I Fear The Alcoholic My Burn The House Down

Guest Post by Heather

JC –thank you for the valuable information you provide. I have found it very helpful during these difficult times. There is one thing I
have not found the answer to and perhaps you can give me a tip. I have this PARALYZING fear that when my fiancé is inebriated, he will burn
the house down and I cannot get over it. I came home from work three weeks ago to the kitchen smoking because he left the burner on with a
plastic spatula over it. There was already an ember (fire spark) ignited. What if I didn’t come home when I did? That is my house, my life, the only thing I have- my animals, and HIM! I’ve begged him not to use the stove while he drinks and I’ve prepared sandwiches for him so he doesn’t have to cook. He went two weeks without drinking but he’s back on the bottle now and it’s all I can fixate on while I am at work helpless, worried to the core, petrified. I cry, I call/text multiple times a day (lucky to get a reply), but I cannot get over this paralyzing fear he will start my house on fire when he’s blacked out. How do I overcome this? Thank you in advance for your help. thank you for the information you freely provide as well.

JC: Heather, thanks for sharing your story. Those of us who choose to stay with alcoholics have many underlying fears. You can find a lot of helpful information on the topic of alcoholics starting the house on fire  here: Alcoholic Almost Caught The House On Fire. Make  sure you take the time to read the many comments below the article. You will find that you are not alone in your concerns.

In answer to your question, “how do I overcome this”? You have no control over your future husband’s choice to consume alcohol to the point of blacking out. The way I see things in situations like this…I only have two choices, change my attitude or get out of the relationship. When you get married, you have to live under the same roof. There’s really no way to get rid of this fear because there’s a very real possibility that he very well may burn the house to the ground. Sure, you can learn how to let go of your future husband’s alcoholism, but it doesn’t change the fact that he blacks out when he gets drunk and your  home and animals are VERY much in danger of being destroyed.

Heather, you might also enjoy reading:

Should I Leave The Alcoholic

Set Boundaries With Alcoholics

How To Give An Ultimatum To An Alcoholic

Letting Go Of The Alcoholic


10 comments to I Fear The Alcoholic My Burn The House Down

  • C

    Unless the person will admit the problem and get help before marriage, do not marry him and get as far away from him as possible. If you are planning on children remember that it very well could effect them and they could turn into alcoholice (especially boys) thru heredity.

  • Julie21

    Heather, Please consider what C said above. If you are already dealing with such paralyzing fears, it will only get worse if you marry him and then it will be more difficult for you to get away should that ever be your decision. Please take it from someone who has lived thru an alcoholic marriage and finally had the courage to get out, do not continue to baby him. I understand your reasons for wanting to or feeling you must, but he needs to be out of the house if he is a danger to you and your animals. And if you marry him and have children he will only be a danger to them. Why allow him to live with you if he is dangerous? If you are worried about his not having a place to live, he is a grown man and must learn to fend for himself. It is NOT your responsibility to save him from himself but it is your responsibility to make sure you and the animals under your care are safe from harm. Think about that and my suggestion to help yourself is to check out Empowered Recovery. Lots of knowledge on this site and on the book they offer that helped me to take steps to save me and my children from destruction by my ex ah’s alcoholism.

  • Bill

    Heather, I like what J.C. Said. You only have two choices, get out of the relationship or live in insanity for the rest of your life. I certainly would not be okay with living with someone blacking out and almost starting the house on fire. If you marry someone like this…there could be even worse things that happen. What if he blacks out while he is driving and kills someone. Living in this kind of fear all of the time is no way to live.

  • Sojourner

    Get a security system that will automatically notify fire and rescue if a detector is set off. But as already stated above, you cannot control the alcoholic, you can’t.

  • Connie

    My alcoholic did burn the entire house down. I woke in the middle of the night & heard something in the living room & it was furniture burning & falling down. The whole house was lost. Luckily my son went out the window & so did I. We had a wood burning stove & he was reloading bullets on the coffee table & he went to bed leaving the door open to the wood burning stove & newspapers in front of it. When the fire got to the gun powder on the coffee table it really took off & bullets he’d already reloaded sounded life fire crackers going off. We lost a cat, a dog, a bird, & EVERYTHING else. Clothes, brooms, toothbrushes, you’d be amazed at what you take for granted. Soap, all our clothes, pictures, shoes, dust pans, it was hell. I stayed in an apartment until the house was rebuilt. THEN 10 years later, he burned down the garage. He actually blew it up with a wood burning stove out there & sparks. He was painting a truck. The garage was more like a shop it was huge & luckily not directly attached to the house, though it did start to burn the house because they are only separated by 3 feet. Luckily the fire department got here in time. We did lose the entire garage & EVERYTHING AGAIN. Christmas stuff, motorcycles, bikes, well, everything again. If you live with an alcoholic now, if there is any way you can muster the courage, LEAVE now. If you stay like I have for 30 years thinking he was going to get sober again (he was sober the first 11 years of our marriage & I’ve now been sober 36 years) or whatever, DON’T. He’s shot at me or around me to control me from leaving & all kinds of insane things & I am the one who is the sickest. Remember, statistics are against you. Your partners chances of getting & staying sober are minimal at best. The lying, cheating, no money, all the stuff is for real & no matter what, he is using you. I just couldn’t believe it. Get help & leave now. It gets worse. I’m so lucky I’ve stayed sober myself through this. I am now 60 years old, still in therapy & now am being treated for PTSD for the physical, emotional & mental abuse I subjected myself to over the years. Your addict/alcoholic may get better, but not likely. Now they actually baby them & try to make it easy because of course its a disease & nothing is their fault. When I got sober it was not that way. I’m grateful for that. You can’t tell anyone what to do because you don’t know what they can or can’t deal with, but the facts are that your partner is probably not going to get better. He is still trying to get clean. LOL. Also, if someone goes out after long term sobriety they are less likely to get sober again than someone who has never stayed clean. They have to want to with their heart & most don’t. Save your life & your kids lives & run for the hills & DO NOT LOOK BACK.

  • Bill

    Connie, your comment and the others so far are why I continue to participate on this website.

    When someone isn’t already married to an alcoholic, but dating one, many people on this site generally say “get out of the relationship now and save yourself from the possibility of being miserably married”.

    Yes, people can stay in relationships with alcoholics and still live a happy life. Those individuals are few and far between. Al-anon is a great support group to get involved in for everyone who has been effected by someone’s alcoholism. The organization is extremely helpful for those of us still living with alcoholics.

    Heather, only you can decide what is best for your life. I do hope you take time to read through the many articles on this site where the community of readers have left comments. I have one question, wouldn’t it be nice to spend the rest of your life not having to worry if while you are at work someone might burn the house down?

  • Kali

    My husband torched a pan of steak when he was drunk and trying to cook like a chef. He was pouring oil in the pan, staggered and some got on the gas burner, went up the side of the pan and into the pan and caught fire. A huge flame was billowing from the pan and he yelled for me to help him. He was screaming historically. It was simple to stop the fire in the pan. All I did was took a larger pan and placed it over the top of the flame. The smoke alarms went off and we got into a huge argument.

    Ever since that incident, I’ve been fearful that he is going to catch something else on fire when he is drunk. This is a small thing compared to all of the other stupid sh** he does. The other night he decides to get in the car and go to the store. He backs right into our daughter’s car and smashes her front end to the tune of $1200 dollars in damages.

    He stays out until three and four o’clock in the morning sometimes, comes home hammered and then wants to wake me up and have sex with me.

    I faithfully attend support group meetings and am constantly setting boundaries, detaching and letting go of him, but I am lonely because there is no real intimacy in our relationship anymore. It’s really just a dysfunctional mess.

    If I’d know being married to him would be this way, I would not have married him. He used to treat me like royalty. All he does now is complain about everything I do and blame me for all of his problems.

    Heather, it doesn’t ever get any better. Along as they keep drinking it only gets progressively worse.

  • Jay

    I left the alcoholic 94 days ago and went into recovery myself for my own addiction pattern/disease.
    I used to worry that he would burn my house down as well. He would just pass out on the couch with dinner cooking. It freaked me out. Unfortunately there is no adult reasoning with them though. It would seem obvious just to make an agreement with each other like adults. But with an alcoholic that part of their brain doesn’t work. It’s like asking a 2yr old child to make an agreement with you. The expectations we put on unwell alcoholics leads to disappointments. It is not sensible to expect them to be able to be adult about anything…even when they seem exceptionally present and sincere. Because next minute they forget they made the agreement. They are 100% unreliable and unsafe. The best thing is to protect yourself and your possessions because otherwise you will get hurt and things will get broken, lost, traded etc…It’s no good asking them to be responsible for their actions…it’s too late for that. The awareness/consciousness to do that isn’t there. For me the best and most loving thing was to end the relationship. It’s a personal decision and one I didn’t take lightly. But 94 days gone I am feeling more in control of my life and environment. I’m also in recovery from a 32 year addiction so I have some insight now with my new sobriety. Such a long way to go. But it helps me understand his alcoholism disease and how progressive any addiction can be.

  • feel ooooooo stuck

    oh please! wife desperate ! I have been married for 24 years to an alcoholic husband, no love , the last 6 years now driving him its hell, I have been ready , waiting to leave him, my plan is there , mean while its dealing with him, lonely,I want to work but its about him.
    time moves so slow, this year 2014 a huge set back. I see, known the alcoholism
    disease, It is taking a toll on my health real bad, stressed! worst of all I have no support, I have tried , done for support, nothing here. I want my new life. my alcoholic husband wont get help ever. NEED HELP NOW 6-8-14 So much to say, To many stories.

  • feel ooooooo stuck

    a comment about Heather or someone your burned house, Im sorry to hear really , I feel for you. I had a house I lived in for 11 years and guess what I lost it DUE to my alcoholic husband he went to jail, LOST MY HOUSE, THAT I LOVED so much!

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