boyfriend is not able to perform sexually, today after trying again, he decided to slap my butt hard to the point of bring me to tears. I ran to bathroom and he went downstairs singing and acting like nothing happened. I took a shower and came out like if nothing happened either. now i am at work….and i am soo mad, scared and I dont know what to do next… this isnt love!? not the way i was brought up. why cant i speak up, or leave this a**hole??? im staying and I feel broken.

  • Donna

    Denise,
    Now is the time for you to set your boundaries before there is a chance that things may escalate. I waited way too long before I set my boundaries and it took years to get things on track. Abusers use guilt, shame and manipulation to keep their abused in their control. You can do it! You are worth it and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Only you can decide to accept nothing less. Don’t worry about what he will or won’t do. This is about you and what you want and need out of a relationship. Take care and God Bless!

  • Sandy

    Hi Denise – I’m sorry you had to experience that and I agree with Donna 100%, now is the time to set a boundary with him; tell him that behavior is unacceptable to you–my alcoholic husband has a HUGE tendancy of taking out all his frustrations on me as well and it’s an ugly vicious circle, they sometimes don’t know how to deal with their issues any other way . . it’s a very scary situation . . you are in my prayers . .

  • Ben

    Denise,

    I am male and my wife has done this repeatedly, along with many other embarrassing things such as biting, scratching, hitting, etc., during intercourse. I have always wondered why she does it to me, but would never allow me to do it to her? Probably part of the abusive personality. They dish it out but would never take it. Just a part of breaking us down in every conceivable way.

  • NM

    Denise, leave. Leave now. My partner has also been abusive at times when he hasn’t been able to perform or when I say no. There are Way too many stories to tell. It started when we were really young and I just let things keep happening because I didn’t want to deal with stuff. Boundaries are exactly what u need. It doesnt get better. Once a few years ago he was on a binge he java bad day and took it out on me. The next day I couldn’t take anymore I flipped out. I defended myself. I hit back I did exactly what he did to me. Guess what? He put me in jail. He didnt think twice about it. After that he constantly threatened to hurt himself and falsely accuse me. I finally stood up to him and the threats stopped. Please don’t just let it be. It only gets worse. :(

  • mj

    girl leave now. packs your bags & get out the fastest way you can. he will never cahnge &
    those promises he will give you are all lies. get out get out now. please don’t wait another minute.

  • sahrah

    Hi Denise,

    You are not alone, there are many places and people you can turn to for help. I agree with mj. GET OUT NOW.
    Trust your inner guidance that made you reach out today. Call a shelter to get help making a plan if you need to. Just be safe. Sahrah

  • JAY

    Hi Denise,

    Its really terrible what happened to you, since you say it is the first time then i am afraid it is the first of many to come. I would recommend that you put some distance between you and your boyfriend. He needs to see for himself that you are no punching bag. The definition of your love has faded and been shadowed with his habit of abuse. Right now you have been substituted. For your own sake please give your self a little time away from him until he realizes that its not the physical abuse that is the problem but its his addiction and he needs to get rid of it for all to go back to normal.

    Good luck and God be with you

  • Pat

    I was in a relationship with a woman who treated me like a king for the first year or so of the relationship. I never thought of her as being an alcoholic until she started using me as her punching bag and I went to Al-anon because a friend thought it would help. They say love is blind. I stayed in that relationship for too long. What started out to be an occasional shove turned into full blown hitting.

    As I look back now, I see that she had a really controlling personality. When we finally broke up, she had become a raging crazy woman. I will never take a second glance at anyone who mistreats me ever again. One thing is for certain, I will never entertain a relationship with anyone who has the slightest chance of being an alcoholic or has any signs of being an abusive person.

  • Julie

    Take it from someone who has lived for 20 years with an alcoholic with an abusive mentality. It only gets worse and the promises that it will never happen again are lies. When are you supposed to finally admit it won’t get better and move on? If you ask the alcoholic they will say ‘never’. You are supposed to keep believing in their lies and giving them chances and never get yourself back because if you do then they have to face reality or find someone else and start over with the manipulation to get what they want. My husband and I are now separated by my choice and he keeps drinking and making excuses and at the same time telling me he has changed while also blaming me and even our innocent children for his past behaviors and abuse. The other night he told me he was too old to start over and I thought he meant with another woman but I now know he meant that he had spent all these years “training” me to fall for his crap and does not want to have to start from the beginning with someone new as he doesn’t have the time. Not once does he refer to how difficult things are for me and the children and only talks about himself. Very sad. Yet he still won’t put down the bottle.

  • Sandy

    Well I’ve only been with my AH for 2.5 year . . married for 1 this month . . we no more than got married and the abuse started; been gradually getting worse and worse; he tried to blame it on burboun . . but then it was happening with beer . . I finally had no choice but to have him arrested . . tough love baby . . . took him down a few pegs let me tell ya; best thing I could have ever done for either of us and I’m proud to know I had the courage to do it . . well he immediately quit drinking, started AA . . court hearings etc. are still going, not sure what the outcome will be . . but he’s just a few days short of 2 months sober, a bit cranky and moody on occassion, going to AA here and there . . the violence has completely stopped and his anger has subsided . . just want to say, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel sometimes . . . hopefully a year from now I’ll feel the same way . . I have set a boundary, you touch me again I’m gone . . he knows I’m serious . . good luck to all of you dealing with this horrible situation . . it can be mind numbing to know how to deal with . .

  • C

    Sandy: You are sensational. Keep up the good work. Men truly respect women who are honest and keep to their word. Men like women who are feminine!

    Sounds like you are headed for much better days. I, like you, stand up for myself. I am educated and like to have fun with friends (I don’t drink), so abuse and controlling do not sit well with me or them.

    Let us know how things are going – I see both of you celebrating years together.

  • Sandy

    Thank you for your support, it was a tough call for me to make but I knew I had to as I no longer wanted to travel the road we were on; in some ways I almost feel like I’m the first person in his life that actually did something to confront his addiction that he’s had for 30 years I now know . . he’s probably still a bit resentful of me doing it, but seems to be realizing slowly that I DID do it out of love for him and for myself both . . I knew he loved me, his disease had just got out of control . . I think we are in God’s hands now and it feels really good . .

  • Donna

    Sandy it is a great thing you have done, standing your ground. Through my experience I can only say, be very watchful. I too called the police on my husband but he still relapsed. To say I was shocked is an understatement because I had thought after 4 treatment centers, the cops being called and my new boundaries along with a spiritual awakening there was no way my husband would ever drink again…he did. Every addict/alcoholic meets their bottom at a different place. I being once an alcoholic/addict can speak from experience. There are certain signs to watch for. If you’ve been through this awhile you know what they are. At the very first sign you may notice, speak out. It can creep in every so subtly. This is a behavior that reveals very deep rooted issues. If those issues have not been fully dealt with then they will resurface. I do not mean to sound negative I am only sharing my own experience. Much counseling has to be sought and FOLLOWED THROUGH with. My husband, even after the cops were called and he was getting counseling and doing his AA meetings and going to church and reading his bible, etc. he very slowly started to go less and less to his meetings, started missing a counseling session here and there, and began to be snappy at times when he did not like something I may have said or done. He was having issues at work and one day out of no where he drank again and if you are familiar with alcoholism it is a very fast spiral downward from there. Each time it came faster and the consequences were stiffer. I had learned to stand behind EVERY threat I made and to bring up any concerns I had immediately. Abusive alcoholics need intensive counseling, etc. to deal with the forces driving the addiction or abuse. I do not believe that a person has to be an alcoholic to be abusive. I believe this is a learned behavior that has to be unlearned and new ways of dealing with stress have to be learned. I believe it starts in the mind and we have to develop new patterns of thinking. This takes time or tragedy or something very serious to bring about change. I hope and pray that this is all your husband needs to make positive life changes for his sake, for yours and your children. God Bless You All!

  • Sandy

    Donna – you are not a downer, you are just giving me a reality check and to be honest, the things you said are concerns I carry with me daily; my husband has drank since his teens; he was also a drug addict in his younger years; so he has a total addictive personality; his birth father was abusive to his mother, his step father was abusive to him; and the list goes on; he’s also very passive aggressive; he refuses to go to therapy, but he may not have a choice – our attorney said he will definitely have to go to anger management classes for 1 year, and I so totally support that – we are having our first social event, BBQ, on Sunday since he quit drinking – his best friend has asked if he could bring some real beer to drink; I’m dead set against it, I don’t want it in my house now, but my husband told him it’s ok – he says “why should everyone suffer cause I’m a drunk” ummmm not sure I totally believe he feels that way, and all it will take is him to say “oh 1 beer won’t hurt” . . I’m very upset at his friend too but I am learning I can’t control other people . . I have a Plan B and a place to go with my pets and elderly mother that lives with me if he goes off the deep end; there is a no harassment order on him . . so one slap and he’s going back to jail. Lets just say, I’m taking it one day at a time and being cautiously optimistic for the most part . .

  • admin

    Sandy, thanks for sharing with us. You story is filled with strength and wisdom for all to admire. Living with an angry alcoholic can be very challenging if you don’t know how to get out of harms way and set boundaries at the same time. Tough love is working for now. If I were in your situation, I would develop a couple of plans in the event that the alcoholic relapses…be prepared to continue expressing unconditional/tough love while protecting yourself at the same time.

    What I love about what you have shared is the fact that you were not in denial about what happened. You saw the alcoholics actions for exactly what they were…abusive and 100% totally unacceptable.

    We are behind your efforts and supporting you here. Send in your story and we will post it if you would like to interact with our readers concerning your situation.

  • NM

    For years I felt so guilty and bad about all of our issues. I really thought maybe I was the problem. Not the cause of his drinking but the cause of his unhappiness. There was always something wrong with what I was doing. This weekend I pointed out how many negative things he said about me in just a trip to the park. I stopped and asked him to say 1 nice thing to me. He couldn’t. But in less than an hour he said 8 mean things. For a long time I tried to understand why he was so negative and depressed. I found many reason as to why he could be that way. Then I realized we all have hard times and have had rough lives. Everyone has a struggle. It doesnt matter why. What matters is how you choose to deal with it. After, 21 years of being in this relationship, I have commited to leaving at the end of the month. I’m scared out of my mind. I’m really sad. I’m confused. I’m angry. I’m excited. I’m a lot of stuff. I just pray that I am doing the right thing for me and my family and put it in God’s hands.

  • Sandy

    I play the blame game as well and wonder what I’ve done to make him sooooo unhappy; but I’m slowly realizing my alcoholic husband was drinking and unhappy for the 30 years before I came along; so his unhappiness is on him; and even if I’d known him that 30 years it’s still on him; happiness comes from inside, if you aren’t happy inside there is nothing and no one on the outside that can change or alter that; and this is a hard concept to swallow . . I’m reading a series of books called “Getting Them Sober: You Can Help!” that is really helping me to understand his mind vs my own-I highly recommend it – and you should pat yourself on the back for standing up to him and doing what feels right for you and your family – good job . .

  • Mary Mc Connell

    After many many years in Alanon I got involved with someone from my past ,an alcoholic ,he had lived with an abusive alcoholic woman for about 10 years ,she died 18 months ago.He told me recently that he is going to get a puffin tattoo ,these birds remind him of her it seems .I haven’t seen him in one month but I told him IMMEDIATELY that he would no longer be welcome in my home if he got the tattoo .
    Until now I don’t know if he got the tattoo ,asking me to ACCEPT his symbolic tattoo was the last straw .A tattoo to Domestic abuse !!!I don’t think so !!

  • C

    Mary: You were smart to draw a boundary line and stick to it. Even if you are alone for a while, it will be a lot more peaceful than being with him. He doesn’t sound stable for one thing.

    Take a day trip or go for an Expresso and meet new friends – you deserve great happiness.

Leave a Reply