Did I Marry An Alcoholic

Signs there is a Marriage Problems

There were so many things about my ex-husband I should have caught while we were dating.  The saying “Love is Blind,” I think I loved him in my dysfunctional way.  I was truly willing to overlook things that a normal person would not have.

You know something is wrong when every bartender in town knows your husband really well and gives him double shots in his drinks.

Signs of a Drinking Problem

One big clue there was a drinking problem.  It seemed like he was friends with every bartender in town.  They knew him by his first name and he would get double shots in all his drink orders because he tipped so much.  So the bartenders were okay with giving him extra alcohol because they could leave work with more money in their pockets.  That was years before I understood what a functional alcohol was or anything about alcoholism.  I actually saw it as being rather impressive because it made him seem important.

When our daughter was just 6 months old I was out of town visiting my parents and my ex-husband did not come with us.  I received a call one morning telling me he had just spent the night in jail for a DWI.  He said he wasn’t doing anything wrong at the cop just pulled him over.

I remember our counselor saying, “The odds of him getting pulled over one night, at that time, at that hour are so rare… that shows you there is a problem and he must be doing it regularly.”

Consequences of a DWI affect the Whole Family

Our insurance went from $150 per month to almost $400 a month.  Even my insurance went up and I was so pissed that his consequences could affect me.  Our insurance increase lasted for three years because of his DWI.   We also had huge court fees to pay, attorney fees and he had to do community service.  It was not even 6 months later and he was out drinking and driving again which really upset me.  He said I could not get over the DWI, and I told him, “You are right, I get a $390 reminder each month!”

Signs of a Functional Alcoholic

As unbelievable as it sounds I still had not figured out he had a drinking problem at this point.  You see society has really made alcoholics seem like bums in the street.  When the reality is they could be business owners, doctors, lawyers and even teachers.  The truth is if you lined up 5 alcoholics and 5 non-alcoholics you might not be able to guess which one has the problem.  They look like normal people.  Not only can the alcoholic convince themselves that they do not have a problem, family members will often try to deny it themselves because of the denial.

Signs of a Drug Problem

Okay so a few years later I was snooping through his closet, because I was pretty sure he was having an affair and all healthy people in healthy relationships search through their partners stuff.  Haha!  I found pot paraphernalia hidden in his closet.  It looked like a little cigarette but it was metal.  Apparently this was something called a ‘One hitter’.  When I asked him about it I couldn’t believe his answer!

“I am just holding that for a friend.” He says to me.  Really, was he 15?  No he was a 35 year old man with this excuse!  And I replied, “Grown men do not hold things for other grown men.”

How insane was that conversation we were having, really?  Anyways, he had some lame story about how his friend left it in is truck and he didn’t want to get pulled over with it.  So again I said, “So you bring it in our house where we have a child?”  The insanity of dealing with someone with a substance abuse problem.

One thing I noticed about my husband during this time is sometimes he would come home, pass out and snore like a freight train.  You could not wake him if the house was on fire.  Other times he came home talking a mile a minute and could not sleep.  Oftentimes he could be very belligerent and  angry.  I really think these were signs that he was using cocaine too but I may never know for sure.  When I talked to other people who had spouses with cocaine problems they describe behaviors that are very much like how my ex-husband acted.  My best guess is he was at times he was drinking, smoking pot and/or doing cocaine.

  • He would withdraw large sums of cash from ATMs all over town
  • We had big time financial problems and we made a ton of money
  • At times he would come home late at night talking a mile a minute
  • When he came home he would immediately turn off the lights (pot or cocaine?)
  • He was sometimes unable to sleep and other times he would crash
  • He behavior was very erratic; really up and really down
  • At times he could be extremely belligerent and angry

Signs of a Gambling Problem

Around this same time I found out he was gambling online.  He had found some website where he could bet on football and have to pay cash through the mail or could receive it.  When I complained about his gambling he said, “You didn’t have a problem when I gave you cash to go buy stuff.”  I said, “Gambling is not a winners game.”

Signs of having an Affair

I had this gut instinct that he was having an affair.  I had this feeling for many years and kept ignoring it.  I guess it was easier to stay in denial that find out the truth and have to deal with it.  By the time I decided to investigate and downloaded his phone records.  I was easy to find the one random phone call that often happened at 3am and then figured out he was calling this woman for a year.  Supposedly she was someone he did business with.  However, married men do to have relationships with other women and keep it secret from their wives.

I did overhear him telling someone on the phone, “My wife is bitching, she is suspicious, we are going to have to cool it for a while.”  Think he was talking with a golfing buddy?  Haha!

Anyways, when I finally confronted him on the topic he got very angry and left the house.  When he returned he told me, “She is just a friend from work, like one of the guys.” Right!  Okay, I am sure that sounds reasonable and with all the stuff previously mentioned why would I not trust?  I actually called her too and she said the exact same thing.  Almost as if they talked and agreed that is what they were going to say.

Signs when the Relationship is Over

Okay… if the fights, abuse, DWIs, drug usage, gambling, job losses, money problems were not already enough… the affair was the beginning of the end for me.

Whew!  My goodness, what I just mentioned above is such a small portion of the insanity.  I actually feel exhausted writing it.  Clearly I was an unhealthy person at that time that I would endure all of that.  I grew up in a divorced family and I wanted so much for my daughter to NOT go through the same.  However, in the end it was impossible for me to continue enduring that.  All of that behavior is really just insanity.

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3 thoughts on “Did I Marry An Alcoholic

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  1. my question: why did it take an affair to make you leave? if what you stated is true (DUI, AB– — USE!, addiction, et al) yet, didn’t serve as a catalyst, then why did an affair?

    personally, i think we place too much emphasis on “another women” and diminsh other legitimate (and sometimes damaging behavior). personally, affairs are not a deal-breaker for me–my huband’s abuse, passive-aggression and gambling addition were.

    to often, we stay and tolerate the most horrific crap, until some other women comes along.

    we need to do better!

    be well…

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    1. Hi Tish,

      I spent some time thinking about your post. I certainly can understand your comments. I often said it is ridiculous how much I let him get away with and it was the affair that finally helped push me towards making the decision to leave. Although, the affair was not the first time I considered divorce. My decision to divorce him continued to mount for so many reasons before I made the decisions to leave him 4 1/2 years later. Fear also kept me from leaving earlier because I didn’t know where I was going to live or how I would pay my bills. He was the breadwinner, I was a stay at home mom and my family lived in another state. Also, another big one is I had no idea I was in a domestic abuse relationship until I left him and he continued to harass me and threaten me and I found the Domestic Abuse Awareness Center that offered additional insight.

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  2. I can relate 100%. My husband does not have the affair issues, however, he has the alcohol, cocaine and weed issues. I stay with him because “in good times and in bad” and he’s not cheating but it’s a rough marriage. Is it fair to me? Idk.

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