My Alcoholic Husband Almost Caught The House On Fire

Burning HouseJC: Sarah, thanks for sharing your story (below). I’d say that since your alcoholic husband could have burned your house to the ground, you still have a serious problem on your hands. It’s only a matter of time before he will start staying out drinking all the time again. According to your story, the alcoholic you are living with is verbally abusive, possibly physically abusive (wanting to fight with your brother)  and cannot be trusted to be alone when he is drunk, for fear of him catching the house on fire. These are very serious matters that should not be overlooked, especially since there are kids involved. First and foremost, take care of yourself by getting involved in Al-anon. If you don’t have the course on How To Cope With An Alcoholic, get it. It will help you learn quickly how to handle the difficult situations you are facing everyday.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Guest Post By: Sarah

I am in a very serious relationship with a alcoholic. I have been around many substance abusers my whole life from family to friends to men I have dated. But this man I am with now  is the worse case I have seen. He has always been a bar goer since he was very young. Its not that he has to have a drink every day or all day. When he and his co-workers or friends want to drink, its not a few beers its lots of beers and shots on top of shots.

He is a construction worker. Work has been very scarce lately. The money has been coming in like it should be.  I am the sole finical provider right now. He works so hard with many other alcoholics.

He is gone for hours after work at the bar and by the time he comes home the cash money he has made from work that day is gone. His behavior is so exhausting!

I love him unconditionally, but its so hard on the days when he does go the bar and gets tanked. He usually comes home and thinks he is funny as he tries to act like everything is fine while kissing one me and telling me how much he loves me, blah blah… Alcoholics are so good at manipulation!IAG

So when I get distant and quite and try to ignore him,  he gets angry and verbally abuses me. He makes me feel like its all my fault that he gets drunk and tells me how much he deserves to drink because he works so hard…

He has 3 children, 2 of which we get 2 nites a week and every other weekend. He rarely drinks around the kids,  its only when they are with their mothers that he drinks until he cant stand. I came home last month from work and he had went out the night before, got hammered drunk and came home trying to fight my little brother who lives with us. My husband then passes out on the floor and a few hours later vomits all over him self and the entire living room. Which he can’t recall the next day. When I left for work, he was passed out on the floor!

When I returned home from work,  he was passed back out in bed, but he must have been hungry because he tried to cook something. He must have forgot because I walk into our house that was filled with smoke and there was an odor that almost made me vomit.

The nights out to the bar are very few and far between these days.  He has been doing so much better. It use to be 3-4 nights a week and now it averages once or twice every two weeks… I know he is doing his best.

Thanks so much for all the information you have provided on this website. It has helped me get through all of this with respect and unconditional love.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. How would you handle things if the alcoholic almost caught your house on fire?

You Might Also Like Reading:

How To Set Boundaries With An Alcoholic

How To Give An Ultimatum To An Alcoholic

How To Have A Happier Life While Being With An Alcoholic


24 comments to My Alcoholic Husband Almost Caught The House On Fire

  • Amy

    Mine almost caught the house on fire too, and he fought with my son, to the point I called the cops, had him put in jail then was packed left, and put a 2 year restraint on him. He spent all his money on alcohol, did nothing to help out at all, and I did notice now looking back that he seemed to get drunker than usual on days when his son was at his mothers, as if he was saving the real fun drama for me and my son.( oh the things we put together in hind sight). I seen mine cycle in and out of more drinking and less drinking, and a lot of empty promises in between but it seemed the longer we stayed and the more we put up with the worse his drinking and his behavior got. It is extremely exhausting, I had lost weight, was nothing but a bundle of nerves by the end of it I seemed to feel nothing but anger and hopelessness,I am glad I got out of there, if not I would still be living like that, and that is simply no way to live.

  • Bill

    Sarah, it’s good news to hear that your husband is only going out once or twice every two weeks these days. The bad news is that he will go on benders again. It’s just a matter of time.

    While things are going good, do all that you can to take care of yourself. Go to plenty of Al-anon meetings, learn all that you can about his disease. You’ve been living in a real mess.

    Has your husband ever admitted that he has a drinking problem and considered going to AA or some other form of rehab program?

  • Mike

    Get out of that relationship.
    I hope you find the strength.
    Some time alone would help.
    I mean a lot of time alone.

  • Carol

    Since I have never been in a relationship like yours, I am hesitant to comment, but I agree with a previous comment that it is probably only a matter of time before he goes on another bender. You need to take care of yourself and go to Al-anon, meet others who have similar stories and learn what you can to help yourself. I would not put up with that kind of relationship……but I have an alcoholic daughter who is separated from her A husband because they cannot live together and drink. She has a court date because of a domestic violence incident in which she defended herself when he pushed her, but he looked worse when the police came because he takes blood thinners. So now, they can’t have anything to do with each other (Thank heavens) and she says she is done with him for good.
    I pray so. Sometimes, love is not enough…….think of what the worse case scenario could be…..plan go get out while you can.

  • mike

    sarah ,i recently got out long term realationship with my ah girlfriend.I put up with so much stuff and let it go so far.alonon helped me alot along with this website and few good books and people.Now that i had the strengh to leave .Im starting to feel better and now i look back and wonder why i was so blinded.The education of the illness is what changed me .Its still a struggle ,but now i know my mistakes and know its over and thats not the kinda life i deserve to live.now i dont worry about the house burning down anymore.

  • Mia

    Hi there

    I’m sorry but the thing that struck me was the you said you loved him unconditionally

    That’s a very dangerous statement when talking about an alcaholic

    We like to believe that loving that way makes us wonderful people. It doesn’t . There should never be unconditional love as far as I am concerned. I learnt that on my road to recovery from alcahol ruling my life because of my x boyfriends drinking

    There should be a point where they can go that is too far , too abusive and too cruel and too selfish. And at this point you turn round a say enough, no more

    I find it hard to read some piste sometimes especially when there ae children involved. Some people behave like they are helpless in the situation and have become martyrs to the alcaholics behaviour and behave like victims

    You do have a choice . If you don’t want to die in a house fire or risk those children dying in one then get rid of this man Fromm the place where he can hurt you

    A friend of mine lived with an alcaholic his and not e en as bad as yours but one night they had a fight over nothing , he got drunk and decided out of spite to set fire to their home.

    She came home to fire and ambulances

    Her six year old daughter died . . But not that night, after a further three days of suffering agony from burns in hospital until she died. Her husband died too immediately

    There is no excuse for anyone saying oh he doesn’t do it this time or that time . You don’t know and can’t predict what they will do , they will only get worse

    Please forgive me for my harsh words but when you have seen a six year old die you have to speak up

    We do have a choice and the only one is get out til they get alcahol free and show remorse and change for bad behaviour. Alcahol free without remorse and changes of attitude is not enough

    Please don’t say you have no choice, you do . You are the main money maker, you have feet and you can walk

    Pray for strength to do the right thing before its too late for someone

  • Lisa

    I relate to the alcoholic scenario. Mine burned half of my house down. He always loved to cook while he was drunk. Until one day he was cooking a pan of french fries and decided to sit on the deck while they cooked. He was so intoxicated he forgot they were on the stove. Being displaced from your home and having everything burned to pieces will wake you up. I have 3 kids and had to live at my moms house for 6 months. He continued to say it wasnt his fault, blamed it on everything but his neglagence. Please be careful in the situation that you are in. It can turn deadly in a matter of minutes.

  • Pez

    Mia said, “There should never be unconditional love as far as I am concerned. I learnt that on my road to recovery from alcahol ruling my life because of my x boyfriends drinking

    There should be a point where they can go that is too far , too abusive and too cruel and too selfish. And at this point you turn round a say enough, no more”

    Excellent Mia! I never thought of Unconditional love in that way. Thank you!
    that story is horrible! It shows just how far it can go. So tragic.

    We may once have been victims when we were nieve to alcoholism but, once we lean the truth we are held accountable. The good book says, “we are only accountable for what we know” and that makes scence tome me.

  • Sarah

    Wow thanks so much everyone for all the support and comments
    Harsh words or not.. These are things I really need to hear.
    It was June 19th when all this happened. But I did stand my ground and since I was the sole finical provider…I gave him the boot! yes what if he did start a fire and what if the kids were home so many what if’s!
    Told him if he wanted to drink then he could do it somewhere else not my home that I have worked so hard for…. It’s been a almost 3 months and he has not had a drink or been on a bender since that night… I really don’t know how long the sobriety will last only time can tell. He also got a really great full time job(with benefits) a month ago and has not missed one day…so far things are much better but I know things can change with a drop of a hat.
    He’s does admit to having a drinking problem but still refuses to go to AA classes. So right now we are taking it one day at a time.
    I did let him move back in last month when he got the job, Maybe that was a mistake but the kids needed a safe place to stay when he gets them… But I did tell him the moment he has a drink he must leave and not come back. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Any advise and comments are so much appreciated. I really appreciate the support this website has to offer I have learned so much about the disease of alcoholism… and also that I do have a choice and that the alcoholic does not control my life I do!
    Thanks
    With love and light
    Sarah

  • Kristal K.

    I have been married for 5 years. My husband always drank, everyday. When we relocated 1000 miles from his home and he had no job he began drinking upon rising and continuing throughout the day. He has had numerous jobs which he has quit. My husband has not worked in 4 months and he is not actively looking for work. I am the sole support of our family. He gets angry with me for not giving him access to the money, he will only purchase alcohol. He has started staying out all night and not calling, and then getting angry with me when he comes home the following afternoon. He too, has caught the bed on fire, smoking while drunk. He was very angry and physically abusive with me when I told him that he could not smoke in the bed anymore. I feel bad for him, he has no family, no job, no money, but I refuse to be a victim anylonger. I am trying to distance myself from him and ignore him and make myself happy. This is my first experience with a substance abuser. My first husband of 30 years died and then I remarried. I pray for him and hope that he finds peace. Thank you for allowing me to vent. Kristal K.

  • Karen2

    Hi Folks, I’m having trouble posting so I hope this reaches everyone.
    I need advice.
    My AH has begun to act out violence during his sleep. As a result, I’m awakened by whatever kick or punch happens to land my way. Not only is this not cool, I’m afraid he might actually think I’m in his “dream” and attack me. Strange I know, or is it?
    I thought I’d lived through everything with this man and perhaps this has nothing to do with his everpresent drunkenness, but somehow, I can see where it could.
    He does awaken. He does remember that he was having a dream.
    Has anyone else ever dealt with anything like this?
    This has happened before, but it’s escalating; 3 times in the last week.

  • Debbi

    Karen2:
    Yes, I went through similar with exAH. Mine would have dreams but upon semi wakening would then have hallucinations. Google Alcoholic Hallucinosis. Mine would swear they were real. He swore he saw the angel of death, his dead father, a woman in white robe. One time he started thrashing about because he said someone was grabbing his nose. He also had several while awake too. I have been told this can be caused by a lowering of alcohol in the system so it makes sense 8-10 hours after their last drink (usually while sleeping) this would occur. I had to do one of two things: Sleep downstairs or get up a couple hours before him because it would start the last couple hours right before he would wake up. Be careful because in this state they can be violent and you’ve seen or heard also that sometimes it will take 6 strong police officers to subdue one man under the influence and if he’s hallucinating at the time it is even worse.

  • Karen2

    Thank you for the information, Debbi. I have googled alcoholic hallucinations. As a nurse, I am aware of DTs, etc., just never associated some of the alcoholics’ symptoms with a drop in alcohol level minus stopping drinking altogether. Funny thing, read where someone reported seeing aliens; my AH did that very thing one night. But the real clencher was last week when he thought a bear had him! Kind of funny…in a way. Gotta get my laughs somewhere, right? Guess I’ll stick to my motto: expect the best but prepare for the worst.
    While we’re talking, let me say that I read all your posts and appreciate where you are in your growth. I think we’re about the same age? 56? Nothing but good wishes coming your way. Karen

  • Debbi

    Karen2:
    wow, how did you find my posts–I would like to do that on this site to refresh my mind with some of the people here that I feel like I know them and have never met them & my heart goes out to all of them. Yes, I found out about the hallucinations from a site that just mentioned in another thread by Brigett, I believe–soberrecovery. You can read posts by alcoholics in recovery and get a great insight. As time goes by the A needs more and more alcohol in the system to get the same “high” but then something happens where their body stops tolerating it and they need less but if the level drops during the day shaking and hallucinations can occur. Then if they get too much–blackouts happen–wait until you get that one–I think that is when they talk about an alien invading their body & brain. I was so taken by surprise one time when it happened I thought he was putting a big joke on me until I saw how his eyes were glazed over that I realized he was like sleep walking but now I realize he had just had a blackout from too much alcohol that night after work! But you’ve got the right attitude–Laugh and Laugh some more and remember you have the right to NOT engage in any interaction with anyone when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hang in there!

  • Pez

    This reminds me of one night while I was living with my XAB it was scary. It must have been like 2 or 3 am and he sat straight up in bet and was just mumbling non-scensical things, don’t remember the details. I do remember though looking in his eyes and he was not there! If you have ever watched a horror movies of demonic eyes huge dialated pupils and glazed over–it was freaky. That was years ago and at that point I was more innocent and tried to talk him down and comfort him. He eventually went back to sleep but did not remember zilch about it the next Am.

  • Debbi

    Pez I was crying when I came home today & now I am having so much fun–thank you!

    So my turn. One night I’m dead asleep and he starts shaking me yelling there’s something in the hallway, can’t you see that shadow on the wall? He was in a panic–but not sure if hallucinating or what. However there was a shadow on the hallway wall so I got up out of bed & he starts to panic–“where are you going”. I said I’m going to go get your shadow. I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Our cat was sitting on the table on the hall that also had a lamp on it and she was doing what cat’s do–cleaning & primping and of course casting a huge shadow on the wall. I picked up Pumpkin and dropped her on the bed next to my exAH and said “here’s your shadow Einstein, can I go to bed now?” I’m laughing now telling this–thanks Pez for making me remember the stupid things he did & will continue to do with the next woman who right about now is probably starting to suspect something is not quite right with this man!

  • Pez

    LOL that’s funny! I just remember what you said in a former post Debbie. We got them in there best years as an A, and that was Hell. Now in progressive disease–the new ones can have them!!! Can you Imagine. And the looks are going in the stinker too! My XAB, I swear, aged 10 years in 4. And, he is getting stupider! I can’t be with a stupid man.

  • Karen2

    Oh Debbi, when I said I “read” your posts, that was meant past tense. So no, I haven’t had access to your cummulative posts. I have a good memory, plus I hang onto every word I read on this site.
    And Deb, don’t cry.
    My AH just rented Iron Man 3 for us to watch.
    Daughter comes in and says, “Dad, you just rented that last week!”
    Geeezzzz.
    Pop the corn!! lol

  • Debbi

    Pez:
    Can’t say my ex is aging–before he moved out he finally replaced his dentures, bought all new clothes, and had cosmetic surgery done so the women all started coming out looking for him. These women who knew he was divorcing actually had the nerve to call and leave messages for him on my home phone–young & old. Let’s face it men can always get younger or older women and us women get left behind. No matter what they look like there is always another woman who take up with them.
    Karen2: Glad to see you’re keeping the good attitude–that’s the only thing you can do – take good care of YOU!

  • Pez

    He got plastic surgery–OMG. How vain for a man. Mine was obsessed with his looks as well. When lit he would look in the mirror at himself and pick at his looks like a woman, talk about hair transplants, face work, etc….what a turn off. He is still stuck in his 20’s drinking and beating up his body and then wants to repair the damage with surgry. How bout not drink to excess and take care of you body! I still look good at almost 52 cause I don’t drink and drunk (social drinker). Debbie, it is easier it seems for men to get women. There are plenty of desperate women out there ready and willing but, it is not impossible for us women to find a decent man. We just have to do more deliberate searching, smiling at men as were out, making ourselves available, and being aware of what’s around us. I also joined a dating site and the meetup groups are excellent for meeting people try meetup.com they have a meet up group for just about any interest out there! Get out and get to know people, even if it’s just friends. Talk to people in the checkout line start to open yourself up. I just saw an ederly couple in there 90’s get married! It’s all about what you want when your ready :-).

  • Debbi

    Pez:
    what’s the saying….”never more”. My dating days are over if even my husband, son, friends no longer wanted to be around me why set myself up for more hurt. Sometimes I think my higher power set my life up like this from the beginning to sit back and watch everything implode. Just packing, tossing & checking my craigslist ads–got free stuff up there & already have someone coming for my living room set & dining room set. I just have to keep stopping for the feelings start to overwhelm me right now cleaning all my life out into boxes or trash cans! I keep focusing on the nice young couple buying my house–I sure hope they enjoy my paradise–2 raccoons, 1 coyote, 2 bucks, 15 does & their babies, family of 5 foxes. I am going to miss it all!

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  • Stella

    I live with a verbally abusive alcoholic, I have been with him for 30 years, he retired 3 years ago after working over 30 years, he has always drank but while working he drank in moderation , now he drinks every night and everything is my fault. I still work thinking about retiring but no way will I keep him around after I retire, I have asked him to leave but he won’t, we are not married the house is mine and I see no other way out than to sell my home to get him out, wished I knew what else to do

  • Mayday

    I’m planning my exit after 20 years of marriage. I secretly paid cash for a storage unit and have slowly been taking things out that belong to me. I dream and pray everyday, I have found my home and will leave next month in August. I will deal with the home we own together afterwards. He won’t leave, so I have to. my boys still at home are coming too. they are sooooo excited about where we are going. It’s like an adventure. A year ago, I was fighting this…..would not leave my home that I adore so much, but now…..I’m so checked out. I feel like a stranger in my own home. I read some of your posts and yes, I have seen is alcoholism progress. He can’t function without it. Hides it in the garage, drives with a thermos with alcohol in it. Yes, people……he’s in the streets. The manipulation is exhausting, he’s exhausting ni can’t wait for peace in my life. Wish me luck

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