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Not Sure What to Do

Community Member

My husband and I are not 40 and he is an alcoholic and has been dry for 7 years. This year has been incredibly hard, starting one week into the year with his Mum’s passing. Many other deaths have happened and we have had major family issues, particularly with our oldest daughter. He is heavily depressed but believes he is only stressed. He also gets controlling when he feels insecure so I don’t do much or see too many people. He now says that e is entitled to have some beers after work which actually scares my two daughters as well as myself. In the past there was quite severe domestic violence with alcohol usage and given his current state of mind we are very concerned for our safety.

I feel bad and mean but I believe that our safety should come first. I am happy to go out for the night or for him to go out and drink but he refuses to have friends outside of work and only wants to drink at home. This is causing MAJOR conflict and is turning to his brother and sister for support, who also happen to alcoholics.

What would you do in my shoes?

Thanks in advance

5 Replies 5

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi bubbles, welcome - my answer might not be what you'd like to hear but you want to know, I respect that.

My last girlfriend was a closet alcoholic. Gradually over the 11 years we were together the drinking increased and she blamed my bipolar for it. Easy to do.

No matter what I did her addiction remained. Her techniques included putting the guilt onto me "your bad moods make me drink". Or- "I work hard so deserve a cask or two each week".

Her physical violence increased. I tolerated regular face slapping. Then one Friday night after I collected my 14yo daughter from her mothers...she came close to slapping her. I restrained her and called the police. The police breath tested her (she was about to drive off) and she was 3 times over the limit. The policeman said "you have a bigger problem than you realize ".

Anyway that was the straw that broke the camels back. I left her. I've remarried (now 7 years) and never been happier.

You are not responsible for his mental health especially if he is in denial.

He says he is "entitled to a few drinks every night".

You are entitled to a violent free home.

Be strong. Take care of YOU.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Bubbles, I always welcome newcomers hoping to make them feel a little more at ease.

I'm sorry that he is suffering from depression which can be more long-lasting than stress and it can last much longer, because being in a stressful situation may instantly stop if the appropriate action satisfies a person.

Now too many bad incidents have unfortunately happened breaking his abstinence and believes he deserves he is allowed to drink, sure only a couple at the moment, but this may lead on to more.

This will scare your two daughters because they can remember what has happened once before with the domestic violence occurring, that's something they don't want to happen as well as how you feel.

The safety of your two daughters as well as yourself is of prime concern because if he starts drinking, only a couple of beers at the weekend, but then slowly its going to increase to every day, especially if he goes to his brothers and/or sisters house knowing they are alcoholics.

There could be a problem that he starts to cupboard drink on the other days he's supposed to be 'alcohol free'.

Has his work offered him to see their counsellor, or has he been to his own doctor.

I'd like to know, only if you want to say, about what has happened last time when he was drinking.

Just quickly I used to drink in depression but now only drink socially, but it was one reason why my wife divorced me.

We still talk to each other, it's just we can't live together any more, so if you want to get back to me that would be great.

Hope to hear back from you.

Take care.


Hi TonyWK

Thanka for your response, I do appreciate it. This is what my heart has been saying for a while, and after having discussions with our daughters they have told me that they don’t want to live with him either. They don’t want a permanent separation, just a temporary one.

I actually told my husband how I feel and he told me I broke his heart. He doesn’t tell me anymore that he loves me so it seems to be heading towards separation.

The last time we had a few drinks together (apart from his 40th this year) I called the police on him for the first time ever. I don’t fully remember what he did but he was ranting and raving aggressively at me and our kids before punching into the fridge. That’s when I hid in the bedroom with our kids and called the police, vowing never to put myself/is in that situation again.

It also appears he is starting to go through a mid-life crisis, which only fuels our fear more.

Thanks for your reply


Community Member

Thanks for your reply Geoff. I believe that our safety is paramount to his wanted coping methods and should take precedence. I agree whole heartedly that it will only start with a few before turning eventually into heavy drinking.

Last night I told him how I feel and he said I broke his heart. I find it hard to deal with the guilt of being hurtful but I can’t live like this. He honestly can’t see that there are any problems, or won’t admit to it, so I blindsided him. I told him that I love him and am in love with him but alcohol is a deal breaker for me. And to make things slightly more complicated, next week we are meant to be going on a family holiday to Tasmania, in lieu of our cancelled honeymoon due to the fact that hubby started a new job and wasn’t allowed to take time off for it.

Once again, thanks for your reply, and thanks for making me feel welcome.


Hi TonyWK

Thanks for your reply. You have basically confirmed what my heart has been feeling. I believe that our right to a DV free home takes precedence over ‘just a few drinks’.

I too suffer with depression but make sure I go to a GP for treatment and to a counsellor or psychologist when needed. I feel broken inside and it was on the advice of someone who said that somerging has to change that has given me courage to be vocal about how I feel.

At least my husband isn’t a closet drinker and respected my feelings, but is now starting to resent me for being controlling. On Christmas Eve we felt unsafe around him so we went for a drive. I arranged for the police to meet me at our house so we could get clothes so we could stay elsewhere for the night.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply. You have confirmed what I already thought.