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Depression and Alcohol

Community Member

Hi All,

Its been now another year since my last post. .My wife is still in denial, despite still drinking in secret and hiding wine bottles in random places. She is still angry with the world and blames everybody but herself for the state she is in. Her anger goes from 0-100 in seconds, and I do my best to protect the kids from it but feel I am failing. She won't get help, to get nothing is wrong. If I leave, it would destroy my kids.

We built such a good life together, but she is never happy. I have prayed for light at the end of the tunnel but feel there is none. 

The words that come out of her mouth when she gets angry, it is hurtful. I believe she has BPD, because if all the different sides she has. She can be so kind and a beautiful mother, but then becomes the worse. 

Not sure what to do next, just wanted to say it out loud. Thanks for listening .

48 Replies 48

Dear Helpadad
We welcome you back to the forums and want to let you know that we are thankful for your courage and bravery reach out and share your experience about your wife’s depression and alcohol use this evening.
We can hear that you have been going through this for some time now, that your wife is still in denial and that this is taking its toll on your health and wellbeing trying to hold the family together and protect the children; this requires great loyalty and persistence.
While it is clear that you have worked hard, persevered to support your wife in managing her addiction, please remember that is also as important to look after your own wellbeing, both physically and emotionally. We say this as the burden of responsibility does not just sit with your wife and her health but also extends to your responsibilities as a home maker, particularly with the children, work and financial commitments to meet.
We wonder whether it might be helpful to for your wife to speak with a GP, assuming she would be willing to do so in order for her to get the support she might be needing here.  For you also, to build a support network in family, friends, and of course by reaching out to support services in order for you to find some strategies in moving forward from here.  We have included some links below that you might find helpful.
Family Drug and Alcohol Support Service
Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
Sometimes it can be good to talk, if you ever you feel like you need to talk this through, we are also here 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via our Webchat, just Click Here .  Our team who answer the phones are ready to have a supportive and non-judgmental chat whenever you need it.
It shouldn’t be too long before you hear from one of our lovely community members.  Please remember we are always here if you ever need us.
Sophie M

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Helpadad, good to hear from you again and unfortunately your wife only believes that alcohol will solve her problems, whereas in fact, it can do the opposite and extenuate other issues that weren't initially a concern.

Even though she may be a good mum, it's not these times that leave a mark on her family, it's when her mood changes that may damage her relationships with you and the kids and being a cupboard drinker, you're not sure how much she does drink or when.

If you decide to leave her, temporarily or not, then you can take the kids with you and by doing this could change her mind and realise that she does need to find some help.

This may not happen suddenly but missing the kids may be the key.


Life Member.



Community Member

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the kind words. I have thought many times of leaving with the kids but finances etc make this a difficult option. We invested everything into out dream home, and still it's not enough for her. The drinking did seem to improve, but tonight she flared up and started in my 14 year old. When I tell her to stop, she says I don't support her and always stand up for my daughter before her. It then snow balls from there, with the worst language and slandering in front of the kids. How I am a horrible narcissistic, abusive husband and I ruined her life. Once she stops it won't end until she falls asleep and wakes up sober. I can recognise her triggers and usually when she interacts with her father. She is the mirror image of him in everyway. He's an abusive drinker and so is she. 

I try to weigh up the mental effect on my kids if we split, versus living with a mother who won't get help. 

I did try the GP approach, but she gets very defensive and says why there is nothing wrong, I am her problem. 

We are due for an overseas family holiday soon, not sure how that will go, but the kids are very excited. 

She blames me for everything wrong in her life, but I know that's not true. I have enough people telling me what a kind soul I am. She hates it when people compliment me. 

Despite all if this I know the woman I fell in love with and married is still there somewhere, just masked by a cloud of alcohol and depression.

Not an easy decision, I know I have enough evidence for sole custody but I'd rather not do that because it would push her over the edge. 

Tomorrow's another day. 

Thanks for listening 

Thanks Sophie for your reply,

I did try the GP option, didn't go down well. I have tried an intervention with her family in the passed, she has never forgiven me for that. 

The abuse when she is drunk is unrelenting, and in front of the kids. She tells them what a horrible man and father I am. It so not nice to listen to, and I worry what harm it is having on my kids. They are three beautiful kids, 1 boy 2 girls. They are my life. I want our family to stay together, but something has to change, but she won't accept she is the problem. I begged her to use my companies EAP which she always says she will, but never does. I have spoken to them, and will again. It is good to air my thoughts.

Thanks again for listening

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Helpadad


I feel for you so much as you face such a stressful and deeply upsetting situation. With so many possible solutions, when none of them are easy they just don't feel like solutions. They can end up feeling more like stressors.


As a mum who stopped drinking the day I came out of 15 or so years in depression, I can say without a doubt it was the depression itself that kept me drinking all those years. While not as heavy a drinker when I had kids (compared to pre motherhood), I still relied on it as an emotional regulator. Btw, my kids were very young when things all changed for the better. Alcohol can definitely do the opposite of regulating emotions. Too much tends to take emotions to the extreme. If wanting freedom from social anxiety, it can bring out the social butterfly to the extreme, giving us the label of 'life of the party', while we may deeply regret the next day being the life of the party, leading to a sense of shame. If wanting freedom from inner turmoil, anger and depression, it can bring out the venter in us, to the extreme, leading us to vent great inner turmoil, anger and all that brings us down, while possibly destroying the lives of others while we vent. I found while alcohol gave me a sense of emotional liberation, there was nothing to ground me out of extreme emotion, bringing me back down to earth. I find that a core sense of self grounds me while I'm exploring challenging emotions. As you touched on, your wife sounds like she lacks a core sense of self. She doesn't know who she is and it's angering, frustrating and depressing. A 'twisting in the wind' kind of feeling. The most liberating thought I've have ever had in my 52 years was the one that led me out of depression: 'I have absolutely no idea who I really am'. I thought I knew. I thought/believed I was the person who everyone around me had shaped, through praise, turmoil, putdowns, challenge, job description and other roles etc.


A psychological sense of self is one thing. A physical sense of self is another. I've found gaining a natural sense of self (a 3rd aspect) is what truly helped me form the core of who I am.


If you ask many people who face depression 'Do you know who you truly are?', the answer is often 'I have no idea. I'm so lost'.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Helpadad, 


There are another few new members going through very similar to you, if you wanted to have a read? 
You may feel a connection with them and together be able to support each other. 


In your short re-introductory post there are some huge red flags there... still in denial, secret drinking, blames everybody else...
protecting the kids
never happy
hurting others
won't get help... I think this is the short list. 


Don't worry, it's all your fault if you're still there supporting her. 
It will be all your fault if you leave. 
There's no point trying to make sense of their alcohol fogged speak. 
There IS a point to breaking free from it. 


You say if you leave it would "destroy" your kids. 
You really only have 2 options as I see it atm. 
1. leaving
2. staying and more of the same, wash rinse repeat and as research shows, getting far worse before and IF she ever gets better. 
The long term effects of living with an abusive, alcoholic parent are splattered all over the forums. 
I don't recall any posts here from adults wishing their parent STAYED with the alcoholic parent. 


You cannot control her behaviour and choices. 


From my POV the damage is far worse to the kids (and you) if you stay. 
Perhaps her only needing to turn up to the kids' sports on a Saturday will be all she can manage sober. 
I found this dwindled off too. 


Wishing you the best

Community Member

Try to find a support group in your area, for relatives of alcoholics. Your GP may have resources. Al Anon is very good and doesn't cost anything. 

There is support available for partners and children that live in an abusive environment including financial support. 

Alcohol addiction is too powerful to fix, she has to hit her rock bottom before she will do anything. What you can do is stop it from affecting you and your children. I know it's a terrible situation to be in but help is available

Hi all,


Thankyou all for taking the time to reply to me. It is an emotional roller coaster, we got to our worst last week, screaming at each other and name calling. She said some truely hurtful things and as all people in the situation blames me for everything. As therising said she often mentions she doesn't know who she is. It all stems back to her father who was an abusive drunk and still is. She visited her mum today and he ignores her. The irony is he ignores her because of the way she treats me and the kids, even though she is a product of his up bringing. I do worry the cycle will continue and my children will end up like her. But they do already at a young age have a hatred for alcohol. She takes all her frustration on my eldest daughter who is 14. She has the usual attitude that all 14 year Olds do, but when I step in to defend my daughter from the cruel way she talks to her, all hell follows. She blames her and me for everything wrong in her life. But when she wants to get a rise she starts by saying how horrible a dad I am to my other two children who I love dearly. She uses them and says they live her and are kind to her, truth is they are scared of her getting angry and just want to appease her. 

I am so lost, and the only thing keeping me going is my kids. Her cruelty is starting to break me down. I went to the doctor after my bloody pressure was 160/107, he said try and remove stresses! I wish it was that easy. The thought of being a single dad in a small house scares me. We have built such a great life for ourselves, the dream life style. It will all come crashing down. I am doing everything I can to protect my kids and keep their home together for them, but I feel I am doing the wrong thing. After today I am 100% convinced she has bipolar. We were having a nice moment chatting about her father etc, then she 10 minutes later she was screaming the house down.i know what I have to do, just dont have the courage to look my kids in the face and tell them I am leaving their mum. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Helpadad, you're going through so much suffering, I'm sorry this is happening to you all. 


I'm afraid you mentioned more red flags than before... being parental alienation speak. W pulling the "you don't love ___ as much as ___ " is part of this. I honestly think she KNOWS the marriage is high and dry and is already prepping for post marriage garbage like Court. 


I found this perplexing... "The thought of being a single dad in a small house scares me. We have built such a great life for ourselves, the dream life style. It will all come crashing down."


What are you afraid of being a single dad "in a small house"? 


The most shocking statement was this "We have built such a great life for ourselves, the dream life style." 
I think not! You are describing a nightmare lifestyle, for you AND the kids.
If it was a great life and dream life style then you wouldn't be here describing the nightmare?


Safety on all levels is a responsible parents' number one priority. 
Screaming abuse at each other is psychologically damaging to the kids. 


I'm concerned authorities will get involved to protect the children tbh. 


It's far better to be more in control of the separation and assets split whilst keeping the kids with you than the above. 


Best wishes