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shattered dreams

Community Member
My husband for over 30 years has relapsed (again) after time away from alcohol-fuelled depression. He was doing so well after rehabilitation and I really hoped he'd succeed this time. I'm afraid I got extremely angry with him - called him terrible names, threw a pillow at him - I'm just so frustrated by this setback, I just wanted to 'kick him into action', and when this all fell on sleepy ears, I called in a health professional to try to talk him into going back to rehab. Now he won't speak to me, says I am unsupportive and he wants a divorce. He has threatened this before, but maybe this time for real ... So many dreams ahead of us feel shattered. So much history and tangled lives to unpick. Anyway, I'm anxious right now and feel like I've mishandled the situation. Don't know what to do, just don't know what to do.
18 Replies 18

Community Member
Oh, recovery was short lived and the next crash was big. Sadly, he has had an accident and been physically injured this time. It’s not life-threatening, but he’s been taken to hospital with a suspected broken bone.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lillianne~

I can only imagine how you feel, I'd suspect it is love and concern for him, plus anger, feeling betrayed and seemingly not able to do anything that works.

It is of little comfort to be told you have tried everything, as far as I can see no one could have done more. Sadly addiction is very hard to beat, and even if you husband has good intentions for a while they can waver.

What else is there?

Geoff suggested a period of separation. Always presuming you might be prepared to do that what do the think are the good and bad things about doing so?

The only think you can do with certainty is look after you, and we've talked about that before. Please continue to do so and not be disheartened about yourself.

Please let us know how things go


Hello Lillianne, sometimes going back into rehab only reiterates what he has previously heard from the first time he was in and may not have the same effect as talking with a counsellor who will change the point when they feel it should be and discuss his particular issues and ways to help him.

After another visit to rehab, people tend to go by what has been said for a week or two but can then easily relapse, causing other injuries as a result.

I'm not a doctor, but know this appears to happen and can defer his behaviour with drinking and can only be temporary, however, people drink for a reason and not everytime is it to celebrate an occasion but to perhaps try and hide something that's been growing up inside them for long time.

Any addiction is not easy to break and unfortunately, for me it was one reason why my divorce came about, now I haven't had a drink for over two years and still talk regularly with my ex.

Best wishes.


I am really sorry to hear that Lillianne, how have you been doing?

I hope that you feel supported here on the forums


Thanks fir the update. Many people care about you and have given helpful suggestions.

zIf you feel up to it let us know how you are going.
we are listening .

Community Member

Am I being reasonable?
Here I am again. To recap the situation: My husband is an alcoholic. We’ve been married for over 30 years and this has been an ongoing point of conflict. He has tried on numerous occasions to quit drinking, but eventually relapses. Most recently, he undertook a drug and alcohol abuse course and it was excellent … for a couple of months. Right now, he is drinking to excess again with the associated mood swings and risky behaviour. I don’t want him at home when he is like this. Coming home at the end of every day from work makes me sick in the stomach because I don’t know what to expect on arrival. Is it fair and reasonable to ask him to leave/find somewhere else to live when he is drinking? Unfortunately, he is unemployed at the moment so I will have to provide financial assistance for him to survive, but we do have a place he can go to - I can’t go there - it is too far away from my work. There are no children living at home, so if he tells me to leave if I’m not happy, I can’t use this as an excuse to stay in my home.

My adult son recently told me that he hates his father when he drinks and feels he needs counselling himself, so significant trauma has been experienced by my children.

I have completed a mental health training certificate and have a better understanding of the issue.

I suppose I am seeking the opinion of others who have had to ask their vulnerable partner to leave while they are abusing drugs or alcohol. It seems callous to me and I worry I’m putting him out when he most needs me, but it’s so difficult having him around when he’s not sober.

Hi Lillianne,

Im sorry this is happening again, I understand that any type of addiction is very hard for the person who has the addiction and the loved ones family ( your self).

It can cause the loved ones family to feel just helpless with the situation watching the one who’s addicted going through what they are…… it’s extremely worrying for the one watching and very stressful to see the way they are behaving.

It can turn the loved ones family upside down.

I can’t tell you what to do but if he wasn’t living with you would you still worry about his state?

When he is sober can you catch him when he is like this and really explain the way you are feeling and then ask him to seek professional help for himself?

He could see a gp or try another intervention.

He really needs to try to understand that what he is doing is harmful to himself and while under the influence he may not know what he is doing.

Sometimes when we try to talk to someone who has an addiction they sometimes really don’t remember their behaviour while they were intoxicated.

I understand that this is really hard situation for you and I really hope that things turn around for the better for you both.

Im here to chat

Hi Lillianne,

I can't even imagine how stressful that must be to go home not knowing what state your husband will be in as you mentioned. I would imagine my body and mind would be in a constant flight, fight or freeze and that would be incredibly exhausting.

As Petal22 mentioned above I really hope that he realises is ways and that he truly does change one day. I wonder if there are any programs available who have sober mentors as they do in America or sponsors who stay with the individual and really focus on their recovery.

I wish I knew exactly what to say but I definitely wanted to message and show my support!

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi Lillianne,

firstly, well done for completing the certificate. I hope you are finding it helpful.

it sounds like this is a difficult time for everyone in your family.... your son does not like his father, you feel conflicted about the helping and "putting him out' as you put it, and then his drinking.

If I may add to replies of the other users... if you get a chance to speak with him when sober, use "I" based communication (my might know some of this from your certificate?) so he might be aware of the effect this has on you and your son.

I assume (?) you still care for him, at least based on your writing. Please tell me if I am wrong. And deciding what to do becomes really hard. I really hope that things turn around for the better for both of you.